Mancini revels in breaking Italy wins record

Italy made history with its Euro 2020 qualifying win over Bosnia-Herzegovina, much to the delight of its manager Roberto Mancini.

Italy celebrate with Francesco Acerbi   -  Getty Images

Roberto Mancini revelled in watching his Italy side break new ground in Friday's 3-0 Euro 2020 qualifying win at Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Francesco Acerbi, Lorenzo Insigne and Andrea Belotti were on target as the already qualified Azzurri maintained a 100 per cent record in Group J after nine matches. The result marked a 10th consecutive victory for Italy, a feat no other Azzurri side has ever managed.

It broke the previous best achieved by Vittorio Pozzo's side between 1938 and 1939, a fact that brought plenty of joy to head coach Mancini.

"It's pleasing. We've beaten a mythical feat, and this can only be a pleasure," Mancini told Rai Sport. "Tonight I saw a great Italy performance. We knew it wouldn't be an easy game, even though they had nothing to play for, but we immediately got on the right track."

Mancini has rotated with his central striker through qualifying, with Belotti earning the nod ahead of Ciro Immobile this time and backing up his double against Liechtenstein last time out.

"If they score it's better for us and we hope they continue in this way in matches during the Euros," Mancini said of his striker options.

Mancini identified a fault, though, saying: "We played too far back. When you are tired you have to stand taller because if you are convinced you've won the game you risk opening it up again."

Taking a look at Italy's record-breaking run

Italy 1-0 United States: Nov 20, 2018

The run started with an unconvincing 1-0 victory over USA in Genk a little under a year ago. Italy dominated proceedings but needed Matteo Politano's 94th-minute strike to secure the win.

Italy 2-0 Finland: Mar 23, 2019

Euro 2020 qualifying started in convincing fashion for Mancini's men in Udine. Nicolo Barella's deflected effort and a first Azzurri goal for Moise Kean did the damage.

Italy 6-0 Liechtenstein: Mar 26, 2019

Fabio Quagliarella became Italy's oldest international scorer at the age of 36 as Liechtenstein was hammered in Parma. The veteran scored two penalties in the rout - the latter after Daniel Kaufmann was sent off on the stroke of half-time - while Stefano Sensi, Marco Verratti, Kean and Leonardo Pavoletti were also on target. 

Greece 0-3 Italy: Jun 8, 2019

A flying start to qualifying continued in Athens in a match that was essentially over thanks to a three-goal 10-minute salvo in the first half. Barella's thumping opener was added to by Lorenzo Insigne's sumptuous strike, before Leonardo Bonucci headed in the third. 

Italy 2-1 Bosnia-Herzegovina: Jun 11, 2019

In one of the trickiest encounters during Italy's run, the host fell behind to Roma striker Edin Dzeko's close-range effort after 32 minutes. Insigne levelled shortly after the break, but it took until the 86th minute for Verratti to curl home the winner.

Armenia 1-3 Italy: Sep 5, 2019

Italy again had to come from behind after Aleksandre Karapetian put Armenia in a surprise lead, but he was sent off after Andrea Belotti's leveller. Still, it was not until the 77th minute that Lorenzo Pellegrini headed the visitor ahead, and an unfortunate own goal from goalkeeper Aram Ayrapetyan rounded out the win.

Finland 1-2 Italy: Sep 8, 2019

A hectic final 30 minutes saw Teemu Pukki cancel out Ciro Immobile's header to draw Finland level from the penalty spot. However, a spot-kick of its own from Jorginho after a handball from Sauli Vaisanen maintained Italy's 100 per cent record in qualifying.

Italy 2-0 Greece: Oct 12, 2019

A month later, another Jorginho penalty set Italy on its way against Greece in Rome and Federico Bernardeschi added a second as the Azzurri booked its place at Euro 2020.

Liechtenstein 0-5 Italy: Oct 15, 2019

It was another luckless night for Liechtenstein, who were turned over in Vaduz. Belotti scored twice, while Bernardeschi, Alessio Romagnoli and Stephan El Shaarawy put its names on the scoresheet.

Bosnia-Herzegovina 0-3 Italy: Nov 15, 2019

The record-breaking day arrived in Zenica as Italy controlled proceedings. Francesco Acerbi's first goal for his country and Insigne's strike after 37 minutes had the visitor coasting at the break. Belotti struck a fine third to ensure a new landmark was set.

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