Emerson Palmieri was rewarded for his involvement and form at the end of Chelsea’s season with his third cap for Italy and it was a successful Saturday for the left-back, and for Jorginho who also featured in a big 3-0 win away in Greece.
The match was a European Championships qualifier and it was all but over with little more than half-an-hour played when Leonardo Bonucci headed in an Emerson cross to score the Italians’ third, following on from goals by Nicolo Barella and Lorenzo Insigne.
Jorginho played the full game, Emerson was replaced midway through the second half, and Italy have now scored 11 goals without reply in their first three group games. They host Bosnia and Herzegovina in three days’ time.
There was a setback for France in the third game in their qualification campaign for Euro 2020. The world champions lost to Turkey for the first time in their history.
Olivier Giroud played the first 72 minutes of a 2-0 defeat away in Konya and suffered from a lack of chances created by Les Bleus. The Turkey goals came in the first half with a free-kick delivery headed in by Fortuna Dusseldorf defender Kaan Ayhan before Roma’s Cengiz Under finished well after France were guilty of giving the ball away.
N’Golo Kante is not involved in this current round of internationals as he is recovering from a knee injury. Kurt Zouma was an unused sub. France coach Didier Deschamps was critical of his side’s inability to counter the way they knew Turkey would play. They have a good chance to bounce back when they visit Andorra on Tuesday but they now trail their table-topping opponents tonight by three points after three games.
Belgium, like Turkey, have a 100 per cent record in their group after three games following a 3-0 win at home to Kazakhstan. Eden Hazard, who is set to soon join Real Madrid following an agreement reached between Chelsea and the Spaniards yesterday, played the whole game. Michy Batshuayi came on after 72 minutes, replacing our former striker Romelu Lukaku who was one of the goalscorers.
On Tuesday the Belgians host Scotland who are fresh from Steve Clarke winning his first game in charge. Our former defender and coach saw his side beat Cyprus 2-1 at home.
In a friendly international in Africa, defenders Kenneth Omeruo and Ola Aina both played the first half and did not concede in what ended up a 0-0 draw. Our former midfielder John Mikel Obi was named man of the match.