Italy v San Marino Live Commentary & Result, 28/05/2021, Friendlies | OkeGoal

That’s all for today, goodbye! 

Italy’s preparations for the Euros get off to a great start and they have a short break before their next friendly match against the Czech Republic next Friday. San Marino suffer another heavy defeat at the hands of Italy, but now their attention turns to their friendly against Kosovo on Tuesday.

Italy cruise to a 7-0 win over San Marino! It took Mancini’s side a while to break down the visitors, but they went into half-time 2-0 up thanks to goals from Bernardeschi and Ferrari. They dominated the second half and benefitted from mistakes at the back by San Marino, with Politano coming off the bench to score a brace, while Belotti also netted after being brought on. Pessina also scored twice to wrap up a high scoring win for Italy.


88′ That goal was Pessina’s last involvement in the game as he makes way for Barella.

88′ Mularoni is also going off, with Alessandro Golinucci on to replace him.

88′ San Marino are finally able to make that double change now and Nanni is first to go off, with David Tomassini on for him.

86′ This time, San Marino get two defenders across to Bernardeschi, but it still isn’t enough as he skips away from them before teeing up Pessina.

86′ PESSINA SCORES AGAIN! Bernardeschi lays it off to Pessina and he coolly steps away from Brolli to get in on goal at the near post, where he slots his shot through Benedettini’s legs and into the back of the net. 7-0 Italy! 

84′ San Marino have substitutes ready to come on, but Italy are keeping the ball well and are in no hurry to get upfield. They’re happy to just keep possession in front of the visitors at the moment.

82′ CLOSE! Bernardeschi swings another brilliant cross into the box from the left and Politano rises highest at the far post to get on the end of it. He heads his effort back across goal, but it sails just over the bar.

81′ There are some half-hearted shouts of handball from Italy after Di Lorenzo’s cross hit Rossi in the box. The referee had a good view of it though and the defender’s arm was tight to his side, so the claims are waved away.

79′ San Marino just can’t get a touch on the ball at the moment and are sitting deep in their own half to try and stop Italy from getting forward. Politano finds space down the right again but ends up hitting his cross against Brolli.

77′ POLITANO HAS A SECOND! Bernardeschi fizzes a dangerous low cross into the box and D’Addario’s clearance loops up nicely for Politano. He hits the shot on the half-volley and there’s nothing Benedettini can do to keep it out. 6-0 Italy! 

75′ PESSINA MAKES IT FIVE! The free-kick is pulled back for Cristante on the edge of the box, but his low shot rebounds off the bottom of the near post. It falls to Pessina in the middle and he hits it into the back of the empty net after Benedettini committed himself. 5-0 Italy! 

73′ For San Marino, it’s Palazzi that’s going off, with D’Addario coming on.

73′ Both sides are making a change here, and it’s Bastoni that’s coming on for Italy in place of Biraghi.

71′ The San Marino defenders can’t get close to Politano as he drives forward down the right before cutting inside and laying it off to Di Lorenzo. He drills a low cross into the six-yard box but Battistini gets there ahead of Belotti to put it out for a corner.

69′ Belotti is almost in again here after Castrovilli wrongfoots Mularoni on the right and lays it off to the substitute on the edge of the box. His first touch lets him down though and it rolls harmlessly to the keeper.

67′ Bernardeschi does really well to pull away from the three San Marino defenders around him to open up space before playing the return pass into Belotti.

67′ BELOTTI SCORES! It’s well worked between Belotti as he plays a one-two with Bernardeschi to pull away from Brolli in the middle and he’s one-on-one with the keeper. He curls his shot around Benedettini and in at the near post to make it 4-0 Italy! 

65′ San Marino break quickly on the counter when they win the ball back high upfield, but their final pass lets them down once again as Vitaioli’s throughball is hit straight against Di Lorenzo.

63′ And finally, Mancini is taken off, with Di Lorenzo on for him.

63′ There’s a change in goalkeeper as well as Cragno goes off, with Meret replacing him.

63′ Italy are making a triple change now and Grifo is the first to make way, with Belotti on in his place.

62′ GREAT CHANCE! Cristante plays it out to Toloi on the right and he curls a dangerous low cross into the box for Bernardeschi. He tries to turn it past Benedettini first time but blazes it high over the bar. It wouldn’t have counted anyway though as he was offside.

60′ Vitaioli steps up to take the free-kick that Nanni won just outside the box and he curls his effort over the wall, but there’s no dip on his shot and it flies high over the bar and into the stands.

59′ Nanni has stayed down and it looks like he has a cut just above his eye after being caught by Cristante. He’s quickly back to his feet and will be able to carry on after getting patched up on the sidelines.

57′ With Ferrari’s goal, there have now been 29 different scorers for Italy under Mancini (level with Prandelli) – only Vittorio Pozzo (53) had more different scorers in his managerial career with the national side.

