Pre-match: England come into this final after narrowly beating Denmark in the semi-final through a Harry Kane goal from his penalty which was controversially given by the referee. The Three Lions had smashed Ukraine 4-0 prior to their semi-final and had also beaten Germany, Czech Republic and the team that destroyed their World Cup dreams, Croatia. The team are looking strong under Gareth Southgate scoring eight goals and only conceding one in the lead up to the final, allowing England fans to believe it might finally be coming home.
As for Italy, the run to the final wasn’t quite as easy. They breezed the group stages taking all nine points, scoring seven goals and conceding none. In the round of 16 they faced a very strong Austrian side which needed extra time to separate the two teams. Their reward for beating Austria was a quarter-final against the World’s top-ranked nation, Belgium. Italy scored two first-half goals through Nicolo Barella and Lorenzo Insigne, and despite Romelu Lukaku getting one back before the half time whistle, the Azzurri held on and progressed into the semi-final where they faced 2010 World Cup and 2012 Euro winners, Spain. Italy were favourites going into the game and came out victorious but needed penalties to separate the two teams.
England and Italy have both had very different paths to the final but both teams come with a lot of confidence. It’s really hard to call this one. The starting XIs will follow.
- Jordan Pickford
- Kyle Walker
- Luke Shaw
- Declan Rice
- John Stones
- Harry Maguire
- Harry Kane
- Raheem Sterling
- Kieran Trippier
- Kalvin Phillips
- Mason Mount
- Gianluigi Donnarumma
- Giovanni Di Lorenzo
- Giorgio Chiellini
- Marco Veratti
- Lorenzo Insigne
- Federico Chiesa
- Ciro Immobile
- Nicolo Barella
- Leonardo Bonucci
Kick-off: The stage is set, Wembley is full, the game is underway.
Goal! Luke Shaw – Harry Maguire gave away an early corner which caused a few English nerves to jangle but after the Manchester United man cleared the ball from the box, there was acres of space for England down the right-hand side. Harry Kane found Kieran Trippier who picked out Luke Shaw at the back post with a teasing ball, the left-back took it on first time on the half-volley and slotted it past Gianluigi Donnarumma in the Italian net. What a start for England!
7th minute: Luke Shaw fouls Federico Chiesa which sets up a free-kick at a tempting distance for Lorenzo Insigne. The shot had a nice shape to it but was ultimately always too high to test Jordan Pickford.
10th minute: England have started really well and Trippier is causing problems down the right-hand side. Kyle Walker picked him out with a well-timed pass and Trippier nearly found Mason Mount who was poised on the six-yard box but Georgio Chiellini was on hand to clear for Italy.
18th minute: Italy are starting to get a foothold in this game. There’s space for both sides in the wide areas. Nothing for England to worry too much about yet.
22nd minute: Jorginho has gone down injured and the players use that excuse to go to the sideline for a drink, while the managers make use of the time drilling their tactics into their players, especially Roberto Mancini, who’s players have it all to do.
28th minute: A real lack of options for Insinge forces him into going for goal from around 30 yards out but the shot doesn’t trouble Pickford and England will have a free-kick.
35th minute: Federico Chiesa produces Italy’s first real chance of the night as he beats Declan Rice with ease and advances to the edge of the England penalty area. He takes on the shot with his left foot, Pickford was beaten but fortunately for England, so was the post.
36th minute: There’s still space down the flanks for England and Shaw found a good cross from the left-hand side which rolled across the Italian six-yard box but there was no-one there to tap it in and Emerson clears it away from danger
42nd minute: Ciro Immobile wins a free-kick for Italy on the right-hand side after a clumsy challenge from Rice. The resulting free-kick is put into the box but John Stones is there to head away the danger.
45+1 minute: Italy threaten again as Giovanni Di Lorenzo puts a low cross into the box which is met by Immobile. His shot is blocked by Stones but only to Marco Verratti who’s shot is too weak to worry Pickford.
Half-time: England go into the interval leading the Italians by a goal-to-nil. The first half was quite tense with not much attacking threat from either side since Luke Shaw’s goal in the 2nd minute of the game. Italy have grown into the game though and started causing problems for England toward the end of the first half through Federico Chiesa and Ciro Immobile. Overall, England are looking comfortable at the back and that’s all they need to continue to win this game. Make no mistake about it though, Italy will be out pushing harder than ever for that equalising goal in the second half.
Second half begins: No changes from either manager at the break as England get us underway for the second half.
47th minute: Booking. Kane pushes England forward and is clipped on the heel by Nicolo Barella, who gets the first booking of the night.
48th minute: Raheem Sterling wants a penalty but it’s not been given by the referee. Sterling found a pocket of space between Bonucci and Chiellini on the left-hand side of Italy’s box and was brushed from behind by Chiellini. He fell to the ground claiming a penalty but the referee waves it away.
51st minute: Insigne wins a free-kick on the edge of England’s D after being barged over by Sterling. It’s in a dangerous position and Insigne took it himself, it came close but goes just over the bar.
54th minute: Substitution. Italy make the first changes of the night. Bryan Crisante and Domenico Beradi replace Ciro Immobile and Nicolo Barella.
