After 53 years of its first – and until now only – European Cup title, Italy has again felt the taste of being continental champions of national teams. And it was with pride: playing in opposing territory, Azzurra left England early in the match, but equalized in the second half and won on penalties (3-2), with two saves from goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) July 11, 2021
Playing at home, at London’s Wembley Stadium, in front of an audience of more than 67,000, England saw the game start in the best possible way. Before the two minutes of the match, Trippier crossed from the right and Luke Shaw got it first, on the other side of the field, to complete for the goal, counting with a slight deviation in the right Italian post.
The early advantage on the scoreboard allowed the English to adopt a more cautious posture, seeking to react to Italian attacks. When they happened, they stopped at goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, one of the standouts of the final.
But Pickford could not contain an insistent Italian attack at 22 in the second stage. After a corner kick, Verratti headed in, the goalkeeper made a good intervention, the ball slipped into the crossbar and it was left for Bonutti, in the small area, to complete for the net.
The equality on the scoreboard extended until the end of regulation time and the 30 minutes of extra time, with both teams choosing not to take any chances. Everything was left to the penalties.
Pickford was the first to defend a charge (from Belotti). Two players who came in specifically to take penalties for England, Rashford and Sancho, missed the shots – the latter being stopped by Donnarumma. The Brazilian naturalized Italian Jorginho, who had converted the last kick in the semifinal against Spain, could give Italy the victory, but was also stopped by Pickford. However, in the next kick, Donnarumma was a wall once again, stopping Saka’s shot and giving Italy the title.
— Nazionale Italiana ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@Vivo_Azzurro) July 11, 2021
The Milan goalkeeper thwarted the plans of thousands of Englishmen, who had hoped to witness England’s first European title in history. Italy, champions in 1968, reached the second trophy at the hands of Donnarumma and feet of Bonucci, voted best player in the decision. The Italian national team still maintains an unbeaten record of 34 matches, approaching a world record in national football: between 1993 and 1996, Brazil went 36 matches without being defeated.
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