Goals from Emanuele Giaccherini and Graziano Pelle gave Italy a 2-0 win over Belgium in their Group E opener of Euro 2016 in Lyon on Monday.
Italy opened scoring in the 32nd minute when a wonderful through ball from Leonardo Bonucci put Giachherini clear of the defence, and the Italian easily slotted the ball past Belgian ‘keeper Thibaut Courtois.
In the final minute of stoppage time, Pelle, assisted by a pass from Antonio Candreva, hammered a powerful volley into the net to seal Italy’s win.
Earlier, Italy coach Antonio Conte opted for an adventurous 3-5-2 lineup with Matteo Darmian and Candreva out wide behind strikers Pelle and Eder.
Darmian, more accustomed to the full back position, was pushed further forward with Daniele De Rossi, Giaccherini and Marco Parolo deployed in midfield.
Conte’s counterpart Marc Wilmots chose Romelu Lukaku to start as the lone striker with Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne on the wings and the towering Marouane Fellaini in the middle.
Axel Witsel and Radja Nainggolan are the holding midfielders protecting the back four where Laurent Ciman has been preferred to Thomas Meunier.
Buffon, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, Candreva, Parolo, De Rossi, Giaccherini, Darmian, Eder, Pellè
Courtois, Ciman, Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen, Witsel, Nainggolan, Fellaini, De Bruyne, Hazard, R. Lukaku