Italy learn little by beating weak Belgium

FLORENCE, Italy Sat May 31, 2008 10:39am BST

1 of 3. Italy's Christian Panucci controls the ball against Belgium during their friendly match at Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence May 30, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Stefano Rellandini

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FLORENCE, Italy (Reuters) - Italy head to Euro 2008 in confident mood but learned little from their 3-1 win over Belgium in a friendly on Friday.

Italy coach Roberto Donadoni tried to take positives from the game but by organising just one friendly in the run-up to the finals in Austria and Switzerland he has reduced his options for experimentation.

Against Belgium, who failed to qualify for next month's tournament, Donadoni went for his favoured three-pronged attack in the first half.

In the second he tried out a 4-3-1-2 with Alessandro Del Piero and a disappointing Luca Toni playing infront of the recalled Antonio Cassano, whose appearance was cheered by a spartan Florence crowd.

A half was not enough to judge the system, especially given a raft of substitutions that interrupted the flow of the game.

"Now I have another possibility," he told reporters about the formation, while also bemoaning some of the play.

"There was a bit too much naivety."

Antonio Di Natale's opening two goals told Donadoni nothing more, given his obvious admiration for the Udinese forward, but handing Alberto Aquilani a start in midfield paid some dividends.

Italy travel to their base outside Vienna on Monday with their first match against the Netherlands on June 9 in Berne.

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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