Italy put up an efficient performance to beat Belgium 2 -0 in their Group E fixture in Lyon on Monday.
Emmanuele Gianccherini and Graziano Pelle scored both goals for Antonio Conte’s men.
The encounter started on a cagey note with both teams fighting hard to assert their authority.
Belgium were the first to threaten as Radja Nainggolan fired a shot towards goal which was promptly saved Gianluggi Buffon.
The Belgians shaded possession afterwards but were unable to map out any clearcut chances as Italy’s defence marshalled by experienced centre-back Giorgio Chielini warded off their threats.
The breakthrough for Italy came in the 32nd minute with Gianccherini firing them ahead.
The midfileder collected a wonderful pass from Leonard Bonucci before firing past Thibaut Courtois from close range.
The game opened up more after the break with both sides having chances to hit the back of the net.
First, Romelu Lukaku wasted a glorious chance in the 54th minute when he was put clear on goal by Kevin de Bruyne and with Buffon already beaten, his shot narrowly went wide off the post.
Italy responded almost immediately with Courtois making a point blank save following a beautiful header by Pelle.
Belgium soon took control of the game once again and like they did in the first half struggled to carve out any real chance.
Belgium coach, Marc Wilmots, make two quick substitutions with Divock Origi replacing Lukaku, while he also sacrificed right-back Laurent Ciman for another forward, Yannick Carrasco.
The changes had little effect as they failed to breach the Italian defence.
Ciro Immobile came close to increasing Italy’s lead five minutes from time but Courtois made a world class save to deny him from scoring.
He was however unable to prevent Pelle from scoring his side’s second in the 92nd minute.
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