Moise Kean, Italy Beat Liechtenstein 6-0 in Euro 2020 Qualifying

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 26, 2019

Italy's forward Fabio Quagliarella celebrates after scoring a penalty during the Euro 2020 Group J qualifying football match Italy vs Liechtenstein on March 26, 2019 at the Ennio-Tardini stadium in Parma. (Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)

Italy romped to a 6-0 win against 10-man Liechtenstein in their UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier at the Stadio Ennio Tardini in Parma on Tuesday.

Stefano Sensi opened the scoring in the one-sided contest when he headed home Leonardo Spinazzola's cross in the 17th minute.

Marco Verratti doubled their tally with a fine effort of his own:

Sky Sports Football @SkyFootball

🤷‍♂ - Just Marco Verratti doing what Marco Verratti does... The Italian dances through the penalty area before curling one inside the far post! ⚽ https://t.co/19yhQyQi5T

A pair of Fabio Quagliarella penalties made it 4-0 by half-time. The first came after a Nicolas Hasler handball, the second a handball from Daniel Kaufmann on the line, for which he was sent off.

Moise Kean got in on the act in the second half with a close-range header from Quagliarella's knockdown, while Leonardo Pavoletti tapped home his own rebound after he had a header saved by Benjamin Buchel.


Italy Must Build Around Moise Kean

Watching Italy demolish Liechtenstein so handily Tuesday, it could be easy to forget goals have been somewhat hard to come by for the Azzurri in recent years.

However, this was the first time Italy have scored more than two goals in a single game since their last meeting with Liechtenstein back in 2017, which ended in a 5-0 win.

To add further context, when Quagliarella bagged his first goal of the night, he became the 18th different player in a row to score for the Azzurri.

While it bodes well that they've continued to find goals from all over the pitch, it's equally worrisome they've not had a player who can consistently hit the back of the net.

Quagliarella's goal was also notable from a personal standpoint:

B/R Football @brfootball

No slowing down @FQuagliarella27 🙌 https://t.co/XKU8SByShA

His second penalty broke the run of different goalscorers.

With 21 goals for Sampdoria this season in a career-best campaign, the 36-year-old has fully deserved his call-up, and he'll be a valuable option for manager Roberto Mancini in the coming months.

Despite his renaissance, however, his age makes it somewhat unlikely he'll feature at Euro 2020 if Italy qualifies. They'll need someone upon whom they can rely in that tournament. 

That someone could be Juventus starlet Kean. After he scored in Italy's 2-0 win over Finland on Saturday, Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport called for the 19-year-old to become a regular, per Serie A writer Chloe Beresford:

Chloe Beresford @ChloeJBeresford

“Never again without Kean” writes this morning’s @CorSport as the 19-year-old striker is expected to start again for Italy vs. Liechtenstein. https://t.co/5iSwdVgVMQ

After starting Tuesday and finding the net again, he has enhanced his chances of doing so:

Squawka Football @Squawka

✓ Youngest player to score for Italy since 1958 ✓ Youngest player to start for Italy since 1912 ✓ Score in back-to-back games for Italy Moise Kean, making his presence known. 💪 https://t.co/DorlWXExcC

Unlike Quagliarella, Kean can be a long-term solution to their issues up front.

As such, he must be central to Mancini's plans in the build-up to Euro 2020 and beyond.


What's Next

Italy will continue their qualification bid against Greece and Bosnia and Herzegovina on June 8 and 11, respectively. Liechtenstein will face Armenia and Finland on the same dates.