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G. Chiellini

'I didn’t have my glasses on!' - Italy boss Mancini admits to accidentally leaving Chiellini on the bench against Bosnia

11:11 BST 05/09/2020
Giorgio Chiellini, Roberto Mancini, Italy
The Azzurri head coach took full responsibility for omitting a prized performer from his starting XI in the UEFA Nation's League

Italy boss Mancini has admitted to accidentally leaving Giorgio Chiellini on the bench against Bosnia & Herzegovina, claiming "I didn't have my glasses on" when the team-sheets were submitted. 

Bosnia earned a credible 1-1 draw away to Italy at Stadio Artemio Franchi on Friday night.

Roma striker Edin Dzeko opened the scoring for the visitors 57 minutes into the game, before Inter midfielder Stefano Sensi hit an equaliser ten minutes later.

Italy captain Chiellini watched on as an unused substitute having been replaced by Francesco Acerbi in Mancini's starting XI, which raised more than a few eyebrows.

The Azzurri boss accepted the blame for the Juventus defender's omission post-match, while confessing that he failed to pick up on an administration error when naming his final team.

Mancini promised that Chiellini will return to the fold when Italy take on the Netherlands on Monday, telling reporters: “It was my fault.

"They showed me the line-up, I didn’t have my glasses on and just said it was fine. I didn’t notice Acerbi was there rather than Chiellini.

“Anyway, we had planned originally for Acerbi to play one game and Chiellini another. I had asked Giorgio if he wanted to play today or on Monday with Holland, he said today, but we’ll have to swap it now.

“It’s not like we chose a goalkeeper rather than a defender, it’s not a massive difference, but yes, it was an error.”

Mancini added on Italy's performance in their first international outing of 2020: "We're disappointed, we tried until the end to score.

"There was a bit of tiredness but the boys did well. We just lacked a bit of inspiration.

"The important thing is that the team played well, the draw doesn't change anything in the judgement of the performance."

The final result against Bosnia saw Italy's 11-game winning streak halted, and leaves them with work to do to qualify from Group 1 of the UEFA Nation's League.

Mancini's men are now sitting third in the table, with the Netherlands currently occupying top spot after beating Poland 1-0 at Johan Cruyff ArenA.