The Euro could not have got a better start. With fans in the stadium, the noise was a balm and a return to a world we so sorely missed. For Roberto Mancini’s side, the 3-0 win not only marks them out as the team to beat but also for the first time they scored more than two goals in a European fixture.
Italy had previously played 39 European Championship matches without scoring more than two in a single game; that includes when Italy won as hosts in 1968, reached the final in 2000 – when they were beaten by world champions France – and took the silver medal in 2012 as Spain triumphed in Vienna.
The numbers showed Italy’s domination as they recorded 24 shots over Turkey, while the Turks could just manage one. Surprisingly, Turkey’s defence had conceded three goals in 10 qualifying games.
Though Italian coach, Roberto Mancini was happy and satisfied with Italy’s display, he warned against raising hopes: “Wembley? That’s a long way away. There are six to go.”
Mancini has dumped the usual safety-first style and created a group which is adventurous in its style and uses one-touch passing.
Italy overcomes Turkey’s challenge in the tournament opener
Another win, another clean sheet for Italy as they extend their unbeaten streak to 28 games. An own goal from Merih Demiral and a goal each from Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne capped off an historical night for the Azzurri at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome as they defeated Turkey 3-0 in the tournament opener. Immobile was simply exceptional for Italy. The Lazio striker scored one, assisted on another and created three chances for his side.
Roberto Mancini’s side dominated the game right from the kick-off until the final whistle. After failing to convert chances into goals in the first half, Italy came out all guns blazing after the break. Turkey’s resilient defence had no answers to Italy’s relentless attack.
Turkey lost discipline in the second half, certainly lost the shape, which was good in the first half. While moving forward, Turkey didn’t really bother Donnarumma.
Italy played like a true contender and this win against a tough and resilient Turkey side will certain do their confidence a world of good going forward in the tournament. Turkey, on the other hand, needs to forget this game and bounce back in their next fixture to keep the hopes of progressing into the knockouts alive.
90 + 3′ – The winning feeling for Mancini continues. Italy draw first blood in Euro 2020. A statement making win by the Azzurri at the Stadio Olimpico.
90′ – Three minutes of added time to play. The Turkish players look disheartened and the disappointment in clearly visible.
87′ – Fatigue and disappointment creeping in Turkey’s corner. Caglar Soyuncu picks up the first yellow card of the tournament with a poorly timed tackle on substitute Federico Bernardeschi.
83′ – The home fans have been cheering for Italy the whole game. The scenes at the Stadio Olimpico is riveting with Italy faithful going wild in the stands. The game is almost over. Will Azzurri make it 4-0?
81′ – Roberto Mancini brings on Federico Chiesa and Andrea Belotti in place of goalscorers Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne.
79′ – Lorenzo Insigne puts Italy up 3-0. History for Azzurri. First time in history Italy has scored three goals in a European Championship match. Insigne, after missing on plenty of previous chances, beats Cakir between the sticks. The Turkey goalkeeper gave the ball away cheaply to Berardi. The Italian lays it inside to Barella who gives it to Immobile. Napoli forward curls his shot into the far bottom corner.
66′ – Game, set and match for Italy? Immobile finally finds the back of the net to put Italy two goals ahead. A perfect team goal for the home side. Insigne brings the ball forward, passes it to Barella, who switches the play to the right. Berardi, on the right, spots the run of Spinazzola at the far side of the box. The left-back controls the ball and shoots it in one motion. Cakir makes the initial save, but the ball rebounds to Immobile who completes a tap in from inside the six-yard box.
60′ – Italy started the second half with intent and found a way through Demiral’s own goal. In the 15 minutes since resumption, the Italians have been relentlessly attacking and are in pursuit to kill the game sooner rather than later. Azzurri in cruise control. It can turn out to be a long half-hour for Turkey as they struggle to get the hold of the ball.
53′ – It’s a Juventus player who scores the first goal of Euro 2020. A bit of anticlimax in the end. After defending for majority of the game, Merih Demiral’s own goal puts Italy in the drivers seat. A heart-wrenching way to concede a goal. A quick change in attack from left to right leads to Berardi firing a cross towards Immobile in the centre. Demiral gets in the way but the pace of the ball is too strong. It hits him in the chest and bounces into the back of his own net.
52′ – Senol Gunes decision to introduce Cengiz Under almost paid rich dividends. Under receives the ball takes a quick turn with the ball which puts him in sight of goal. He outruns Spinazzola to get into the box before hitting one low to the right of Donnarumma and the goalkeeper manages to get low and stop the shot.
46′ – Both sides have made a change at the break. Cengiz Under has replaced Yusuf Yazici for Turkey with Giovanni Di Lorenzo on for Alessandro Florenzi for Italy. Italy had 14 attempts to Turkey’s 0 in the first half.
46′ – Can Turkey turn things around or will Italy continue their dominance? The action resumes at the Stadio Olimpico.
