Wednesday November 18 2020
U21: Italy put four past Sweden

Giacomo Raspadori bagged a brace, with Gianluca Scamacca and Youssef Maleh also on target as the Italy U21 side beat Sweden 4-1.

The Azzurrini were already qualified for the European Championships next year, so rotated the squad with many new faces for this final group game in Pisa.

After a Gianluca Scamacca strike was saved, Italy took the lead with a scorching left-foot finish on the half-volley under the bar from Venezia midfielder Youssef Maleh. It was his first goal for Italy at Under-21 level.

Michele Cerofolini did have to rush off his line to make a double save on Leo Bengtsson and Pontus Almqvist, a brave intervention.

Sassuolo striker Giacomo Raspadori made it 2-0 after the restart with another ferocious strike from the edge of the box into the top corner.

However, there was no clean sheet, as Sweden immediately pulled one back. Captain Jesper Karlsson pounced on a poor clearance to drill a daisy-cutter into the near bottom corner from outside the area.

Italy should’ve had a penalty on 57 minutes when Filippo Melegoni was brought down by Bengtsson, but English referee Stuart Attwell awarded a free kick outside the area. VAR would’ve been able to show the contact was inside the box.

Raspadori completed his brace by finishing off a well-worked move after Scamacca’s back-heel flick and Gabriele Zappa almost got a fourth with an angled drive skimming the far post.

Scamacca did get the fourth, running on to a Zappa through ball to nutmeg the goalkeeper with a delicate finish.

Italy 4-1 Sweden

Maleh 27 (I), Raspadori 48, 61 (I), Karlsson 50 (S), Scamacca 68 (I)

Italy U21: Cerofolini; Vogliacco (Bellanova 83), Buongiorno (Del Prato 46), Cuomo; Zappa, Melegoni, Ricci, Maleh (Colpani 58), Sala (Marchizza 46); Raspadori, Scamacca (Sottil 71)

Sweden U21: Dahlberg; Beijmo, Vagic (Ornblom 88), Henriksson, Kralj (Svensson 56); Bengtsson, Hellborg (Hussein 88), Gigovic (Abraham 56), Karlsson; Nygren (Hansson 72), Almqvist

Ref: Attwell (ENG)