VILNIUS: Stefano Sensi exploded after the break while captain Ciro Immobile added a second from a late penalty for Italy to maintain a perfect start to their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 2-0 win in Group C against Lithuania.
The four-time world champions failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals, but ensured all three wins after beating Northern Ireland and Bulgaria, both with 2-0 results previously.
And Roberto Mancini extended an unbeaten record of 25 games in a row to match the record of 2006 World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi.
Both are still five games away to match World Cup-winning coach Vittorio Pozzo’s record of 30 games unbeaten.
“Honestly, the main thing I want to do is match Lippi’s record in December 2022 (at the World Cup),” said Mancini, 56, who took over the team in May 2018.
“We can be happy to be at the top of the group. For us the glass is already half full,” said Mancini.
“It’s the third game in seven days, even though we rotate our squad we know it’s definitely going to be tough.
“We have to take into account the physical condition of the players who are very tired and the artificial pitch which we know is very difficult.
“The most important thing is to win.”