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Italy Win EURO 2020

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Italy beat England 3-2 on penalties after the Euro 2020 final ended 1-1 following extra time at Wembley on Sunday to secure their second European Championship title. Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was the hero for the Azzurri in the shootout, while substitutes Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka failed to convert from the spot for England.

Gianluigi Donnarumma denied Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho, while Marcus Rashford hit the post as Italy edged a penalty shoot-out dripping in tension to overcome England in the UEFA EURO 2020 final.

England had a dream start to their first ever EURO final, Luke Shaw thumping in a fine goal inside two minutes to light up Wembley, but Italy slowly found their feet and midway through the second half Leonardo Bonucci found the net. On to extra time, and then penalties where both goalkeepers saved two but history belongs to Donnarumma the victor.

Match in brief

“It is important we make a good start,” Roberto Mancini had said on the eve of Italy’s fourth EURO final. What ensued was anything but. With less than two minutes on the clock Harry Kane spread a pass out wide to surprise starter Kieran Trippier, and his delightful cross was met with a crisp left-footed half-volley by the stealthy Shaw. England rejoiced.

If the atmosphere was electric before, it was enough to power half of north London once the goal went in. The Azzurri were shocked, but showed their mettle as they regrouped, gained a foothold and started stringing passes together. Only the final pass, the final shot let them down – not always by much, with the excellent Federico Chiesa whistling a shot just wide before the break.

The pressure was ratcheted up after half-time and eventually the pressure told. Domenico Berardi’s corner caused all manner of problems, and though Jordan Pickford pushed Marco Verratti’s header onto the post, Bonucci was there to prod in. Italy came again and again. But England held on. Into extra time we went, and then penalties, which seesawed back and forth.

Pickford denied Andrea Belotti and Jorginho; Rashford struck the post and Sancho, also introduced at the death, was denied by Donnarumma. Saka, the youngest man on the pitch, could have taken it to sudden death but Donnarumma guessed right and, once and for all, England’s unofficial anthem Sweet Caroline was silenced.

For a generation of Italy fans, the good times really have never seemed so good.

Line-ups

Italy: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Emerson (Florenzi 118); Barella (Cristante 54), Jorginho, Verratti (Locatelli 96); Chiesa (Bernardeschi 86), Immobile (Berardi 55), Insigne (Belotti 91)

England: Pickford; Walker (Sancho 120), Stones, Maguire; Trippier (Saka 70), Rice (Henderson 74; Rashford 120), Phillips, Shaw; Mount (Grealish 99), Sterling; Kane

Key stats

  • Italy are the fourth side to win multiple EURO titles after Germany (3), Spain (3) and France (2). The 53-year gap between their titles is the longest in EURO history.
  • Italy are the first side to win two penalty shoot-outs at a single EURO finals tournament.
  • Bonucci (34 years and 71 days) is the oldest player to score in a EURO final.
  • Shaw’s opener was clocked at 1:56, the fastest goal in a EURO final, and fifth quickest in tournament history.
  • This was the seventh EURO final to go to extra time (after 1960, 1968, 1976, 1996, 2000 and 2016) and the second to go to a shoot-out (1976).
  • Chelsea’s Jorghino is only the tenth player to feature on the winning side in the European Cup and EURO in the same year.
  • Italy are 34 matches unbeaten, dating back to September 2018.
  • Italy had not conceded the first goal in any of their previous 18 outings before the final.
  • The Azzurri have conceded more than once in just one of their last 21 EURO finals matches.
  • Bonucci made his 18th EURO finals appearance, an Italian record. Giorgio Chiellini joined Gianluigi Buffon on 17.
  • Harry Kane made his 11th EURO finals appearance, matching the England record of Gary Neville.

Source: uefa.com, Photo: Getty Images

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