Italy thrashes Turkey in the opening match of the European Championships in 2020.

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Italy thrashes Turkey in the opening match of the European Championships in 2020.

Italy got off to a victorious start in Euro 2020 with a 3-0 victory over Turkey at the Olympic Stadium in Rome in the opening match.

Early in the second half, Turkey defender Merih Demiral scored an own goal to give the Italians a merited lead, and their excellent showing was rewarded with goals from Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne.

Roberto Mancini’s side are now unbeaten in 28 games and have sent a clear message to Europe’s other top teams with a strong performance in their ninth straight victory.

A quarter-full stadium of 16,000 people in the Italian capital witnessed a beautiful opening ceremony, and the hosts could have easily triumphed by a larger score as their tired-looking Group A opponents were overrun.

The day’s tweet

Italy had perfect control when Immobile deservedly increased their advantage by scoring for the third time in as many international games. Ralf Little, an actor, was among those who made a joke about the Lazio striker’s name.

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Attack with stats

Italy scored three goals in a single game for the first time in their 39th European Championship play. The result was also the largest win in a Euros opening game.

The match’s turning point

Although it may not have been the most memorable opening goal of a tournament, Juventus defender Demiral’s own goal drastically changed the game’s tone. Turkey’s defensive strategy had been to soak up pressure and let the game drift to a goalless draw. Domenico Berardi’s strong centre forced a 53rd-minute breakthrough, and Italy deservedly added gloss to a dominant performance to run out overwhelming winners.

A flashback to the past

After failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Italy was back in tournament action for the first time in five years. Mancini’s side came into this Group A opener with a 27-match unbeaten streak – 22 wins and five draws – dating back to a September 2018 defeat to Portugal. The majority of individuals in attendance agreed with them. (This is a brief piece.)

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