55′ CHANCE! It’s another poor punched clearance by Benedettini and this time it falls for Castrovilli in the middle of the box. He nods it down before volleying his shot on goal, but it’s well blocked by Fabbri.

54′ Mancini plays a low throughball down the right and Mularoni slides in to stop it from reaching Politano. He tries to set Palazzi on the counter, but his pass is intercepted by Cristante and San Marino are on the backfoot again.

52′ And Grandoni is taken off and replaced by Vitaioli.

51′ Tomassini also makes way, with Brolli coming on in his place.

51′ There’s a triple change for San Marino now and Hirsch is the first to make way for Lunadei.

49′ POLITANO SCORES! There’s a mix-up as Palazzi touches it back to Grandoni and his loose first touch plays in Politano, who is waiting behind them.He latches onto the loose ball before firing across goal and into the far corner. 3-0 Italy!

48′ Italy have picked up where they left off in the first half and are keeping San Marino penned back in their own half. Grifo makes another good run down the left and swings a cross into the middle, but Politano can’t reach it and it bounces harmlessly out of play.

46′ Italy get us back underway for the second half!

46′ There’s a change at the break for Italy and it’s Kean that’s making way for Politano.

Italy have looked good so far and Mancini will be pleased with how his side have played. They’re in control and he might use the second half as a chance to give some of his other players a runout. Varella won’t be too disappointed with his team either though and he’ll expect more of the same after the break.

Two goals in three minutes gives Italy a 2-0 lead over San Marino at half-time. It took a while for the hosts to break down San Marino though Mancini and Bernardeschi both saw early shots saved by Benedettini. It was Bernardeschi that broke the deadlock when he drilled a low shot into the bottom corner from just outside the box. Ferrari then volleyed in the keeper’s poor clearance to double the advantage.


45′ + 2′ Two Italy defenders crowd Nanni off the ball, but Palazzi latches onto the loose ball and keeps the attack alive for the visitors. He has Hirsch ahead of him, but plays his throughball straight into Mancini on the edge of the box.

45′ The referee has just stopped the game so that Rossi can get some treatment for a head injury. He was caught during Italy’s corner, but he’s quickly back to his feet and will be able to carry on.

44′ Biraghi finds himself high upfield again and he wrongfoots Battistini to swing a cross into the box. It takes a couple of deflections off San Marino defenders which takes it just wide of the far post.

42′ BLOCK! Castrovilli’s header is brought down by Fabbri, but he gets caught on the ball by Biraghi in his own box. The left-back hits an early shot across goal, but Battistini throws himself in front of it to make an important block.

40′ San Marino are breaking quickly when they get on the ball in an attempt to catch out Italy’s defenders and Tomassini drives forward down the right again. He drills a low cross into the box but it’s blocked by Biraghi and the resulting corner comes to nothing. 

38′ It’s clumsy by Hirsch as he tries Bernardeschi just outside the box and Italy have a free-kick in a dangerous position. Bernardeschi steps up to take it, but he curls his shot into the wall and Battistini heads it away.

36′ It’s a great flowing move by Italy as Grifo squares it to Bernardeschi on the edge of the box and he turns before slotting it into Castrovilli. He tries to flick it past Benedettini, but the keeper manages to hold onto it.

34′ FERRARI SCORES! And just like that, it’s 2-0! Grifo’s corner is punched away by Benedettini, but it’s a poor clearance by the keeper as he gives it straight to Ferrari and he volleys his shot past the scrambling keeper and into the back of the net. 2-0 Italy!

33′ Cristante goes long for Castrovilli this time, but the San Marino defenders aren’t giving him any time on the ball. He can’t carve out any space for a cross and gets lucky as a loose touch bounces off Rossi for a corner.

31′ Castrovilli times his run perfectly to get on the end of Mancini’s lofted pass before cushioning it down for Bernardeschi.

31′ ITALY LEAD! It’s chested down by Castrovilli to Bernardeschi on the edge of the box and he takes a touch before getting his head up. Three San Marino defenders are closing him down, but he hits it early and drills it past Benedettini and into the bottom corner. 1-0 Italy! 

29′ Italy have a problem here after Bernardeschi stays down holding his ankle after being tripped by Rossi. He slowly gets back to his feet after getting treatment and it looks like he’s going to carry on.

27′ Toloi’s throughball is cut out by Rossi, but it’s a poor clearance by him as he gifts it to Pessina. He tries to spread play out wide to Castrovilli to get in behind San Marino but sends his pass straight out for a throw-in.

25′ Cristante threads the ball through for Castrovilli and it looks like he’s through on goal until a heavy touch takes him wide. Grandoni is staying tight to him and he has no space to pull it back across the box for Bernardeschi.

23′ CLOSE! Grifo curls another great cross into the far post, but Mancini’s header bounces against Fabbri. Kean sticks out a leg to try and help it in but misses and the ball bounces just wide of the target.

