Sports Monks

Kean scores twice as Italy make sure of setting unbeaten run record

Reuters

European champions Italy became the first national team to go 37 games without defeat as they thrashed Lithuania in a World Cup qualifier.

There were suggestions the Azzurri had broken the record during last Sunday’s goalless draw with Switzerland.

However, Roberto Mancini’s side ended any doubt, with Everton’s Moise Kean – on loan at Juventus – scoring twice.

Giovanni di Lorenzo, Giacomo Raspadori and Edgaras Utkuse’s own goal sealed Italy’s first win since Euro 2020.

Some had claimed Italy had already secured the longest unbeaten streak by a national team at the weekend – but Brazil disputed the suggestion.

They insist they also went 36 games unbeaten between 1993 and 1996, with the confusion surrounding a match during that run against a Romania B side.

Italy, however, made that debate meaningless as they scored four times inside the first 30 minutes in a match for the first time in their history.

Mancini’s side have not been defeated for three years since losing to Portugal in a Nations League match on 10 September 2018.

The Azzurri are six points clear at the top of Group C with four games remaining – although second-placed Switzerland have two games in hand.

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