After a goalless first half, Merih Demiral's own goal in the 53rd minute opened the scoring before Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne completed the thrashing.
Italy thrashed Turkey 3-0 at Stadio Olimpico in the opening match of Euro 2020 on Friday. The match was a one-sided affair with Italy clearly being the dominant team. Although Turkey managed to keep the score 0-0 going into the break, Roberto Mancini’s side got the breakthrough eight minutes into the second half courtesy of an own goal by Merih Demiral. After the first goal, Turkish defence opened up and Ciro Immobile extended the lead in the 66th minute. Lorenzo Insigne completed the thrashing with a third to start their Euro 2020 campaign on a high.
It was all doom and gloom for Italy before Euro 2020 as they failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. It was the first time Italy had suffered this catastrophe since 1958. But with Roberto Mancini, the country is dreaming of a second European title. Italy were perfect 10 out of 10 in qualifying, scoring 37 goals and conceding just four times. The former Manchester City boss has only suffered two defeats in 32 matches. The momentum that they had built showed in the opening game of Euro 2020.
Italy started the game positively, and managed 13 attempts on goal in the first half. But their only clear-cut chance in the first half was a free header from Georgio Chiellini, which was brilliantly tipped over the crossbar by goalkeeper Ugurcan Cakir.
Dominico Berardi’s cross led to the opening goal in the 53rd minute. The Sassuolo winger skipped past his marker to deliver a cross from the right side of the penalty area into the six-yard box. Defender Demiral, while attempting to block the cross, unfortunately guided the ball into his own net.
Leonardo Spinazzola’s first time shot on the turn was well saved by Cakir. But Immobile pounced on the rebound to make the score 2-0. It was the Lazio striker’s 14th International goal.
Almost ten minutes into time, Cakir’s poor clearance went straight to Berardi, and the ball quickly reached Insigne inside the penalty area via Nicolo Barella and Immobile. Insigne’s beautiful first time right footed curler landed in the bottom left corner of Turkey’s goal.
Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was a bystander at the other end. Turkey, who had conceded just three goals in the qualifying campaign failed miserably to contain a well drilled Italian team. The Azzurri’s looked good in every department. They pressed the Turkish players inside their own half and were quick to retain ball possession. Even the central defenders Chiellini and Bonucci didn’t hesitate to join the attack whenever possible.
Mancini’s only little worry would be that, apart from Insigne nobody looked to have a creative spark in the Italian side. Juventus midfielder Federico Chiesa, who started on the bench last night, could be that player going ahead in the tournament.
The Italians are now unbeaten in 28 games since their 1-0 loss to Portugal in 2018 in the UEFA Nations League match. Italy scored two or more goals for the first time after 39 European Championship games. Meanwhile, the dominant victory brings them back into the conversation as potential title contenders.
Italy will next face Switzerland on Wednesday at this same venue in their second fixture of Group A. Turkey will be looking to forget the loss and regroup themselves and take on Wales on June 16.