Italy cruise to 4-0 win over Malta

Two goals in each half saw Italy brush aside Malta in Bari to keep alive their hopes of topping their group in the Euro 24 qualifiers.

Veteran Giacoma Bonaventura, 34, set Italy on their way with his first goal for his country.

Domenico Berardi struck either side of break before late in injury time, Davide Frattesi sealed the win for Italy.

This was always going to be a mammoth ask for Malta, more so with Steve Borg ruled out through suspension and Teddy Teuma and Jodi Jones injured.

Forced to shuffle his line-up, coach Michele Marcolini opted for Ferdinando Apap, Enrico Pepe and Zach Muscat at the back with Yannick Yankam partnered with Matthew Guillaumier and Bjorn Kristensen in midfield while Luke Montebello and Paul Mbong were employed up front.

Malta frustrated Italy in the opening exchanges but could do nothing to prevent Bonaventura firing Italy in front middway through the first half. When Beradi hit the first of his brace just before the break Malta’s fate was sealed and two more goals for Italy in the second half only demonstrated the size of the task for Malta in international competitions.

Photos: Domenic Aquilina