Euro 2024 scores, highlights: Defending champions Italy eliminated in round of 16 by clinical Switzerland

Titleholders Italy are out of UEFA Euro 2024 after a 2-0 loss to Switzerland in the round of 16 in Berlin on Saturday. Luciano Spalletti’s Azzurri side were second best against Murat Yakin’s Nati with Remo Freuler and Ruben Vargas goals either side of half time booking the Swiss a place in the quarterfinals. 

Had Switzerland topped Group A ahead of Germany, which was just moments away from happening, they would have been playing Denmark in the later game, but their date with the Italians at Olympiastadion turned out just fine. Now it is up to Julian Nagelsmann’s host nation to also reach the final eight today ahead of England and Spain’s tasks on Sunday.

This is how it played out:

Euro 2024 scores for Tuesday

Swizterland 2, Italy 0
Germany, Denmark – 3 p.m. ET start

Switzerland 2, Italy 0: Titleholders Azzurri crash out

Reigning champions Italy have been sent home in disarray after being downed by an impressive Switzerland in Berlin on Saturday. Luciano Spalletti’s men were poor in the German capital and made to pay by an efficient Swiss side which Murat Yakin has now led to the quarterfinals.

Remo Freuler opened the scoring after 37 minutes with a clinical finish from a Ruben Vargas assist and the Nati led by a goal at the break. Not even 60 seconds were on the clock in the second half before Vargas was teed up by Michel Aebischer to put the game beyond the Azzurri with a superb bent effort which beat Gianluigi Donnarumma emphatically. 

The Italians could barely muster anything in response and the 2020 winners find themselves saying goodbye to their chances of a title defense. Federico Chiesa was a rare bright spark for Italy but overall it was a poor tournament for them which already required immense drama just to get here with a late equalizer against Croatia saving disaster in Group B.

Switzerland, though, knocked out France in 2020 and now Italy here as they reach their second consecutive quarterfinals as part of a three-tournament run of knockout phase appearances. That is on top of three straight round of 16 outings in the FIFA World Cup between 2014-2022 which marks a massive improvement on the international stage over the past 10 years.

For Italy, that is continued international tournament woe with the obvious exception of their 2020 triumph. In the same time that the Swiss have become lock in the latter stages of the Euros and World Cups, the Italians have been sent packing from one World Cup in the group stage — which itself was a second consecutive early exit — and failed to qualify for two more.

Although they have won one Euro and reached another final and quarterfinal in that time, that 2020 high and the 2012 final are outliers in what has been a fairly barren run since their 2006 World Cup win given the Azzurri’s rich pedigree. Spalletti is the latest head coach who needs to address this with what can hardly be considered a vintage pool of talent despite Serie A’s continental renaissance.

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