Roberto Mancini’s Italy wasted several chances as they were held by Poland, passing up the opportunity to go four points clear in Group A1.
Italy missed the opportunity to take a commanding lead at the top of Nations League Group A1 as an inability to finish off chances saw them held by Poland in Gdansk on Sunday.
Roberto Mancini’s men extended their unbeaten run to 18 matches across all competitions, though they will be frustrated that they were unable to go four points clear of the Netherlands given the quality of their openings.
Italy posed the greater threat throughout but were particularly wasteful in the first half, with Federico Chiesa and Lorenzo Pellegrini spurning two glorious opportunities in an entertaining opening 45 minutes.
Poland managed to tighten up a little in the second period, though they again had a let-off when Emerson Palmieri headed agonisingly wide and that proved to be Italy’s last clear-cut chance.
15 – Excluding friendly games, #Italy are unbeaten in their last 15 encounters (W12 D3): in their history, the Azzurri had a longest run only between June 1997 and June 1999. Brothers.#POLITA #NationsLeague pic.twitter.com/RskgdCm2Se
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) October 11, 2020
Italy enjoyed a positive start and should have consolidated their position in the ascendancy by taking an 11th-minute lead, but Chiesa inexplicably shot over from close range after meeting Andrea Belotti’s inch-perfect cross.
Poland sprang to life at the other end shortly after. Robert Lewandowski’s left-wing delivery looked sure to be turned in by Kamil Jozwiak, only for Emerson to clear the danger in the nick of time.
The hosts had another fortunate escape 10 minutes before the interval as a low cross from the right found its way through to Pellegrini in the centre of the box, but he could not get enough on the ball and Lukasz Fabianski gathered gratefully.
Poland began the second period brightly and went close through Jakub Moder – his fierce effort from a tricky angle just outside the area forcing Gianluigi Donnarumma into a necessary save.
Italy remained the dominant force, though Poland became even tougher to break down.
Nevertheless, the visitors did work another glorious opening just past the hour, as Emerson met Chiesa’s cross and failed to hit the target with his header.
Poland almost nicked the three points right at the end, but Karol Linetty slammed into the side-netting after being teed up by Grzegorz Krychowiak.