England were beaten on penalties by Italy in the final of Euro 2020
England were beaten on penalties by Italy in the final of Euro 2020

Italy 1-1 England (3-2 pens): Bukayo Saka misses penalty as Italy win Euro 2020 on penalty shootout

England suffered familiar shootout heartbreak as Italy were crowned Euro 2020 champions after a 3-2 victory on penalties in the final at Wembley.

The Three Lions had made the perfect start, Luke Shaw giving them a very early lead, but Leonardo Bonucci fired home from close range to draw level in the second-half.

With the scores level at 1-1 after 120 minutes in London, spot-kicks were needed.

Gianluigi Donnarumma saved Bukayo Saka's crucial penalty to leave Italy celebrating, and England's dreams of a first major tournament title since 1966 in tatters.


Fast start but slow finish

England boss Gareth Southgate made one change from the semi-final win over Denmark, opting to switch to a back-three system with Kieran Trippier coming in for Saka, while Roberto Mancini decided to stay with the same side that beat Spain.

Unsurprisingly, Wembley heavily backed in favour of Southgate's men, and that support seemed to help roar the Three Lions to an early breakthrough.

Any pre-match nerves among those England supporters, or players, were gone almost instantly after Shaw fired his side ahead in the second minute.

The left-back started and finished the move as he ran onto the end of Trippier's lofted cross towards the back post. The first-time shot had to be perfect and it was - Donnarumma helpless as he watched it brush the post and go in.

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At 1 minute and 57 seconds, Shaw's effort was the fastest goal scored in a European Championship final.

It wasn't to last though with Italy dominating a second half in which they deservedly drew level. Jordan Pickford was alert to Lorenzo Insigne's effort from a corner, but couldn't prevent Bonucci from tapping in on the rebound.

Extra-time came and went without either side creating a real chance, and that left Donnarumma to be the hero - saving three England penalties in total, most crucially Saka's final attempt.

xG analysis: No complaints about the outcome

England have been on the right side of the Expected Goals (xG) battle throughout the tournament, but the final saw Italy enjoy the better of the chances and they deserved to secure victory in 120 minutes.

The Three Lions' three missed penalties - two of which comfortable saves for Donnarumma - eventually secured the trophy for Italy but it shouldn't have even reached that point.

Italy's 2.69 xG was met by England's 0.75. We could point to the quality of opponent but Southgate playing a back-three led to their two highest xGA tallies of the tournament - the other being 1.33 against Germany in the round of 16.


Bonucci (0.64 xG) couldn't miss from close range but it could have been more. Domenico Berardi (0.55 xG) hit an effort over in the 73rd minute while Lorenzo Insigne missed two 0.13 xG chances in the second-half.

Shaw's effort (0.42 xG) was England's only real effort of the contest - Jack Grealish's 108th minute strike (0.12 xG) being their next best.

Ultimately, while it went down to spot kicks, the trophy could have easily been Italy's at the conclusion of normal time.

Harry Kane comforts Bukayo Saka after his penalty miss
CLICK TO READ: Missed opportunity for Southgate and England

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