Half an hour before kick-off, when the team sheets were read aloud for the first time, the loudest Roman roar was reserved for the Italy manager, Roberto Mancini. On the front of Gazzetta dello Sport’s pullout last week, Mancini was mocked up in the dugout alongside Albert Einstein but a third successive victory, which extended their unbeaten run to a record-equalling 30 matches, required little genius. In fact, they barely broke sweat on a muggy evening on which Matteo Pessina scored the only goal to beat Wales.
Wales, who had Ethan Ampadu sent off 10 minutes into the second half, became their latest victims but Italy’s failure to press home their one-man advantage ensured Robert Page’s side will qualify from Group A in second place, teeing up a last-16 date in Amsterdam on Saturday. Italy’s supporters enjoyed themselves and by the end there was a carnival atmosphere as a Mexican wave made its way around this cavernous stadium. It was an outcome that suited both teams, even if Ampadu’s red card will rankle.