EURO 2020: Locatelli shines as Italy lay down marker in 3-0 win over Switzerland

By Temisan Amoye

Italy became the first team to seal qualification to the knockout stages of Euro 2020, courtesy of a 3-0 win over Switzerland in Group A

Two goals from Sassuolo midfielder, Manuel Locatelli and Lazio forward, Ciro Immobile sealed a smooth victory for the Azzurri at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

Italy captain, Chiellini thought he had put the home side ahead in the 19th minute after heading in an Insigne cross, but VAR ruled it out for handball. That would be the last significant contribution from Chiellini as he was subbed out for Francesco Acerbi due to a suspected hamstring injury in the 24th minute.

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Italy took the lead in the 26th minute with a wonderful move started and finished off by Manuel Locatelli. A long diagonal pass from Locatelli found Sassuolo teammate Domenico Berardi, who glided effortlessly on the right hand side and released a pass into the six-yard box, for Locatelli who made a surging run from deep to slot in past Sommer in the Swiss goal.

Locatelli struck again in the opening stages of the second-half, receiving a Barella pass at the edge of the bix, and unleashing a low left-footed drive into the Swiss goal to put Italy 2-0.

With Switzerland not recording any shot on target in the first-half, Donnarumma was called into action, after the goalkeeper made a strong save to deny Steven Zuber from close range.

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Immobile rounded up the scoring in the 89th minute, receiving a pass from Toloi, the Lazio forward shot from range towards the bottom corner, with Sommer helpless to stop it from going in, despite getting hands on it. Making him the first Italian to score in two consecutive matches in an international tournament since Christian Vieri at the 2002 World Cup.

Switzerland must beat Turkey in their final group game to retain hope of finishing in the top two in Group A, while Italy can rest players when they face Wales.

Switzerland face a must win fixture against Turkey to retain any hope of qualifying for the knockout stages, while Italy can rest key players, having laid down a marker as genuine favorites for Euro 2020 crown.

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