Italy won the European Championship Final after beating England in hair-raising final on Sunday. Wembley gets ruined as Italy wins the title by 3-2 in penalties. Both sides were leveled with a 1-1 score at full time, and the fate of the match was ultimately decided by penalties.
The first goal was hit by England just two minutes into the game when Luke Shaw took the opportunity and gave his team a dream start. This was the fastest goal ever scored in a European Championship final.
However, as the clock ticked Italy began to dominate the game and thanks to the defender Leonardo Bonucci, were able to draw the game at 1-1. Extra time was provided where both the teams failed to outdo each other and hence the call for penalties was given.
It was the first shootout in a Euro final since 1976 when Czechoslovakia beat Germany. Harry Kane and Harry Maguire scored the goals for England but were overpowered by the reply as Italy’s Domenico Berardi, Bonucci and Federico Bernardeschi ultimately took the win.
Three key players from England’s side, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka missed their shots and so did Italy’s surest penalty takers Andrea Belotti and Jorginho. It was the Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma who saved the last attempt from Bukayo Saka to take the trophy home.
Italy won the last championship in 1968 after which they lost finals to France in 2000 and to Spain in 2012, and now finally after 53 years, was able to stand tall with the title in the bag.
The aftermath of the match
English fans had been on their toes ever since the quarter-final 4-0 win against Ukraine. After their win against Denmark in the semi-finals, the English fans had been chanting “It’s coming home” for the trophy as they were sure-shot ready to end their 55-year gap of winning the title.
However, witnessing the final defeat, that too in their home ground resulted in severe criticism, fights, and demeaning remarks for the national team.
Police reported that a few people had gotten into the stadium without any ticket, resulting in some clashes at the entrance.
Similarly, after the match, a video surfaced on Twitter where the English fans can be seen beating and kicking an Asian man with several other riots happening as well.
— 🍁 Sencer Kashmiri 🍁 (@Ertugru1Y1Sagar) July 11, 2021
However, the most severe of the criticism was showered at the three English players who failed to score in the penalties in such an important match.
Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka were targeted with racist remarks by the English fans.
The team’s official Twitter handle gave a statement in favor of the players and pointed out that they were “disgusted that some squad members have been subject to discrimination and racist abuse online”.
We’re disgusted that some of our squad – who have given everything for the shirt this summer – have been subjected to discriminatory abuse online after tonight’s game.
We stand with our players ❤️ https://t.co/1Ce48XRHEl
— England (@England) July 12, 2021
The Football Association (FA) also added a statement openly saying that anyone who is behind such abusive statements and remarks is not welcomed to follow the team whatsoever. They also showed their complete support for the players affected and urged for the toughest punishment for those responsible.
The police have been investigating both the events that occurred in the stadium and on social media.
Previously in a match against Germany, a young German fan was seen crying after their loss to England and was also trolled online in a similar fashion by the England fans.
£36,000 raised by JustGiving page for German girl who was seen crying during England's Euro 2020 victory https://t.co/qAMiFU9gkA
— Daily Mail U.K. (@DailyMailUK) July 7, 2021
England’s players had previously made a strong statement against racism by taking the knee before the start of the match on Sunday.
In other news
This week was completely owned by sports, with these updates. Argentina won Copa America with Leo Messi winning his first international trophy. Nigeria won a historic upset against the USA in Men’s Basketball. Dustin Poirier outdid Conor McGregor in UFC, breaking his leg in the process. Novak Djokovic won the Wimbledon title, his 20th Grand Slam. England leads the series against Pakistan by 2-0 in Men’s cricket.