2 Jun 2012

Italy collapse in Russian rout

4:34 pm on 2 June 2012

The Italian national football side's troubles mounted as they produced some slapstick defending in a 3-0 defeat by fellow Euro 2012 finalists Russia in their only warm-up match for the tournament.

The game at the Letzigrund in Zurich was played against the backdrop of a match-fixing scandal back home that prompted Italy coach Cesare Prandelli to say he would not mind his side pulling out of the European Championship if it was the right move.

The performance was a defensive nightmare for Italy, who conceded only twice in 10 games during qualifying, with Russia's second and third goals coming from defensive mix-ups involving substitute goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis.

It's the Azzuris' third straight defeat.

Italy have been drawn in a tough Group C at Euro 2012 with world and European champions Spain, Croatia and Ireland.

Manchester City star Mario Balotelli drew a blank for the Italians, disappearing from the action in the last half hour after a bright opening.