Italy beats England to win 2020 European Championship

Italy claimed a first European Championship since 1968 after goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma saved twice in a dramatic 3-2 penalty shootout victory in the Euro 2020 final against England.

After a 1-1 draw over 120 minutes, Donnarumma saved from Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka — Marcus Rashford also missed by hitting a post with his spot-kick — to give Roberto Mancini’s team glory in London.

Andrea Belotti and Jorginho both saw their penalties saved by England’s Jordan Pickford, but Donnarumma’s stop from Saka decided the game to hand Italy the title.

“The guys were extraordinary. I don’t have words for them, this is a magnificent group. There were no easy games and this one became very difficult, but then we dominated,” Italy boss Mancini said.

“You need a bit of luck with penalties and I’m a little sorry for England. This team has grown so much, I think it can still improve. We are so happy for all.”

England had taken the lead inside two minutes when Luke Shaw, on the eve of his 26th birthday, scored the quickest-ever European Championship final goal after one minute and 57 seconds.

But Italy, unbeaten in 33 games ahead of this final, took the game to extra-time when Leonardo Bonucci equalised on 67 minutes.

Having been outplayed early in the game, Italy grew in strength with coach Roberto Mancini making greater use of his substitutions than his England counterpart Gareth Southgate, who sprung a tactical surprise before the game.

Southgate made one change to his starting team from the semifinal win against Denmark by selecting Atletico Madrid full-back Kieran Trippier ahead of Arsenal’s Saka, enabling his side to play with a three-man defence.

That tactical switch allowed Shaw and Trippier to play as advanced wing-backs and the plan paid dividends inside the opening two minutes when Shaw opened the scoring with his first international goal.

The Manchester United defender started the move in his own half by passing to Harry Kane before sprinting towards the Italy penalty area. Kane, meanwhile, moved the ball to Trippier on the right flank and the former Tottenham full-back delayed his cross long enough for Shaw to arrive at the far post and score with a half-volley past goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Andrea Belotti and Jorginho both saw their penalties saved by England’s Jordan Pickford, but Donnarumma’s stop from Saka decided the game to hand Italy the title.

“The guys were extraordinary. I don’t have words for them, this is a magnificent group. There were no easy games and this one became very difficult, but then we dominated,” Italy boss Mancini said.

“You need a bit of luck with penalties and I’m a little sorry for England. This team has grown so much, I think it can still improve. We are so happy for all.”

England had taken the lead inside two minutes when Luke Shaw, on the eve of his 26th birthday, scored the quickest-ever European Championship final goal after one minute and 57 seconds.

But Italy, unbeaten in 33 games ahead of this final, took the game to extra-time when Leonardo Bonucci equalized on 67 minutes.

Having been outplayed early in the game, Italy grew in strength with coach Roberto Mancini making greater use of his substitutions than his England counterpart Gareth Southgate, who sprung a tactical surprise before the game.

Southgate made one change to his starting team from the semifinal win against Denmark by selecting Atletico Madrid full-back Kieran Trippier ahead of Arsenal’s Saka, enabling his side to play with a three-man defence.

That tactical switch allowed Shaw and Trippier to play as advanced wing-backs and the plan paid dividends inside the opening two minutes when Shaw opened the scoring with his first international goal.

The Manchester United defender started the move in his own half by passing to Harry Kane before sprinting towards the Italy penalty area. Kane, meanwhile, moved the ball to Trippier on the right flank and the former Tottenham full-back delayed his cross long enough for Shaw to arrive at the far post and score with a half-volley past goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

“They had a lot of the ball, they had a lot of possession, but to be fair we looked fairly in control, they didn’t create too many chances, and then obviously they got their breakthrough.”

Kane was quick to commiserate with Rashford, Sancho and Saka, all of whom missed in the shootout.

He said: “You’ve got to hold your heads up high. A fantastic tournament and these things can happen, a penalty shootout, you go through your process and you put it where you want to put it, but anyone can miss a penalty — we win together and we lose together.”

England were playing in a first major final in 55 years since winning the 1966 World Cup. This was their latest heartache in shootouts at major tournaments, after defeats in 1990, 1996, 1998, 2004, 2006 and 2012.