Roberto Mancini said Moise Kean and Giacomo Raspadori will have their chances after inspiring Italy to a 5-0 win over Lithuania. ‘It’s in their minds and their feet.’
The Azzurri ended their run of four consecutive draws at 90 minutes, flattening Lithuania 5-0 at the Mapei Stadium in Reggio-Emilia.
There were eight changes from the side that drew 0-0 in Switzerland on Sunday and the youth delivered, as Kean scored twice, Raspadori got one and saw another deflected for an own goal, while Giovanni Di Lorenzo completed the rout.
“Despite losing so many players over the last couple of days, the lads reacted well. Obviously, the opponents weren’t of the highest quality, but you can’t always score five or six goals, so they did well,” Mancini told RAI Sport.
There was more good news, as Switzerland were held to a 0-0 draw in Northern Ireland, with a Haris Seferovic penalty parried. It’s reassuring after the Azzurri were stalled by the Swiss with Jorginho’s spot-kick saved.
“Anyone can make a mistake, the important thing is to stay calm, not lose our heads, and it will be fine.”
Raspadori and Kean are very young, but Mancini has shown he is willing to give everyone an opportunity.
“We already brought Raspadori to the Euros, we saw he has quality, but is young and needs to gain experience. Of course, it’s all in their minds and their feet. If they do what they need to do, work hard, remain organised on the field, then it depends on them, but they can have their chance.”
Jorginho wore the captain’s armband for the first time this evening, but was also one of the only players who wasn’t rested.
“I left out Leonardo Bonucci, who is important because he starts the moves from the back. We also lost Stefano Sensi, so asked if Jorginho could at least play one half.”
Italy have now set the new all-time world unbeaten record of 37 games.