May 31, 2008 / 7:48 AM / 9 years ago

Italy learn little by beating weak Belgium

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.

<p>Italy's Christian Panucci controls the ball against Belgium during their friendly match at Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence May 30, 2008. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini</p>

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.

<p>Italy's Mauro Camoranesi celebrates with team mates Fabio Grosso (L), Gianluca Zambrotta (2nd R) and Alessandro Del Piero (R) after scoring against Belgium during their friendly match at the Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence May 30, 2008. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito (ITALY)</p>

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.

<p>Italy's Gennaro Gattuso (R) challenges Vincent Kompany (L) and Jan Vertonghen of Belgium during their friendly match at Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence May 30, 2008. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini ( ITALY ) REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini</p>

“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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