Italy are out of the European Under-21 Championship after France and Romania drew 0-0 in their final group game on Monday.
Italy finished Group A on six points, behind Spain in their three-way record on goal difference with Poland.
However, France and Romania – both aware that they would go through with a draw – predictably played out a damp squib.
Indeed, neither team managed a single attempt on target in 90 minutes plus stoppages.
The result is being described by the Italian Press as a ‘biscotto’ - in the same way Sweden and Denmark drew 2-2 to eliminate an unbeaten Nazionale from Euro 2004.
Les Bleus will face Spain in the last four, while the Romanians - debutants at this stage - take on holders Germany.
The Azzurrini have now failed to leave the group stage in two of the last three European Under-21 Championships and will consequently not take part at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
It also ramps up the pressure on CT Luigi Di Biagio, whose six years at the helm have been largely unremarkable, despite working with a generation of Italian talent considered the best for some time.
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