Italy coach Roberto Mancini said his team’s patience against an ultra-defensive Turkey side was the key to the 3-0 win in its Euro 2020 Group A opener on Friday but he laughed off talk of the side being among the tournament favourites.
The match was goalless at the break after Turkey’s deep defence frustrated the Azzurri who dominated possession, but Italy ran away with the match after scoring in the 53rd minute.
“We have played many teams that have done what Turkey did this evening. They put everyone (back) there, give you little space and make it hard for you to score,” said Mancini.
“But the lads had patience. We waited, kept playing, tried to get that goal, then we got it. The lads did really well.
“The first half wasn’t straightforward and in a game like that, even if they (Turkey) put everyone back, if you give one (goal) away on the break, the game changes,” he added.