56th minute: Sterling wins a free-kick on the left-hand side which is swung into the box by Shaw, Maguire meets it but heads well over the bar.
57th minute: The ball finds Insigne, after a deflected shot from Chiesa, who dribbles it down the wing and tries to beat Pickford at his near post but the Everton man saves strongly.
62nd minute: Chiesa picks up the ball on the edge of the England penalty area and wriggles his way into a shooting position. The ball was heading for the back of the net but Pickford saves well and it’s cleared by Luke Shaw.
64th minute: Kyle Walker’s corner finds the head of John Stones which goes over the bar. A really good chance for England to double their lead there.
Goal! Leonardo Bonucci – Emerson’s corner is flicked on at the near post by Crisante in the direction of Verratti who gets to it ahead of Mason Mount, Pickford parries it on the post but the ball comes straight to Bonucci who puts it home from close range. Italy deserved this you have to feel, and now they’re level.
71st minute: Substitution. Southgate makes his first change of the night and brings on Bukayo Saka for Kieran Trippier.
73rd minute: Bonucci fires a great ball down the middle which finds Beradi on the penalty spot. He tries to take the volley on first time but it’s high over the bar. A difficult but good chance for Italy to take the lead.
74th minute: Substitution. Jordan Henderson replaces Declan Rice.
83rd minute: Mason Mount creates a chance for Saka after he gets into the Italy penalty area and cuts it back to the Arsenal youngster who couldn’t control it.
85th minute: Booking. Insigne gets himself booked for a late tackle on Phillips.
86th minute: Substitution. The injured Chiesa is brought off for Federico Bernadeschi.
90 + 6 minutes: Booking. Saka gets ahead of Chiellini on the right flank. The Italian captain pulls him back by the collar almost strangling Saka and rightly gets a booking for it.
Full-time: We’re heading for extra-time folks! Italy grew into the game even more in the second half and deserved to draw themselves level. England need to pick themselves up and go again for another 30 minutes if they want to win their first major trophy since 1966.
Kick-off… again: Italy make another change. Insigne is replaced by Andrea Belotti.
96th minute: Substitution. Manuel Locatelli replaces Marco Verratti.
97th minute: An England corner is half-cleared by Italy to Kalvin Phillips who takes the shot on but its just wide. Donnarumma was never worried.
99th minute: Substitution. Jack Grealish replaces Mason Mount.
103rd minute: Italy come close to taking the lead. Emerson avoids the challenge from Kyle Walker and crosses to the near post which is blocked by Pickford and finds Belotti, but he couldn’t direct it anywhere near goal and it goes behind harmlessly for a goal-kick.
Half-time of extra-time: Italy have come closest to taking the lead but in reality, it’s been a tense 15 minutes with not much in the way of chances.
106th minute: Booking. Harry Maguire is booked for a challenge through the back of Belotti.
107th minute: Bernadeschi takes the resulting free kick which is straight at Pickford who doesn’t catch it cleanly but clears up the loose ball without panicking.
108th minute: A long throw from walker is half-cleared by the Italians but only as far as Harry Kane who crosses it back in from the left, nearly meeting Stones’ head but Donnarumma does just enough to put him off and the ball is eventually cleared.
113th minute: Booking. Grealish is brought down by Jorginho who’s studs bounce off the ball into Grealish’s thigh. It looked accidental and has brought a yellow card but it could have easily been red.
116th minute: Italy call for a penalty after the ball hits John Stones on the hand but there was no distance between the two players so the referee waves it away.
118th minute: Substitution. Alessandro Florenzi replaces Emerson.
120th minute: Substitution. Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford replace Kyle Walker and Jordan Henderson. Put on only for penalties?
Full-time of extra-time: We’re heading for penalties!
Italy win the toss and will take the first penalty.
Italy 1-0 England: Berardi takes the first penalty and scores sending Pickford the wrong way.
Italy 1-1 England: Kane puts it past Donnarumma and forgets his miss against Denmark.
Italy 1-1 England: Pickford saves! Belotti strikes it low and right and it’s beaten away by Pickford. Advantage England!
Italy 1-2 England: What a penalty from Harry Maguire! Strikes it into the top right giving Donnarumma no chance.
Italy 2-2 England: Pickford guesses the right way but Bonucci’s spot-kick is too well-placed and beats the keeper.
Italy 2-2 England: Substitute Marcus Rashford’s only touch of this game is a missed penalty. A stuttered run up sends Donnarumma the wrong way but it hits the post and stays out. We’re level again.
Italy 3-2 England: Bernadeschi places one straight down the middle with Pickford diving to the right.
Italy 3-2 England: Another late substitute, Jadon Sancho, misses his penalty with a really weak effort toward the bottom right which Donnarumma saves. Italy score their next penalty, they win.
Italy 3-2 England: Pickford saves again! Jorginho rarely misses spot-kicks but he’s missed this one. He takes his hop, skip and a jump and rolls it to Pickford’s right but Pickford guesses correctly and parries it onto the post. England still alive!
Italy 3-2 England: Donnarumma is the hero for Italy as he saves Bukayo Saka’s penalty and wins the Euros for his country.
Full time. Italy win on penalties.