One game less, 50 to play in Euro 2021. The first game went according to script with Italy shutting out Turkey 3-0 in front of a full Olimpico quarterback in Rome.
Sporting News offers seven takeaways from the opening of the tournament:
Italy. Just wow.
The Azzurri were playing at home and everything, but Italy is legitimate. The victory against a competent Turkish side was complete and their unbeaten streak counts up to 28 matches and counts.
EURO 2021: updates of tables, scores, tournament results
You have seen why they score so many goals. Midfielders and forwards move everywhere with quick passes and changes. Opposing defenders simply cannot keep up with them and the Italians easily enter the box. And then Giorgio Chiellini and goalkeeper Gigi Donnarumma take care of the rest.
Watch the highlights here:
They might not have a superstar, but they should qualify for the rest of Group A (the other two games also at home). If they win the group, they will face the second team in Group C in the round of 16: Austria, the Netherlands, Ukraine or North Macedonia.
That sound you hear is everyone clicking to lock in a decent prize on Italy to win it all while they can.
So who was the star of Day 1?
They were in fact the first three Italians: Lorenzo Insigne, Domenico Berardi and Ciro Immobile. They’ve mastered those constant movements we talked about and they each played a part in all three goals.
Turkey held their ground in the first half against them, but then withered physically in the second. They failed to follow and the Italians multiplied.
– OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 11, 2021
First goal of the Euros 2021: Own goal
Turkish center-back Merih Demiral, who plays in Italy for Juventus, made history when he took a cross in the chest and it turned into the tournament’s first goal.
Demiralisation for Turkey 👀
– Stephen Doyle (@dubsoulrebel) June 11, 2021
Opening night. . . opening ceremony
If you don’t feel anything when famous Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli hits that note during the Opening Ceremony, you might need a pulse check:
Now that’s how you make a hymn
More Goosebumps: The Italian national anthem at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Still provides chills.
This hand ball before half-time
Anyone can name a penalty for or against his club which was probably more innocent than the outstretched arm of Turkish right-back Zebi Celik. The referee did not call the penalty just before half-time and the VAR did not report a clear and obvious error (the score was still 0-0).
If the officials don’t call this handball, then you have to believe that the referees will be forgiving of any accidental contact in this tournament, regardless of the extension of the arm. Otherwise, this video is the first piece of evidence teams will cite if they are on the wrong side of a call.
Do we really need this remote control car?
In the category of marketing gimmicks that we can probably do without: the official match ball delivered in a remote-controlled car while it can just as easily be launched with the ref. . . and get there faster. Hopefully that doesn’t happen in every game.