Super-subs Federico Chiesa and Matteo Pessina scored in extra time as Italy survive a huge scare to beat Austria 2-1 and progress to the Euro 2020 quarter-finals
The pair saved the Azzurri’s blushes after a fairly sterile affair with both sides lacking sharpness in the final third.
Roberto Mancini, who picked Marco Verratti ahead of Manuel Locatelli, saw his side create the better chances in the first half with the standout moment being Ciro Immobile’s stunning strike from around 30 yards that clipped the outside of the woodwork.
The Austrians defended well throughout, helped by the Azzurri’s largely slow buildup play, and they were the better side in the second half with David Alaba and Marco Arnautovic going close.
And they had a goal disallowed by VAR after Arnautovic was judged offside when he headed the ball in from Alaba’s flick-on.
Mancini threw the kitchen sink at their opponents, bringing on Andrea Belotti, Chiesa, Pessina and Locatelli, and it was the Juve man who broke the deadlock with a well-taken strike at the back post for his second international goal.
Atalanta’s Pessina looked to have sealed the game with a strike from close range a few minutes later.
Stay tuned for more.