Italy sweep aside Turkey
Italy were able to overcome an initially stubborn Turkish side with relative ease by the final whistle after scoring 3 goals in the second half.
An own goal from a teammate of many of the Italian players, Merih Demiral of Juventus, gave the hosts a 1-0 lead.
Then goals from Ciro immobile and Lorenzo Insigne signed off the match with ease.
Insigne spoke after the game about the togetherness of the group.
“Our strength is the group; the coach has created a great group in which there are no starters and bench players and each one of us is always ready to sacrifice for our teammates,” he said.
“Winning is the most important thing – if I score, even better. It was a great night.”
In BBC Sport commentary Jermaine Jenas referenced the incessant pressing of the Italian side right until the final minutes.
Mancini reveals advantage
The opening match of the tournament took place in Rome’s Stadio Olimpico stadium.
It was filled with thousands of Italy supporters with a small smattering of Turkish fans.
After the match, Mancini revealed that the crowd played a huge role in his side’s victory on Friday evening.
“We played well. With it being the first match, it wasn’t easy and we were against a good team,” he said. “The crowd helped us, and it was crucial for us to move the ball quickly.”
This brings into focus the advantage some teams have throughout the tournament over others. There are 24 teams and 11 host cities across Europe.
Italy will play all three of their group games against Turkey, Switzerland and Wales in Rome. Denmark will play theirs in Copenhagen. Hungary play two of their three in Budapest. The Netherlands play all of theirs in Amsterdam.
London’s Wembley stadium will host all of England’s group games in addition to two last 16 matches, both semi-finals and the final. Russia will play two of their games in St Petersburg. Spain will play all of their group games in Seville. Germany, all of their group games in Munich. Scotland have two group matches in Glasgow.
The current world and European champions France and Portugal will play their group games in Budapest and Munich. There are questions of a possible advantage to certain teams with plenty of the small nations facing not only difficult matches but hostile environments.