Italy grow to be European champions after beating England on penalties

Luke Shaw’s goal in the first two minutes gave England a lead they seemed to hold all night before a tussle in the middle of the second half allowed Leonardo Bonucci to equalize for Italy.

For the rest of the game, it felt like overtime and penalty shootouts were inevitable as neither side seemed willing or brave enough to send enough men forward to really get the opposing defenders into trouble.

England had suffered countless heartaches on penalties over the years and this time it was Italy’s turn to inflict even more pain on their battered English fans as Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all missed on point.

During the wild Italian cheers, Bonucci – who was immensely tall all night and rightly earned the Man of the Match award – roared into the camera on the field to rub even more salt into the wounds of the English fans.

England will wait at least a year before the World Cup takes place in Qatar to end their pathetic run in major international competitions that dates back to 1966.

Few would have expected Italy to reach the final before the start of Euro 2020, let alone win the entire competition, but Roberto Mancini’s team quickly established themselves as one of the contenders after three exciting appearances in the group stage.

Gianluigi Donnarumma, Italy’s hero on penalties with two beautiful saves, was rightly named Player of the Tournament and the goalkeeper leads a group of talented stars who are set to keep this team competitive for the foreseeable future.

As for England, this defeat is likely to sting both players and fans for a long time to come, but the squad has at least the consolation of having brought the country a tournament run that has not been seen in more than five decades.


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