UDINE, September 10 (World Cup Qualifying) - Italy made it two wins out of two as they continued the defence of their World Cup crown with a win over Georgia.
Daniele De Rossi provided both goals for the Azzurri, who looked much-improved on their fortunate 2-1 triumph over Cyprus on Saturday but still far from the sort of form which took them to the title in 2006.
The Roma midfielder scored in the 17th and 90th minutes, keeping coach Marcello Lippi's 27-game unbeaten streak intact on a warm and humid evening in Udine.
Lippi made his intentions clear when he presented an attack-minded 4-3-3 formation with Luca Toni, Mauro Camoranesi and local boy Antonio Di Natale leading the forward line.
Toni looked much livelier than he did against Cyprus four days ago, where he was withdrawn at half-time, and had claims for a penalty early on.
The Bayern Munich striker appeared to have shrugged off the attentions of Milan's Kakha Kaladze, but he was not able to proceed any further inside the penalty area and fell to the ground dramatically.
Austrian referee Thomas Einwaller justifiably waved away his appeal.
Di Natale, the Udinese forward, came close to opening the scoring in the 15th minute when latched on to Toni's pass, but he pulled his shot just wide.
In the 17th minute De Rossi collected the ball 30 yards out and, having no passes on, unleashed a thunderbolt into the top right-hand corner, giving Italy a deserved lead.
The first time Georgia entered the final third of the field almost resulted in an equaliser.
Teenager Levan Kenia broke with Levan Mchedlidze against Italy defenders Fabio Cannavaro and Nicola Legrottaglie, and the Georgia duo carved their way through well.
Mchedlidze pulled out to the left to receive the ball from Kenia, who continued his run into space in the centre of the penalty area and when the ball came his way it appeared he had the simplest of tap-ins, but he somehow contrived to trap the ball between his legs.
The chance served as a warning to Italy, who moved down the gears and reverted to containment tactics rather than all-out attack.
After reorganising with Angelo Palombo and Alessandro Del Piero entering the fray, Italy slowly began moving back up the gears.
Del Piero ghosted into the penalty area before firing just over the crossbar in the 68th minute, shortly after Alberto Aquilani found no takers for his dangerous low cross.
There were still hints of danger at the other end with Kenia and Levan Kobiashvili both providing moments of discomfort for the Italy defence.
But De Rossi eased the tension when he finished low into the far left corner after being sent clear by Del Piero in the final minute.