Italy vs Turkey: The Azzurri net three for the first time in a Euro match and other records

It is also the first time in Euro history that the tournament's opening goal has been an own goal. Check out some of the other interesting stats from the opener:

Ciro Immobile (L) and Lorenzo Insigne during the Euro 2020 opener; Credit: [email protected]

Italy laid down a marker with a thumping 3-0 victory against a hapless Turkey side in the Euro 2020 opener on Friday night. The Azzurri, which predominantly play with a 4-3-3 formation, got their game plan spot on. From the word-go they dominated the possession, and expectedly most of the match was played in Turkey’s half. The Turks did defend well in the first half, preventing the much-fancied visitors from breaking the deadlock. But they were not able to keep Roberto Mancini’s side quiet for long.

Merih Demiral’s own goal at the start of the second half put the Italians in front before Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne added two more for the Azzurri. It was the first time, the Italians have scored three goals in a Euro match in their history. Moreover, this was the first time in the tournament’s history, an own goal has kick-started things. These are just a few of the mind-blowing facts from the opening night encounter. Let us find out more such eye-catching statistics from the first match of Euro 2020:

Italy hit three for the first time

For the first time in their 39th finals appearance, Italy scored more than two goals in a Euro match. It’s impossible to believe this stat. Italy have almost always been a part of this competition. Regarded as one of the best teams in Europe, Italy were always deemed a threat in whatever competition they participate in. The four-time World Cup champions have surprisingly never scored more than two goals in this continental competition. But it didn’t take long for Mancini’s rejuvenated side to end that unwanted record. They were full value for the 3-0 victory against Turkey on Friday.

A historic own goal

At half-time, many seemed to think that a moment of magic or madeness would be required to break the deadlock, and it happened right at the start of the second half. In fact, a player from the Italian club Juventus broke the deadlock. The only issue was that the Juve player was not an Italian as he was representing Turkey. Domenico Berardi drove into the penalty box and thumped in a low, fast cross eight minutes into the second half. A helpless Merih Demiral, unable to adjust his body in time, could only divert it into his own net. After that, the Azzurri were unstoppable! The opening goal of the European Championships has been an own goal for the first time in the tournament’s history. At the very least, Demiral’s name will be remembered – albeit for the wrong reason!

Turkey’s bus lacked engine power

In the qualifiers, the Turkish side conceded only three goals from 10 matches and finished second – two points shy of leaders France. A lot of hype was created about their defending. It was unsurprising that they chose to park the bus and try to hit the Italians on the counter on Friday. It did not, however, work. Italy, a team known for its defensive prowess, was surprisingly playing a high line and attacking Turkey in numbers. Mancini’s team kept the ball well and closed down the Turks whenever they had the ball. In the end, Turkey’s statistics made for poor reading.

In the first half, Italy had 14 more shots than Turkey (14-0). Since 2004, when the Netherlands had 16 shots and Latvia had one, this is the largest shot differential in the first half of a Euros match. It doesn’t get any better in the second half either. Throughout the game, the Turks did not have a single shot on goal. They only had three shots in total, compared to Italy’s 24. Turkey’s game will undoubtedly need to be tweaked before the next match.




WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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