Euro 2020: Locatelli brace helps Italy beat Switzerland and make knockouts

Italy leads Group A with 6 points after two rounds of matches and are ahead of Wales (4), Switzerland (1) and Turkey (0).

Italian players celebrate after scoring the opening goal against Switzerland on Wednesday.   -  REUTERS

Manuel Locatelli bagged a brace of goals for the first time in his career as imperious Italy defeated Switzerland 3-0 at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday to become the first side into the last-16 of Euro 2020.

Locatelli started and finished the move from which he opened the scoring, netting from close range following Sassuolo teammate Domenico Berardi's excellent run down the right wing.

He then rifled a shot into the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the box early in the second half.

Ciro Immobile added a late third to secure back-to-back 3-0 wins for Italy in the tournament, it has scored 31 goals and conceded none.

The Italians outclassed its opponents and delighted the home crowd which has now seen the side score three times in a European Championship match for the second game in a row having never done so previously.

Italy skipper Giorgio Chiellini  thought he had scored when he powered past two defenders to fire in from close range only for his effort to be ruled out for handball.

The Italians were not to be denied, however, even after Chiellini went off injured, with Locatelli launching a move with a brilliant pass and then finishing it off after Berardi had cut in from the right in the 26th minute.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

The Swiss pressed high after the break in search of an equaliser but it was Italy who scored again with Locatelli rifling in from the edge of the box for his second goal of the evening.

Italy keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma stopped a double effort from Steven Zuber in the 64th minute to protect its flawless record over the last 10 games, before Immobile twice fired narrowly wide.

The Italy striker did get onto the scoresheet in the 89th, however, thumping in his shot from 20 metres to beat keeper Yann Sommer.

Italy leads Group A with 6 points after two rounds of matches and are ahead of Wales (4), Switzerland (1) and Turkey (0). It can seal top spot with a draw in their final group game against Wales on Sunday when the Swiss face Turkey.

Switzerland has now won none of its last nine matches against Italy and last beat its neighbours 28 years ago.

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