Italy were held to a 0-0 draw by Poland in Gdansk. The Azzurri dominated the ball possession but couldn’t score the many chances they had. Roberto Mancini’s are now due to face Holland on Wednesday.
Mancini started Francesco Acerbi to play alongside Leonardo Bonucci at the back. The Lazio defender replaced Giorgio Chiellini who has a problem at his right knee. Acerbi’s Lazio’s teammate Ciro Immobile was on the bench with Andrea Belotti starting as a sole striker with Federico Chiesa and Lorenzo Pellegrini on the wings. Some familiar faces in the Poland XI as Sampdoria’s Bartosz Bereszyński, Cagliari’s Sebastian Walukiewicz and Benevento’s Kamil Glik started at the back for the hosts with Robert Lewandowski who was the major threat for Italy up front.
The Azzurri had the best chance after 10 minutes with Federico Chiesa, who didn’t make the most of Andrea Belotti’s brilliant build-up and fired wide from point-blank range. Minutes later Emerson blocked Robert Lewandowski’s potential chance from inside the penalty area with a sensational last-gasp tackle.
Andrea Belotti tried to score himself but his effort was too weak and was easily saved by Fabianski before Kamil Jóźwiak stung Gigio Donnarumma’s gloves with a header which was easy to save.
Chiesa and Lorenzo Pellegrini tried once again before the half time whistle but the new Juventus winger couldn’t find the net of the goal while the Roma star was anticipated by a Poland defender.
The second half begun with a good chance from a cross of Emerson Palmieri that leaded to a corner kick for Italy while Donnarumma deflected Jacup Moder’s attempt.
Emerson had another chance through a diving header from a close cross of Federico Chiesa but his attempt finished wide. Chiesa was replaced by Moise Kean who revitalized a little bit the Azzurri’s attack.
It was Emerson, however, who came close to scoring after a nice long ball by Marco Verratti. Something he couldn’t do consistently today as the pitch looked awful. Tomasz Kedziora’s touch on the Chelsea defender, however, prevented him from scoring. No complains for the Azzurri but with the VAR it could have been penalty. Berardi also came off the bench and nearly scored with a powerful shot from inside the area that was denied by Poland’s defence.
The hosts had their best chance of the game but Francesco Acerbi was superb in blocking Karol Linelly’s short-range shot. The ball could've gone anywhere but landed on the wrong side of the net.
Italy dominated the ball possession and had the best chances but were unable to score. The Azzurri take on Holland in Bergamo on Wednesday.
Poland 0-0 Italy
Poland: Fabianski; Kedziora, Glik, Walukiewicz, Bereszynski; Krychowiak, Moder; Szymanski (59’ Grosicki), Klich (70’ Milik), Jozwiak (82’ Karbownik); Lewandowski (82’ Linetty).
Italy: Donnarumma; Florenzi, Bonucci, Acerbi, Emerson; Barella (78’ Locatelli), Jorginho, Verratti; Chiesa (70’ Kean), Belotti (83’ Caputo), Pellegrini (83’ Berardi).
Ref: Sánchez Martínez