Euro 2020 final: Italy beat England on penalties at Wembley

England suffered penalty heartbreak as they were beaten by Italy in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium. Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford made two saves in the shoot-out but misses by Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka proved decisive.

Gareth Southgate’s side had got off to a dream start with Luke Shaw’s goal after just two minutes, but Leonardo Bonucci’s close-range effort gave Italy a deserved equaliser on 67 minutes. Despite their possession Italy were unable to break down the England defence and the match went into extra time and then to penalties.

Southgate, who suffered his own personal anguish in a penalty shoot-out as a player, will “no doubt get some flak for sending on Rashford and Sancho to their fate, and for selecting the 19-year-old Saka to take the decisive fifth kick”, said The Guardian’s Scott Murray. But all three players, and the manager, “deserve to be cut all the slack for the joy they’ve given the country during this tournament”.

England captain Harry Kane said “the boys couldn’t have given more”. He told BBC One: “Penalties is the worst feeling in the world when you lose. It wasn’t our night but it’s been a fantastic tournament and we should hold our heads high. Of course it’s going to hurt now. It’s going to hurt for a while, but we’re on the right track and we’re building and hopefully we can progress from this next year.”

While England will look back at another missed opportunity of winning a major tournament for the first time since 1966, in Italy the country celebrated as captain Giorgio Chiellini lifted the Henri Delaunay trophy. “Italy is champion of Europe,” said La Stampa. “How sweet it is to write it, how sweet it is to hear it looking out from the windows across the country. Italy is champion of Europe.”

 

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