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'It was weighing on me' - Immobile relieved to end Italy drought

11:43 PM WAT 08/09/2019
Ciro Immobile Italy Finland Euro 2020 qualifying 2019
The forward had not found the net for his country since 2017 and admitted that the drought was on his mind

Ciro Immobile finally broke his drought for Italy, scoring his first international goal in two years to give his side a 59th-minute lead. 

They were pegged back by Teemu Pukki's penalty 18 minutes from time, but Jorginho secured a sixth win from six Group J games after 79 minutes, slotting home another spot-kick. 

The Lazio striker admitted the barren spell played on his mind but said remaining clam was the key to him finding the back of the net again in international football. 

"It was weighing on me so much, not scoring with this jersey," he told Rai Sport. "So much has been said over the last two years, but I was calm and knew my moment would come. 

"People always tried to cause controversy around me, including with the coach, but there was no issue there. 

"It wasn't easy to get a victory here, but after the disappointment of [failing to qualify for] the World Cup, we are back on track with Italy." 

While happy to come through a game on the road with another three points, head coach Roberto Mancini said Italy were guilty of creating their own problems as they scraped past Finland on Sunday. 

"There was a little bit of suffering, but we created it ourselves," he said. "We were dominating the game and gave away the ball cheaply. The team did very well overall, although we had a few scares when it was 1-1. 

"We must try to improve; these games are tough and make us stronger. It's positive to dominate away from home when making five changes from the last match, so we have a lot of talent to draw from. 

"Our intention is to always attack. Naturally, that means you're going to allow a few chances. We gave away the penalty on a ball that we shouldn't have misplaced, so they put some pressure on, but we got back in front so it was a good performance." 

Italy are in a commanding position in Group J, six points ahead of second-placed Finland after six rounds of matches. 

They’ll take on Greece in their return to the pitch in October.