Italy sent out a strong signal to other potential contenders for the Euro 2020 title when they recorded their second 3-0 victory of the tournament by easily disposing of the challenge from Switzerland at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
The Azzuri scored three goals in their opening match of the group against Turkey last Saturday and they repeated that feat again with an even more convincing performance against a very lethargic looking Swiss side.
The Italians are renowned for their defensive ability but they have now added a very exciting attacking dimension to their play with this current crop of players and they put Switzerland under pressure in all areas of the pitch from the very first minute of this match.
The signs were ominous for Switzerland as early as the 10th minute when Ciro Immobile should really have scored with a header after a great cross from left back Leonardo Spinazzola but he put his effort over the bar.
They did find the net in the 19th minute when Georgio Chiellini saw his header from a corner blocked only to follow up on the rebound and strike the ball powerfully to the net.
Referee Sergey Karasev called for a VAR review of the build-up however and he disallowed the goal after it was clear the ball hit Chiellini’s hand on his first attempt to head the ball.
This was technically correct however it was an extremely harsh call as it was certainly a case of ball to hand rather than hand to ball.
The decision did not upset the rhythm of the Italians in any way as they scored a legitimate goal six minutes later. Industrious midfielder Manual Locatelli starting and finishing a move by blasting the ball to the net after a cross from the right wing was delivered by Domenico Berardi.
It was completely one way traffic during the first half and the body language of the Swiss players seemed to indicate that they did not really believe they could compete with the Italians.
The inevitable second goal arrived from the Italians in the 51st minute and again it was Locatelli who gave Yann Sommer no chance in the Swiss goal with a clinical strike from outside the box.
The second half substitutions that Swiss manager Vladimir Petkovic made had no real impact on the game, they continued to play second fiddle in all areas of the pitch and barely registered a shot on goal throughout the whole game.
The much-vaunted Borrussia Monchengladbach striker Breel Embolo was well marshalled by the veteran Italian defenders Leonardo Bonucci and Chiellini, and by the latter’s replacement Franceso Acerbi in the 24th minute.
Italy was not content with the 2-0 lead, they went in search of a third and it duly arrived three minutes from time courtesy of Immobile.
The 3-0 final score line certainly reflected Italy’s total dominance of the match, and they are now safely through to the last 16 stages of the competition, regardless of the outcome of their final group match against Wales on Sunday June 20th.
Italy: Donnarumma, Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chellini (Acerbi 24), Spinazolla, Barella (Christante 86), Jorginho, Locatelli (Pessina 76), Baradi (Toloi 69), Immobile, Insigne (Chiesa 69)
Subs not used: Siriqi(gk), Meret (gk), Emerson, Castrovilli, Bernadeschi, Belotti, Raspadori, Bastoni.
Switzerland: Sommer, Elvedi, Akanji, Schar (Zuber 56), Mbabu (Widmer 56) Xhaka, Freuler (Sow,83), Rodriguez, Shaquri (Vargas 75), Embolo, Seferovic (Gavranovic 46)
Subs not used: Mvogo (gk), Omlin (gk), Benito, Comert, Omeragic, Lotomba, Zakarai, Fernandes, Fassnacht, Mehmedi
Booked: Gavrnovic (47), Embolo (78).
Referee: Sergey Karasev (Russia)
Extratime.com Player of the Match: Manuel Locatelli (Italy)
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