UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the England football team “played like heroes” after they lost on penalties to Italy in the Euro 2020 final. Terming the loss as a “heartbreaking result”, Johnson tweeted that the team had done the country proud. “That was a heartbreaking result to end #Euro2020 but Gareth Southgate and his @England squad played like heroes,” Boris Johnson tweeted. They have done the nation proud and deserve great credit,” he added.
– Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) July 11, 2021
England failed to end their 55-year wait for a major international trophy as Leonardo Bonucci cancelled Luke Shaw’s early goal at Wembley before Gianluigi Donnarumma’s heroics between the posts saw the Azzurri win the coveted trophy for the second time.
Luke Shaw, playing as a left wingback with Gareth Southgate opting for a three-man defence, applied a lovely finish to a cross from fellow wingback Kieran Trippier in the 2nd minute to give England an early lead, sending the crowd at Wembley into delirium.
Italy seemed rattled by the goal, but as the first half wore on, Italy grew into the game.
Federico Chiesa, who scored in the semi-final against Spain, was again Italy’s biggest threat, but it was centre-back Leonardo Bonucci who brought Roberto Mancini’s team back into the game after dominating for a sustained period.
Bonucci, who was adjudged player of the match, capitalised after Marco Veratti headed towards goal from a Lorenzo Insigne corner and Jordan Pickford clawed the ball away but only to the post.
Neither team could score as the 90 minutes came to an end and the match went to extra-time, but not before Chiesa had to be substituted due to a niggle.
Both teams kept it tight in extra-time and Southgate brought on Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford with penalties looming.
Jordan Henderson, who had come on as a substitute himself, was one of those sacrificed ahead of the penalty shootout that seemed imminent.
England took the early lead in the penalty shootout after Andrea Belotti missed Italy’s second spot-kick and Harry Maguire converted his effort.
Bonucci then kept his calm to make it 2-2 before Rashford hit the post.
Federico Bernardeschi stepped up for Italy’s third and he calmly slotted it down the middle.
Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnaruma then saved Jadon Sancho’s penalty giving Jorginho the chance to seal it for the Azzurri.
But the midfielder, who had put away the deciding spot-kick in the semi-final against Spain, saw his effort saved by Jordan Pickford.
Young winger Bukayo Saka was designated as the final penalty taker for England and Donnarumma rose to the occasion again as Italy claimed their second European Championship title.
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