With four goals in the opening 30 minutes the Euro 2020 winners made a new piece of history in Wednesday’s clash
Reigning European champions Italy gave another warning of their prowess with a record-breaking start to Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.
The Azzurri went into the match at the top of Group C and with an historic unbeaten run to defend.
They experienced little resistance from their visitors at the Mapei Stadium, winning 5-0 and adding a new milestone in the nation’s enviable football history as Lithuania were put to the sword.
Quick off the mark
It took Italy just 11 minutes to open the scoring on Wednesday, with Moise Kean netting to put his team in the ascendancy.
And the goals just kept coming, as Kean added a second and Giacomo Raspadoni marked his first-ever goal for the Azzurri, while Edgaras Utkus also put past his own goalkeeper.
After just 30 minutes Mancini’s men were up by four goals, a new national team best, as never before had Italy managed to score as many in the first half-hour of a single game.
The bigger picture
Mancini took over in the Italy hot seat following the failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and immediately set about turning around the side’s fortunes.
The Azzurri have not lost a game at senior level since September 2018, at the hands of Portugal in the UEFA Nations League. On Sunday they set the record for the most international matches undefeated in the game’s history with a 0-0 draw against Switzerland, stretching their run to 36 games.
During that run Italy were crowned Euro 2020 champions thanks to their penalty shoot-out victory over England in July’s final at Wembley, their first title since the 2006 World Cup.
Italy’s unbeaten run now stands at 37, with the Azzurri defeating Lithuania to cement their spot at the top of their qualifying group after defender Giovanni Di Lorenzo grabbed the fifth of the evening for the hosts.