Switzerland 2-0 Italy: Defending champions crash out of Euro 2024 as Swiss reach quarter-finals

Ruben Vargas put Switzerland in control with a sensational strike (AFP via Getty Images)
Ruben Vargas put Switzerland in control with a sensational strike (AFP via Getty Images)

Defending champions Italy were knocked out of Euro 2024 as Switzerland produced a superb performance to ease into the quarter-finals with a 2-0 win in Berlin.

Switzerland impressive in the group-stage, denied top spot in Group A only by a last-gasp Germany equaliser, and they quickly established control in this last-16 match, pinning a dismal Italy back and dominating possession.

It was no surprise, then, when the opening goal came, as Remo Freuler made the run into the box and fired past Gianluigi Donnarumma with the help of a slight deflection.

Italy needed a strong response to a dreadful first-half but they instead conceded within 30 seconds of the restart, having kicked off themselves. Nicolo Fagioli gave the ball away and he was ruthlessly punished, with Ruben Vargas curling a stunning finish into the top corner.

The Azzurri twice went close to getting themselves back into it, Fabian Schar heading against his own post and Gianluca Scamacca flicking an effort off the woodwork from close range, but a lacklustre Italian side did not sufficiently improve.

Switzerland sealed their place in the quarter-finals of the Euros for just the second time, and they will next face either England or Slovakia.

Italy goalkeeper Donnarumma said: "It hurts to go out like this, we apologise to everyone. Today we disappointed, they (Switzerland) deserved it.

“We struggled the whole match, in the first half we lost too many balls leaving too much space to them. It was tough, a very hard match to digest and that's how it is.

"Everything was missing in this match, even quality and in the first half we did badly because they always had the ball in the game. We should have started well but we conceded a goal straight away. You have to accept it, we disappointed."