Euro 2020 began a year later due to the global pandemic with a fantastic opening ceremony display which some had quoted as the best they have ever seen. This was a fitting build-up to the first game of the competition which was taking place in Rome, between dark horses Turkey and a revitalised Italy side who before the game were on a 27 game unbeaten streak.
The First Match of Euro 2020
During the first half of the Euros, no clear cut chances were created however some good opportunities fell to Italy; Insigne putting a chance wide of the post after he should’ve done better with after a lovely one-two with Immobile and Chiellini’s header being tipped over the bar by a very good save from Cakir.
The Turkish seemed to struggle in the first half with not having a single attempt on target as Donnarumma was just a spectator with star players like Calhanoglu unable to make an impact.
Roberto Mancini’s men were playing some great football as they tried to prove a point after failing to qualify for the last international major tournament, the Russia World Cup in 2018. Their left-hand side proved to cause Turkey some problems as Spinazzola and Insigne linked up well with Berardi on the right-hand side who was also looking dangerous.
Italy’s wide players came in narrower allowing the full-backs to have more space out wide which was causing Turkey many problems. Gli Azzuri’s midfield was deemed too strong as a dominant display from Barella (who has had a very good season at Inter Milan, champions of Italy), Jorginho (who has just won the UEFA Champions League with Chelsea) and Locatelli who has been linked with a move to the Premier League. However, Ay-Yıldızlılarwere filling the box with bodies not letting a breakthrough just yet.
As the second half started, Yilmaz brought Donnarumma into action by firing a low shot after taking a slight deflection but the AC Milan goalkeeper was equal to it. Although they just had their first attempt on Italy’s goal, in the 53rd minute Berardi riffled in a powerful cross across the face of the goal which a helpless Demiral could only put into his own net.
This caused more confidence for this Italian side as Lazio top scorer Ciro Immobile doubled their lead following a rebound after Cakir made a smart stop from a shot from Spinazzola. It was looking like game over as Turkey were not showing much threat and Insigne made this statement true as he added a third by opening up his body and placing the ball into the far corner.
This was the first time Italy has ever scored 3 goals in the history of the European Championships and had carried on their very impressive unbeaten streak Stretching to 28 games which they will want to continue in Euro 2020. Finally, this Italy performance was summed up in the last minute as veteran defender Chiellini sprinted back to his goal making a last-ditch block which he celebrated as if he scored a last-minute winner. This has sent a message across Europe Italy’s very impressive attitude and not a team you will want to be facing.
Where does this leave the teams for the rest of the Euros? Favourite dark horses in the Turkish, who many have called to go far in the tournament were overall disappointing and many players seemed to look tired. This side may have started feeling the pressures and will now need big performances against Wales and Switzerland if they want to get out of the group stages. Whereas Italy are proving why some people have backed them to go all the way and win the competition for the second time after triumphing in 1968 and after that display, it would not shock many people.
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