Italy managed to keep the top spot in the European 2016 qualification campaign after narrow back-to-back victories.
Managed Antonio Conte stated that he was not surprised with the two 1-0 victories since his team was certainly not clinical enough to make the score line much more comfortable. Still, these two victories are a huge positive for the national team that went three qualifying games without a win. Such poor form would have been disastrous to their qualification hopes, butConte was lucky enough with the fact that both Norway and Croatia failed to take advantage.
Italy have a two-point advantage with two games remaining and they will start to dream about qualification. The recent win came against Bulgaria with Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi scoring after just six minutes. However, Italy were unable to build on this goal despite having a whopping 15 attempts just in the first half. Bulgaria responded by creating numerous chances in the second half with goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon the only saviour for the home team. Conte is aware that the game could have been much more comfortable had Italy taken their chances in the first half. He has called for the players to be much more clinical in the forthcoming games against Azerbaijan and Norway.
“I don’t want to speak about individuals. I think Marco is a play on whom we can rely but he must grow.Gigi made an important save for us but he’s always a guarantee.We got six points from two games [after beating Malta 1-0 on Thursday] but I’m a little disappointed that the result remained in the balance given we dominated the game. We deserved more goals.We have to be more clinical. We created a lot but didn’t take our chances. Anyway, there was real commitment so I’m happy,” said Conte.