Italy put nine past Armenia to maintain perfect record in Euro 2020 qualifying
Italy finished their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with a 100 per cent record from 10 games after thumping Armenia 9-1 in Palermo.
Ciro Immobile and Nicolo Zaniolo both scored twice as the Azzurri racked up an 11th straight win despite a much-changed starting line-up under Roberto Mancini.
Immobile and Zaniolo were among those promoted to the side after Friday’s 3-0 win in Bosnia and they delivered in style against their lowly opponents.
Edgar Babayan had missed a good chance for Armenia in the opening minutes before Immobile nodded the Italians in front from a Federico Chiesa free-kick.
Almost immediately after the re-start, the home side doubled their lead when Immobile played in Zaniolo, who beat Armenian keeper Aram Hayrapetyan to net his first senior international goal.
Chiesa and Immobile both came close for the Italians but Armenia should have reduced the deficit through Aleksandre Karapetyan, who pounced on a poor back-pass but hit the bar.
Nicolo Barella got on the end of a threaded through-ball from Leonardo Bonucci to make it 3-0 before Immobile sprung the offside trap to strike Italy’s fourth with 33 minutes gone.
Immobile might have wrapped up the first period with a hat-trick when his shot clipped the post in first-half injury time, while Chiesa also hit the woodwork after the break.
Zaniolo grabbed his second just past the hour mark and Alessio Romagnoli deflected home Italy’s sixth goal of the night with 72 minutes on the clock.
Jorginho added the seventh from the spot after a trip in the box, then Bologna’s Riccardo Orsolini marked his senior debut with a goal when he headed home in the 75th minute.
Babayan fired a brilliant consolation for Armenia from outside the box in the 79th minute but Chiesa finally secured his first senior goal two minutes later when he headed home from close range.