Italy won their second European Championship title after defeating England 3-2 on penalties at Wembley Stadium on Sunday evening. The Azzurri wrecked England’s party at Wembley Stadium after a tense final, plunging the host nation into despair while prolonging their 55-year long wait for a second major football title.
Italy managed to recover from an unexpected shock after Luke Shaw scored the quickest goal in a Euro 2020 final in only 2 minutes. Roberto Mancini’s men eventually equalized after Leonardo Bonucci found the back of the net after a corner kick during the 67th minute of the game. Thereafter, Italy simply held their nerve and claimed a 3-2 shootout win after a 1-1 draw following extra time.
This is the second time the Azzurri won a European championship. This is after Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia in 2018. Three England players fluffed their penalties during the shootout which further extended their poor record when it comes to penalties. It also left the host nation to wait for another major title following the World Cup in 1966.
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A Tense Euro 2020 Final
Italian fans spilled onto the streets from Palermo to Milan, celebrating their side’s victory while pushing aside thoughts of the COVID-19 pandemic that has gripped the nation over the last couple of months. Prior to the start of the match, a crowd of more than 67,000 supporters went into a state of fever pitch while singing renditions of “Sweet Caroline” and “Three Lions”.
The Three Lions raced out of the blocks at the start of the match and took the lead in the second minute of the game when Luke Shaw produced an incredible strike after receiving a awe-inspiring cross from Kieran Trippier. The Azzurri grew stronger as the match progressed and equalized with only 23 minutes remaining in the game when Leonardo Bonucci kick the ball in the back of the net at close range.
A pitch invader managed to temporarily stop the match and stewards had a difficult time catching him with only 4 minutes left in the game. This only added to the sense chaos after ticket-less fans forced their way into Wembley Stadium.
Jordan Pickford, the England goalkeeper, saved spot-kicks from Jorginho and Andrea Belotti. However, Marcus Rashford managed to hit the post while Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho’s attempts were kept out by Gianluigi Donnarumma. This sparked scenes of delirium from the Italian players as well as the small pocket of Italian supporters.
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Arrests and Injuries at Wembley Stadium
The atmosphere around Wembley Stadium was chaotic during the build-up to the Euro 2020 final which kicked off at 20:00pm. Supporters decorated in England colors were chanting anthems and downing pints long before the game got underway.
Footage on social media showcased hundreds of supporters trying to get past the lines of police and stewards. Some managed to force their way over scaling walls while others broke through security cordons. There were also several videos that showed violent clashes between supporters inside Wembley Stadium itself.
The Metropolitan Police in London stated that 19 officers were injured during the final while 49 arrests were made. Police also stated that they would investigate racist and offensive social media posts after Saka, Sancho, and Rashford were unable to score their penalties.