Despite a number chances for both sides, Italy were held to a goalless draw in their pre-FIFA World Cup friendly against the Republic of Ireland in London.
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli tried out several players as he looks to finalise his 23-man squad. Full-back Matteo Darmian made his senior international debut, included in a starting XI which also featured Gabriel Paletta, Ciro Immobile and Giuseppe Rossi. There was particular attention on injury-plagued ACF Fiorentina striker Rossi, who had not played for four months before returning earlier this month.
Italy started well at Fulham FC's Craven Cottage, Immobile denied twice in as many minutes. There was bad news for Prandelli on 15 minutes, however, when Riccardo Montolivo was forced off with a suspected broken leg. His departure appeared to halt the Azzurri's momentum, and Shane Long could have given Ireland the lead but Salvatore Sirigu made a crucial double save. Alberto Aquilani, Montolivo's replacement, was also replaced before half-time because of dizziness.
Four minutes after the break, Long's right-footed shot was saved by Sirigu. Italy had another clear opportunity of their own when Antonio Cassano found Claudio Marchisio, but the Juventus player's effort lacked power. Stephen Quinn then hit the bar for Ireland, but it remained goalless.