MX23RW : Wednesday, August 4 16:01:26| >> :120:81412:81412:
Jun 11, 2021 at 8pm UK at Stadio Olimpico

Soyuncu (88'), Dervisoglu (90')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Demiral (53' og.), Immobile (66'), Insigne (79')

Roberto Mancini hails "wonderful night" as Italy sweep aside Turkey

Roberto Mancini hails
© Reuters
Merih Demiral's own goal early in the second half gave Italy a deserved lead before further goals from Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne.

Italy head coach Roberto Mancini praised his players for handling the pressure well after his side claimed an emphatic 3-0 victory over Turkey in Friday night’s Euro 2020 opener in Rome.

Merih Demiral’s own goal early in the second half gave Italy a deserved lead and further goals from Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne served warning that Mancini’s side are genuine contenders.

Mancini said in his post-match press conference: “It wasn’t easy because it was the opening match at the Olympic Stadium, with the fans behind us.

“We knew there was a bit more pressure than there usually is, so I’m delighted with the performance.”

Italy totally dominated the match and were rewarded for their patience and bravery on the ball as Turkey packed their defence.

“We’re delighted to have put a smile on the faces of all the Italians who watched the game,” Mancini said.

“It was a wonderful night. I expected it to be a great occasion, but we also knew it wouldn’t necessarily be easy because Turkey are a very good team with lots of talented players.

“We produced a very good performance and we really didn’t afford them many opportunities at all.”

Italy extended their unbeaten run to 28 matches – their last defeat was to Portugal in November 2018 – but Mancini was realistic about Italy’s chances of going all the way.

A spectacular opening ceremony was watched by a quarter-full stadium of 16,000 spectators at the Olympic Stadium in Rome
A spectacular opening ceremony was watched by a quarter-full stadium of 16,000 spectators at the Olympic Stadium in Rome (Alessandra Tarantino/AP)

“We’ve only got six games to go!” the former Manchester City boss added. “There’s still a long way to go and there are a number of good teams in this tournament.

“It was important to get off to a good start. We produced an excellent performance against a team that wasn’t as weak as they seemed.”

Turkey head coach Senol Gunes could not hide his disappointment after his players fell short of his expectations in the tournament opener.

“They were more dominant than us, we lost the ball so many times and this just gave the advantage to our opponent,” Gunes said.

“After we conceded the first goal we just really got distracted and lost control of the game.

“I can say, technically speaking, we had a very strong Italian team. I’m not very satisfied with the score. I was expecting better football here.

“But even if we lose or win, the competition will continue. We just lost against a host team and we have two more important games against Wales and Switzerland.

“We’ll tidy ourselves up and will start to prepare for those. Italy used the pitch very well, they just kept the ball and physically we fell from the game.”

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States25292276
Great BritainGreat Britain14181547
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Thursday's key events

· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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