One game less, 50 by the end of Euro 2021. The first match was according to the script with Italy shutting out Turkey 3-0 against the quarterfinals of the Olimpico in Rome.
Sporting News offers seven takeaways from the first tournament:
Italy. Just wow.
The azzurri used to play at home and all that, but Italy is legitimate. The victory against a competent team from Turkey was complete and their unbeaten streak is up to 28 matches and counting.
EURO 2021: updated tables, scores and tournament results
You saw why they score so many goals. Midfielders and attackers move all over the place with quick passes and changes. Rival defenders simply cannot keep track of them, and the Italians enter the area with ease. And then Giorgio Chiellini and goalkeeper Gigi Donnarumma take care of the rest.
Check out the highlights here:
They may not have a superstar, but they should go through the rest of Group A (the other two games also at home). If the group wins, they will face the second-placed in Group C in the round of 16: Austria, the Netherlands, Ukraine or North Macedonia.
That sound you hear is everyone clicking to fix a decent price in Italy to win it all while they can.
So who was the star on day 1?
Actually, it was the three Italian forwards: Lorenzo Insigne, Domenico Berardi and Ciro Immobile. They have mastered those constant movements we talked about and each had something to do with the three goals.
Turkey remained strong in the first half against them, but then physically weakened in the second. They couldn’t keep up and the Italians ran rampant.
– OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 11, 2021
First goal of Euro 2021: Own goal
Turkish central Merih Demiral, who plays for Juventus in Italy, made history when he received a cross to the chest and became the first goal of the tournament.
Demiralizing for Turkey 👀
– Stephen Doyle (@dubsoulrebel) June 11, 2021
Opening night. . . opening ceremony
If you don’t feel something when famous Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli strikes this note during the opening ceremony, then you may need a pulse check:
Now this is how you make a hymn
More goosebumps: the Italian national anthem at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. It always provides the chills.
That hand before halftime
Everyone can name a penalty for or against their club that was probably more innocent than the outstretched arm of Turkish right-back Zebi Celik. The referee did not award the penalty just before half-time and the VAR did not point out a clear and obvious error (the score remained 0-0).
If the referees are not calling that handball, then you must believe that the referees will be lenient with accidental contact in this tournament, no matter how much the arm is stretched. Otherwise, this video is the first piece of evidence teams will cite if they are on the wrong side of a call.
Did we really need that remote control car?
In the category of marketing gimmicks we can probably do without: the official match ball delivered in a remote control car when it can just as easily be thrown at the referee. . . and get there faster. Hopefully this doesn’t happen in every game.