Italy's progress undone by poor finishing

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The absence of a forward with clinical finishing continues to hamper Italy

Italy must be wishing they had a Christian Vieri or Roberto Baggio in their ranks now for this is an Azzurri side that just does not know how to finish.

Roberto Mancini will be left fuming as to how his team didn’t secure three points. Forget the group standings; the more pressing issue at hand here is how the Azzurri don’t have a quality forward who can put the ball into the back of the net.

Significantly it was this problem which made them miss the World Cup. However it is not all doom and gloom for the Italians as against Portugal they looked much sharper especially in midfield where Marco Verratti and Lorenzo Insigne ran the show.

Their give and go was delightful to watch while the passing was intricate and accurate. Italy it must be a said in a long time were a joy to watch. Mancini will be pleased with how Italy outclassed Portugal but knows his side is still a work in progress.

The former Manchester City boss’ decision to pick Ciro Immobile as his striker did not pay dividends as the Lazio man continues to be wayward in front of goal. For Italy to be truly a competitive nation again, they must have someone who can finish, or it is they who could be finished.

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