Italy continued their 100 per cent start to World Cup qualifying as Stefano Sensi and Ciro Immobile sealed a 2-0 win over Lithuania.

With main rivals Switzerland not in action on Wednesday, Roberto Mancini's side capitalised to take a three-point lead at the top of Group C.

Sensi's 47th-minute effort put them ahead, with Immobile, who had squandered several gilt-edged chances, scoring a penalty with the final kick of the game.

Immobile's previous profligacy would have proved costly if not for Gianluigi Donnarumma, Italy's goalkeeper producing a fantastic save from Tautvydas Eliosius to set the stage for the Lazio forward to make amends from the spot late on.

Italy took their time to get going against Bulgaria last time out and were similarly slow off the mark this time around.

Indeed, it was the 39th minute when they first crafted a real opening – Stephan El Shaarawy unable to divert Matteo Pessina's cross goalwards.

With Emerson testing Tomas Svedkauskas before half-time, Italy clicked into gear after the restart.

Federico Chiesa saw an effort well saved by Svedkauskas, who was unable to prevent Sensi finding the bottom-left corner.

Svedkauskas made a superb double save to stop Italy extending their lead moments later, denying Pessina and Immobile in quick succession.

Lithuania's goalkeeper came out on top against Immobile twice more either side of the hour mark, making smart stops at his near post.

Immobile headed wide soon after and Italy would have been punished if not for Donnarumma, who spread himself to deny Eliosius.

A reprieve for Immobile came in stoppage time when Donatas Kazlauskas fouled Nicolo Barella, and Italy's striker duly wrapped up a fifth straight 2-0 win.

What does it mean? Mancini matches Lippi's run

Mancini's unbeaten run as Italy boss now stands at 25 games – equal with Marcello Lippi's longest streak and just five off the all-time record, set by Vittorio Pozzo in the 1930s.

His Azzurri team are perhaps not the most glamorous at times, though they always exert a measure of control over their opponents, and it is now six wins on the bounce, including a friendly against Estonia last November.

Stefano sensing his importance

It has been a difficult campaign at club level for Sensi, who has not featured for Inter since February 2, playing just 13 times overall.

However, he has appeared in Italy's last two games, starting against Bulgaria and coming on at half-time in Vilnius. As well as his goal – a fine, dipping strike from 20 yards out – the midfielder created two chances, amassed 58 touches and attempted 52 passes, at an impressive accuracy of 90.4 per cent.

Italy's stringent defence makes up for Immobile's misses

The Azzurri have kept seven clean sheets in a row away from home, their longest ever run.

Their defensive solidity was needed for much of Wednesday's contest, with main man Immobile failing to fire on all cylinders. The 31-year-old had six shots, but directed two of them wide and three of them too close to Svedkauskas, who admittedly was on fine form, though Immobile did at least get his goal in the final seconds.

What's next?

Italy play friendlies against San Marino and the Czech Republic in June, ahead of the Euros, while Lithuania are in action in the Baltic Cup, facing Estonia and Latvia.