Turkey 0-3 Italy: Five things we learned as the Azzurri send out big statement in Euros opener

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The delayed European Championship finally got underway on Friday night as Italy easily beat Turkey 3-0 in front of a partizan home crowd in Rome.

There was a cacophony of noise inside the Stadio Olimpico, with 16,000 fans making themselves heard after being fired up by a tremendous opening ceremony.

The hosts dominated the first-half without creating too much, but did have the game's first clear chance as Lorenzo Insigne bent a shot just wide of the far post.

And they deservedly took the lead in the 53rd minute when Turkey defender Merih Demiral could only chest into his own net from Domenico Berardi's powerful drilled cross.

Ciro Immobile doubled the lead with 25 minutes to go as he scored from a rebound after Leonardo Spinazzola's shot had been saved.

And Lorenzo Insigne ended the game as a contest as he beautifully finished from a wonderful move.

Here are five talking points from the first of 51 games in the competition…

Italy mean business

It took an own goal for Italy to take the lead
(Image: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Going into the tournament Italy had been widely regarded as one of the teams just outside the strong favourites to win it.

But watching them tonight you would find it difficult to argue against them going all the way and adding yet another trophy to their haul.

As you would expect from a Roberto Mancini side, they are well-organised, defensively strong and hard-working, and also passed and pressed much better than their opponents.

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Some would argue that they lack a real world-class offensive player in the mould of the likes of former heroes like Francesco Totti and Alessandro Del Piero.

Yet in Insigne and Immobile they have two energetic and lively forwards who will cause problems for any defence this summer.

This was a hugely impressive start for Italy – and they are only going to get better.

Turkey fail to live up to 'dark horse' tag

Turkey were disappointing on the night
(Image: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Many have labelled Turkey as one of the potential surprise packages to look out for in this tournament.

But they were hugely disappointing tonight, and were deservedly beaten by a far superior Italy.

It was no surprise to see the hosts dominating possession, with Turkey's game plan seemingly to wait and attempt to counter-attack.

Yet they did not appear to have any plan going forward, and creating goalscoring opportunities could be a real issue.

At the age of 35 their lone striker Burak Yilmaz is eight years older than anyone else in his side, and he cut a frustrated and tired-looking figure for the majority of the encounter.

Wales may well have been watching and feeling confident they have what it takes to finish runners-up in Group A.

Chiellini's still got it

Giorgio Chiellini was as composed as ever at the back
(Image: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

This is Giorgio Chiellini's sixth major tournament for Italy, and the 36-year-old defender still looks as hungry and eager for success as he did in the first one back in 2008.

If there were any worries that the Juventus man may be getting on a bit he quickly put them to bed by settling comfortably into the frantic pace of the opening stages.

Chiellini also almost had a dream moment on the 23rd minute when he met a corner with a powerful header, but he was denied a goal by the fingertips of Turkey goalkeeper Ugurcan Cakir.

And his fist pump celebration after he denied Turkey a goal late on even when the game was already easily won sums up everything he is about.

Along with his fellow experienced defender Leonardo Bonucci, Chiellini will be able to provide invaluable experience to Italy throughout the next few weeks, and it could just prove to make all the difference.

Spinazzola one to watch

Leonardo Spinazzola was one of Italy's best performers
(Image: Getty Images)

Arguably Italy's most impressive performer on the night was wing-back Spinazzola.

The 28-year-old Roma man tirelessly bombed up and down the left flank, and was at the heart of everything good for Italy.

He had a big part to play in the second goal, too, with his chest down and shot pushed out for Immobile to finish.

He is the sort of player who Jose Mourinho may well enjoy working with when he takes over at Roma, but if Spinazzola continues this kind of form he might put himself in the shop window for a big move this summer.

He will be an intriguing one to keep an eye on throughout the tournament.

Premier League stars stand out

Chelsea's Jorginho put in a decent performance
(Image: Alessandra Tarantino/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Followers of the Premier League would have seen a few familiar faces tonight.

Leicester's Caglar Soyuncu started in central defence for Turkey, and largely did well in dealing with the wave of Italian attacks.

Cengiz Under, meanwhile, who spent the season on loan at the King Power, came on as a substitute at half-time and did ok without pulling up any trees.

On the Italy side, Jorginho pulled the strings in the centre of the pitch all night, and constantly managed to find a pass and keep the tempo ticking for his nation.

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