World Cup qualification – UEFA Group C, Sankt Jakob-Park – Switzerland 0 Italy 0
By Our Sports Desk
Italy’s 0-0 draw against Switzerland earned them a place in the record books for the longest unbeaten run ever in international football.
The stalemate was their 36th consecutive match without defeat, which gives them sole ownership of the record they equalled last week against Bulgaria with a 1-1 draw.
Domenico Berardi, favoured over Federico Chiesa, was presented with a golden opportunity to break the deadlock after a wonderful through ball by Manuel Locatelli, but he had his effort saved.
A reckless foul by Ricardo Rodriguez on Berardi five minutes into the second half saw Italy awarded a penalty, but Jorginho’s tame spot kick was saved by Yann Sommer.
Chiesa and Marco Verratti were introduced by Roberto Mancini as Italy looked for a way through, but Switzerland held their own to claim a point as the Azzurri’s Euro 2020 hangover continued.
Some claim Brazil also hold a 36-game record but one of the matches, against Romania, is not official recognised.
While it’s not yet time for Mancini to panic, with Italy still sitting at the top of their World Cup qualification group, this was another performance that proved the Azzurri have yet to find top gear following the Euros. They had plenty of the ball in Basel, but lacked cutting edge as Berardi, Insigne and Jorginho all missed golden opportunities to find the back of the net. Italy will need to improve in future matches.