Great Britain

Italy 3 Switzerland 0: Watch Manuel Locatelli hit stunning double as Italians put Euro 2020 rivals on notice

Dapper on the touchline and with more swagger on the pitch than ever seen in Italy - it’s going to take something special to beat this lot.

The first team through to the last-16, the Azzurri turned on the style again to breeze past Switzerland.

Manuel Locatelli’s brace - his first ever double as a new hero was anointed in the Holy City of Rome - and Ciro Immobile made it a perfect two from two.

Both of the Sassuolo midfielder’s were absolute peaches, and you can see why Pep Guardiola and Manchester City head a long list of admirers.

Coach Roberto Mancini’s cool clobber has caught the eye on the touchline in a way only Italians can.

And the ex-City boss has ripped up the nation’s rulebook built over decades, transforming an often slow, defensive side into anything but.

Fun, full of flair, atack, attack, attack - these are certainly strange times.

The 2016 version scored just four goals before going out in the quarter finals, whereas Mancini’s boys have already bagged six.

But in a perfect marriage of style and substance, they remain as dogged at the back as ever, making it 31 goals scored - and 16 hours - without conceding.


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As much as they love to fly forward, from front to back they press, harry and chase like there is no tomorrow.

The only dampener was an early injury to skipper Giorgio Chiellini, with the veteran defender going off feeling his hamstring.

But with qualification sealed, the 36-year-old has nine days to try and rest up and go again.

Plenty of changes are likely for the final group game against Wales on Sunday, while Switzerland - on one point - have to beat Turkey to stand a chance.

As always, the Italian players got the pulses racing with a rousing national anthem in front of an expectant crowd at the Stadio Olimpico.

And it was full-throttle stuff from the off as the hosts carried on from where they left off after smashing Turkey.

Left-back Leonardo Spinazzola was a constant menace then and was at it again early doors, crossing beautifully only for Ciro Immobile to spoon a free header over.

Chiellini had them ahead 19 minutes in from a corner but VAR intervened and spotted a handball before he sent the crowd wild.

Moments later there was a hint of unease when the warhorse handed over his captain’s armband and left the pitch with a hamstring problem.

But a minute after they had their goal, and what a thing of beauty it was.

Manuel Locatelli started it with a raking ball out to Sassuolo team-mate Domenico Berardi on the right.

Berardi then charged to the box and did his man all ends up before sweeping across the six-yard box for the onrushing Locatelli to sweep home.

It all looked a breeze for the Italians, picking their time to turn it on against the meek Swiss.

Lorenzo Insigne had one headed off the line, Spinazzola poked just wide, and the writing looked on the wall long before the break.

And a half-time rethink hardly did Switzerland any favours, with Locatelli doubling the lead after 52 minutes.

Another stunner, the ball was worked to the midfielder on the edge of the box.

Under no pressure, he took one touch to sort himself before unleashing a venomous left-footed drive into the bottom corner.

Keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was a bystander for the first hour, but when finally called into action was up to task, getting down to block Steven Zuber’s near post shot.

And Italy made it 3-0 for the second game running - having never managed it in the Euros before - late on when Immobile fired home from 20 yards.

Over to you, Wales.

Wales beat Turkey 2-0 at Euro 2020 to give them four points in Group A

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