Euro 2024: A disappointing Italy eliminated by Switzerland

Italy lost the round of 16 match against Switzerland, conceded two goals in each half and was eliminated from the competition following a disappointing performance
Switzerland v Italy: Round of 16 - UEFA EURO 2024
Switzerland v Italy: Round of 16 - UEFA EURO 2024 / Stu Forster/GettyImages

The match between Italy and Switzerland was the first knockout match of the competition.

The national team coached by Luciano Spalletti lined up with an unprecedented 4-3-3 to cope with the greater dynamism of their opponents: Donnarumma - Di Lorenzo, Mancini, Bastoni, Darmian - Cristante, Fagioli, Barella - Chiesa, El Shaarawy, Scamacca.

For his part, the Swiss coach, Murat Yakin, confirmed his typical lineup, with the exception of the suspended Silvan Widmer.

Once the match began, Switzerland immediately took possession of the ball and dictated the pace. Unlike the Italian national team who immediately lowered their center of gravity, giving up any attempt at high pressure, waiting near their goal for the opponent's mistake to recover the ball and then try to start again on the counterattack.

Consequently, the first opportunity was created by the Swiss with a deep insertion by striker Breel Embolo whose shot was neutralized by a great save from Donnarumma who, once again, confirmed his splendid form.

Only after about twenty minutes did the first potential opportunity arrive for the Azzurri following the development of a free kick quickly taken by Nicolò Barella towards Giovanni Di Lorenzo who, surprising everyone, entered the center of the penalty area but was unable to coordinate adequately.

After which the dominance of the game returned in favor of the Swiss national team with a shot attempt by the Dan Ndoye, which was rejected by the Italian defenders.

The attacks by the Swiss national team then continued, taking more and more control of the pitch, preventing any advance by the Italian players who found themselves exclusively defending near their own goal.

These continuous offensives effectively weakened the attention of the Azzurri.

In the 38th minute, Switzerland's goal arrived with midfielder Remo Freuler not followed by any of the Italian midfielders, received the ball, well served by Ruben Vargas, controlled it with his right foot and immediately shot towards goal with his left foot past Donnarumma from close range.

There was no reaction from Italy immediately after the goal.

Indeed, just before the end of the first half, Switzerland came close to doubling their lead by hitting the post directly from a free kick kicked by Fabian Rieder, finding a prompt deflection from Donnarumma once again.

Thus, a first half essentially dominated by the Swiss team ended with a provisional score of 1-0 for Switzerland, who deserved the advantage against an absolutely inconclusive Italy.

Luciano Spalletti
Coach Luciano Spalletti took responsibility for the failed expedition / James Baylis - AMA/GettyImages

The second half began with a change by Spalletti who replaced Stephan El Shaarawy with Mattia Zaccagni, who was decisive for Italy's qualification in the previous match against Croatia.

An aggressive approach would have been expected but instead a wrong throw by Nicolò Fagioli was intercepted by the opponents who immediately started forward again.

The ball reached Vargas who took center stage and with a curling shot, without any pressure from his opponents, managed to beat the Italian goalkeeper who was unable to do anything.

Switzerland took a 2-0 lead.

The goal shook the Italian national team, complicating their strategic plan.

Furthermore, up to this moment there had not yet been any noteworthy attempts from the Italian attackers.

Only in the 51st minute was there a potential goal chance for Italy but not through direct production but due to a clumsy intervention by Fabian Schar who kicked the ball towards his own goal hitting the post.

After an hour of play, Spalletti tried to insert striker Mateo Retegui by removing Barella, modifying the tactical module once again.

And it was the Italian-Argentine striker who just entered who took the first shot towards the goal defended by Yann Sommer with a central and weak conclusion.

Shortly after, another opportunity for Italy to reopen the match, with a close-range shot by Scamacca, following an aerial assist from his Zaccagni, who wasted it by hitting the post in front of Sommer.

That was the last real opportunity for the Italy who in the final minutes did not show any inspiration either as a team or as individuals.

Italy's adventure in this competition ended poorly.


Italy has thus failed in its task of defending the European title won in the summer of 2021.

Switzerland, on the other hand, confirmed their excellent impressions of the group stage, presenting itself as a loose cannon for anyone who has to face it in the quarter-finals of this European Championship.