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Italian striker Eder celebrates his goal (Photo: AFP)
Italy churned out an impressive all-rind performance to beat an Uruguay side bereft of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani 3-0 in their international friendly at the Allianz Riviera on Wednesday night.
The hosts were the dominant side for the entire 90 minutes but were made to work for the win, despite taking an extremely fortuitous lead in the 7th minute.
In-form striker Andrea Belotti, starting up front with Ciro Immobile, chested a long ball inside the box but before he could do anything, Uruguay defender Jose Gimenez pounced and cleared the ball. The only problem for the Atletico Madrid man was that his clearance flew into the top corner of his own goal, a finish any striker would have been proud of!
The hosts, playing a 4-4-2 formation, with young Gianluigi Donnarumma in goal and Juventus duo Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci in the hear of their defence, started to boss proceedings. Their dominance in the middle of the park was down to the experienced Daniele De Rossi running the show and despite losing Claudio Marchisio early on, the Azzurri were largely unruffled.
Without star strikers Suarez and Cavani, Uruguay were always going to struggle to break down a well-marshalled Italian defence and they lacked any sort of penetration on the night. Promising counter-attacks broke down as Diego Rolan and Urreta seemed to be incapable of posing any threat to the hosts.
Italy weren't looking great in attack either as despite enjoying plenty of possession, they lacked a cutting edge. Immobile had a glorious chance to double their lead five minutes from half-time, but took too much time to finish and an Uruguay defender cleared after some good build-up play from the hosts.
Eder came on at half-time and as the clock ticked, Italy manager Gian Piero Ventura continued to introduce players in a bid to inject some fresh energy into his side.
However, it was not until the 82nd minute that they would double their lead and be assured of the win. Eder was in the right place at the right time to turn in fellow substitute Manolo Gabbiadini’s shot into the net but there time left for a final goal.
Stephan El Shaarawy had been troubling the Uruguayan backline since his introduction in the 64th minute and his trickery telling as he fell under Gimenez’s challenge in the box. De Rossi stepped up and cooly converted the spot-kick in the 91st minute to add gloss to the scoreline.
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