Another clear, clear victory, without discussion. Another 3-0 after the debut against Turkey. And above all the tenth consecutive victory without conceding a goal. Mancini’s Italy flies to the second round with an early turn proving to be a practically perfect war machine. Petkovic’s Switzerland must also bow to the 3-0 law. The blue hurricane also overwhelms Xhaka and his companions. Mercilessly. The umpteenth success at the Olimpico tells many beautiful things: it increases the (already considerable) self-esteem, enhances the sparkling game of a very well-matched team, takes center stage Locatelli – unexpected protagonist of a memorable evening with an extraordinary double -, confirms the achievement streak of Immobile (in goal in the final) and secures the qualification. Not only, Mancini could also be satisfied with a draw in the last match of the group against Wales Sunday evening to maintain the top of the standings and be able to aim for an easier eighth final. The only discordant note of the Italian magical night is the injury suffered by the captain Chiellini, forced to go out at the dawn of the match for a thigh problem all to be evaluated.
First half, Italy is a fury
The first half blue is a feast for the eyes. Switzerland has a better start but it’s just an illusion. The evening turns blue soon with the opponents forced on the defensive to try to stem the explosive speed on the outside of Spinazzola and Berardi, at times literally unstoppable. Mancini’s Italy draws football and builds one opportunity after another while Switzerland does not bolt, still trying to respond (with little luck) in the restart. The first chance of the evening has it Immobile who heads on a cross from Spinazzola hits well but does not find the door. On the left out Badge dominates undisputed, designing kiss assists for his teammates. At 21 ‘Italy unlocks as merit with Chiellini, good at tucking under measure on the developments of a corner. The scream of the Olimpico however remains throttled by the Var which cancels the marking of the defender for a touch of the arm. The captain’s unfortunate evening continues three minutes later when a muscle discomfort in the left thigh forces him to forfeit. In its place Acerbi enters the field, good at managing a couple of dangerous Embolo initiatives with experience. At 26 ‘the blue forcing reaped its well-deserved results with Locatelli starting a screaming restart with a quick launch for Berardi. The Sassuolo striker goes to the left leaving Freuler in place and putting a tense cross in the center on which he still Locatelli rushes in for the easiest of winning taps. The 1-0 obtained with merit appeases the blue fury and slows down the pace of the match. At half an hour Insigne touches the encore, then it is Spinazzola who misses the door a few meters from the goalkeeper. The one-way first half leaves wonderful sensations: Mancini’s Italy is a feast for the eyes.
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Italy-Switzerland, social irony: Locatelli “does things right”
Recovery, Italy controls without problems
The recovery starts again with Gavranovic in place of the evanescent Seferovic. Petkovic’s Switzerland starts aggressive but Italy is alive and is doubled in the first real incursion of the second half. He still scores: Locatelli. The Sassuolo midfielder is very good at receiving the ball from Barella at the limit and in putting Sommer on with an unstoppable low shot. It is the magical night of an unexpected hero. A double to tell the grandchildren. The doubling allows Italy to manage the ball with serenity. Switzerland appears disheartened and unable to react. Shaqiri tries with an outsize conclusion from a distance, then it is Donnarumma closing the door twice in a row in the face of Zuber. Mancini at 70 ‘lever Berardi and Insigne to enter Chiesa and Toloi. Immobile has two chances in quick succession to drop the three of a kind but wastes both by kicking to the side from a good position. Switzerland tries to become dangerous in the final but the blue defense holds up without excessive anxiety. Right in the end there is also space for Cristante and Pessina and, above all, for the 3-0 signed Immobile, at the second marking in the tournament. The Lazio striker is very good at guessing a powerful right from the edge that slips behind the innocent Sommer. IS’ the blue apotheosis. After Turkey’s debut, another 3-0 arrives. Open applause for this jewel of Italy.
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Europeans, Locatelli to go crazy: Italy, what a trio to Switzerland!