Euro 2016 Qualifier
Result: Italy 1-0 Bulgaria
Date: 06 September 2015
Venue: Stadio Renzo Barbera
Daniele De Rossi scored and was then sent off, as Italy defeated Bulgaria 1-0 in their Euro 2016 qualifier on Sunday.
Andrea Pirlo dropped to the bench for the Azzuri, while De Rossi and Stephan El Shaarawy made a return to the line-up.
The home side nearly broke the deadlock as early as the second minute but Graziano Pelle failed to convert from six-yards out, after El Shaarawy's effort had been saved.
Italy then went ahead four minutes later, after Antonio Candreva earned his side penalty, which De Rossi converted into the bottom corner.
The hosts continued to pile on the pressure and nearly increased their advantage in the 13th minute but El Shaaraway fired an effort horribly wide of the mark from close range.
Gianluigi Buffon was called into action five minutes later, as the Italian goalkeeper pulled off a fine save to keep out Iliyan Mitsanski's low effort.
The rest of the first half failed to provide more goal-mouth action, with both sides resorting to long range efforts, none of which were threatening.
However, both sides were reduced to 10 men 10 minutes after the halftime break, with De Rossi being sent off for a stamp on Mitsanski, who was given his marching orders for retaliation.
Mitrev came to Bulgaria's rescue in the 66th minute, as he got across his line well to keep out El Shaarawy's curling effort from the edge of the area.
The visitors continued to pile on pressure in the final 20 minutes with the hope of bagging an equaliser, however they failed to bypass the Italian defence.
Italy almost added a second goal in the closing stages of the half, but Simone Zaza was denied by Mitrev, who did well to keep the score at 1-0.