Italy repeats itself, the enthusiasm does not die out. After the 0-3 trimmed to Turkey, Mancini’s team repeats the perfect result also against Switzerland. Without changing the game script: good game, push on the wings and control for 90 minutes. The surprise, however, comes from the scorers’ table: it is Manuel Locatelli, only one goal for the Azzurri who arrived in a friendly before this European Championship, to drag the Azzurri with a brace. The latest signature is that of Immobile, now immovable in the blue attack, two minutes from the end.
Mancini’s Italy has 10 consecutive victories, with 29 games without ever losing (-1 from Pozzo’s all-time record). And the Azzurri are as overflowing in front as they are rocky behind: no goals conceded in 2021, ten games in a row with a clean sheet for those who preside over Italy’s goal. Donnarumma, unlike the match against Turkey, put his effort to keep this record by saving on Zuber a game still 2-0. But all of Italy shines, a united and, up to now, spectacular group. The fans love her, Italy believes in it: against Wales a draw will be enough to win the group. Then the path will have to be built, starting from this game. The eighth, meanwhile, are a certainty.
The first half: Chiellini’s record, then the injury and the goal that unlocks the game
Switzerland starts its game in a proactive way, trying to collect Italy in the last meters in front of Donnarumma. The Azzurri took little to set the Olimpico in Rome on fire with the first restart, but Berardi loses the right time to kick. After 5 ‘Insigne is the protagonist with the first invention between the lines: digging towards Locatelli launched towards the goal defended by Sommer, but the Swiss defense keeps a good guard. At 11 ‘it is Insigne again to brush the cross for Immobile who does not find the mirror of the goal with his head, the best opportunity so far for Italy. Which, on the other side of the field, contains Embolo well, which is confirmed as the most dangerous of his. At 18 ‘Italy is released, but the party lasts for a few seconds: Chiellini hits back a ball on the development of a cross from Insigne. For the Var there is a touch of hand, Italy-Switzerland remains 0-0. The captain of Italy asks for the change in the 24th minute due to a muscle injury in the match in which he stands at the top of the table of appearances with Italy at the European Championships among the movement players (14): Mancini chooses Acerbi, the defensive solidity does not change . And a minute later Italy is released, this time the Var can’t do anything: Berardi has the whole left wing at his disposal before inventing the game – only to be put on goal – for teammate Locatelli. The Sassuolo midfielder becomes the youngest to score a goal in these European Championships. At 34 ‘Insigne has the ball to double after a good initiative by Immobile on the right-hand turn, his specialty, but Akanji saves Switzerland with his head. Shortly after it is Spinazzola who has the counterattack that can hurt Switzerland, but after a progression as a sprinter he is not lucid with his right diagonal: ball on the bottom. The game slipped towards half-time: Italy showed enthusiasm, play and conviction for the first 45 ‘.
The recovery: Italy crashes Switzerland, Locatelli repeats itself and Immobile closes it
Italy and Switzerland start the second half on a 1-0 result. In the interval Petkovic replaced Seferovic, an old acquaintance of Italian football (Fiorentina and Novara), for Gavranovic who immediately got a yellow card for an intervention on Bonucci. At 7 ‘the dream night is defined for Locatelli who, with a full neck, lets go of a deadly diagonal that Sommer can only look at. Italy ahead 2-0. Switzerland tries to be seen near Donnarumma with a shot from Shaqiri after 15 ‘, but the attacking midfielder misses the target. At 19 ‘Donnarumma rises from the anonymity of these two games: the newly entered Zuber takes the initiative on the left and tries twice to finish towards the goal. The goalkeeper of the National team puts on gloves and saves Italy’s unbeaten run which lasts, at the end of this match, for ten matches. At 24 ‘inside Chiesa and Toloi, outside Insigne and Berardi. Mancini manages the energies, Switzerland tries to take advantage of it by creating a good plot around the door of Italy but Acerbi walls. At 5 ‘from the end Locatelli comes out with a standing ovation from the Olimpico, inside Pessina. Mancini’s last change, along with that of the man of the match, is Cristante for Barella. In the final comes the trio, the second goal of Immobile in this European Championship. For the number 17 it is the fifth goal in his last six matches with the national team, of which five started from the first minute. It ends 3-0, it is Italy’s second consecutive Euro 2020. The fans at home and in the squares roll their eyes: this Italy is beautiful. And he can dream.