- End of 2nd Half
- 2nd Half
- 1st Half
- De Rossi (P)12'
Italy - Albania
World Cup Qualification UEFA - 25 March 2017
World Cup Qualification UEFA – Follow the Football match between Italy and Albania live with Eurosport. The match starts at 03:45 on 25 March 2017. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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FT: Italy 2-0 Albania. After the visitors looked lively early on, it ended up being pretty easy for Italy who win thanks to goals from De Rossi and Immobile.
On added minute.
- OffMigjen BashaAlbania
- OnLiridon LatifiAlbania
Basha makes way for another debutant, Latifi.
Kukeli sends a 35-yard volley well wide.
Basha lashes wide from 25 yards.
It's all Italy at the moment, and hard to see Albania getting back into this.
- OffOdise RoshiAlbania
- OnEros GrezdaAlbania
Grezda on for his debut.
- Yellow cardBurim KukeliAlbania
Kukeli book for scything down Belotti.
Verratti almost plays Belotti in with a deft flick but Vesseli pokes the ball behind.
- Yellow cardOdise RoshiAlbania
Cikalleshi catches De Sciglio with a flailing elbow and is perhaps lucky to only receive a yellow card.
ItAn Insigne corner almost goes straight in but the goalkeeper just about managers to keep it out and Albania manage to clear.
- GoalCiro ImmobileItaly
GOAL! 2-0! Insigne sends the free-kick into the wall but Italy recycle the ball and Zappacosta sends a delicious cross to the back post where Immobile heads back across goal and in off the post.
- Yellow cardFrédéric VeseliAlbania
Vesseli trips Verratti on the edge of the box to pick up a booking.
An Insigne cross is only half cleared and Zappacosta collects the ball before going for goal from 20 yards but skies his shot.
- OffAndi LilaAlbania
- OnArmando SadikuAlbania
Albania make the game's first change, with Sadiku on for Lila.
A great ball across the field from Insigne puts Candreva in behind the defence at the back post but the ball won't quite fall for him, allowing Strakosha to come out to block his shot.
Candreva tries his luck from 30 yards but shoots straight at Strakosha.
Italy have yet another free-kick which they send into Albania's box but it's cleared.
Indeed, the game is back underway.
The players are back on the pitch and we look like we're about to go again.
It's the Albanian fans who have been lighting the flares and their players are over in that section of the ground now asking for calm.
There's more smoke now and the referee takes the players off the pitch.
The delay doesn't last long and De Rossi quickly comes close again, heading over from a corner.
We're going to have a delay due to the amount of smoke in one area of the stadium.
Belotti wins the ball back deep inside Albania's half and looks to slip in Immobile but the striker is well tackled by Ajeti just as pulls the trigger.
Candreva crosses from the left but can't locate a blue shirt as Italy continue to dominate the early stages of the second half.
Immobile, having his shirt pulled by a defender, heads wide from a corner but the ball had already gone out of play before it reached him.
- 2nd Half
We're back underway.
- End of 1st Half
FT: Italy 1-0 Albania. The Azzurri have been the better side and lead through De Rossi's penalty, but Albania have a opportunities of their own and will be bitterly disappointed to be behind.
Albania string together a few passes on the edge Of Italy's box before the ball breaks to Roshi who is rushing in from the left and tries to curl one into the far top corner but can't hit the target. Another chance squandered.
A defender's slip gives Belotti space and Verratti finds him on the edge of the box, where he blasts a first-time shot straight at the goalkeeper who tips over.
Albania win another corner and this tome do send in a proper cross. Ajeti rises highest but heads wide.
From the corner De Rossi finds himself with a free header eight yards out and puts it over.
Zappacosta goes surging down Italy's right again and Roshi makes a last-ditch sliding tackle to prevent him entering the box, conceding a corner in the process.
Albania win their first corner but, after taking it short, conspire not to put a cross into the Italian box.
Italy put the ball out of play because Memushaj was down, and as soon as they do so he gets up.
Insigne overcooks it this time and the ball goes straight out of play.
Kukeli clatter Immobile from behind, giving Italy another opportunity to send a free-kick into the box.
Candreva's free-kick is met by Belotti eight yards out but he doesn't make a clean connection with his head and the ball flies wide.
