GIANLUCA MANCINI’S spectacular own goal failed to stop Italy pipping Hungary to top England’s Nations League group.
European champions Italy have kept just one clean sheet in their last eight games.
But until Mancini lunged in on the hour to fizz home a near-post cross from Attila Fiola they looked likely to halve that staggering stat.
Nicolo Barella, emphatically, and Lorenzo Pellegrini, easily, had rewarded Italian dominance by scoring after 30 and 45 minutes respectively.
But Mancini gave his team-mates and namesake manager Roberto some twitchy moments by arriving in the wrong place at the wrong time to put through his own net.
Fiola matched his impressive approach work down the right by raking the ball across.
And Mancini slid in with a precision of touch and timing that would have been applauded… had he produced it at the other end.
The Roma star remained flat out at full-stretch on the ground with anguish and embarrassment before team-mates dragged him up.
In the end, though, Hungary lacked the extra class to make him fully pay for his slide-fool finish with an equaliser.
And now it’s England who lie prone – at the bottom of the group with just a point.
Italy clearly deserved their victory overall.
Hungary keeper Denes Dibusz parried out a Mancini header early on.
Azzurri stopper Gianluigi Donnarumma reacted just as smartly to deny Roland Salli.
But it was all change once Italy pounced on the half-hour.
Leonardo Spinazzola slotted the ball across the edge of the area for Barella to power home.
Pellegrini nearly teed up Wilfried Gnonto to double the lead but promptly prodded home himself from a Matteo Politano centre.
Napoli winger Politano hit the bar soon after the break.
And Italy’s flowing play seemed on course for a possibly bigger win – until Mancini’s unexpected intervention made for a surprisingly tight finale.