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Euro 2020 Match Report: Italy beat Turkey 3-0 in tournament opener

gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw== - Euro 2020 Match Report: Italy beat Turkey 3-0 in tournament opener

Italy hosted Turkey in Rome at the Stadio Olimpico for the Euro 2020 opener on Friday night in what was a highly anticipated game. After a slow first half, Italy eventually opened the scoring in the second half with goals from Demiral (OG) and Immobile to see Turkey off 2-0 in the first game of the tournament and Group A.

The first half was a very cagey affair largely due to Turkey’s willingness to sit deep and play on the counter-attack. The game plan seemed quite clear; sit deep soak up any pressure and try to break out quickly to create chances on the break.

Things did not go to plan though, as the stats showed Turkey had 0 shots in the opening half. Italy on the other hand showed more ambition and courage on the ball, doing their best to keep the ball in dangerous areas and create chances.

However, Turkey’s solidity and concentration meant that Italy found it difficult to create anything but half chances as Turkey continuously disrupted any Italian passages of play. There was a call for handball and a penalty after a Ciro Immobile shot hit Soyuncu’s hand but the referee waved play on.

The 2nd half proved more entertaining, however. After a cagey first half, it always felt like any goal, even a scrappy goal would open up the match. Both managers made changes going into the 2nd half as Mancini brought on Di Lorenzi for Alessandro Florenzi, whilst Cengiz Under came on for Yazici.

Cengiz Under did have a dangerous moment on the counter where he looked to be in a 1v1 situation with an Italian defender, even seemingly getting away from the opposition but by the time he took the shoot after his 40-yard sprint, he took it too wide and the counter-attack fizzled away, much like the shot which had no real venom.

Eventually, though, the deadlock was lifted as good work from Berardi on the right-hand side saw him send in a fizzing cross which Juventus defender Demiral unfortunately bundled over into his own net in the 53rd minute.

Italy then looked more dangerous as the confidence started to flow, more half chances created by the Italians; it looked only a matter of time before the second goal came. In the 66th minute, after some pinball action in the Turkish penalty area, the ball fell to Immobile in the 6-yard area where the Lazio striker would make no mistake, tapping home for the second goal of the night.

Some more changes were made by the managers but it looked like only Mancini’s substitutions would work as the Turkish substitutes seemed to make no notable impact on the game.

After a miskick by Cakir, Italy quickly pounced on the error, and 2 passes following that, the Italians managed to work the ball to Lorenzo Insigne who – having had 2 good chances in each half prior – would make no mistake and hammering the final nail in Turkey’s coffin, side-footing to finish in the far post in a cool and composed manner.

Eventually, that goal meant it was essentially over and the game settled as the Italians saw it through. A big statement from the Italians against Turkey, who for many were going to be a dark horse in the Euro 2020.

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