Aaron Ramsey scored the winner as Wales continued their superb start in qualifying for the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship with a 2-1 win over 2009 semi-finalists Italy in Swansea.
The Arsenal FC midfielder struck on 68 minutes to give Wales all three points after Christian Ribeiro and Alberto Paloschi had traded first-half goals. The victory puts Wales in command of Group 3 with ten points from four games and leaves the five-time U21 champions looking for their first points of the campaign against Luxembourg on Tuesday.
Wales wasted little time in building on their fine start to their qualification campaign and took the lead after just eight minutes when Ribeiro was left unmarked at the back post to sidefoot in Ramsey's corner. However, an Italian side containing the likes of FC Internazionale Milano's Mario Balotelli hit back midway through the half courtesy of the in-form Alberto Paloschi. Paloschi, who scored the winner for Parma FC against Calcio Catania on Sunday, headed home Antonino Barilla's corner to level the scores.
Italy stayed on level terms until midway through the second period when Ramsey, who has also been on the mark for Arsenal already this season, controlled with aplomb and fired a superb half-volley beyond visiting goalkeeper Vincenzo Fiorillo. Wales were unfortunate not to be in Sweden for the 2009 U21 Championship after losing to England in the play-offs, but victory over Italy leaves them in good shape to win a place in Denmark in two years' time. They are top of Group 3 – four points clear of Hungary having played four games to their three – while Italy are second from bottom just one fixture into their campaign.