MATCH picks out five talking points from England’s European Championship final with Italy at Wembley!
Before we even get started on the footy, let’s take a moment to appreciate the atmosphere at Wembley before the kick-off! Fans filled Wembley Way and the nearby area hours ahead of the game. Inside the stadium, the supporters sang loudly along to Football’s Coming Home and Sweet Caroline, with the Italian fans also making themselves heard – especially during their epic national anthem!
SHAWBERTO STRIKES AGAIN!
Sizzling Luke Shaw earned himself the nickname ‘Shawberto Carlos’ by bagging three assists in two games in the knockouts, but this time he was on the scoresheet himself! The left-back smashed a first-time volley past Gianluigi Donnarumma at the near past to put England 1-0 ahead and make history at the same time. His strike after just two minutes was the fastest goal in a Euros final ever!
There were some great performances across the pitch, but we’re shouting out to Declan Rice! We’ve criticised him a couple of times in the past for playing things a bit too safe, but he was the opposite against Italy. He went on some great bursting runs, shimmied past opponents and was really forward-thinking until his substitution. In fact, he was playing so well, Roberto Mancini had to take off Nicolo Barella because he was losing that battle!
IT’S COMING…TO ROME!
All tournament, England fans have been signing about how football’s coming home, but it turns out the Italians were right after all – it’s actually going to Rome! How typical for England fans that the match was decided by penalties. The nation has been haunted by shootouts in the past and will have another one for the collection of bad memories. Gareth Southgate’s men should still be really proud of their achievements this summer!
ITALY’S UNBEATEN RUN!
Italy have now gone 34 games unbeaten! During that run, the newly-crowned European champs hadn’t been behind in a game for as long as they were against England. It’s now how you start a match, though – it’s how you finish it! Roberto Mancini has built a winning machine and although his side do look beatable, they’ve got so much spirit that means they’re always likely to come back if they fall behind!