The UEFA European Championship is finally here. Rome was the opening venue of the tournament, with Italy hosting Turkey. The Azzuri have experienced a rejuvenation under Roberto Mancini following their 2018 World Cup qualification debacle, and Turkey are a team on the rise, but one would be forgiven for forgetting that after Italy’s sensational 3-0 win against them. Turkey’s strength in-depth is so good that Italy’s emphatic win against them can be considered sensational, even in Rome.
Italy Dominate Turkey in Opening Match of Euro 2020
Italy’s Superiority Expected, But Unexpectedly Good
Italy’s start was predictably superior, maintaining higher possession and creating more chances. Upon first glance, one could think it was part of Turkey’s strategy, but that notion became too farfetched following Turkey’s failed counter-attacks.
The first noteworthy chance came in the 22nd minute when experienced defender Giorgio Chiellini provided a superb header that Uğurcan Çakır impressively saved. This Italian superiority persisted throughout the first half, but failed to produce any goals. Italy should have arguably had a penalty on the stroke of half-time, but the ambiguity of the handball rule reigned supreme.
They would have to wait until the 53rd minute to obtain the lead, and it was a typical own goal that Juventus star Merih Demiral had the misfortune of conceding. A common defensive moral dilemma in football: Intercept the ball and risk putting it in your own net, or let it go and have an opposing striker score through the pass? Demiral is not to blame. Rather, Italy’s superb offense is
Italy maintained this superiority for the remainder of the match, enabling Ciro Immobile to extend the Azzurri’s lead in the 66th minute.
This crescendo reached its peak in the 79th minute, as some marvelously entertaining Italian football allowed Lorenzo Insigne to make it 3-0.
Turkey’s Hopes Far From Dead
Despite Italy’s emphatic win, Turkey did not play poorly and can definitely still advance to the knockout phase.
Turkey will travel to Baku to Wales for their next group game, while Italy will remain in Rome to face Switzerland.
Embed from Getty Images