Imperious Italy despatch Switzerland as Locatelli registers career first

Manuel Locatelli celebrating with Italy teammates at Euro 2020

Manuel Locatelli scored twice in the same game for the first time in his career at club or international level as Italy laid down another marker at Euro 2020 against Switzerland.

The Italians were seeking to retake top spot in Group A after Wales’ earlier win, while Switzerland were aiming to pull off a major upset that would put one foot into the knockout stages.

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Italy thought they’d taken the lead through Giorgio Chiellini after he refused to be denied from a corner. The Juventus centre-half poked home after the ball fell to his feet, but VAR chalked off the goal after replays showed he had handled in the initial collision with Manuel Akanji.

Chiellini’s night ended early soon after with what was speculated to be a hamstring injury. Francesco Acerbi deputised with Leonardo Bonucci taking the captain’s armband.

A free-flowing move then broke the deadlock after Manuel Locatelli finished off a move he started.

The midfielder fed Domenico Berardi before the winger drove at his marker. A burst of pace saw off the attentions before an accurate cut-back teed up Locatelli to stroke home.

A tremendous night for Locatelli kept getting better after the break when doubling both his and Italy’s goals tally with a superb strike.

Pristine interplay crafted a shooting opportunity for the Roma man on the edge of the box. Locatelli took a single touch to control before rifling a low drive into the bottom corner.

Switzerland heads did not drop, but on the rare occasion Italy’s backline was breached, the imposing Gianluigi Donnarumma proved his worth.

Ciro Immobile added a third late on that will have left goalkeeper Yan Sommer expecting to do better.

Nevertheless, Italy secured successive 3-0 victories to become the first side to book their place in the Last 16.