Italy got Euro 2020 off to a perfect start with an impressive 3-0 win over Turkey at the Stadio Olimpico on Friday evening.
Despite constant pressure, it was still 0-0 at the break, but Italy’s superiority was shown after Mehri Demiral’s own goal gave Gli Azzurri the lead.
Further goals from Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne meant Italy can head further into the tournament with confidence.
Italy were on top from the off and settled into the occasion very quickly. A series of promising moves and a great chance for Insigne came to nothing, but Giorgio Chiellini’s header in the 21st minute came closest. He met the inswinging corner and fired a header towards the top corner but it was superbly saved.
The pressure remained throughout the first half but Italy couldn’t quite force a way in. Immobile and Domenico Berardi had presentable chances, whilst the Azzurri felt aggrieved not to receive a penalty at the end of the half after a Zeki Celik handball.
Seven minutes into the second half, Italy made the breakthrough. Berardi wrong-footed a defender in the box and played the ball across goal, where Demiral managed to turn it into his own net.
Italy smelt blood and with 25 minutes they had doubled their lead. A sweeping move led to a Leonardo Spinazzola shot which was parried, but Immobile was there to convert the rebound calmly.
Insigne added a third for Italy in the 78th minute when the keeper gave Berardi the ball and a move involving Nicolo Barella and Immobile ended with Insigne sweeping the ball into the bottom corner. That goal made this the first Euros game where Italy has ever scored more than two goals.
Italy’s next group game is on June 16 against Switzerland, where they may be able to wrap up qualification with a game to spare.