In-form Italy compound Dutch misery on Grim debut

Goals from Eder and Leonardo Bonucci earned Italy a 2-1 friendly win over Netherlands in the hosts' first game since Danny Blind's sacking.

Italy compounded the gloom around Dutch football by coming from behind to claim a 2-1 friendly win over Netherlands at Amsterdam Arena.

With Danny Blind having been sacked as coach after Saturday's 2-0 loss to Bulgaria, which put a dent in Netherlands' World Cup qualification bid, Fred Grim took charge seeking to gain a morale-boosting victory, but they were second best against the Azzurri.

Tuesday's game was preceded by the presentation of an award to one of the greatest players in Netherlands' history, Clarence Seedorf, and the Amsterdam crowd had more to cheer when Italy's Alessio Romagnoli put through his own net after 10 minutes.

But the visitors drew level almost immediately through Eder and eased into the lead when Leonardo Bonucci scored his fifth international goal after just over half an hour.

Italy are now unbeaten in seven matches and Giampiero Ventura has them playing with the kind of confidence and enthusiasm that, aside from lively displays from Memphis Depay and Quincy Promes, remains sadly lacking among the Dutch.

Netherlands started like a team with everything to prove and their high-tempo attacks produced a chance after five minutes when Jeremain Lens headed narrowly over from close range.

Just five minutes later they were ahead. Davy Klaassen embarked on a mazy dribble and played a low pass to Promes, whose cross ricocheted off Romagnoli before trickling past the wrong-footed Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Italy were back on level terms within seconds of the restart when Wesley Hoedt's defensive header fell into the path of Eder and the Inter playmaker provided an accurate finish.

Grim's men stuck to their task and Bruno Martins Indi hit the crossbar with a powerful header from a Depay corner, but Italy went ahead after 32 minutes when Jeroen Zoet could only parry Marco Parolo's close-range header and the loose ball was rifled high into the net by Bonucci.

Italy suffered a blow, however, when Daniele De Rossi limped off clutching his lower back after a challenge from Promes and he was replaced by Roberto Gagliardini.

Depay's industrious performance continued in the second half and he started a move that almost saw Klaassen connect with a dangerous Lens cross, but Daniele Rugani cleared the danger.

When Bonucci played a sloppy pass after 57 minutes, it was Depay who pounced and swiftly squared to Promes, but the Spartak Moscow winger's shot drew a smart save from Donnarumma, diving to his left to make a one-handed stop.

Italy brought on Leonardo Spinazzola for his debut and he immediately created a chance for Marco Verratti to hit a shot that was well blocked by Tonny Vilhena, and Netherlands had Zoet to thank for denying Spinazzola what looked like a certain goal with a fine save in the closing stages to preserve some dignity in defeat.

Not to be outdone, the 18-year-old Donnarumma – on his full debut for Italy – made two brilliant saves to deny veteran Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder in the dying minutes and ensure Italy's run of form continued, while Netherlands' woes deepened.

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