Leonardo Bonucci, Italy Defeat Greece 3-0 in Euro 2020 Qualifier

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistJune 8, 2019

Italy's defender Leonardo Bonucci (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the Euro 2020 football qualification match between Greece and Italy at the Olympic Stadium in Athens on June 8, 2019. (Photo by LOUISA GOULIAMAKI / AFP)        (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Italy beat Greece 3-0 in Group J qualification for the 2020 UEFA European Championship on Saturday through first-half goals from Nicolo Barella, Lorenzo Insigne and Leonardo Bonucci.

Barella slotted home the opener from striker Andrea Belotti's low cross after 23 minutes, before Insigne and Bonucci quickly added further strikes to make it 3-0 at the interval, and there was no way back for the hosts.



Yorgos Karahalis/Associated Press

Italy did not have to get out of second gear to collect three points against a poor Greek team in Athens; the home side appeared motivated in the opening moments but crumbled as soon as they conceded.

Belotti was the architect for the first goal of the night. The Torino hit man turned provider from the left to assist Barella, and the 22-year-old made no mistake to break the deadlock.

Insigne then struck a curling effort to perfection seven minutes later to double his side's lead

Yorgos Karahalis/Associated Press

Just three minutes passed before Bonucci hammered the ball home from a corner to effectively seal the three points, with the second half a non-event as the Italians saw out the game.

Greece had fleeting attempts to beat Italy goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu, but the Torino stopper was equal to the efforts on his goal.

Italy have maximum points from their opening three qualification games, with Greece in third with four points.


What's Next

Both nations are back in Euro 2020 qualification action on Tuesday. Greece welcome Armenia, while Italy host Bosnia and Herzegovina.