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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Italy Crowned European Champions

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Italy have won Euro 2020, their first European Championship since 1968, beating England on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the final at Wembley.

The Azzurri rallied after Luke Shaw’s early goal, with Leonardo Bonucci equalising in the second half. With no goals in extra time, the game was settled in a shootout.

Shaw had opened the game in dramatic fashion, finishing a superb break from an Italian corner. Harry Kane played a cross-field ball to Kieran Trippier, who swung a deep cross in for the Manchester United player to fire home off the inside of the near post and send the home fans wild.

After an impressive opening spell, England were happy to sit back and absorb Italian pressure. Federico Chiesa sent his shot just wide, while Ciro Immobile saw his effort on the turn blocked by John Stones as Gareth Southgate’s side held on until the half-time interval.

Italy kept turning the screw in the second half as Jordan Pickford denied Federico Chiesa an equaliser with a fine full-length save. With 67 minutes played, the pressure told as Italy levelled. From a corner, Pickford turned Marco Verratti’s header on to the post but Bonucci was on hand to bundle home the rebound.

The extra-time period came and went during a tense 30-minute stalemate, with both teams looking fatigued, as the game went to the decisive penalties.

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