Italy 1, England 1 (European Championship 2020 Final – Italy win 3-2 on penalties)
England lost another penalty shootout in the most heartbreaking of scenarios at Wembley as Italy landed their first European Championships title since 1968.Embed from Getty Images
Luke Shaw’s opening goal gave England plenty to sing about but after a promising first 25 minutes for the home side the Italians got a deserved equaliser in the second half through Leonardo Bonucci.
Roberto Mancini’s side finished strongly despite losing star player Federico Chiesa to injury late in the game – there was tension as England held on for penalties after Italy secured a 34th consecutive game unbeaten.
No side had ever won two penalty shootouts at the Euros – and only the second final to be decided on spot kicks came down to the first final shootout since the 1976 final as Italy defied the record books to become the first side to win two shootouts at the same Euros.
And three spot kicks were missed by England as they lost 3-2 to the Italians after Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka all missed theirs after Andrea Belotti and Jorginho opened the door for England with unexpected misses.
Rashford and Sancho in particular had only been on the pitch for a matter of minutes and the pressure had been on them as specific penalty substitutions.
England’s spot kick record at major tournaments is now just 22% (winning just 2 out of 9) – the lowest ratio of any European nation to be involved in three or more.
Raheem Sterling had a penalty shout turned down during the game which didn’t go to VAR for a second check while Jorginho was lucky not to see red after an X-rated challenge on Jack Grealish but the Italians were the worthy winners on the night and picked up their sixth major title – 4 World Cups and 2 European Championships – only one less than Germany.Embed from Getty Images
England captain Harry Kane, who was well shackled by Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, said England would be back for the World Cup next year after penalty heartbreak this year but admitted that defeat at Wembley would hurt for the rest of the squad’s careers.
He said: “We couldn’t have given more.
“Penalties are the worst thing in the world when you lose.
“It’s been a fantastic tournament and the lads can hold their heads up high but it’ll hurt for a while.
“Italy are a good side, we got off to a good start but we dropped too deep. They had a lot of the ball and got their breakthrough from the set piece.
“We had a few half chances but penalties are penalties, it wasn’t our night.
“We will grow from it and be more motivated for the World Cup next year.
“We should be proud of what we achieved, it’ll probably hurt for a while, maybe the rest of our careers.”
England manager Gareth Southgate was proud of his players but said they needed time to recover from the defeat.
He said: “We’re highly disappointed of course
“The players have been a credit, they’ve run themselves into the ground.
“They played well at times tonight and we got further than we’ve ever done.
Southgate shouldered the blame for the defeat on penalties at Wembley, adding: “The loss was down to me, I decided on the penalty takers after training.
“It’s on all of us as far as not being able to win the game in normal time.
“We were well prepared but we couldn’t convert it tonight – they [Italy] could.
“The players have been incredible to work with and given the country some amazing memories.
“The opportunity to win trophies like this is rare, the players should be proud of themselves.”
“At the moment the pain of the defeat is huge. We wanted to give our nation one more special night but we couldn’t.”
Southgate also added that it was too soon to think about next year’s World Cup in Qatar: “I can’t really talk about that tonight – it feels a million miles away but this team can be better – they have been fantastic. I need a bit of time to reflect on the future.”
It had all started so well for England, who took the lead after just two minutes through a goal by Manchester United full back Luke Shaw.
Shaw, lately affectionately known as ’Shawberto Carlos’ – a humourous reference to the marauding Brazilian full back Roberto Carlos, picked a superb time to open his England account.
Shaw fought his way back from a horrific leg break against PSV Eindhoven in 2015 and the relative England wilderness as recently as late last year to force himself into the Euros squad and eventually the starting line-up at this tournament.
Criticised relentlessly by ex-United manager Jose Mourinho the stocky defender produced the ultimate response to the Roma manager.
Italy, driven on by a furious Robert Mancini dominated the rest of the first half although England defended deep immaculately to keep their opponents at bay the Italians soon took control.
Italy were unchanged from their semi final while England made one change, with Kieran Trippier coming in for Bukayo Saka while Manchester City’s Phil Foden missed out altogether after missing training yesterday with a foot injury.