⏸️ HALF-TIME ⏸️
🚫 Chiellini header tipped over by Uğurcan Çakır…
🇹🇷🆚🇮🇹 Goalless at the break in Rome. Who’s impressed you so far?#EURO2020
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 11, 2021
Turkey defended deep inside their own half for most part of the first half. First real attack from Turkey came in the 35th minute with skipper Yilmaz moving into the Italy box from the left and his cross in the middle needed a punch out by the diving keeper Donnarumma.
45′ – The first half belonged to the home team. Italy made the most of Turkey’s defensive approach, creating plenty of chances, but failed to convert them into a goal. Immobile, Insigne, Berardi and Locatelli threatened to register Italy on the scoresheet, but Ugurcan Cakir stood like a wall and weathered every single Italy’s attack. The Turkey goalkeeper made a fantastic fingertip save to deny Chiellini in the 21st minute. In the closing minute of the half, VAR came into play as Italy appealed for a penalty. However, Italy’s appeal was turned down. Nonetheless, Italy should be confident breaching Turkey’s resilient defence in the second-half.
43′ – Cakir single-handedly keeping Turkey in the game. Immobile finds a little space inside the box and lets the ball fly. Turkish defenders scramble but fail to close down the striker who unleashes a low shot at the goal. Cakir comes to Turkey’s rescue again, makes a rather comfortable save.
36′ – Chiellini continues to press forward with the ball and passes it to Insigne on the left. Insigne switches the ball to his preferred right foot. Turkey defenders fail to close him down as he curls one from the front edge of the box and hits one in between the centre-backs. Cakir saw it coming all the way and makes an easy save with both hands.
32′ – Ciro Immobile comes close to putting Italy ahead, but another chance goes begging for the Italians. Berardi receives the ball on the left, picks out Immobile with a decent pass. Immobile has to reach the ball and manages to head it wide of the near post.
27′ – The game seems to have developed a pattern with most of the action taking place inside Turkey’s half. Italy looks threatening moving forward and has had chances to open the scoring. Immobile, Insigne and Chiellini have all had the opportunity to put Italy ahead. Turkey sustaining Italy’s onslaught, but for how long?
21′ – Turkey goalkeeper makes an excellent save to deny Giorgio Chiellini from scoring the opening goal. The chance was created of a set piece as Chiellini broke free of his marker to win the header. The ball was dipping just under the cross and it took a finger tip save from Cakir.
17′ – Lorenzo Insigne fails to find the back of the net after finding himself free inside the box. First real chance of the game for Italy goes begging.
14′ – Leonardo Spinazzola cross from the left flank well anticipated and cleared by Turkey defender after Domenico Berardi attempts to curl one from just outside the box on the right flank.
Turkey are defending deep inside their half, giving plenty of space to Italy mid-fielders to try out different things from both the flanks.
8′ – Roberto Mancini’s side look well organised and have twice created something out of nothing. Itlay looks solid going forward with the forward line connecting superbly with the mid-fielders. No clear chances yet for either side.
4′ – Turkey, playing in their traditional red jersey, while Italy despite playing at home is wearing their customary away white jersey. The Azzurri look confident going forward in the starting four minutes of the match.
The Stadio Olimpico, home to Italian clubs Lazio and Roma, is by no means full, but the European Championship 2020 kicks-off under the watchful eyes of 15, 00 fans.
Goosebumps! Both teams out in the centre for the national anthems at the Stadio Olimpico. Fans going nuts in the stands as national flags of both the nations swirl in the wind.
The atmosphere inside the Stadio Olimpico stadium is electric as over 15,000 fans are enjoying the thrilling and exhilarating opening ceremony. We are just moments away from the kick-off and players will come out of the tunnel soon after the formal opening festivities culminates.
Roberto Mancini’s Italy is unbeaten in their last 27 matches and is yet to concede a goal in 2021. Even though Turkey has a good core of formidable players, but upstaging Azzurri at Stadio Olimpico will be a herculean task for the Turkish side. Italy has opted for the traditional 4-3-3 formation, while Senol Gunes is going in with 4-1-4-1.
Italy vs Turkey line-ups:
Italy XI: Donnarumma; Florenzi, Bonnucci, Chiellini, Spinazzola; Barella, Jorginho, Locatelli; Berardi, Immobile, Insigne
Turkey XI: Ugurcan Cakir, Zeki Celik, Merih Demiral, Caglar Soyuncu, Umut Meras; Kenan Karaman, Ozan Tufan, Okay Yokuslu, Yusuf Yazici, Hakan Calhanoglu; Burak Yilmaz
🗒️ TEAM NEWS: Locatelli starts for the Azzurri in place of injured midfielder Verratti; Berardi given the nod over Chiesa…
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 11, 2021
🗒️ TEAM NEWS: Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Yusuf Yazıcı & Burak Yılmaz all start in Rome…
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 11, 2021