Italy held Germany to a 0-0 draw at San Siro in this international friendly, as Andrea Belotti hit the post and Kevin Volland’s goal was disallowed.
The Azzurri were fresh from a 4-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Liechtenstein, but scrapped the 4-2-4 formation for another experiment, this time 3-4-3 with Eder starting on his 30th birthday. Germany also made numerous changes, including the debut for Yannick Gerhardt.
This friendly was their first meeting since a sudden death penalty shoot-out at the Euro 2016 quarter-finals. The Nazionale were unbeaten in Milan since 1925, but had won only five of the last 26 friendly matches.
Gigi Buffon stood tall to the last second and used his feet to deny Leon Goretzka at the near post, while Daniele Rugani’s snapshot was fingertipped over the bar.
An inspired Daniele De Rossi chipped pass sent Ciro Immobile running, but Bernd Leno rushed off his line and succeeded in narrowing the angle.
Thomas Müller’s cross was flicked on by Gerhardt and Buffon had to scramble across to smother at the feet of Ilkay Gündogan. The Manchester City man tested Buffon again with a scuffed volley after his give-and-go. Davide Zappacosta charged down a Müller strike from the edge of the box.
Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma came on for his second senior Italy appearance at the age of 17, while Alessio Romagnoli went off with a slight muscular problem.
Belotti burst into the box and went down between Jonathan Tah and Shkodran Mustafi, but the referee waved away penalty appeals, then the Torino striker was cut off again in the penalty area by strong defending.
Tah was booked for dragging down Eder on the edge of the box and Kevin Volland had the ball in the net by anticipating Donnarumma at the near post, but he was flagged offside. However, he appeared to be almost level with Joshua Kimmich’s low cross.
Federico Bernardeschi almost scored with one of his first touches. Immobile ran on to a Belotti through ball, his pass back was deflected into the path of the unmarked Fiorentina winger who aimed a weak finish straight at Leno.
Immobile was getting a lot of joy down the left and curled just past the far post. Belotti confirmed his remarkable recent form with the best chance of the game on 82 minutes, as he gathered from Bernardeschi and turned on a sixpence for an angled drive that thumped the inside of the far post with Leno beaten.
Late substitute Nicola Sansone scuffed a weak effort at Leno when he had two passing options.
Italy 0-0 Germany
Italy: Buffon (Donnarumma 46); Rugani, Bonucci, Romagnoli (Astori 46); Zappacosta, De Rossi, Parolo, Darmian; Immobile (Zaza 88), Belotti (Sansone 88), Eder (Bernardeschi 68)
Germany: Leno; Höwedes, Mustafi, Hummels (Tah 46); Kimmich, Weigl (Götze 70), Rudy, Gerhardt; Goretzka (Volland 59), Gündogan; Müller (Gnabry 59)
Ref: Soares Dias (POR)
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