Euro 2020 is finally underway after a year-long delay. Perhaps the wait was worth it after all, following the fireworks on the opening day of the tournament.
And once the whistle for kick-off was blown, the Azzurri resolved to leave no stone unturned in their quest to get off to a positive start. Turkey may have built a great reputation for themselves over the last 24 months but they were made to look ordinary in the Euro 2020 opener.
Three second-half goals courtesy of Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne and an own goal from Merih Demiral saw Roberto Mancini’s side cruise to a 3-0 win.
Italy record comfortable win over Turkey
The scoreline is often a direct reflection of the game and, in truth, it could have been worse for Turkey. Italy completely dominated the Euro 2020 opener from start to finish.
The Azzurri made nonsense of the predictions before kick-off, most of which had projected a tight match.
It is easy to sympathize with experts and fans who were backing Turkey before the game. After all, the Crescent Stars went through the qualification series for the Euros without conceding a goal from open play. Such statistics point to a defensively formidable side, and this particular record had some pundits even installing them as dark horses for the tournament.
Italy, though, sliced through them with very little effort. Turkey didn’t step up and failed to rise to the occasion, leaving Mancini’s side to coast to a comfortable win.
Italy announce themselves at Euro 2020 with statement win against Turkey
Italy have been in the dungeons of European football for some time now, the lowest point of which was their failure to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
However, the arrival of Mancini has transformed the team. The Azzurri are now on a 28-game unbeaten run, with their last defeat coming in September 2018.
Their demolition of Turkey is also a huge statement to their rivals, who would be wise to take notice of the great team and manager that Italy possesses.
Mancini said, as quoted by Eurosport, in the aftermath of the game, having watched his side put up an electric performance in front of their home fans:
"We played well. With it being the first match, it wasn't easy and we were against a good team. The crowd helped us, and it was crucial for us to move the ball quickly."
Italy have announced themselves in the grandest of styles. The Azzurri are back and look to be serious contenders for the Euro 2020 title.