NEWS
Wednesday May 31 2017
Italy crush San Marino

Gianluca Lapadula hit a hat-trick, as Italy obliterated San Marino 8-0 in Empoli.

It was an experimental Azzurri side, with Simone Scuffet, Federico Chiesa, Andrea Conti and Domenico Berardi among those making their debuts.

Gianluca Lapadula was crowded out early on, and Andrea Petagna sent a left-footed volley wide of the post.

The hosts made the breakthrough after 10 minutes, Gianluca Lapadula getting on the end of Conti’s cross from the right to head past Elia Benedettini in the San Marino goal.

It took just three minutes for Italy to double their lead, with Crotone centre-back Gianmarco Ferrari rising highest from a corner to head into the goal.

The Azzurri were rampant, and Andrea Petagna slammed a left-footed shot into the roof of the net after Lapadula’s blocked shot ricocheted into his path.

The Milan striker wouldn’t be denied his second goal, as he was slipped in by Domenico Berardi to make it 4-0 with a clever left-footed finish.

Lapadula attempted to get his hat-trick with an acrobatic overhead effort, but he miscued it and his shot spun wide.

Danilo D'Ambrosio forced Benedettini into a fine save just before the break, after finding space in the box for a right-footed shot

Ventura rang the changes at half-time, with Diego Falcinelli, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Matteo Politano and Danilo Cataldi replacing Petagna, Daniele Baselli, Berardi and Roberto Gagliardini.

It didn’t affect his side’s rhythm though, as Mattia Caldara made it 5-0 on 48 minutes with a right-footed finish.

Less than two minutes later, Lapadula got his hat-trick with a cheeky chip, pulling off the perfect ‘cucchiaio’ just days after Francesco Totti’s final Roma game.

Not to be outdone, Politano floated a delicious left-footed effort over substitute goalkeeper Aldo Simoncini to make it seven after Lapadula had been crowded out by the defence.

The Azzurri made it 8-0 after 65 minutes, Giovanni Bonini deflecting Cataldi’s cross past his own goalkeeper.

Italy 8-0 San Marino

Lapadula 10, 19, 49 (I) Ferrari 13 (I) Petagna 16 (I) Caldara 48 (I) Politano 58 (I) Bonini OG 65 (I)

Italy: Scuffet; D'Ambrosio, Caldara, Ferrari, Conti (Biraghi, 70); Gagliardini (Cataldi, 46), Baselli (Pellegrini, 46); Berardi (Politano, 46), Petagna (Falcinelli, 46), Lapadula, Chiesa (Caprari, 62)

San Marino: Benedettini (Simoncini, 46); Cesarini (Bonini, 63), Cavoli (Mazza, 71), Biordi (Stefanelli, 87), Brolli; Cervellini, Golinucci, Hirsch, Vitaioli (Zafferani, 62); Tosi (Della Valle, 56), Rinaldi

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