UEFA 2020 Euro Championship – Final Review

Italy (0) 1 – 1 (1) England AET (Italy won 3-2 on penalties)

Goalscorers: England – Shaw (2’). Italy – Bonucci (67′)

Wembley Stadium, London

The morning after the night before.

Empty, gutted, disappointed, angry. Honestly, really hard to be objective right now. Besides the images of the pain felt by Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka at missing their penalties, what will stay with me are the disgraceful Chiellini foul on Saka and that by Jorginho on Jack Grealish. Add to that Immobile’s play-acting in the Spain Semi-Final, and to the title of European Champions, you can add Masters of the Dark Arts.

There was post-match lots of talk of what an achievement it was to get to the Final, how this young side will be exciting for the next 5-10 years. All irrelevant, as far as I’m concerned. Getting to a Final is worthless if you don’t win it. Witness how many Three Lions players took their medals off after being presented with them – that tells you all you need to know about being a runner-up.

England will never have a better chance to win a World Cup or Euro title than in the last three years when, the draw and home advantage have been in their favour. The fact is that we have seemingly learned nothing from the Croatia Semi-Final defeat in 2018, with this Final following a similar pattern. As then, England went ahead early and didn’t make their first-half advantage pay, and there was an inevitability about the comeback in the second-half as Italy scored and England looked tired and ragged. Southgate has said blame him for the penalties and I’m at a loss as to why the responsibility for the fifth spot-kick was placed on the shoulders of such a young player. To me there were a number of more senior players who should have stepped up.

Inevitably the night was spoiled by idiots who forced entry into the stadium, others who sought out to attack Italian fans at the end and the on-line abuse that the cowardly key-board warriors dished out to Rashford, Sancho and Saka. All of this will do nothing to help any bid England may put out to host future tournaments.

Now the focus is on the journey for Qualification to Qatar for the World Cup next year. Right though now I need a break from football.

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Posted July 12, 2021 by Editor in category "UEFA 2020 Euro Championship

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