Switzerland 2-0 Italy: Swiss club together in Berlin

Switzerland 2-0 Italy: Swiss club together in Berlin

SUNDAY JUN 30,2024

Playing like a well-drilled club side, Murat Yakin's team overcame Italy in Berlin to reach the quarter-finals of UEFA EURO 2024 at the holders' expense.

Ruben Vargas (right) after doubling Switzerland's lead

Remo Freuler and Ruben Vargas did the damage in Berlin as Switzerland eliminated the holders from UEFA EURO 2024 in the round of 16.

Key moments

24': Donnarumma denies Embolo with the first chance of the game

37': Freuler beats the Italy goalkeeper with a powerful, low shot

45': Donnarumma pushes Rieder's free-kick on to the post

46': Vargas finds the top corner from the edge of the box

74': Scamacca clips against the woodwork

Match in brief: Switzerland pressure pays

Remo Freuler wheels away after breaking the deadlock in Berlin

Switzerland set out to control possession and succeeded, though it took until the 24th minute for them to eke out a chance, Breel Embolo sneaking through Italy's offside trap before drawing a save from Gianluigi Donnarumma. A sharp thrust then put them in front, Vargas' piercing ball from the left finding Bologna's Freuler, who controlled and fired low past Donnarumma.

Struggling to find the gaps in a well-drilled Swiss starting line-up boasting 723 caps between them, holders Italy (combined starting XI appearances: 400) would have been 2-0 down by the break had Donnarumma not pushed Fabian Rieder's free-kick onto the post and wide.

Goal of the Round contender: Vargas' Swiss stunner

That second goal was soon to come though, another Bologna player – Michel Aebischer – picking out unattended Vargas on the edge of the box moments after the restart, with the 25-year-old finding the top corner with a stylish shot across goal.

The Swiss almost threw their opponents a lifeline when Fabian Schär's defensive header looped against Yann Sommer's post, but it was a rare lapse from a side that took risks but always had an out-ball, and rarely looked flustered until the closing stages when Luciano Spalletti's team threw caution to the wind. Gianluca Scamacca briefly set pulses racing when he clipped a shot against the woodwork on 74 minutes. Otherwise, Switzerland made it look easy.

Switzerland vs Italy Player of the Match: Ruben Vargas

Quality goal, clever assist, good movement, energetic. Vargas was dangerous in the one-v-ones and made a big contribution defensively.

UEFA Technical Observer panel

Anna-Sophia Vollmerhausen, Switzerland reporter

Switzerland's last appearance at this stage saw them record one of the most famous results in their history, knocking out France on penalties at EURO 2020. By eliminating the defending champions with a truly commanding performance, this result might now rank up there among the greatest Swiss victories ever.

Paolo Menicucci, Italy reporter

The reigning champions are out after a disappointing showing. The Azzurri were outclassed for most of the game and only went close to scoring with a late assault. Too little, too late to progress in the tournament against a Switzerland side which seemed stronger physically and technically for almost the entire game.


Gianluigi Donnarumma pushes Fabian Rieder's free-kick on to his post

Murat Yakin, Switzerland coach: "We won a hugely important game and that's what matters. As to what happens tomorrow, that's a different kettle of fish. Yes, we won but it was the way we played that matters. We dominated every area of the pitch and we scored goals at the right time. I am not looking ahead. It's important to take time to savour these results we have been achieving."

Ruben Vargas, Switzerland forward: "Talk you through my goal? A little bit before the second half started, Granit [Xhaka] said to me: 'Please score a goal.' A few seconds later I found the ball at my feet and I did what Granit said and shot!"

Vargas: 'I had goosebumps'

Luciano Spalletti, Italy coach: "We tried a few things at these finals, but I come away with the notion that I have to change things. It's not as scandalous a result as people will make out. We made it through a tough group. But we didn't see a team with a personality in terms of fundamentals. And that's what we have learned from this experience at EURO 2024."

Breel Embolo, Switzerland forward: "We deserved to win against a difficult team to play. We were compact and we created chances. We played a really good game and we scored at the right moment. I am really proud for the team and the staff and for the whole country."

Fabian Rieder, Switzerland midfielder: "The feeling is great because we showed a really good performance. We showed from the first second that we really wanted to win this game. The spirit is incredible; everyone is happy, everyone runs for the other one, and I think we showed that on the pitch."

Spalletti: 'Switzerland deserved to go through'

Key stats

  • Switzerland's seven goals at EURO 2024 have all been scored by different players; Freuler is now Switzerland's oldest EURO scorer aged 32 years and 75 days – breaking Mario Gavranović's record of 31 years and 216 days from EURO 2020.
  • The Swiss had not won in 11 games against Italy prior to this match (D6 L5) since a 1-0 success in a May 1993 World Cup qualifier.
  • This is the first time Italy have conceded more than once in a World Cup or EURO finals game since they lost 4-0 to Spain in the final of EURO 2012.
  • Switzerland have reached the quarter-finals for a second successive EURO, having made it to the last eight for the first time at EURO 2020. They have lost just one of their last 18 internationals (W8 D9).
  • Italy have missed out on the EURO quarter-finals for the first time since 2004; the reigning champions have been ousted in the round of 16 at the last three EUROs (Portugal at EURO 2020 and Spain at EURO 2016).
  • Gianluca Mancini became the first Italian to make his EURO debut in a knockout match since the introduction of the group stage in 1980.


Switzerland: Sommer; Schär, Akanji, Rodríguez; Aebischer (Steffen 90+2), Freuler, Xhaka, Rieder (Stergiou 71); Vargas (Zuber 71), Embolo (Duah 77), Ndoye (Sierro 77)

Italy: Donnarumma; Mancini, Bastoni, Darmian (Cambiaso 75); Di Lorenzo, Cristante (Pellegrini 75), Fagioli (Frattesi 86), Barella (Retegui 64), El Shaarawy (Zaccagni 46); Scamacca, Chiesa

Next up

Switzerland advance to next Saturday's quarter-final in Düsseldorf, where they will face the winners of Sunday's round of 16 tie between England and Slovakia in Gelsenkirchen

The winners of the last-eight tie play the semi-final in Dortmund on 10 July, with the final in Berlin four days later.

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