Immobile and Insigne fire Italy past Russia

Italy 2-0 Russia The Azzurrini overcame their fellow 2013 U21 finalists in Cittadella courtesy of goals from Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne. 

Italy got the better of their fellow U21 finalists
Italy got the better of their fellow U21 finalists ©Getty Images

Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne were on target as Italy defeated fellow 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship finalists Russia.

Having taken an early lead in Cittadella through Immobile's eye-catching shot, Italy, while creating chances of their own, survived a couple of scares and were thankful to Insigne for doubling their advantage with a header 16 minutes from time.

The Azzurrini started the friendly well and took the lead after nine minutes when Luca Marrone won possession in midfield and fed Immobile. The striker, after a nice one-two with Manolo Gabbiadini, fired a powerful right-foot shot into the roof of the net.

Pavel Yakovlev and Shota Bibilov both missed presentable opportunities for Russia before Gabbiadini hit a post with a low strike from outside the penalty box on the half-hour. Seven minutes before the break Immobile, following a corner from the right, flashed a header narrowly wide.

When the action restarted, Gabbiadini forced Nikolai Zabolotni into a difficult save. However the Azzurrini eventually got the second, with one of the smallest players on the pitch, Insigne, capping a wonderful move when he headed in a cross from the right by Riccardo Saponara.

Italy: Bardi; Donati (Sala 89), Bianchetti (Regini 80), Caldirola, Biraghi; Florenzi (Saponara 46), Rossi (Bertolacci 46), Marrone (Crimi 89), Insigne (Sansone 79); Immobile (Paloschi 65), Gabbiadini (Longo 85).

Russia: Zabolotni (Kritsuk 62), Tsallagov, Schennikov, Chicherin, Burlak, Zotov, Petrov (Kirillov 46), Bibilov (Khubulov 62), Yakovlev (Bezlikhotnov 72), Smolov (Sosnin 58), Cheryshev (Kanunnikov 46).