After a tense win against England at Wembley Stadium, Italy was crowned European champions for 2020 after a month of thrilling football.
It is the Italians’ second continental victory; their first came in 1968 on home turf.
Here are important outcomes from Sunday’s contest.
Italy is a deserving winner.
Following their fantastic performance against England, Italy demonstrated why they were dubbed favorites for Euro 2020 by emerging champions.
Despite conceding an early goal in the final on Sunday, the Italians displayed maturity, poise, patience, and confidence as they searched for an equalizer, which they eventually found.
The Azzurri were deserving champions at this year’s European Championship, having waited 53 years for another trophy.
After recent tournaments’ good lotteries, England was knocked out of the shootout.
If there is one thing that English fans hate, it is the penalty shootout lottery, which proved to be their undoing this time and helped the Three Lions at recent major tournaments.
It was not to be this time against the Italians, after success from the spot shot in the 2018 World Cup and the UEFA Nations League in 2019.
Despite having the advantage in the shootout thanks to a Jordan Pickford stop, Marcus Rashford missed his attempt, handing the advantage back to the Italians.
At Major Tournaments, Italy Maintains Its Superiority Over England
After Sunday’s victory, Italy’s supremacy against England in key championships continues.
The Azzurri have now won five consecutive matches against England at international events, dating back to the 1980 Euros when they won 1-0 in the group stage.
In the 1990 World Cup on home soil, they triumphed 2-1 in the third-place match and followed it up with a shootout win in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Euros.
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And in the group stage of 2014, World Cup Italy won 2-1 before adding another on Sunday.
England’s Long Wait For Major Trophy Success Continues
After waiting for 55 years, not a few believed England would end their long wait for a major trophy.
Right from the group stage the Three Lions impressed and were tipped as one of the teams to win.
But it was not to be as the Italians had other ideas – they ended their own long wait for the Euros since 1968.
Southgate’s Poor Substitution.
One aspect which boggled the minds of people was Gareth Southgate’s poor substitution late in extra time.
While Roberto Mancini was doing everything possible to try and win the game by making substitutions which continued to give Italy the edge, Southgate failed to react timely.
With the duo of Leonardo Bonucci and Georgio Chiellini being booked and knackered, it was an opportunity for Southgate to act by bringing on pacy forwards but he had to wait deep into extra-time before introducing Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho.
It seemed that he only brought them on to take penalties which did not work out as planned as both players missed their kicks.
Italy Finally Found Gianluigi Buffon’s Successor In Donnarumma
It was a surprise to many that Gianluigi Donnarumma was voted the Player of the Tournament at this year’s Euros. But the goalkeeper merited it.
If there was one thing the Italians would be grateful for, it is the fact that Gianluigi Buffon’s substantial successor has been found.
The former AC Milan keeper was outstanding for his side as he showed that his penalty heroics in their semifinal win against Spain were no fluke.
After stopping Sancho’s spot-kick, Donnarumma made sure England did not get back into it by denying Bukayo Saka and eventually helping Italy to become European champions.
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