It wasn’t the locals’ weekend. As in the “Maracanazo” last night in Argentina of Lionel Messi against Brazil, the one who gave the hit this Sunday under the English sky was Italia who beat England in the Euro 2020 final and at the legendary Wembley Stadium.
England took the lead quickly. It took two minutes for Gareth Southgate’s team to show their entire repertoire and put himself in advantage. Game for the wings, acceleration, change of front and definition. After an advance that started through the center of the field at the feet of Harry Kane, the “Citizen” opened to the right where he found Kieran Trippier who did a genius: he crossed the ball for the arrival of left back Luke Shaw who took the ball of air and bounced it towards the net. Golazo. It was as if they dusted off the golden books of the inventors of football and added the new waves of Guardiola and Tuchel. Wembley was vibrating, but the show would last two minutes.
It is that, the English goal was a mirage. And those of Mancini, despite the old stigma of Catenaccio, were the ones who took the flag of football and the Initiative. Although in the first half they did nothing but collide with the English blocks. But in the second, something else was seen, the Azzurra dominated and managed to tie.
Italy dominated throughout the complement, with Chiesa as the top player, first and then with Berardi who had a very clear in front of the English goalkeeper and threw it over the top. The tie came from old Bonucci, after a header from Verratti that Pickford cut off the defender sent to save.
The rest were from Italy, but England resisted to the rhythm of the Italian catenaccio and the scoreboard did not move from 1-1 again.
What did move was the bank. And that’s when DT Gareth Southgate played the pieces, thinking about penalties. First, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were two players with good specialist feet. And then Bukayo Saka, who played no more than three minutes before the final whistle.
The things of fate, Donnarumma had not hit any penalty until the newly admitted ones came to kick. First, Marcus Rashford who started and stopped the race with so many doubts that the ball hit the outside of the stick. That allowed Italy to take off. But after Jorginho’s mistake, Donnarumma appeared in all his splendor to cover twice.
The one left in the final photo Bukayo Saka: the new PSG goalkeeper blocked his shot to the right and gave him the Italian title.
The things of fate, after successfully planning the match to cut Italy’s attack circuits, the three changes that the English DT made to include in the penalty shootout were key to losing the final and continuing the stigma of England, the country that invented football, and never managed to win the most important cup in its continent.