It was the same team that dealt with Germany in the round of 16, but England had to endure a nervy start.
But they were soon dispelled within two minutes when Trippier’s cross was half volleyed in off the post by Luke Shaw to give England a the start of their dreams.
It was the first goal for England for Shaw, who also started the move, and the fastest goal scored by in the final in European Championship history – coming in at 1 minute and 57 seconds.
It also beat Alan Shearer’s 1996 opener against Germany by 17 seconds to become the fastest ever goal scored by an England player at a Euro finals game.
Shaw was penalised for a foul on Lorenzo Insigne and the Italian’s free kick went narrowly over the bar.
Trippier’s balls into the box proved to be problematic for the Italians who looked to have been outflanked by Gareth Southgate’s tactics in the opening quarter of the game.
England’s movement remained an issue for Italy’s slow defence to deal with Sterling and Mount moving them around while Shaw’s ball across the six yard box was begging for a finish that didn’t come.
John Stones and Harry Maguire had mopped up any Italian balls into the area, reducing them to harmless possession and a wayward shot from distance by Insigne as they tried to create openings against the mean England defence without any end product.
Italy gain ascendancy after slow start against England
Declan Rice and Shaw lost Federico Chiesa to rifled a 36th minute shot wide with Jordan Pickford rooted to the spot as the Italian pressure started to build – the Italians’ best chance of the first half.
Stones headed away Marco Verratti’s 42nd minute free kick and also intercepted another attempt to get the ball into the box while Shaw also dug in with Pickford gratefully stopping a Ciro Immobile shot.
Leonardo Bonucci brought Sterling down after he burst into the box chasing the ball early in the second half but referee Bjorn Kuipers waved away penalty appeals.
Sterling brought down Insigne on the edge of the D shortly afterwards – a clumsy challenge which gave Italy a great chance to get back into the game.
Emerson stepped up but Insigne curled the ball over the wall and well wide.
Mancini made two changes after just 55 minutes after Kyle Walker cleared another aimless ball into the box – Bryan Cristante replaced Nicolo Barella while Domenico Berardi replaced Immobile.
Maguire headed Shaw’s free kick over the bar and Pickford clawed away a shot from Insigne as the reshuffled Italy continued their patient build-up.
Pickford denied Chiesa with a low save after he turned and shot from the edge of the box after 62 minutes.
Stones saw his header tipped over by Gianluigi Dommarumma from Trippier’s corner – only England’s second attempt on target after 64 minutes of the game.
Maguire headed a Chiesa ball into the box away for a corner but the Italians finally earned their equaliser from the corner when England failed to clear the corner after Pickford tipped Veratti’s shot onto the post but Bonucci rattled home the equaliser from close range – the eighth goal for the Italian veteran who also became the oldest scorer in a Euro final at 34 years and 71 days – beating the previous holder Bernd Holzenbein.
Bukayo Saka was brought on for Trippier after 71 minutes as Southgate opted to make his first change – making the Arsenal youngster the fourth youngest player to appear in the final of the European Championships – after Renato Sanches (2016), Cristiano Ronaldo (2004), and Anatoliy Baidachniy (1972).
Berardi volleyed Bonnucci’s long ball over the bar after he was rushed into a shot by Pickford before England made a second change with Jordan Henderson replacing Rice in midfield.
Insigne found Cristante with a ball forward but the substitute’s poor first touch allowed Pickford to collect the ball as the Italians looked to overwhelm a tiring England with a combination of fouls and solid build-up.
England’s bane Chiesa limped off with a knock after 83 minutes but couldn’t return and was replaced by Federico Bernardeschi.
Berardi’s cutback was chested down to Pickford as England nerves remained until the end of added time where Chiellini was booked for a cynical and obvious pull back on Saka as the youngster raced around him.
Andrea Belotti replaced Insigne at the start of extra time as Italy went back to a focal point up front and pressed higher with their fourth change.
Manuel Locatelli followed soon afterwards for Verratti before Phillips sent a long range shot well wide from range.
