Italy booked their place within the final 16 of Euro 2020 with a gaggle sport to spare as Manuel Locatelli scored twice to finish a snug 3-0 win over Switzerland in Rome.
After Wales’ spectacular victory over Turkey, Roberto Mancini’s workforce knew one other three factors would verify his aspect’s place within the knockout phases, however they might not be upstaged in Group A.
These in attendance on the Stadio Olimpico have been greeted to a different exhibition in teamwork and sport intelligence as Locatelli’s double both aspect of half-time (26, 52) was added to late on by Ciro Motionless (89).
The end result leaves Italy high of Group A on six factors, two forward of Wales forward of their assembly in Rome on Sunday. Switzerland should not but out of the competitors, however stay in third place forward of their last group fixture in opposition to pointless Turkey.
Italy: Donnarumma (6), Di Lorenzo (7), Bonucci (7), Chiellini (6), Spinazzola (7), Barella (8), Jorginho (7), Locatelli (9), Berardi (8), Motionless (7), Insigne (7).
Subs: Cristante (n/a), Pessina (n/a), Toloi (6), Chiesa (6), Acerbi (7).
Switzerland: Sommer (6), Elvedi (5), Schar (5), Akanji (5), Mbabu (4), Freuler (5), Xhaka (5), Rodriguez (5), Shaqiri (6), Seferovic (4), Embolo (5).
Subs: Widmer (5), Vargas (n/a), Zuber (5), Sow (n/a), Gavranovic (5).
Man of the match: Manuel Locatelli.
How Italy served Euro 2020 warning
Italy have now gone 965 minutes with out conceding a aim and have stored a clear sheet in every of their final 10 matches in all competitions – however it was their attacking aptitude that caught the attention in opposition to Turkey final Friday after they put down a marker.
Mancini is struggling to minimize expectations round his aspect, who are actually unbeaten in 29 matches below his stewardship, and right here they served one other warning of their title credentials.
They have been very almost celebrating the proper begin on Wednesday when Giorgio Chiellini reacted quickest to the free ball from Lorenzo Insigne’s nook to fireplace his shot past Yann Sommer.
- Italy defender Giovanni Di Lorenzo was handed a begin for his or her second Euro 2020 sport in opposition to Switzerland in Rome on Wednesday as supervisor Roberto Mancini in any other case stored religion with the aspect that thrashed Turkey on the opening day.
- Switzerland supervisor Vladimir Petkovic picked the identical workforce that drew 1-1 with Wales on Saturday, with Breel Embolo main the assault after scoring in a man-of-the-match efficiency in Baku.
Russian referee Sergey Karasev initially awarded the aim, however VAR overturned the choice as replays confirmed the defender had unintentionally dealt with the ball as he challenged Manuel Akanji.
The night went from dangerous to worse for the 36-year-old as he was compelled off by means of damage, the captain clutching his left leg as he was changed by Francesco Acerbi.
Italy have been unperturbed by the setback, nevertheless, and have been celebrating a authentic aim inside two minutes. Locatelli began the transfer, volleying a beautiful go out to Domenico Berardi on the correct flank.
The Sassuolo winger pinned Ricardo Rodriguez again into his personal field earlier than his fired cutback discovered the marauding Locatelli. Remo Freuler had switched off and was punished, the end first-time and impeccable.
“There was a scarcity of depth and a scarcity of need to do your job,” Sky Sports activities’ Roy Keane stated in his function as a pundit ITV.
Mancini’s workforce have been ravenous and exploiting the Swiss proper flank as Granit Xhaka telegraphed a go to Fabian Schar.
Leonardo Spinazzola gleefully accepted the present however his poked effort together with his proper boot was awkward and astray.
Gary Neville stated on ITV: “Switzerland are constant in each single event. They get there, and that is their achievement. After they come up in opposition to a high workforce like Italy, they don’t seem to be ruthless, they don’t seem to be scientific and so they wrestle to attain targets. They’re just a bit bit too good.”
Following a gap half through which Gianluigi Donnarumma had been a digital spectator, Mario Gavranovic was launched by head coach Vladimir Petkovic for the ineffectual Haris Seferovic.
It was clear the extra journey from Baku had drained the legs of the Swiss, however they briefly confirmed some chew as Schar adopted Gavranovic in producing meaty challenges inside 5 minutes of the restart.
However Italy weren’t requiring drastic measures to stifle Xherdan Shaqiri and their passive strategy was punished as soon as extra after 52 minutes. It was one other high-quality workforce aim, Italy turning transferring elements into mannequins, with Nicolo Barella taking part in the ball inside for Locatelli to plunge his low drive into the underside nook.
Steven Zuber was denied a response when he collected Shaqiri’s go down the left, however his effort was stored out by the ft of Donnarumma.
