The Azzurri defeated England in a tense final to win the tournament at Wembley.
England hosted Italy in the Euro 2020 final on Sunday. Gareth Southgate made one change to the England lineup that defeated Denmark 2-1 in the semi-finals. Kieran Trippier was given a place in the starting XI, while Bukayo Saka started the game on the bench. Southgate changed to a 3-4-3 formation, where Kyle Walker joined a three-man defense and Trippier played at the right wing-back position. On the other hand, Roberto Mancini named the exact same lineup that won their semi-final tie against Spain on penalties.
England stunned Italy with an early opener in the second minute of the game. Trippier’s searching cross from the corner of the box found Luke Shaw, who volleyed the ball past Gianluigi Donnarumma from six-yard out.
After the opener, England managed to control the game by pressing high up the pitch. Italy gained more possession toward the end of the first period, but they were not able to create serious chances before the half-time whistle.
The Azzurri displayed significant improvement at the beginning of the second half and got their first chance to score the equalizer in the 56th minute. Following a deflected shot from Federico Chiesa, Lorenzo Insigne found the loose ball inside the box. The Napoli star dribbled past Kyle Walker, but his strike from the byline was stopped by Jordan Pickford’s save. The Everton goalkeeper pulled off another great save five minutes later, where he stopped Chiesa’s precise effort from the edge of the box.
Having dominated the game for the first twenty minutes of the second half, Italy equalized the game seven minutes past the hour-mark. Following a corner by Insigne, Marco Verratti’s header was stopped by Pickford’s save. However, Leonardo Bonucci found the rebound at the perfect spot and poked it into the bottom left corner of the net to make it 1-1.
England dominated possession after the goal as they seemed determined to get the match-winner before the full-time whistle. However, the Three Lions were not able to get past Italy’s solid defense and the game went to extra-time with a 1-1 draw.
England controlled the game at the beginning of the extra time and put pressure on Italy’s defense from both sides. However, Gareth Southgate’s side failed to create serious chances as they remained cautious of their opponents’ counter-attacks. The Three Lions went all-in with their attacks at the second half of the extra time. However, they were not able to beat Italy’s trademark defensive performance and the game went to penalty kicks.
Following two converted penalties from Domenico Berardi and Harry Kane, Andrea Belotti’s shot was saved by Pickford. England were 2-1 ahead when Marcus Rashford missed his penalty and revived Italy’s hopes for a comeback. Two inch-perfect penalties from Bonucci and Bernardeschi made it 3-2 for Italy. England had the chance to level the game as Jorginho missed Italy’s fifth penalty, but two spectacular saves by Donnarumma won the tournament for the Azzurri. The newly signed PSG goalkeeper froze the scoreboard at 3-2 as he saved Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka’s penalty kicks.
In a heart-breaking night for the Three Lions, Italy celebrated their first European Championship title in 53 years. Roberto Mancini’s side concluded their impressive Euro 2020 campaign with a great victory that will inspire them for the next year’s World Cup in Qatar.
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