Euro 2020 Final – Italy 1-1 England (3-2 penalties)
A dramatic final saw the Italians triumph over the English in the penalty shootouts. Italy wins its second Euro in 4 finals (having lost the last), the first one since 1968. The Italians had to defeat Belgium, Spain and England to win the Euro 2020 and were the most pleasant team to watch during this entire tournament. The Italians bounced back from World Cup 2018 when they failed to qualify.
Football does not want England home
England had their best shot at winning a major tournament in 55 years. England fans will have to wait more before seeing their team adding their name onto a trophy. During the whole tournament England was lifted by its fans playing at home and a rather easy path up to the Finals. The only big team they had to face was Germany. Like in 1966 at home, all stars were aligned for England to win a second major trophy. The Three lions started on fire scoring the fastest goal ever in a Euro final by Shaw at the second minute. Italy bended and started slowly but surely came into this game. At the break England was on top but Italy had energy to fight back with control of the ball.
Bonucci and Chiellini the Italians fortress
In the second act, Italy intensified its domination over England, possessed the ball two thirds of the time and had the most chances. Finally at the 67th minute Juventus defender Bonucci found the equalizer. At 1-1 England would just defend whereas Italy created the most danger. No more goals were scored in regular time or during the extra 30 minutes. The fate of the Euro 2020 final was to be decided on the penalty lottery. At the shootout game, Italy’s goalkeeper Donnarumma save the last two attempts from England and sent his team to heavens.
England’s coach Southgate made some very bad choices for his penalty selection. Sancho and Rashford who played no minute in the game entered just to take the shootout. They both missed. Lastly Southgate gave the last penalty to Bukayo Saka, a 19 years-old player. He should have clearly been players with more experience. It is a lottery at Italy had more experience. The deserved to win.
For the third time in recent history, the host country loses the Euro (in 2004 Portugal to Greece, in 2016 France to Portugal and in 2021 England to Italy). England has a good squad made of young talented players. We have heard this before. England have made only two major tournament finals in the 55 years, both were on home soil. It will require more than the home fans to see an England team reach again the final at the FIFA World Cup or UEFA Euro.
Southgate – England coach:
“They have got to walk from here with heads held high. They’ve done more than any other team in the last 50 or so years. They should be incredibly proud of what they’ve done.
Credit to Italy, they’ve been outstanding the whole tournament and the way they used the ball tonight was a little bit better than us. They were strong enough in defence to be able to stop us creating anything consistently on their goal.”
Mancini – Italy coach:
“You have to have a little luck on penalties. I feel a little sorry for England, because they also had a great tournament. The team has grown a lot and I think we can improve further. We are very happy for all Italians. I have no words for these guys!
It was impossible even to just consider this at one stage, but the guys were just amazing. I have no words for them, this is a wonderful group. This was a difficult game made a lot harder after their early goal. Apart from that early spell, we dominated the match.”