Italy vs Turkey 0-0: Fagioli Returns as Calafiori Makes Azzurri Debut

The Azzurri‘s first outing ahead of Euro 2024 did not leave a particularly good impression as Italy engaged in a dull 0-0 stalemate against Vincenzo Montella’s Turkey at the Renato Dall’Ara Stadium in Bologna. 

The Azzurri struggled to find space upfront against Montella’s organized lineup in a match that never really caught fire. Their ball possession did not result in any real scoring chance, save for a Lorenzo Pellegrini free kick that sailed off target and a Bryan Cristante header that hit the post.

Spalletti lined up the Azzurri in 4-2-3-1 fashion with Tottenham Guglielmo Vicario in goal, who was preferred to Gianluigi Donnarumma. Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Federico Dimarco were the full backs, with Alessandro Bastoni and Gianluca Mancini completing the defensive line.

Jorginho and Bryan Cristante played at midfield, while a trio made up of Riccardo Orsolini, Lorenzo Pellegrini, and Federico Chiesa played behind central striker Mateo Retegui. The designated center forward Gianluca Scamacca was not available as he joined the Azzurri only a few days ago following his final season game with Atalanta.  

The only noteworthy event in the first 45 minutes was poor center back Ozan Kabak picking a knee injury that will most likely force him to miss the Euro. He had to be stretched out of the pitch as Serie A acquaintance Merih Demiral took his place. 

The Azzurri coach replaced both his wingers at half time as Andrea Cambiaso came in for Orsolini and Mattia Zaccagni substituted Chiesa. On 62 minutes, Niccolò Fagioli rejoined the Nazionale after his illegal betting ban, replacing Jorginho.

After Vicario saved from a Demiral close-range shot, there were more changes for Italy. Davide Frattesi took  Pellegrini’s place and Giacomo Raspadori replaced Retegui. Spalletti’s final change resulted in Riccardo Calafiori making his Azzurri debut. 

The Bologna defender made a five-minute cameo in his home club stadium, drawing the only round of applause of the night from the crowd at the Dall’Ara. 

Italy will play again on Saturday against Bosnia Herzegovina in Empoli, their final friendly match before their Euro 2024 debut. Spalletti will likely have a few more options to choose from, including Scamacca and Nicolò Barella, but the Azzurri need to pick up their pace fast if they want to put together a honorable defense of their European title.

 

MATCH SCORECARD

June 4, 2024 – International Friendly
ITALY – TURKEY 0-0

ITALY (4-2-3-1): Vicario; Di Lorenzo, Mancini, Bastoni, Dimarco (85′ Calafiori); Cristante, Jorginho (62′ Fagioli); Orsolini (46′ Cambiaso), Pellegrini (68′ Frattesi), Chiesa (46′ Zaccagni); Retegui (68′ Raspadori) (Donnarumma, Meret, Gatti, Darmian, Buongiorno, Ricci, Folorunsho, Bellanova, El Shaarawy) Coach: Spalletti
TURKEY (4-2-3-1): Bayindir; Celik (67′ Ozkacar), Kabak (40′ Demiral), Bardakci, Muldur; Calhanoglu, Ayhan (67′ Ozdemir); Aydin (46′ Omur), Yazici (55′ Kokcu), Yildiz; Yilmaz (81′ Kilicsoy) (Gunok, Cakir, Akaydin, Yokuslu, Uzun, Kahveci, Yuksek, Akturkoglu, Tosun) Coach: Montella

REFEREE: Mr. Gishamer (Austria)
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Orsolini, Mancini (I); Added Time: 1st Half 3′, 2nd Half 3′

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