Switzerland outclass Italy to reach last eight and end the torment for Spalletti

Scarcely can a crown have weighed more heavily. Italy, the defending champions, are out, and perhaps the most crushing disappointment of all was that they barely seemed to throw a punch in the process. Remo Freuler and Ruben Vargas scored the goals either side of half-time for Murat Yakin’s magnificent Swiss team, and perhaps the most damning indictment of Italy was that by the end, it didn’t even feel like a shock.

For the first hour of this game they were overwhelmed, and for the last half-hour, who cared? There will be fingers pointed and searching questions asked. Perhaps Luciano Spalletti will get a little more time, perhaps not. But in a way this was a campaign that deserved to end because it never really began, a title defence that felt off right from the start, that no amount of quirky tinkering and impassioned arm-waving could salvage.

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