Italy climbs to the top of Europe by beating England on penalties thanks to Donnarumma’s decisive saves, after the 1-1 draw in 120 minutes.
The opening goal of the Englishmen legitimizes a game script that remains unchanged for the whole of the ninety minutes: Italy tries to impose its game with a long and sometimes exhausting ball possession, while England is skilled and ready to restart by taking advantage of the space and speed of their wings. But on penalties , luck still rewards the Azzurri thanks to an immense Gianluigi Donnarumma . For Italy after Belotti and Jorginho’s mistakes from the spot, the saves of the blue goalkeeper on Rashford, Sancho and Saka were decisive. Mancini’s
Azzurri come out victorious from a competition that has given back momentum and morale to a national team returning from aFootball adventure : non-participation in the World Cup. A blue triumph that deserves to be praised and celebrated in its entirety, both in the simplicity and purity of the protagonists’ gestures, and in the complexity of all that this success represents for the entire Italian people.
After 1968, Italy conquers and “takes home” its second European title . Mancini consecrated himself to the elite of the most successful coaches, carving out an important space in the hearts of the Italians alongside the more recent Lippi and Bearzot. For the Italian coach and part of his staff, a success that is also worth a personal revengein a stadium where 29 years ago, with the Sampdoria shirt, they lost the Champions Cup final, in extra time, against Barcelona.
A rematch that also applies to Italy itself to redeem , not only the lack of access to the 2018 World Cup, but also the heavy and humiliating defeat suffered in the most recent final of Euro 2012 against Spain. The veterans of that blue group, who today wear the guise of senators, are three: from captain Chiellini to veterans Bonucci and Sirigu. An old guard who was able to instill the right values and lead a group that appeared united from the first day of the meeting. A serenity shown, skillfully several times, and appreciated by all of Italy and beyond.
It has been repeated several times that the strength of this Italy is actually the union of the group and the ability of CT Mancini to lead it, the true leader and image of this triumph. A large roster: 25 players used out of 26 and a willingness, on the part of all, to be ready at the right time. A mix of quality, freshness, youth and experience. A genuineness and spontaneity which were followed by high level performances with a very high intensity of play and a quality that, for large sections of the competition, made Italy the strongest team in this tournament.
L ‘ Italyhas been able to make millions of fans fall in love and thrill, who have been able to enjoy this well-deserved revenge, which goes beyond the sporting sphere and reaches to everyday life every day. A people wounded and tormented by 18 months of agony that has been able to see again in 26 young people the spirit and passion of an Italy, beautiful and united that never gives up .
Mancini has shaped a real group . Together with his staff, over the years, he has restored strength and credit to the national team jersey. The blue coach has not simply won but has built a future : step by step, shattering record after record, consolidating a group that, over time, has acquired hunger and awareness.in its own means. Mancini has transformed Coverciano back into a serene and joyful environment, where every player finds the happiness of sharing with his teammates the beauty and fun of playing football and representing his own nation. An attachment that shines through the intensity of a hymn sung, and heard, with pride and hand on heart at the beginning of each game. Up to the passion , engaging and enthralling, of the Italians present at the Olimpico in the three rounds of the group that launched and pushed Italy to the bottom of the competition.
A union of intent that also passes through small group gestures . From Bernardeschi’s hot croissantsand Pessina and Locatelli’s ping-pong matches. From the jokes of Insigne to Immobile, up to the late arrival, superstitious, of Vialli on the departing bus. A group that has always remained united and cohesive even in the few difficult moments such as the dedication of the victory in the semifinal to the injured, and unlucky, Spinazzola , until that moment the blue MVP of the European Championship.
A spirit of brotherhood, an almost indissoluble bond that enhances the performance in the field of both the individual and the collective. Because the blue triumph inevitably passes from the confirmation and splendid saves of Donnarumma , awarded as the best player of the tournament. In a winning team, a good goalkeeper can usually rely on a solid defense. From the insuperable duo Chiellini and Bonucci who, according to Mourinho, could teach Harvard how to defend, to the indispensable Spinazzola, the true added value of this Italy. Until the surprise Di Lorenzo, who took over on tiptoe and became a point of reference for the team. But the department that gave more joy and literally supported the blue victories was the midfield that alternated a different player at every decisive moment of the tournament. From Locatelli’s brace against Switzerland to goals from Pessina and Barella , up to the decisive penalty by Jorginhoin the semifinals. A blue midfield made up of running, heart and a lot of quality in support of the attacking three. Insigne has finally consecrated himself as champion by honoring the number 10 shirt to the best of his ability. At Mancio the skill of knowing how to alternate Berardi’s talent with the freshness and tears of Chiesa , increasingly decisive in the knockout phase.
