International Friendlies
ItalyItaly1ScotlandScotland0

Italy 1-0 Scotland

By Alasdair LamontBBC Scotland at Ta'Qali Stadium, Malta
Graziano Pelle scores for Italy
Graziano Pelle fired in a neat finish to nudge a dominant Italy ahead after half-time

Scotland were comfortably beaten by Italy, with the only saving grace that the margin of defeat could have been greater.

Southampton's Graziano Pelle scored the only goal of the match, which Italy dominated from start to finish.

Scotland offered little as an attacking force and struggled to keep possession on an unforgiving surface in Malta.

The Italians adapted to that much better as they continued their preparations for Euro 2016.

While Antonio Conte's side would have been expected to control the game - played in Malta because the Italians are holding a week-long training camp there ahead of Euro 2016 - the ease with which they brushed their Scottish counterparts aside should be of concern to Gordon Strachan.

Pelle's goal was scant reward for their dominance but highlighted the Italians' superior quality.

Daniele De Rossi sliced through the Scots team with a typically precise pass for Eder and when the ball broke off the striker to Pelle, he curled a shot inside the left-hand post of David Marshall from 19 yards.

It was a deadly strike and Scotland were fortunate Italy had failed to capitalise on a string of earlier chances to bury their opponents.

Indeed, Marshall was scarcely called into action after an excellent double-save as early as the seventh minute.

Antonio Candreva hits a free-kick
Antonio Candreva drilled in a free-kick that forced a fine stop from David Marshall

Having pushed away an Antonio Candreva free-kick, which bounced nastily in front of him, he reacted brilliantly to keep out Emanuele Giaccherini's close-range rebound.

Giaccherini was the main culprit in terms of passing up chances as he skied one shot when picked out unmarked 12 yards out and then stabbed wide after getting on the end of another pinpoint De Rossi pass.

Incredibly, the Scots failed to hit the target over the entire 90 minutes, but could have had an ill-deserved equaliser with 12 minutes remaining.

A slack clearance from Federico Bernardeschi fell kindly for Steven Naismith and although he was able to find Matt Ritchie, the Bournemouth forward could not wrap his left foot around the ball sufficiently and only managed to hit the side-netting.

Strachan had been certain before the match his players would be motivated to play a team of Italy's quality, but for the most part the gulf in class made for a tough learning experience for Scotland.

Line-ups

Italy

  • 1Buffon
  • 15Barzagli
  • 19Bonucci
  • 3Chiellini
  • 6CandrevaSubstituted forParoloat 62'minutes
  • 24Florenzi
  • 16De RossiSubstituted forJorginhoat 67'minutes
  • 23GiaccheriniSubstituted forBonaventuraat 80'minutes
  • 4DarmianSubstituted forBernardeschiat 60'minutes
  • 9PellèSubstituted forZazaat 67'minutes
  • 17ÉderSubstituted forInsigneat 59'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2De Sciglio
  • 5Astori
  • 7Zaza
  • 8Jorginho
  • 11Immobile
  • 12Sirigu
  • 13Benassi
  • 14Marchetti
  • 18Parolo
  • 20Insigne
  • 21Ogbonna
  • 22El Shaarawy
  • 25Rugani
  • 26Zappacosta
  • 27Sturaro
  • 28Bonaventura
  • 29Bernardeschi
  • 30Montolivo
  • 32Motta

Scotland

  • 1Marshall
  • 2PatersonSubstituted forBerraat 45'minutes
  • 4Martin
  • 5Hanley
  • 3Mulgrew
  • 6PhillipsSubstituted forBurkeat 71'minutes
  • 7Fletcher
  • 8McArthurSubstituted forBrysonat 83'minutes
  • 11AnyaSubstituted forNaismithat 71'minutes
  • 10Ritchie
  • 9McCormackSubstituted forFletcherat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 12Fox
  • 13McKay
  • 14Naismith
  • 15Berra
  • 16Bryson
  • 17Greer
  • 18Fletcher
  • 19Kingsley
  • 20Burke
  • 21Hamilton
Referee:
Alan Sant

Match Stats

Home TeamItalyAway TeamScotland
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home14
Away1
Shots on Target
Home3
Away0
Corners
Home4
Away1
Fouls
Home13
Away16

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Italy 1, Scotland 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Italy 1, Scotland 0.

  3. Post update

    Giorgio Chiellini (Italy) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Oliver Burke (Scotland).

  5. Post update

    Foul by Simone Zaza (Italy).

  6. Post update

    Christophe Berra (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Simone Zaza (Italy).

  8. Post update

    Charlie Mulgrew (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Simone Zaza (Italy).

  10. Post update

    Charlie Mulgrew (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Scotland. Craig Bryson replaces James McArthur.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Italy. Giacomo Bonaventura replaces Emanuele Giaccherini.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Simone Zaza (Italy).

  14. Post update

    Grant Hanley (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Matt Ritchie (Scotland) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Steven Naismith.

  16. Post update

    Simone Zaza (Italy) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Charlie Mulgrew (Scotland).

  18. Post update

    Andrea Barzagli (Italy) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Christophe Berra (Scotland).

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Scotland. Oliver Burke replaces Matthew Phillips.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 29th May 2016

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