European Championship final, Wembley Stadium – Italy 1 (Bonucci 67’), England 1 (Shaw 2’) – Italy win 3-2 on penalties.
By Our Sports Editor
England’s hopes of ending a 55-year wait for a major trophy were left in tatters as Italy came from behind to win Euro 2020 following a dramatic penalty shoot-out at Wembley.
The Azzurri saw spot kicks from Andrea Belotti and Jorginho saved but Marcus Rashford hit the post and Gianluigi Donnarumma denied Jadon Sancho and the decisive kick from Bukayo Saka to lead Roberto Mancini’s men to a 3-2 triumph after the game had ended 1-1 following extra time.
Luke Shaw had got England off to a flyer when he coolly netted his first goal for his country with the quickest strike in European Championship history after just one minute and 56 seconds.
It was a goal straight off the training ground and fully justified Southgate’s decision to opt for a back three for the final as the returning Kieran Trippier crossed for his fellow wing back to arrive late and steer beyond Gianluigi Donnarumma.
England’s use of their wide players was a key feature of their attack in the first 45 while their defence frustrated the Azzurri forwards and nullified their attempts to play through the lines.
However, Italy dominated possession and began to step it up after the interval. Federico Chiesa and Lorenzo Insigne emerged as a real threat and Jordan Pickford was forced into action to deny both before Mancini’s side deservedly levelled on 67 minutes.
England failed to deal with a right-wing corner and Leonardo Bonucci was on hand to sweep in the rebound after Pickford had tipped Marco Verratti’s header on to the post.
Both sides had half chances as the game went into extra time but there was no real drama until the shoot-out when England failed with three of their kicks to miss out on lifting the silverware in front of a largely home crowd.