The long wait for England for their next major international title apparently still goes on as the trophy in fact went to Italy. Roberto Mancini’s side deserved a victory in Wembley last Sunday although it was a tight affair between the two teams and had to be decided through a penalty. The former Manchester City boss seemed to be more prepared and his idea of transforming Gli Azzurri into more offensive-minded without sacrificing too much of their defensive prowess does come to fruition. Italy, which was not exactly the main favourite before the tournament began, came out as the champions. They defeated the host England 3-2 on penalties after mustering in a 1-1 draw for 120 minutes.
Giorgio Chiellini and Co did not start the game well as they already conceded through Luke Shaw’s volley. They had several decent chances from Lorenzo Insigne, Federico Chiesa and Domenico Berrardi but the one who scored an equaliser was in fact Leonardo Bonucci. He was able to take advantage of the rumble in England’s six yard box before tucked away the ball. The Three Lions, on the other hand, had a hard time breaking the deadlock. Harry Kane and Co barely created any chances except one from John Stone’s header. The match was eventually going down to penalties. Jordan Pickford made two heroic saves from the penalty specialist, Andrea Belotti and Jorginho. Yet, Italy was more lucky as they had better shooter, Donnarumma who also blocked twice, and a fortune as Marcus Rashford’s strike only hit the post.
Italy vs England 1-1 (3-2)*
Goals: Leonardo Bonucci (67); Luke Shaw (2)
Italy: Gianluigi Donnaruma – Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, Giovanni de Lorenzo, Emerson (Alessandro Florenzi 118) – Jorginho, Nicolo Barella (Bryan Cristante 84), Marco Verratti (Manuel Locatelli 96) – Federico Chiesa (Federico Bernadeschi 86), Ciro Immobile (Domenico Berrardi 55), Lorenzo Insigne (Andrea Belotti 91)
England: Jordan Pickford – Harry Maguire, John Stones, Kyle Walker (Jadon Sancho 120), Luke Shaw, Kieran Trippier (Bukayo Saka 70)– Mason Mount (Jack Grealish 99), Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice (Jordan Henderson 74 (Marcus Rashford 120) – Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling.
As the tournament ends, UEFA also announces the individual accolades. For the first time in history, the EURO 2020 best player eventually goes to a goalkeeper. The former AC Milan man Gianluigi Donnarumma was awarded for such category, whereas Cristiano Ronaldo won the top scorer award after collecting five goals and one assist. The top assist provider was in fact a wing back. Switzerland’s Steven Zuber was the one leading the list followed by another wing back, Luke Shaw, Spain’s Dani Olmo and Denmark midfielder Pierre Hojberg. Last but not least, the best young player was finally given to Barcelona man, Pedri. The 18-year old midfielder has been noted as one of the rare talents in this delayed EURO 2020.