NEWS
Sunday October 14 2018
Last-gasp Biraghi beats Poland

Cristiano Biraghi's last-gasp goal beat Poland 1-0 to give Italy their first competitive win under Roberto Mancini in the Nations League.

See how the action unfolded in Chorzow with our liveblog!

Italy put in their best performance for some time, hitting the bar twice and forcing Wojciech Szczesny into a string of saves, although they only won courtesy of Biraghi at the death. 

The Azzurri named an unchanged XI from the one that drew 1-1 with Ukraine midweek, so Nicolo Barella was handed another chance to impress in midfield.

Poland, meanwhile, paired Robert Lewandowski with Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik over Genoa scoring sensation Krzysztof Piatek.

With their meeting in Bologna last month ending 1-1 and both subsequently losing to Portugal, the match in Chorzow was a head-to-head for survival in League A of the Nations League.

The Azzurri were allowed to get at the Poles from the first whistle, and they almost took an instead lead when Jorginho bent a shot on to the crossbar.

It was then Lorenzo Insigne’s turn as the false nine to fling the ball on to the woodwork, before Szczesny managed to push away Jorginho’s low drive and a sliding Alessandro Florenzi finish.

Italy did have the ball in the net after the break, but Insigne was a step offside before he teed up the tap-in, while Federico Bernardeschi was similarly sloppy with two close-range strikes.

La Nazionale’s increasing profligacy kept Poland in the game, and Kamil Grosicki failed to capitalise on his clear sight of Gianluigi Donnarumma’s goal as his curler was blocked by the Milan goalkeeper.

Mancini threw on Udinese striker Kevin Lasagna for his international debut late on, but it was left to full-back Biraghi to fuel scenes of celebration when he knocked in a corner at the far post.

The result relegated Poland to League B of the Nations League and ensured Italy stayed in the tier ahead of December’s Euro 2020 qualifying draw.

Poland 0-1 Italy

Biraghi 90

Poland: Szczesny; Bereszynski, Glik, Bednarek, Reca (Jedrzejczyk 46); Szymanski (Grosicki 46), Goralski, Linetty (Blaszczykowski 46); Zielinski; Lewandowski, Milik

Italy: Donnarumma; Florenzi (Piccini 84), Bonucci, Chiellini, Biraghi; Verratti, Jorginho, Barella; Bernardeschi (Lasagna 81), Insigne, Chiesa

Referee: Skomina (SLO)

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