This time, unlike the opening match of Euro 2021, Roberto Mancini shed his gray suit jacket. But appearances can sometimes be deceptive, as the Italy coach did not sweat much this Wednesday night at the Olympic Stadium in Rome. After their inaugural victory 3-0 against Turkey, Squadra Azzurra chained a second success in front of their home crowd by dominating by the same score a very timid team from Switzerland.
Better, after the victory of Wales against Turkey (2-0) in the other match of Group A, Italy is already guaranteed to finish in the first two of its group before the last day . Result: she is the first selection to compile her ticket for the round of 16 of the tournament.
Held to a 1-1 check by Wales, but dominating in the game in their first match, Switzerland appeared to be a dangerous opponent for the Nazionale. But that was on paper. Because on the ground, the Nati has never been able to carry the danger on the cage of Gianluigi Donnarumma – with the exception of an incursion of Steven Zuber at the hour of play. The goalkeeper of AC Milan , approached at Paris-Saint-Germain, spent a quiet evening; quite the opposite of his Swiss counterpart, Yann Sommer, who suffered the waves of assault from the Italian attack throughout the match.
On the second transalpine occasion of the game, defense veteran Giorgio Chiellini, 36, rises higher than his opposite Manuel Akanji upon receiving a corner kick from Lorenzo Insigne. The captain shakes the Swiss nets (18e), but his joy was short-lived, as the referee canceled his goal because of a hand. Five minutes later, the same Chiellini was forced to leave the pitch due to pain in his thigh.
Orphans of their captain, the Italians are not destabilized so far. After volleying a pass to Domenico Berardi from the central circle, Manuel Locatelli crosses the pitch and arrives launched into the box to conclude the action: this time the Italian goal – 100% produced by the Sassuolo club – is indeed valid ( 26e).
At half-time, the talk that we imagine muscular Vladimir Petkovic in the Swiss locker room will not be enough to upset the face of the meeting. It is Italy that creates opportunities. Served by Nicolo Barella on the edge of the surface, Manuel Locatelli ignites a cross shot in the small net (2-0, 52e). Highly visible in the left lane with his friend Leonardo Spinazzola, the double scorer of the evening will receive a deserved ovation from the Olympic Stadium when he gives up his place in the last minutes. Cherry on the tiramisu, Ciro Immobile, the Lazio striker, will give even more relief to the success of the Azzurri, thanks to a new cross shot (3-0, 89e).
Italy thus continues a tenth victory in a row in all competitions, all without conceding a single goal. Next Sunday, against Wales, Roberto Mancini can even afford to drop the tie.
Our selection of articles on Euro 2021