OVERVIEW OF: 6 Takeaways From Italy Euro 2020 Final Win Against England
After one month of exciting football, Italy were crowned 2020 European champions after a nervy win against England at Wembley stadium.
It is a second continental title for the Italians whose first came way back in 1968 on home soil.
Completesports.com’s JAMES AGBEREBI takes a look at six notable outcomes from Sunday’s match.
Italy Are The Worthy Winners
Italy showed why they were tagged favourites of the Euro 2020 by emerging champions following their impressive performance against England.
Despite conceding an early goal in Sunday’s final, the Italians showed maturity, composure, patience, and confidence as they probed for the equalizer which eventually came.
And after waiting for 53 years for another European Championship title, the Azzurri have deserved champions at this year’s edition.
Shootout Undid England After Recent Tournaments’ Good Lotteries
If there is one thing English fans dread the most, it is the lottery of penalties, which proved to be their undoing this time, and the Three Lions benefited from it at recent major tournaments.
After achieving success from the spot-kick at the 2018 World Cup and the UEFA Nations League in 2019, it was not to be this time against the Italians.
Despite being handed the advantage in the course of the shootout following a save by Jordan Pickford, Marcus Rashford missed his effort which handed the advantage back to the Italians.
Italy Maintains Dominance over England At Major Tournaments
Italy continued its dominance over England when it comes to major tournaments after Sunday’s win.
The Azzurri have now won their five encounters against England at major tournaments starting from 1980 Euros when they secured a 1-0 group stage win.
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.
And in the group stage of the 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.
At just 22, Donnarumma has shown the number one position will be his for a very long time to come.