The Italian national team did not give the Swiss team an option at the Olympic stadium in Rome and overwhelmed it 3-0 with a brace from Manuel Locatelli and a goal from Ciro Immobile, to become the first team already mathematically classified for the round of 16. final of the European Championship.
With another excellent performance, with an attractive game and an impermeable defense, Italy sealed their tenth consecutive victory, all without conceding a goal, and prolonged their sweet moment.
In the absence of a day for the end of group A, the “azzurro” team, European champion in 1968 and four times world champion, is the leader with six points, two more than Wales and five more than Switzerland, while Turkey closes the group with zero points.
The 16,000 spectators present at the Olympic, many of them Swiss, attended a new monologue from Italy, true to its new style with the movement of the ball as the key. A solid, brilliant team that dreams big and received a heartfelt ovation from its fans as a reward for another great night.
Guided by the technique of Leonardo Bonucci, one of the best defenders in Europe in getting the ball out, by Jorge Frello “Jorginho”, the brains of European champion Chelsea, and by the speed of Domenico Berardi and Leonardo Spinazzola, Italy took over the ball and completely annulled the tactical plan of Switzerland, which came out onto the field of the Olympic determined to press up.
The “azzurri” locked Switzerland in their area and pushed until the wall collapsed. They savored the lead in the 19th minute with Giorgio Chiellini, whose goal was overturned after VAR review for a touch with a hand, and they claimed the prize soon after.
Despite the forced substitution of Chiellini, who retired shortly after the goal was canceled due to a physical problem, Italy broke the tie with an excellent triangulation between Locatelli and Berardi.
Locatelli opened the ball with a brilliant pass to Berardi to free him on the right flank and quickly ran forty meters down the field to close the triangle with a comfortable shot at will after his teammate’s low cross.
It was the goal that took the pressure off an Italy that forgave at least two good opportunities to extend the gap before the break, first with Spinazzola and then with Immobile.
Switzerland were still alive and came back aggressively after the break, trying to break the Italian defensive barrier, but their attempts were unsuccessful and they were penalized again after five minutes by Locatelli.
The Sassuolo midfielder controlled the ball at the edge of the area and signed a left-footed cross that struck down Yann Sommer and unleashed the euphoria of the Roma fans.
It was a psychological blow that left Switzerland shaken and Italy continued to create a huge volume of play and opportunities to make the scoreboard bigger.
After some opportunities forgiven by Immobile and Chiesa, who took the field in the last twenty minutes to replace Insigne, the «azzurri» put the icing on their game with the final 3-0.
It was the work of Immobile, Lazio striker, with a missile from outside the area that launched Italy into the round of 16.
– Data sheet:
3. Italy: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chiellini (Acerbi, m.24), Spinazzola; Barella (Crisante, m.86), Jorginho, Locatelli (Pessina, m.86); Insigne (Chiesa, m.69), Berardi (Toloi, m.69), Immobile.
0. Switzerland: Sommer; Elvedi, Akanji, Schar (Zuber, d.58); Mbabu (Widmer, m.58), Freuler (Sow, m.84), Xhaka, Rodríguez; Shaqiri (Vargas, m.76); Seferovic (Gavranovic, m.49), Embolo.
goals: 1-0, m.26: Locatelli; 2-0, m.50: Locatelli; 3-0, m.89: Immobile.
Referee: Sergej Karatsev (RUS). He showed yellow card to Gavranovic (m.49) and Embolo (m.79), from Switzerland.
Incidents: Match corresponding to the second day of Group A of the European Championship played at the Olympic Stadium in Rome before 16,000 spectators. AFP (HN)