Italy is the Euro 2020 Champion after beating England on penalties 3-2 (1-1, AET 1-1). Luke Shaw opened the score in the 2nd minute for England before Leonardo Bonucci answered in the 66th. Italy added a second win to their collection after lifting the EURO trophy back in 1968 while England remain trophy-less once again. The Wembley stadium was stormed by 65.000 fans (7.000 of which were Italian) but though the stars aligned for the Brits to win at home, Gianluigi Donnarumma (MVP of the game) had a different plan after saving the penalties of Marcus Rashford and Bakayo Saka.
Italy came into the game having been unbeaten for 33 games under Roberto Mancini‘s guide-ship whereas England with Gareth Southgate in the wheel have turned into one of the most dominate forces in the world of football, climbing up to fourth in the FIFA rankings.
The Euro 2020 Final
A frantic start to the game with England opening the scoreline in the 2nd minute with the earliest goal scored in the tournament. In a counter-attack it was Kieran Trippier from the right that crossed the ball to the far side of the box, found Luke Shaw‘s run from the left, who with a one-touch vole beat Gianluigi Donnarumma and put his team ahead (1-0).
England continued dominating the first fifteen minutes but Italy’s defense and mainly their keeper stopped any British progress. The tempo dropped and it wasn’t until the 35th minute with a marvelous definitive run by Frederico Chiesa, who’s been exceptional in this tournament, in which he battled his way through four defenders and struck the ball just wide of Jordan Pickford’s goal.
The first half lacked chances but the tenacity and will from the players to score was there. Italy had the possession and the shots but England had the goal.
The second half of a game with the two undoubtedly best performing teams of the tournament began with Italy’s Lorenzo Insigne picking the ball up from a scrabbled play but managed to only target Jordan Pickford hands.
The Everton FC goalkeeper tested his reflexes again in the 62th minute when Frederico Chiesa, Italy’s liveliest player up to that point, drove the ball in the box but his release was blocked to the right.
In the 66th minute of the Euro 2020 final Italy finally found the net when Italian center back Leonardo Bonucci tapped the ball passed the goal line after another scrabble in England’s box (1-1). Italy had shown up in the second half and the Mediterranean tamperamendo was visible by all fans watching all over the world. The Squadra Azzurra had 70% of the possession, 88% accurate passes and 15 shots for goal compared to the Three Lions 30%, 75% and 3 heading into the final 10 minutes of normal time.
There was no other surprise before Dutch referee Bjorn kuipers blew the final whistle besides when the blues’ captain Giorgio Chiellini decided to grab late substitute Bukayo Saka by his collar and throw him down in a rather malicious manner. Being that it wass the Juventus defender’s last game with his national team, the umpire decided a yellow card was just fair.
After an incredible effort from both sides, not only in this game but the whole season, the players’ gas tank seemed to have a little more before blowing empty. Both teams continued to create, England with Kevin Philips and Italy with Andrea Belotti had long-ranged shots to try and catch the goalies out of position, but the 1-1 continued onto the second half.
The second half kept the goosebumps in place as Italy had a free-kick blocked by Jordan Pickford and England had a dangerous cross punched away by Gianluigi Donnarumma before Harry Maguire‘s head who was lurking.
The game was so exciting to watch but not much more happened until the end of the 120’ which allowed the penalty-kick shootout to be the decisive factor of the trophy winner for the first time since 1976.
I)Barolo went first and… SCORED! 1-0
E)Harry Kane second… SCORED! 1-1
I) Belotti was up third… MISSED! 1-1
E) Harry Maguire fired… SCORED! 1-2
I) Leonardo Bonucci and he… SCORED! 2-2
E) Rashford with the kick… MISSED! 2-2
I) Bernadeschi tried… SCORED! 3-2
E) Jordan Sancho was up and… MISSED! 3-2
I)Jorginho with maybe the last penalty of the night… MISSED! 3-2
E)Saka tried not to miss but he… MISSED! 3-2
ITALY IS THE EURO 2020 EUROPEAN CHAMPION!