L ‘ Italy won because it demonstrated, in the field, to be the strongest national facing and competing with strong teams, without ever losing its true nature, and always offering a proactive and spectacular football.
Honor, at the same time, also to the vanquished. Southgatehas exceptional potential in his hands and the work of the English federation, which began in 2017 with the victory of the youth world cup in the U17 and U20 selections , can only improve the senior national team. L ‘ England is still one of the most complete national and with the most talented worldwide. Clearly the disappointment of having touched a title that has been missing for 55 years , and moreover, in a context like that of Wembley , leaves more than a bitter taste in the mouth. Certainly, a few pints will make you forget the disappointment for a few hours. The hope is that Monday, proclaimed by Boris Jonhson as a national holiday, it can be used by the British to dispose of the disappointment of the European final lost at home.
An exciting start to the game for the hosts who, after just two minutes, unlocked the final with a goal from Shaw . It is the same English full-back who started the action of the advantage with a recovery of the ball in his own half. The maneuver develops on the right where Trippier draws the rushing Shaw from the far post who, in a counter jump, surprises the opponent’s defense and beats Donnarumma. As the minutes passed England legitimized their lead under the relentless enthusiasm of Wembley . L ‘ Italian effort to read the movements between the lines of the British, skillful to surprise the Italian defense with a predisposition different tactic from the last outputs. In the first half the only opportunity for the selection ofMancini is entrusted to a personal action by the Church with a left from distance, which came out just wide. The recovery begins with a dubious episode in the blue penalty area with a contact between Bonucci and Sterling . Mancini tries to shake his team off the bench with Berardi and Cristante entering the field. Italy reacts and creates a potential goal opportunity with the usual Chiesa who, in the penalty area, surrounded by three English shirts, tries an insidious conclusion, rejected, open-handed, by an excellent intervention by Pickford. General tests of a goal that reaches the 67 ‘. From corner kick action the English bolt falls apart. After a tower on Cristante’s near post, the ball reaches the far post where Verratti anticipates and hits his head. Pickford makes yet another extraordinary intervention of the evening, but on the loose ball, Bonucci is the quickest and finds the 1-1. L ‘ Italy understands and tries to exploit the good time: millimeter launch of 40m Bonucci for inserting Berardi that the fly anticipates the release of the English goalkeeper but failed to find the target. The fear of conceding a goal that could put an end to the European dream intensifies in the final with the two teams forced to play the tournament in extra time.
Mancini still fishing from the bench with the entry, first, of Belotti and, then, Locatelli . The British try to make themselves dangerous with a shot from distance by Phillips , which ended, however, abundantly wide. Southgate also tries to shock his team with the inclusion of Grealish and a decidedly more offensive line-up. In the second overtime thrill for the Azzurri on a cross from the left by Kane for Stones , but the Manchester City central misses the ball completely and facilitates the exit with Donnarumma’s punches.
THE SCORE: ITALY – ENGLAND 1-1 (4-3 DCR)
Scorers : 2 ‘Shaw (In), 67’ Bonucci (It).
ITALY (4-3-3) : Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Emerson (117 ′ Florenzi); Barella (54 ‘Cristante), Jorginho, Verratti (96’ Locatelli); Insigne (90 ′ Belotti), Building (54 ′ Berardi), Church (85 ′ Bernardeschi).
Available: Sirigu, Meret, Locatelli, Belotti, Berardi, Pessina, Acerbi, Cristante, Bernardeschi, Bastoni, Florenzi, Toloi.
ENGLAND (3-4-2-1) : Pickford; Walker (119 ′ Sancho), Maguire, Stones; Trippier (70 ′ Saka), Phillips, Rice (74 ′ Henderson (119 ′ Rashford)), Shaw; Mount (99 ′ Grealish), Sterling; Kane.
Available: Ramsdale, Johnstone, Grealish, Henderson, Rashford, Mings, Coady, Sancho, Calvert-Lewin, James, Saka, Bellingham.
Yellow cards : 47 ′ Barella (It), 55 ′ Bonucci (It), 84 ′ Insigne (It), 96 ′ Chiellini (It), 106 ′ Maguire (In), 114 ′ Jorginho (It).