Italy Have This Qualification Thing Sorted
The Italians know how to crash a party.
They've now gone an amazing 49 games -- and counting -- without a loss in World Cup and Euro Cup qualifications.
Their latest came in a proper David vs Goliath match, with the only difference being that David lost. Italy defeated Azerbaijan, 3-1, to keep their impressive run alive.
It was a mismatch on paper and on the pitch, as well, and Italy was ruthless. Quick, too, with Éder finding twine in the 11th minute:
That defense is as slow as a snail.
The problem with scoring an early goal, though, can be resting on one's laurels prematurely:
What are the defenders doing? Trying to hit the stars for some luck?
Whatever it was, Dimitrij Nazarov didn't mind.
But Azerbaijan's slow-footed backs were never in danger of protecting a point, which was fine with Stephan El Shaarawy:
This is what they call walking right past your opponent.
Matteo Darmian has been impressive for Manchester United and was for his country, as well:
United needed this more against Arsenal than Italy needed it here.