It was turning into one other chastening night time for the Swiss, eradicated within the group phases thrice beforehand earlier than their last-16 exit in France 5 years in the past, whereas Italy have been wanting severe contenders on this event.
They got here near a 3rd when Berardi flashed his shot over below stress from Akanji whereas Motionless was subsequent to spurn an opportunity after being present in acres of area by Leonardo Bonucci, his shot veering a yard extensive of the publish.
It appeared to have been wasteful night time for the Lazio ahead in acquainted environment as he would subsequently drag one other effort from Federico Chiesa’s go astray, however he was to not be denied.
Substitute Rafael Toloi sniped the ball again off Rodriguez earlier than feeding the striker. He took one contact earlier than turning to fireplace low together with his proper boot by means of the gloves of Sommer and in off the publish to complete off the Swiss and cap one other massively spectacular show from Italy.
Man of the match – Manuel Locatelli
There was lots to be desired about Switzerland’s defending on the night time, however the timing of Locatelli’s runs into the field and of his strike for his second have been each wonderful.
Locatelli turned solely the third participant to scored a double for Italy on the Euros after Mario Balotelli vs Germany in 2012 and Pierluigi Casiraghi vs Russia in 1996.
His targets have been the twenty ninth and thirtieth that Italy have scored with out reply since Netherland’s Donny van de Beek netted in opposition to them in October 2020.
Sky Sports activities’ Nick Wright stated: “It is price noting that Italy goalscorer Locatelli in all probability would not be beginning tonight if it wasn’t for Marco Verratti’s absence by means of damage.
“At this charge, although, the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder would possibly discover it onerous to win again his place.”
What the managers stated
Italy boss Roberto Mancini: “We gained the sport considering we needed to win it in any respect prices. It was a really powerful match. We may have scored a second aim a bit earlier. We suffered once we needed to undergo however in the long run, it is a well-deserved victory.
“It was the second sport in 5 days and the boys have labored lots. We may have sealed it earlier however we stayed affected person.
“For my part, there may be room for enchancment. Among the lads are very younger and have by no means even performed within the European membership competitions, so I feel with these younger lads there may be large room for enchancment.”
Switzerland boss Vladimir Petkovic: “Many issues did not work for us tonight, and many labored for Italy. The reality lies within the center. Congratulations to Italy – they play nice soccer, and have for a while.
“Everybody deserves to be disenchanted tonight, however tomorrow from the primary coaching session we transfer on. I spoke to the workforce and informed them there is a match left, and three factors may get us to the following spherical.”
How far can Azzurri progress?
3 – Following 3-0 wins in opposition to Turkey and Switzerland, Italy are solely the second aspect in European Championships historical past to open their event with consecutive wins by a 3+ aim margin, after Netherlands in 2008 (3-0 vs Italy, 4-1 vs France). Tone. #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/82gAaoFcsz
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 16, 2021
Sky Sports activities’ Gary Neville talking on ITV:
“They’re workforce and they’re attaining their most which is the other of Switzerland. All of them work actually onerous and they’re all well-drilled. I do know they’re getting a number of plaudits for the beginning they’ve made to the event however I simply assume they’ll fall brief.
“They’ve finished every part that is been requested of them within the first two performances, however I really feel as soon as they begin to face the higher groups they won’t have sufficient. Mancini has acquired them taking part in properly and you already know they’re a workforce that can give their absolute all which is important with the intention to win issues.
“They fill the field properly and only a few groups play with midfield runners at all times transferring ahead. They’re a passionate workforce and so they symbolize their supervisor very well. I am simply not fairly certain about them.”
Italy on a Swiss roll – Opta stats
- Switzerland are winless in 9 matches in opposition to Italy in all competitions (D4 L5) since beating them in Bern in Could 1993.
- Italy are unbeaten of their final 58 aggressive matches that have been held in Italy, final dropping in September 1999 in opposition to Denmark in a European Championship qualifying match in Naples, profitable 45 and drawing 13 such matches since.
- Switzerland have misplaced a European Championships match for the primary time since their second group stage match in opposition to Turkey in 2008, with tonight’s defeat in opposition to Italy ending a run of six video games with out dropping (W2 D4).
- Italy have stored a clear sheet in every of their final 10 matches in all competitions, going 965 minutes with out conceding since a Donny van de Beek aim for the Netherlands final October. They’ve gone 10 video games with out conceding a aim for the primary time since November 1989-June 1990.
Italy’s remaining Group A fixture…
- Sunday June 20: Italy vs Wales; kick-off 5pm (Rome)
Switzerland’s remaining Group A fixture…
- Sunday June 20: Switzerland vs Turkey; kick-off 5pm (Baku)
The ultimate spherical of Group A fixtures takes place on Sunday with Italy internet hosting Wales on the Stadio Olimpico at 5pm with Switzerland travelling to Baku for a vital encounter with Turkey on the similar time.