Italy beat England on penalties to win their first Euro since 1968!
Italy is back on top! Three years after missing the 2018 World Cup finals, Italy has returned to its glorious past by winning the Euro against England. The merit goes first to Roberto Mancini who was able to revive a team traumatized after not qualifying for the World Cup in Russia.
Without a star like Ronaldo or Messi, Mancini put in place a solid, efficient and attractive team and Italy won the second Euro in its history after the one won in 1968.
Luke Shaw in two minutes!
However, everything started badly for Italy in this Euro final. In a Wembley in effervescence, it took only two minutes to see the nets shake and England open the score! Luke Shaw was left alone at the far post to meet Trippier’s cross.
The early goal galvanized England, while Italy’s soccer was muddled and unrecognizable. Chiesa with a powerful shot that went just wide (35th) and Verratti with a shot easily caught by Pickford (45+1st) were the only rays of sunshine for the Nazionale in this first act.
Bonucci as a fox in the box
England attacked the second half as they did the first, i.e. with their feet on the ground. Sterling made the most of his speed to get into the box. The English striker was caught out by Bonucci and Chiellini and fell to his death in the box. Penalty? No, said Mr. Kuipers, the Dutch referee of the match.
Italy breathed a sigh of relief and, regaining their composure, began to threaten. Insigne had three shots on target but missed twice (51st, 53rd) and was then denied by Pickford (57th). The English keeper then turned away Chiesa’s attempt (62nd).
Italy pushed hard and finally equalised from a corner! The ball, extended to the far post, reached Verratti who placed a header that Pickford turned onto his post. Leonardo Bonucci came out of ambush and slid the ball into the back of the English net (1-1, 67th).
Donnarumma takes two shots on goal
Italy then took the upper hand over England, groggy by this equalizer, without finding the fault a second time. They even lost Chiesa to injury with four minutes left in regulation time. Chiesa was replaced by Bernardeschi with an ankle injury and the two teams went into extra time.
An overtime that did not give anything and the two teams had to resort to the penalty shootout to decide. And in this game, Italy was the less clumsy with two misses from Belotti and Jorginho (two saves from Pickford) against three for England with a post from Rashford and two saves from Donnarumma on the attempts of Sancho and Saka. Italy could exult while Wembley cried its eyes out.
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