22′ Bernardeschi drives forward through the middle, but he just slips when he gets to the edge of the box. He tries to keep hold of it under pressure from Rossi, but he can’t get the better of the defender.

20′ It’s another good spell of possession for Italy as they patiently work it upfield, switching it from right to left to open up some space. Pessina manages to pull away from Battistini to swing in a cross, but it’s blocked by Fabbri at the near post.

18′ San Marino are starting to cause Italy a few problems on the counter-attack at the moment as Tomassini finds himself in more space down the right. He drives forward before fizzing a dangerous cross into the box and Cragno rushes off his line to hold it.

16′ San Marino win a free-kick just inside Italy’s half and Rossi swings a good cross into the box. It’s cleared by Mancini, but only as far as Tomassini, but he’s off-balance as he hits the shot and it curls high and wide of the far post.

15′ Tomassini makes a great run down the right for San Marino and he does well to hold off Biraghi to get into the box. He can’t find space for a cross, so has to backtrack and eventually hits the ball against the defender for a corner.

13′ Mancini plays a great long ball over the top to pick out Bernardeschi, who times his run perfectly to stay onside. He brings it down before drilling a low shot on goal, but it’s straight at Benedettini down the middle.

11′ San Marino have a chance to mount a rare attack here as they venture out of their own half and Golinucci tries to thread it through for Tomassini on the right. It’s overhit though and Biraghi is happy to see it roll out of play.

9′ Benedettini is called into action again as Pessina drives forward down the left before drilling a low cross into the middle of the box. The keeper rushes off his lines and gets there ahead of Kean to punch it away.

7′ SAVE! It’s Grifo that swings the corner into the box this time and Mancini has a free header in the middle. He nods it down into the ground and the bounce almost catches Benedettini out, but he manages to tip it over the crossbar.

6′ Grifo’s flick almost plays in Kean in the middle of the box, but Rossi makes an important block to take it away from him. Benedettini rushes off his line but is beaten to it by Bernardeschi, though he can’t keep it in play.

4′ Bernardeschi’s corner is cleared by Fabbri in the middle, but only as far as Castrovilli on the edge of the box. He cuts out to the right before pulling it back for Grifo, but it’s short and the winger ends up catching Rossi in his attempt to reach it.

2′ It’s Italy that are seeing a lot of the ball early on here and they’re patiently playing out from the back. San Marino are sitting deep in their own half and are making it difficult for the hosts to get forward at the moment.

1′ Nanni gets the game underway for San Marino!

The teams are out on the pitch now, with kick-off just moments away.

The sides have met three times previously, all in friendly matches. Italy came out on top with big wins in all of those, winning 4-0 in 1992 and 2013, while their last meeting ended in an 8-0 victory.

There are just two differences to the side that Franco Varella last selected for San Marino against Albania, with Hirsch and Grandoni both coming in. Vitaioli, who has scored for his country, starts on the bench.

Roberto Mancini gives some of the fringe players a chance today ahead of his decision of who to keep in his 26-man squad for the Euros. Kean gets a chance to lead the line, while Gianluca Mancini, Toloi, Pessina and Bernardeschi are the only players to stay in from Italy’s last match against Lithuania.

SAN MARINO SUBS: Cristian Brolli, Michael Battistini, Simeone Benedettini, David Tomassini, Alessandro Golinucci, Matteo Vitaioli, Alessandro D’Addario, Lorenzo Lunadei, Michele Cevoli, Alex Stimac, Kevin Zonzini.

SAN MARINO STARTING XI (4-2-3-1): Elia Benedettini; Manuel Battistini, Filippo Fabbri, Dante Rossi, Andrea Grandoni; Mirko Palazzi, Marcello Mularoni; Fabio Tomassini, Adolfo Hirsch, Enrico Golinucci; Nicola Nanni.

ITALY SUBS: Alessandro Florenzi, Nicolo Barella, Salvatore Sirigu, Andrea Belotti, Ciro Immobile, Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Matteo Politano, Alessandro Bastoni, Domenico Berardi, Manuel Locatelli, Lorenzo Insigne, Alex Meret.

ITALY STARTING XI (4-3-3): Alessio Cragno; Rafael Toloi, Gianluca Mancini, Gian Marco Ferrari, Cristiano Biraghi; Gaetano Castrovilli, Bryan Cristante, Matteo Pessina; Federico Bernardeschi, Moise Kean, Vincenzo Grifo.

Italy’s preparations for the Euros start here with their first of two friendly games before the start of the tournament. Roberto Mancini’s side are unbeaten in their last 25 games in all competitions (W20 D5), winning the last six on the bounce. Their last loss came in the Nations League against Portugal in September 2018. They face a San Marino side that are winless in their last nine in all competitions, but they have drawn two of those (L7).

Hello and welcome to live coverage of the international friendly between Italy and San Marino at the Sardegna Arena!