Italy start Euro 2020 campaign with comfortable win over Turkey

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Kenan Karaman (C) of Turkey vies with Manuel Locatelli (L) and Ciro Immobile of Italy during the group A match between Turkey and Italy at the UEFA EURO 2020 in Rome, Italy, June 11, 2021. (Xinhua/Cheng Tingting)

ROME, June 12 (Xinhua) — Italy kicked off their Euro 2020 campaign with a comfortable 3-0 win against a toothless Turkish side in the Olympic Stadium in Rome on Friday night.

The game started with Italy looking sharp with Roberto Mancini’s favored 4-3-3 formation. The Italians controlled the ball and moved it with confidence against a rival that seemed happy to sit deep and let the Italians build from the back.

As a result, Italy, who were the away side for the game despite it being played in Rome, enjoyed a lot of possession, but struggled to find spaces against a rival camped in and around their own penalty area.

Giorgio Chiellini’s powerful header from a corner was tipped over by Turkish keeper, Ugurcan Cakir, who was impressive all game. Moments before the halftime whistle, Italy had a good penalty appeal rejected after Leonardo Spinazzola’s cross clearly hit Zeki Celik’s arm.

Turkey had produced very little in attack in the first half and things didn’t change much after the break, although Cengiz could have done better that see his shot blocked after a rare break.

Italy took a deserved lead in the 53rd minute when they finally found a 3 against 3 in attack and Domenico Berardi found space on the right with options to cross or shoot. He opted to drill the ball across the area and the ball rebounded off Merih Demiral into his own net. It was bad luck for the defender, who plays for Juventus.

The goal left Turkey groggy and Italy began to pepper their goal with shots, first Spinazzola was denied by Cakir, before Lorenzo Insigne saw a shot deflected over.

Ciro Immobile doubled Italy’s lead in the 66th minute as he slotted home from close range after Cakir had blocked Spinazzola’s shot.

Insigne netted a third in the 79th minute with a curling shot after a wonderful pass.

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