Agolli, just booked, slides in on Zappacosta by the cornerflag and commits a clear foul but somehow gets away without a second yellow.
- Yellow cardLedian MemushajAlbania
Also on the booking front, Menushaj received a yellow card for dissent in the aftermath of the penalty.
- Yellow cardAnsi AgolliAlbania
Agolli booked for a needless foul on Zappacosta, who was shephearding teh ball out of play, and that means he'll miss Albania's next game.
Roshi again does well, this time in holding off Barzagli to get on the end of a long ball, but strikes the bouncing ball straight at Buffon at his near post.
The goal was De Rossi's 20th for Italy.
Buffon rises highest in a crowd to catch a looping cross and wins a free-kick in the process.
Verratti penalised after stumbling and essentially crawling into Memushaj.
Belotti slips in Candreva on the left and after dribbling to the byline he then tries to pick out Zappacosta at the back post but Strakosha comes off his line to claim the cross.
A smart header from Bonucci diverts what looked like a decent cross into Buffon's path.
- Goal by penaltyDaniele De RossiItaly
GOAL! De Rossi scores! He strikes the penalty right into the goalkeeper's bottom right corner to give Italy the lead.
Some flares on the pitch mean the penalty will be delayed.
PENALTY! As Candreva floats a free-kick into the Albanian box, Basha pulls Belotti and a spot-kick is given.
Belotti gets played into space on the right however can't find Immobile with his cross.
Verratti floats a looping ball into the box in search of Insigne but Hysaj is on hand to turn it behind.
This is an impressive start from Albania, who look comfortable in possession and Roshi has been lively.
Roshi picks Zappacosta's pocket and drives at Italy's centre-backs but finds himself isolated 25 yards from goal and ends up dragging a shot wide.
What a chance! Roshi gets to the byline down Albania's left and cuts the ball back to Cikalleshi who maneuvers himself into space before dragging a shot inches wide of the far post.
- 1st Half
Albania get the game underway and promptly give the ball away.
Five of Italy's substitutes are uncapped.
Slavo Vincic of Slovenia is the referee.
Both anthems are belted out with pride, Italy's following Albania's, and now kick-off is moments away.
The two teams are out on the pitch as we await the national anthems.
Italy have played 13 times in Palermo, winning on 11 occaisions and losing only once.
The two teams have met once before when they played a friendly in 2014. Italy ran out 1-0 winners on that occasion, with substitute Stefano Okaka scoring the winner.
Immobile and Belotti have been in good form in this qualifying campaign too, with four and three goals respectively already.
A tough task for Albania's defence tonight, but one positive is that they will be well aware of the threat Ciro Immobile and Andrea Belotti pose as three of the back four play in Serie A.
Elsewhere in the group, Spain are hosting Israel and Liechtenstein have travelled to Macedonia. Italy will be hoping Israel, who had won their opening three games before coming up against the Azzuri last time out, will be able to do them a favour in Gijon.
Italy go into the game second in Group G, level on points with leaders Spain but behind on goal difference. Albania are back in fourth having lost their last two games and, currently on six points, probably need to win this match if they are to qualify for the World Cup.
Looks like Ventura was right about those Albanian supporters.
Italy manager Gian Piero Ventura is expecting a difficult game tonight. “Away from their technical ability, we’re up against a side who want to make history and they can count on their fans who travel everywhere,” he said. “I expect them to be compact and to look to play on the break, it’s a very delicately poised and important game. We’ll have to play well and if we can win it would be an enormous step forward for how we understand the situation and our squad’s compactness.”
As expected, Gianluigi Buffon starts for Italy and tonight is a significant milestone in his illustrious career. It’s his 1000th professional appearance and also his 168th international cap, making him Europe’s most capped international. He joked in the week that “maybe I’ll do a Zidane and headbutt someone on the pitch."
ITALY: Buffon, Zappacosta, Barzagli, Bonucci, De Sciglio, De Rossi, Verati, Candreva, Inisgne, Immobile, Belotti. /// ALBANIA: Strakosha, Hysaj, Veseli, Ajeti, Agolli, Basha, Kukeli, Memushaj, Lila, Cikalleshi, Roshi.
Good evening and welcome along to Eurosport’s live text commentary of Italy versus Albania in Group G. This is the first competitive meeting between these two nations, and team news is on the way.