Turkey 0-3 Italy: Azzurri begin with a bang
Friday, June 11, 2021
The Azzurri scored three second-half goals to lay down a marker in the opening game of EURO 2020.
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Italy scored three goals in a EURO match for the first time in their history as they swept aside Turkey in the opening game of UEFA EURO 2020 in Rome.
Match in brief
The Italians laid down a marker in the opening fixture of EURO 2020 with their biggest ever win in the competition, but they were forced to bide their time in a frustrating first period. Wasteful finishing and a moment of brilliance from goalkeeper Uğurcan Çakır to deny a powerful Giorgio Chiellini header meant it was level at the break.
It did not stay that way for long after the restart. Eight minutes into the second half, Domenico Berardi drove into the area and thumped in a low cross of such venom that Merih Demiral could not adjust his body to deflect it clear, instead inadvertently sending it into his own net. The Azzurri were up and running.
Ciro Immobile opened his finals account 13 minutes later, pouncing on a loose ball and firing past Uğurcan. Turkey had no answer to the home side's fluidity in Rome, and Lorenzo Insigne inflicted further damage when he curled in a wonderful third 11 minutes from time. Italy will take some stopping on this evidence.
Star of the Match: Leonardo Spinazzola (Italy)
"Italy's most dangerous player in the first half, coming from deep on the left. He kept that up in the second period and created the second goal with his effort that the keeper could only parry to the feet of Immobile."
Esteban Cambiasso, UEFA Technical Observer
Görkem Kirgiz, Turkey reporter
Italy controlled the game from the start. Turkey tried to stay calm, patient and stick to the game plan of looking for counterattacks, but Italy kept possession and the danger levels kept rising. Things may have been different if the Crescent-Stars had not conceded so early in the second half, but it was all downhill after Merih Demiral's own goal. Italy clearly deserved this one. Now Turkey have to focus on their meeting with Wales in Baku.
Paolo Menicucci, Italy reporter
A more than promising start to EURO 2020 for Italy. After lacking only the final touch during a dominant performance in the first half, the Azzurri took the lead courtesy of an own goal and immediately went for the jugular. A scintillating attack and a rock-solid defence can carry Roberto Mancini’s men far into the tournament. The Azzurri's last nine games: W9 F28 A0. That says it all.
Roberto Mancini, Italy coach: "We played well. With it being the first match, it wasn't easy and we were up against a good team. The crowd helped us, and it was crucial for us to move the ball quickly."
Şenol Güneş, Turkey coach: "It was not our day. We started to lose the ball and couldn’t get forward. Italy were better – we lost to the better team. This is a tournament. We have two more games. We will prepare ourselves for the Wales game first."
Leonardo Spinazzola, Star of the Match: "It was a perfect performance. It started on the bus towards the stadium – seeing all the fans gave us goosebumps. We were patient; we moved the ball around well."
Ciro Immobile, Italy forward: "We showed patience in the first half. Turkey are a strong side. We tried to tire them out, moving the ball left and right and trying to spread them. Unfortunately, we struggled to break their wall. After the goal they had to open up some space, so that’s when our quality emerged. I want to thank my mother for giving me the sense of how to be in the right place at the right time."
Leonardo Bonucci, Italy defender: "It is the first race of what we hope will be a long journey. There must be enthusiasm now, but we need to remain humble. We must be aware that we can be competitive against everyone if we put on the pitch what we put today."
Lorenzo Insigne, Italy forward: "We made a slow start but we managed to recover and score three goals in the second half. Mancini told us to remain calm and focused on the game – that’s what we did and, finally, we achieved our goal. It was great to play in front of our fans."
- Italy scored more than two goals in a EURO match for the first time, in their 39th finals outing.
- Italy have won their last nine matches without conceding a goal, scoring 28 in the process.
- The Azzurri are 28 games unbeaten (W23 D5), dating back to September 2018 (vs Portugal).
- Merih Demiral's own goal was only the tenth in EURO history.
- The Azzurri have won all 12 games when Immobile has registered for them.
- Italy have not conceded more than one goal in any of their last 31 matches.
- Italy are 11 matches unbeaten against Turkey (W8 D3).
- Turkey have lost their opening match in all five EUROs they have contested.
- The Crescent-Stars suffered only their third defeat in 21 games (W9 D9 L3).
Turkey: Uğurcan Çakır; Zeki Çelik, Merih Demiral, Çağlar Söyüncü, Umut Meraş; Okay Yokuşlu (İrfan Can Kahveci 65), Ozan Tufan (Kaan Ayhan 64), Yusuf Yazıcı (Cengiz Ünder 46), Kenan Karaman (Halil Dervişoğlu 76), Hakan Çalhanoğlu; Burak Yılmaz
Italy: Donnarumma; Florenzi (Di Lorenzo 46), Bonucci, Chiellini, Spinazzola; Barella, Jorginho, Locatelli (Cristante 74); Berardi (Bernardeschi 85), Immobile (Belotti 81), Insigne (Chiesa 81)
Turkey vs Wales – Wednesday 16 June, Baku
Italy vs Switzerland – Wednesday 16 June, Rome