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Euro 2020: Locatelli double sees Italy secure place in Round-of-16

The first team to lock-in a spot in the knockout stages, Italy did so in style with a convincing 3-0 win over Switzerland.

Now undefeated in their last 29 games, the men in blue looked the better outfit from start to finish, playing with unison and pouncing on their opportunities to put a lacklustre Switzerland to the sword.

The victory was only soured by the forced early substitution of captain Giorgio Chiellini, who looks to have sustained a hamstring injury and is in doubt for the remainder of the tournament.

The injury capped off a rollercoaster five-minute period for Chiellini, who thought he’d opened his side’s account when he scored off a corner in the 24th minute.

The defender rose and brought the ball to his feet, putting it in the back of the net from close-range, only for the ecstatic celebrations to be subdued when VAR disallowed the goal, ruling the ball had been helped down by Chiellini’s arm.

Italy’s first would come just minutes later though, courtesy of clubmates Manuel Locatelli and Domenico Beradi who combined superbly.

A nice ball from Locatelli played Beradi into space, and having dribbled to the byline Beradi returned the favour, Locatelli rewarded for his 60-metre follow up run with the simplest of tap-ins.

The 1-0 scoreline remained intact until the half-time whistle, with Italy appearing to be in the box-seat.

Their position was only enhanced seven minutes into the second-half as Locatelli came into his own, firing a rocket that rendered Swiss keeper Yann Sommer helpless into the bottom right corner from outside the 18-yard box.

From there the result was never in doubt, Switzerland failing to threaten as Italy maintained the ascendancy.

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Ciro Immobile looked potent late, especially down the left edge, but couldn’t make the most of his chances.

That all changed in the 89th minute when his spectacular long-range strike found it’s way to the bottom left corner, taking a piece of Sommer’s glove on the way.

A goal from the number nine capping off a complete performance from Italy, who now loom large for the rest of the tournament.

Switzerland on the other hand are sitting third in Group A with just one point, their fate coming down to their clash against Turkey.

With a goal difference of negative three, they'll need a convincing victory to make qualification into the knockout stages a possibility.



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