After catching breath from the final of the Copa America it was time for the final of Euro 2020 and at Wembley, the English dreams were shattered yet again due to penalty shootouts.

This was Italy’s 10th major tournament final – six World Cup and four Euros, with only Germany (14) having played more among European nations.

Italy won the European Championship in 1968, but have lost their subsequent two final appearances in the competition in 2000 and 2012.

Just one change from Gareth Southgate to the team that started against Denmark.

England reverted to a back three, with Trippier coming in at right wing-back. Saka starts on the bench.

Roberto Mancini was clearly pleased with his side’s performance against Spain as he named an unchanged squad.

Harry Maguire made amends by powering the corner clear with a determined header.

England went up the other end.

Luke Shaw started a counter down the left. The ball was shuttled to the right-wing by Kane to Trippier, who crossed long.

Shaw met it on the half-volley, six yards out, and lashed it off the inside of the left-hand post and into the net!

It was a Roberto Carlos like finish and what a start for England!

The goal, at one minute and 57 seconds, is the fastest ever in a European Championship final.

Italy responded with Chiesa dribbling dangerously down the inside-right channel.

Shaw put out a leg and stopped him illegally.

A free-kick in a very dangerous position.

Insigne tried to whip one over the England wall and into the top right. It was always flying over the bar. Pickford had it covered.

Kyle Walker slipped Trippier into space. The eventual low cross, meant for Sterling, was hacked clear by Chiellini.

Kane, quarterbacking from deep, slipped Trippier into more space down the right.

Trippier’s cross was too high for Sterling, but Di Lorenzo panicked and conceded a corner under no pressure.

A bit of space down the right for Chiesa, whose low cross was no good and easily dealt with by the English backline.

Then, Chiesa came in from the right, beating Declan Rice with ease, and advanced on the English box.

He whistled a low drive inches wide of the bottom-right corner.

Had that been on target, Pickford, his feet planted, was beaten all ends up.

So close to an equaliser.

Italy were pressing hard to find an equaliser before the break, but England defence was calm and composed.

After the break, Chiesa burst purposefully down the right and looped long for Insigne.

Walker read the danger sensationally, leaping high to intercept, heading gently back to Pickford as he does so.

A wild Chiesa shot was deflected into the path of Insigne, who dribbled his way down the left and reached the byline, before attempting to beat Pickford with power at the near post. Pickford parries with a strong hand.

Chiesa, again, cut in from the left, dropped the shoulder a couple of times, and fizzed a low shot towards the bottom right. It was heading in, but Pickford got down quickly and stuck out a strong hand.

Chiesa curled in from the left. Anyone taller than Insigne, and an Italian would be planting home from six yards. As it was, Maguire was able to eyebrow out for a corner.

The corner was flicked on at the near post. Marco Verratti, on the left-hand corner of the six-yard box, tried to force home.

Pickford turned onto the post. The ball pinged back to Bonucci, who forced home from close range.

Italy’s persistence paid off.

Chiesa drove sensationally down the left and cut the infield, past Walker and substitute Saka.

Just as he was preparing to shoot on the edge of the box, Phillips came over and clattered him to the ground, fairly, with a good old-fashioned shoulder charge.

Chiesa – the best player for Italy in the final – failed to continue and was replaced by Bernardeschi.

During the stoppage time, Cristante made some space down the right and chips infield.

Berardischi got ahead to the cross, and Walker calmly cushions back to Pickford.

The game went to extra-time.

After an uneventful first half, Italy won a free-kick and Bernardeschi sent it goalwards with some pace, but it was straight at Pickford, who chested and then collected the loose ball.

A long throw from Walker, in from the right, caused all manner of bedlam in the Italian box.

It was only half-cleared.

Kane crossed it back in from the left. Stones was inches away from connecting with a header, eight yards out, but Donnarumma did enough to put him off with a full-scale flap.

The battle for the ball and dominance continued.

Sterling dribbled in from the right, and just for a second, looked like he would spin away from Chiellini on the right-hand corner of the six-yard box.

But Chiellini stuck to his back like glue, then hooked the ball clear with a telescopic leg.

Jorginho studded bounce off the top of the ball and onto Grealish’s thigh – yellow card for Jorginho and the resulted free-kick was well negotiated by Donnarumma.

The final would be decided via penalty shootout.

Rashford hit the post, Sancho and Saka were saved by Donnarumma and Italy won the tournament for the second time.


England failed in a penalty shootout yet again.


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