Italy coach Roberto Mancini fumed over the state of the pitch after his team were held to a 0-0 draw away to Poland in the Nations League on Sunday.
After a glaring miss by Federico Chiesa early in the game, Italy struggled to create chances and managed only three shots on target despite enjoying 60% of possession.
Even so, Italy extended their unbeaten run to 18 matches as they stayed top of League A Group One with five points from three games. The Netherlands and Poland have four each and Bosnia two.
“Something that affected us a little was that the pitch was in a very bad condition,” said Mancini. “It’s not an excuse, but it was terrible. That penalises players with more quality, as the ball bounced around irregularly.
“The team played well, we created chances but we didn’t score – it happens,” he added.
On the other hand, Mancini was delighted to have fans in the stadium which was filled to around 25% capacity, the maximum allowed under local rules due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was beautiful,” he said. “It was wonderful to play in front of a crowd again.”