Friday March 22 2013
U21: Azzurrini beat Russia

Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne were on target as the Italy Under-21 side beat Russia 2-0 in a friendly.

The Azzurrini continue preparations for the European Championship in Israel in June, though Davide Santon and Fabio Borini are injured, while Mattia De Sciglio was promoted to the senior squad.

Italy took the lead with the first real chance of the game in Cittadella, as Immobile combined with Manolo Gabbiadini to finish it off with a right-foot strike from the edge of the box.

Zabolotny punched away a Lorenzo Insigne effort, while Yakovlev failed to make the most of a dangerous Smolov assist.

Gabbiadini pounced on a Burlak error and his daisy-cutter thumped the outside of the upright on the half-hour mark.

Another Gabbiadini assist, this time with his heel, set up Immobile for a shot deflected wide and Luca Caldirola flicked on the corner, but Immobile couldn’t get the final tap-in.

Russia finally got a shot on target in the last minute of the first half, but Yakovlev’s curler was denied by the crossbar.

Gabbadini threatened again after the restart, getting on the end of a Riccardo Saponara long ball to force Zabolotny to save with his feet.

The second half was one-way traffic with a slower tempo, as Russia barely made an impact on the game. It was therefore no surprise when the Azzurrini doubled their lead.

Lorenzo Insigne started the move, which went through Saponara and Alberto Paloschi until eventually the Napoli striker nodded in the cross.

Italy 2-0 Russia

Scorers: Immobile 9 (I), Insigne 74 (I)

Italy U21: Bardi; Donati (Sala 89), Bianchetti (Regini 79), Caldirola, Biraghi; Florenzi (Saponara 46), Rossi (Bertolacci 46), Marrone (Crimi 89), Insigne (Sansone 79); Immobile (Paloschi 65), Gabbiadini (Longo 85)

Russia U21: Zabolotny (Kritchiuk 63); Tsallagov, Chicherin, Burlak, Shchennikov; Zotov, Petrov (Kirillov 46); Yakovlev (Bezlikhotnov 72), Bibilov (Khubulov 63), Cheryshev (Kanynnikov 46); Smolov

Ref: Turpin

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