Italy have successfully progressed to the knockout stage of the European Championship after winning their second match of the group 3-0 against Switzerland in Rome.
Roberto Mancini’s side were on top from the get-go, with Giorgio Chiellini scoring relatively early on only for the goal to be disallowed for handball.
Manuel Locatelli then stepped up, however, and scored two fantastic goals as Italy sealed their second win of the Euros, while Ciro Immobile grabbed the third late on.
Never in his senior career at club or international level has Locatelli scored two goals in one game, but he picked one of the biggest stages possible to do so. For his first he started a move with a fabulous pass and finished it with a tap in. For his second he collected possession on the edge of the box before rifling a left-footed strike into the bottom right corner. The Sassuolo man also misplaced just four out of 51 attempted passes
Things became more complicated for Leonardo Bonucci early in the game as partner for club and country Chiellini was forced off with injury. However, he marshalled the Italian defence with expert experience, winning 100% of his ground duels and making four ball recoveries. His distribution was excellent, too, as he completed 50/54 attempted passes.
A major part of Switzerland’s lack of impact on proceedings was that they had next to no presence up front, which is what Haris Seferovic is meant to provide if nothing else. He had just 13 touches of the ball in 45 minutes, none of which were a shot on goal or a cross, while just six passes were sent into the final third. It was no surprise to see him substituted at half-time.