Italy Demolish Czech Republic in Last Pre-Euro 2020 Test Match

This Italy is a true bellezza! One week before their Euro 2020 debut, the Azzurri demolished Czech Republic at the Renato Dall’Ara Stadium in Bologna in the last test before the tournament start.

Italy found the back of the net four times as their whole offensive package – in the person of Ciro Immobile, Nicolò Barella, Lorenzo Insigne, and Filippo Berardi – made it to the scoresheet against a disappointing Czech side.

Coach Roberto Mancini deployed his expected line-up for the European Championship debut, with Sassuolo’s Manuel Locatelli filling the gap left in midfield by injured Marco Verratti – whom the coach is still hoping to recover before the Euro.

The game at the Renato Dall’Ara saw Czech Republic start aggressive but their exploit lasted only ten minutes and Gianluigi Donnarumma basically could enjoy a night off.

The scariest moment for Mancini and co. was when Leonardo Bonucci’s knee twisted unnaturally after a collision with Michaek Krmencik on 23 minutes. There were moments of panic among the Azzurri staff, but Juventus’ veteran was eventually able to continue playing.

After the big scare, Italy took the lead as Lorenzo Insigne was picked in the box with a long-range cross. The Czech defense somehow cleared the ball, which ended on Ciro Immobile’s feet. The Lazio veteran fired it to the near post to set the Italians off to a good start.

Coach Mancini’s machine worked perfectly, especially on the front line. The exchanges among Insigne, Immobile, and Berardi were a pleasure to see and all the three of them somehow made themselves dangerous before half time.

It was Inter’s Nicolò Barella, however, to double the Azzurri’s lead just before the break – though with a bit of luck, as his shot from outside the box was fatally deflected by the Czechs into their own net.

The Czech manager made three changes after the restart, sending in – among others – Serie A fallen star Patrick Schick. Roberto Mancini waited a bit more before reshuffling some of his cards. His first moves were defensive, with Francesco Acerbi, Emerson Palmieri and Bryan Cristante setting foot on the pitch.

But Italy didn’t slow down and, on 65 minutes, found the back of the net for the third time. Once again, it was a brilliant exchange between Immobile and Insigne to round up the score for the Azzurri, the Napoli captain driving the ball home with a soft right-foot touch to celebrate his 30th birthday in style.

The fourth goal came from a textbook counterattack. This time, Insigne turned provider and delivered a perfectly-timed diagonal pass to Berardi. Left all alone by the Czech defenders on the right hand side, the Sassuolo striker had an easy time in chipping the ball past Pavlenka to make it 4-0.

With the game done and dusted, there was still time to see his teammate Giacomo Raspadori make his debut for Italy. He could be the added weapon on the front line at Euro 2020 – though, for what seen tonight, Roberto Mancini is already well covered in that department.

Friendly games should be taken as a grain of salt, especially ahead of a big tournament, but Roberto Mancini’s version of Italy continues to make the Country dream.



June 4, 2021 – Friendly Match

SCORERS: 23′ Immobile, 42′ Barella, 65′ Insigne, 72′ Berardi

ITALY (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Florenzi (86′ Toloi), Bonucci, Chiellini (62′ Acerbi), Emerson, Spinazzola (62′ Emerson); Barella, Jorginho (62′ Cristante), Locatelli; Berardi (77′ Chiesa), Immobile (77′ Raspadori), Insigne (Sirigu, Meret, Di Lorenzo, Pessina, Belotti, Bernardeschi) Coach: Mancini
CZECH REPUBLIC (4-2-3-1): Pavlenka; Coufal, Celustka (46′ Zima), Brabec, Boril; Kral, Darida (81′ Sadilek); Masopust (60′ Sevcik), Barak (46′ Soucek), Jankto (60′ Vydra); Krmencik (46′ Schick) (Vaclik, Mandous, Kaderabek, Mateju, Pesek, Pekhart) Coach: Silhavy

REFEREE: Tschudi (Switzerland)
NOTES: No Yellow Cards; Extra Time: 1st Half 2′, 2nd Half 2′