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Italy get Euro 2020 off to impressive start against Turkey

Turkey’s defender Merih Demiral (L) turned into his own net against Italy

Italy got their Euro 2020 campaign off the mark with an impressive 3-0 win over Turkey in the curtain-raiser for the postponed continental tournament at home in Rome on Friday.

Playing their first major tournament in five years after failing to qualify for the 2018 world Cup, all the goals came in the second half in front of a Stadio Olimpico that was filled to a quarter of its capacity.

The win capped an emotional night in the Italian capital which saw 16,000 fans return to the Stadio Olimpico.

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There was a performance by the Italian National Police orchestra, a parade of huge inflatable balloons on the pitch, tenor Andrea Bocelli sang ‘Nessun Dorma’ before a virtual performance from Martin Garrix, Bono and The Edge.

On the pitch, Italy dominated early on with a three-man attack led by Immobile, who plays for Lazio.

Turkey could also thank goalkeeper Ugurcan Cakir for pulling off a big save on 23 minutes, tipping over Italy captain Giorgio Chiellini’s powerful goal-bound header off an Insigne corner.

Leonardo Spinazzola had a chance for a second minutes later, with Immobile sending the rebound wide.

And Insigne curled in the third with 11 minutes to go.

Italy’s only European title was in 1968, with Turkey’s best effort a run to the semi-finals at Euro 2008.

ea/jc

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