Jack Grealish was Southgate’s response – replacing Mason Mount after 99 minutes but England remained on the back foot.
Italy almost had a great chance to win it when Berardi’s shot went wide after Emerson had left Walker on his backside before cutting it back to his team mate.
Bernardeschi’s free kick was gathered up by Pickford at the second attempt after Belotti won the set piece off Maguire.
Grealish’s shot was blocked by Di Lorenzo while Donnarumma got to the ball ahead of Stones from Harry Kane’s cross.
Jorginho and Grealish challenged for the ball and the Italian raked the England man’s knee and thigh in the follow-through.
There was only a booking for the Chelsea man and Donnarumma collected the resulting Phillips free kick.
The final Italian change saw Alessandro Florenzi replace Emerson and Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were brought on with penalties in mind – replacing Henderson and Walker.
Rashford saw out the game at right back as England made their way to the fateful penalties – in which Gianluigi Donnarumma, who secured hs fifth shootout win in a row for club and country, made sure the football wasn’t coming home just yet.
PENALTIES – Italy 1, England 1 (European Championship 2020 Final – Italy win 3-2 on penalties)
Italy 1, England 0: Domenico Berardi sends Jordan Pickford the wrong way with a left footed shot into the bottom left corner
Italy 1, England 1: Harry Kane squeezed his spot kick into the bottom left corner beyond the reach of Donnarumma who guessed right but could not reach it.
Italy 1, England 1: Andrea Belotti’s low weak shot to the right was too close to the centre and saved by Jordan Pickford!
Italy 1, England 2: Harry Maguire rifled his spot kick into the top right corner with Donnarumma diving the wrong way.
Italy 2, England 2: Leonardo Bonucci’s stuttering penalty was a mid height to the left and evaded the top arm of Jordan Pickford.
Italy 2, England 2: Marcus Rashford stepped up a hit the left upright after a paused run up had sent Donnarumma the wrong way!
Italy 3, England 2: Bernardeschi’s spot kick was sent down the middle but Jordan Pickford dived to the left.
Italy 3, England 2: Jadon Sancho’s low penalty to the right was saved by Donnarumma.
Italy 3, England 2: Jorginho saw his spot kick saved low to his left – his penalty was tipped onto the post and collected by the England man.
Italy 3, England 2: Bukayo Saka saw his spot kick saved by Donnarumma with a low shot to the right.
GOALS – Italy 1, England 1 (European Championship 2020 Final – Italy win 3-2 on penalties)
Italy 0, England 1: 2. Luke Shaw’s half volley in off the post was the perfect time to open his International account for the United full back who started and finished the move after meeting Keiran Trippier’s pinpoint cross from the right.
Italy 1, England 1: 67. Leonardo Bonucci put away the rebound fro close range after Jordan Pickford had saved from Marco Veratti after England could not clear an Italian corner.
MATCH STATS – Italy 1, England 1 (European Championship 2020 Final – Italy win 4-3 on penalties)
Italy: G Donarumma, Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Emerson (Florenzi 118), Barella (Cristante 55), Jorginho, Veratti (Locatelli 96), Chiesa (Bernardeschi 86), Immobile (Berardi 55), Insigne (Belotti 91)
Italy subs not used: Sirigu, Meret, Pessina, Acerbi, Bastoni, Toloi
Booked: Barella 47 (foul on Harry Kane); Bonucci 55 (foul on Raheem Sterling); Insigne 84 (foul on Kalvin Philips); Chiellini (foul on Bukayo Saka 90+6); Jorginho 114 (foul on Jack Grealish)
Goal: Bonucci 67
England: Pickford, Walker (Sancho 120), Stones, Maguire, Trippier (Saka 71), Phillips, Rice (Henderson 74, Rashford 120), Shaw, Mount (Grealish 99), Sterling, Kane
England subs not used: Ramsdale, Johnstone, Rashford, Mings, Coady, Sancho, Calvert-Lewin, James, Bellingham
Booked: Maguire 106 (foul on Andrea Belotti)
Goal: Shaw 2
Referee: Bjorn Kuipers