Italy Under-21's completed their preparations for the UEFA European Under-21 Championship with a convincing 4-0 win in Farum against a young Denmark side.
With the Danes fielding players who will be eligible for the 2011 finals, which they will host, the most experienced Azzurrini side took control of the game with two goals inside the first quarter of the game by strikers Mario Balotelli and Robert Acquafresca.
Substitute Daniele Dessena added the third soon after the interval, while defender Andrea Ranocchia completed the scoring with three minutes to play.
Coach Pierluigi Casiraghi started with a 4-3-3 formation which should be very similar to the one for the opening game against Serbia on 16 June – Andrea Consigli played between the posts, Marco Motta, Marco Andreolli, Salvatore Bocchetti and Domenico Criscito in defence, Paolo De Ceglie, Luca Cigarini and Claudio Marchisio in midfield and Balotelli, Acquafresca and Sebastian Giovinco in attack.
The Azzurrini took the lead after only 13 minutes courtesy of a precise free-kick by Balotelli. Nine minutes later, the Inter striker's shot was parried by Danish goalkeeper Jonas Lossl, Cagliari forward Acquafresca was first on to the rebound and made it two from close range as Italy continued to create a series of good opportunities to score on the counter-attack.
During the interval, Casiraghi made seven substitutions and it took only two minutes for Dessena to find the net with a nice chip after a brilliant defence-splitting pass by Giovinco.
Italy continued to control the game and Casiraghi made another three substitutions without forcing his side to lose momentum, Lossl fumbling a corner from the right to allow Ranocchia to complete the scoring on 87 minutes.
The 23-man squad will remain in Denmark for the rest of the week to complete their preparations before they move to Scandinavian neighbours Sweden and their tournament base in Helsingborg on Saturday afternoon.
Denmark U21: Lossl, Randrup, Jorgensen, Reid (L. Nielsen 59, Hamalainen 72), Kristensen, Jensen, Povlsen, Wass (Sivebaek 50), Olsen (Johansen 46), M. Nielsen (Svensson 77), Agger (Rasmussen 83).
Italy U21: Consigli (Sirigu 46), Motta (Pisano 46), Andreolli (Ranocchia 46), Bocchetti (Marzoratti 46), Criscito (Poli 59), Marchisio (Dessena 46), Cigarini (Morosini 46), De Ceglie (Candreva 46), Balotelli (Paloschi 59), Giovinco 6 (Cerci 59), Acquafresca (Abate 46).
[UEFA Euro U21 Championships 2009]