EURO 2020

Euro 2020: Fabregas Praises Italy Following 3-0 Win Over Turkey

Italy won the opening match of Euro 2020 by defeating Turkey in Rome
Italy won the opening match of Euro 2020 by defeating Turkey in Rome / Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Cesc Fabregas was left impressed by Italy's performance in their 3-0 win over Turkey in the first game of Euro 2020 last night.

A Merih Demiral own goal in the second half saw Roberto Mancini's men break the deadlock against a resolute Turkey side that played very deep throughout the game. Further strikes by Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne led the Azzurri to their first win of the tournament, giving them an early advantage in Group A.

And speaking on BBC One after the game, former Arsenal, Barcelona, and Chelsea midfielder Fabregas claimed the Italians "ate Turkey alive" and were deserved winners at the Stadio Olimpico.

Asked how impressed he was, Fabregas - who won Euro 2008 and 2012 with Spain - said: "Very impressed, they did what they had to do in the second half. They had to keep going and keep it moving quickly, make deep runs."

Fabregas continued, "Turkey could not keep hold of the ball, the worst thing you can do when you defend like that is just kick it out and not have the ball for 10 seconds because they eat you alive. The little runs Immobile was doing were fantastic, Barella and Jorginho were excellent again in the second half. It was very well deserved. Immobile's movement is brilliant, he kept going. He has the passion to keep trying his best. The team is the team but the striker is the one who wins you the tournament."

Former England defender Rio Ferdinand added that Italy's performance will have silenced any doubters of their chances at the tournament. He said: "It [the performance] will make other teams sit and stand up and know they will have to perform against Italy."

He concluded, "Tactically they got it spot on in a system that works for them. They were good in and out of possession in a system which changes, which can make it difficult for opposing teams and individuals. They have players who are executing the game plan very well. Tougher tests lie ahead but they dealt with Turkey emphatically. They have got depth, Verratti is yet to come back. We have not seen all or the best of Italy but it wakes up few people if there had any question marks about Italy."