Italy are the champions of Europe 2020!

Italy are the champions of Europe 2020!

The national team of Italy defeated England in the penalty shootout 1:1 (3:2) and took the title.

The initial line-ups of the teams indicated that Italy was more focused on the attack. The usual 4-3-3 formation and no line-up changes after the semifinal match against the Spain national team. England came out to play with five defenders from behind. Luke Shaw and Kieran Trippier were on the wings, Rice and Phillips were in the midfield, and Sterling, Kane and Mount were on the attack.

The tactics of the English had not changed since the semifinal match against Denmark. Harry Kane constantly descended into the center of the pitch, from where he took the ball and delivered it forward. This stolen from Spain idea helped Southgate's team outright. In the second minute already, Kane got the ball between the lines, gave it to Trippier and the Atlético defender found Luke Shaw in the penalty area. The Manchester United lateral cleared Donnarumma and scored the fastest goal in the Euro finals.

One can talk about mistakes in this moment for a long time. Di Lorenzo moved to the center, the English ran into the penalty area, which provoked the defenders to cover them and left Shaw in isolation. In an amicable way, Barella or Chiesa should have worked with him, but they did not have time.

After the goal, Italy were forced to attack more and more often shot on target. However, these shots in most cases did not carry danger, and only single passes of Federico Chiesa inspired hope for the fans to score. But it came only in the second half, when the Three Lions team absolutely forgot about the attack and the need to increase the advantage. The emotional charge of Squadra Azzurra showed that they would give all their strength and after a little over an hour of playing time, they evened the score.

A corner kick, confusion in the penalty area, Veratti's shot, which was parried by Pickford and Bonucci's finishing move. The confusion that led to the evening of the score showed that Italy has not surrendered and will not surrender! It was noticeable that Southgate, like the rest of the England team, was nervous. Of course! The English have played six of seven matches at Wembley. Basically, this was their home tournament, so they needed to recoup.

Southgate refreshed the defense with the help of Saka and Henderson, but this did not give a qualitative change. The restructuring for four defenders did not help. But the injury of Chiesa with the subsequent substitute by Bernardeschi ruined Mancini's plans. The Italians stopped breaking into the completion zones, both teams were cautious and basically waited for a penalty shootout. Formally, the teams attacked, but it was not as dangerous as in normal time. Therefore, Southgate released Rashford and Sancho before the penalty shootout. If only he knew how these replacements will backfire on him.

Berardi converted the first shot, as did Kane. Belotti tried almost for the first time in his career to shoot on technique, but did not beat Pickford. Maguire broke the camera with his shot. And then the drama began... Bonucci again sent the goalkeeper in the opposite corner, as in the match with Spain. Substitute Rashford hits the post. Bernardeschi struggles to score, hitting at the right height. Sancho shoots as transparently as possible for Donnarumma, who parries the ball with both hands and deflects it. Pickford takes Jorginho's shot, showing Unai Simon how he had to stand to the last on the Italian's shot. And Donnarumma deflected Saka’s shot exactly the same way as Sancho's shot.

Italy have busted the myth that it is impossible to win two penalty shootouts in a row at the European Championship. They were not prevented by Wembley Stadium or England fans outside the goal in the penalty shootout. They were better prepared emotionally.

This fusion of experience with class, psychological stability and tactics transparent and understandable for the players brought the trophy to Italy. England, after a relatively simple draw and home matches, disgraced themselves. Southgate also disgraced himself, trying to dry up the game from the third minute. Is that what the champion of the football continent should be like? Is this how the creators of football should play? Hardly... Congratulations to Italy on a well-deserved victory and the extension of the unbeaten streak to 34 matches. They did it!