This is not a drill. Six days into Euro 2020, Italy became the first team to qualify for the knockout stages courtesy of two brilliant goals from Manuel Locatelli and another from Ciro Immobile, and a display of collective strength that should put the rest of the field on notice. Spirited and united, quick on the ball and ravenous without it, efficient and entertaining, this Italy team has been the revelation of the tournament so far, and here Switzerland had no answers.
There is something of Liverpool’s 2019-20 title winners in Roberto Mancini’s Italy side, a thoroughly modern 4-3-3 formation with daringly high full-backs, brilliant pressing wingers and an ability to control possession without ever fetishising it. Amid a carnival atmosphere at the Stadio Olimpico, Italy put the game to bed within an hour, stretching their unbeaten run to 29 games, of which the last 10 have been clean-sheet wins.
Written by Jonathan Liew
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/football/2021/jun/16/italy-switzerland-euro-2020-match-report under the title “Locatelli fires Italy past Switzerland and through to Euro 2020 knockout stage”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.