The four-time world champions were flat against an energetic Swedish side who disrupted the Azzurri attack with an aggressive high press on Friday, reports Efe.
Ola Toivonen set the tone for the hosts in the 2nd minute with an elbow to Leonardo Bonucci, signaling Sweden's intention to exert pressure on a somewhat shaky Italian defense.
Center-back Giorgio Chiellini struggled to play the ball out, creating chances for the Swedes and hampering Italy's attack, led Friday by Andrea Belotti in the absence of the injured Simone Zaza.
Belotti had the visitors' only opportunity of the first half, but his header off a great cross by Matteo Darmian missed the target with Swedish goalkeeper Robin Olsen out of position.
What turned out to be the winning goal came in the 61st minute, when Toivonen won the ball after a throw-in and served it up for Jakob Johansson, whose shot deflected off Daniele De Rossi and past Italian keeper Gianluigi Buffon.
The second leg will be played Monday in Milan.
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