Saturday, 12 June 2021 07:12

Staff Reporter.

@EURO2020.

Euro 2020 opened in spectacular fashion as Italy rode three second-half goals to a 3-0 win over Turkey in Group A of the opening match of the 2020 European Championship in Rome on Friday.

There were shades of Italia 90 before kick-off when Italian opera tenor Andrea Bocelli, against the backdrop of a breathtaking firework display, graced the opening ceremony with a moving performance of Nessun Dorma.

And when the rescheduled tournament finally began, an own goal by Merih Demiral and strikes by Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne settled the one-sided Group A match - the first of 51 fixtures to be played in 11 European cities over the next month.

For the first time in a single game at the European Championship, the Azzurri scored three times, Roberto Mancini's side registering 24 attempts as they turned on the style to extend their unbeaten run to 28 matches stretching back to September 2018.

They dominated the first half but could not find the net, Giorgio Chiellini going closest with a header from a corner which brought a fine save from Ugurcan Cakir.

Italy broke the deadlock when Demiral turned the ball past his own keeper trying to cut out Domenico Berardi's second-half cross before Lazio's Immobile, playing on his home ground, pounced after Leonardo Spinazzola's shot was blocked by the keeper.

The Azzurri wrapped up a satisfying win though Insigne's classy finish, after he was teed up by the impressive Immobile.

"We have played many teams that have done what Turkey did this evening. They put everyone [back] there, give you little space and make it hard for you to score," said Roberto Mancini.

"But the lads had patience. We waited, kept playing, tried to get that goal, then we got it. The lads did really well. The first half wasn't straightforward and in a game like that, even if they [Turkey] put everyone back, if you give one [goal] away on the break, the game changes."

"It was important to start well here in Rome, and it is a joy for us and for all the Italians," Mancini told Rai.

"It was a great evening, I hope there will be many more, but there are still six to go before Wembley".

Both teams are back in Group A action on Wednesday, with Wales providing the opposition for Turkey in Baku (17:00 BST) while Italy take on Switzerland in Rome (20:00).