Italy had drawn their previous two qualifiers to slip into a battle with Switzerland for automatic qualification from Group C.
But the European champions, who set a new world record of 36 internationals unbeaten with the goalless draw against the Swiss at the weekend, produced a dominant display against Lithuania in Reggio Emilia.
Germany entered the current international break with a new coach, Hansi Flick, and looking to hit back following their European Championship last-16 exit at the hands of England, just months after a shock World Cup qualifying home loss to North Macedonia.
"It was important to have won this game with young players, who played very well, especially in the first half," Mancini told RAI.
West Ham United midfielder Pablo Fornal's 32nd-minute strike and Ferran Torres' late goal gave the 2010 world champions all three points in Pristina.
England captain Harry Kane appeared to have settled a tempestuous affair with 18 minutes remaining, slamming a swerving long-range shot into the bottom corner to score his 41st international goal.
"Sometimes the pressure comes away from home but we are top with four games to go." Spain's qualification hopes were under threat heading into their game at Kosovo, but a 2-0 win, coupled with Sweden's surprise loss to Greece, gave Luis Enrique's side a much-needed boost..Read Full Story