This was England’s first ever European Championship Final, and their 2nd major final since 1966, it was watched by 60,000+ fans at the stadium and over 30 million watched at home on either BBC or ITV and the DJ was getting fans singing along to Sweet Caroline before the game, there was a good closing ceremony followed by the national anthems.
Could England finally end 55 years of hurt, or would Italy spoil the party?
It was at Wembley Stadium.
1st England goal
After 2 minutes, there was a mistake by Maguire which led to a Italy corner which he cleared, then a nice move by England started with Kane in loads of space, played Trippier in out wide, and he delivered a superb cross which Shaw was on the end of, as he half volleyed it into the ground and into the corner off the post to give England the perfect start, and England erupted and dared to dream.
5 minutes later, Italy won a freekick in a dangerous area outside the area but it didn’t have quite enough dip on.
After 10 minutes, Trippier crossed towards Sterling, but it was cleared by Italy
Then it went dull for a while until the 35th minute when Chiesa dribbled and ran towards goal, Rice tried to stop him twice but couldn’t and he shot from outside the area went just wide, a warning for England.
After 41 minutes, Italy won a freekick in a dangerous area, it was cleared by Maguire and the rest of the play came to nothing.
The last first half action was a DiLorenzo shot being blocked by Stones
Halftime score: England 1-0 Italy
So England started really well, but allowed Italy back into it, would England regret not going for the 2nd goal, or was football coming home?
After 48 minutes, Shaw passed to Sterling who dribbled and went down in area, no penalty give.
Two minutes later, Sterling fouled Insigne outside the area, and Insigne put it wide just.
After 53 minutes, Insigne cut inside and shot well wide.
Two minutes later, Sterling was fouled by Bonucci for a freekick, Shaw delivered onto Maguire’s head but it went over. A minute later, Chiesa’s shot deflected and went to Insigne whose shot was saved by Pickford.
On the hour mark, Chiesa’s shot from outside area was saved well by Pickford
After 67 minutes, the goal that was coming for Italy as a corner was flicked on by Cristante which was saved onto the post by Pickford and Bonucci was there to put it past him, and the final was level, how would England respond?
Six minutes later, Berardi’s effort over Pickford but ober the bar too fortunately for England.
With 6 minutes left, Phillips was fouled for a freekcik which came to nothing.
One last moment before the end was Chiellini pulling Saka back, and he only got a yellow card.
Fulltime score: England 1-1 Italy
So Italy had more of the play in the 2nd half and deservedly got level, how would the extra 30 go, would we have a winner or would it go to the dreaded penalties?
After 96 minutes, England corner was cleared and came to Phillips who volleyed well wide.
After 103 minutes, half chance for Italy as Bernardeschi’s shot was saved by Pickford.
The last extra time action was a England freekick for a handball but it came to nothing
Halftime of extra time: England 1-1 Italy
We were 15 mins away from the dreaded penalty shootout, could either side find a winner?
After 106 minutes, Italy freekick for foul by Maguire in a dangerous area, Bernardeschi took it, Pickford fumbled but gathered at 2nd attempt
Two minutes later, Grealish shot blocked, then Kane crossed towards Stones who couldn’t quite get his head on it
The game drifted towards the penalty shootout.
Fulltime of extra time: England 1-1 Italy
So the European Championship final of 2020 played in 2021 went to the penalty shootout, then penalties would be taken in front of the England fans would that be an advantage to England?
Here’s how the penalties went:
Italy were first and Berardi scored
England’s 1st taker was Kane and he scored
Belotti was 2nd for Italy, and Pickford saved
Maguire was 2nd for England and he blasted his into the roof of the net
Bonucci 3rd for Italy scored
Rashford 3rd for England after coming on for a couple of minutes , he did a little stutter, keeper dived wrong way but Rashford hit the post
Bernardeschi 4th for Italy and he scored
Sancho 4th for England again having only come on near end of extra time, his pen was saved
Jorginho was the 5th for Italy, but Pickford dived the right way and saved
Saka had to score for England to take it to sudden death, but Donnarumma saved
So that meant Italy were the European Champions and heartbreak for England.
Football may not be coming home, but England have made the country proud once again, and maybe next year the World Cup it will be coming home, cos it’s a young squad with time on their side.
Highlights of the final are here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-kwLolv–w
I hope you’ve enjoyed my England reports during the tournament