Dominant Italy sweep aside Greece

First-half goals from Nicolo Barella, Lorenzo Insigne and Leonardo Bonucci gave Italy a comfortable 3-0 Euro 2020 qualifying win in Greece.

The Azzurri moved three points clear at the top of Group J after leaving the hosts reeling with three goals in the space of 10 minutes.

Italy have won all three of their first three matches, but defeat saw Greece slip behind Finland, who now occupy second spot.

Greece actually had an early half chance after a swift counter-attack found its way to Dimitrios Siovas on the edge of the box, but his volley was straight at Salvatore Sirigu.

Instead Italy took a 23rd-minute lead after Andrea Boletti’s marauding run down the left wing.

Boletti cut into the box, shaping to shoot before squaring to the far post where Barella was on hand to slot into the back of the net.

Italy doubled their lead on the half-hour mark thanks to a fine goal from Insigne.

The striker showed Andreas Samaris a clean pair of heels, drove into the area and curled the ball beyond Vasilios Barkas and into the top corner.

And three minutes later it was three with Bonucci getting on the score sheet for the visitors.

Emerson whipped a corner into the box and centre-half Bonucci had time and space to nod the ball into the bottom corner.

Insigne went close to a fourth just before the break after a hurried clearance fell to him but Barkas made a good save.

Greece improved after the break, defensively at least, but barely threatened the Italy goal until Georgios Masouras fashioned a shooting opportunity only to be denied by a superbly-timed tackle from Emerson.

Insigne should have added a fourth but Barkas was quickly off his line to block the shot, before Federico Chiesa skied the simplest of chances from a few yards out.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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