The atmosphere was like Italia 90. The evening was warm but comfortable and the gentle breeze blowing carried the emotions of the fans present at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Rome embraced its favourite sons delightfully – the noise was like the joyous expression of an Azzuri fan, who has been waiting for many years to witness the Italians in such a good form and no venue other than the Stadio Olimpico at Rome would be ideal for the fans to enjoy the Azzuri show, who are showing a lot of promise in a major event since 2012.

The Euro 2020 is just six days old and the Italians advanced the next round without breaking enough sweat. The Italian unit of Roberto Manchini, that has shunned the Catenaccio and adopted the modern-day 4-3-3 exhibiting a different quality of football that is not the Italian way rather, they play with daringly high full-backs, brilliant pressing wingers and an ability to control possession without ever fetishising it.

The first hour had been rampant as Italy tore into the Swiss with their characteristic fast-twitch attacks and concerted pressing game, deservedly going ahead through Locatelli.

A disallowed goal by Chiellini, who handled the ball shortly before slamming in Lorenzo Insigne’s corner from close range – offered only temporary respite.

On 26 minutes, Locatelli stepped up to play a sumptuous left-footed ball, first time, out to Domenico Berardi on the right-wing – as Berardi twisted and wriggled and crossed, Locatelli was in the perfect location to tap the ball in, having sprinted fully 50 yards to finish the move he had started.

Six minutes into the half Locatelli pushed forward into space, collected Barella’s pass, and looked up to see Switzerland’s defenders standing off him and he let fly from the 22 yards!

With two minutes remaining, Immobile finally got his goal, scoring from a distance after Rafael Toloi won the ball high up the pitch.


After the defeat, Switzerland sit third in the Group A table after recording just one point from their last two games and find themselves in a very tough position to qualify for the next round.

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