home to Rome.” That’s how I wanted to name this article. Today at the legendary Wembley Stadium, the Squadra Azzurra beat the Three Lions in their home soil, to clinch a second UEFA Euro trophy, 53 years after their first victory.
A penalty shoot out to end it
We had a hell of game tonight in Wembley, the kind of soccer game we want when it comes to a final. More than 60.000 fans were here to attend the game, mostly English. After only 3 minutes, England started its final in the best way possible. After a genius pass from Harry Kane, Kyle Walker found Luke Shaw left alone by the Italian defense, and the left wing defender ended it with a beautiful left foot volley. Dominated during most of the first half, Italy came back stronger during the second half and after a hard effort they managed to tie the game after a goal from Leonardo Bonucci. But the closer from the final whistle we were, the more we felt that this fight was about to end after a dramatic penalty shoot out and we were right. After 30 minutes of an unbreathable overtime, it was time for the penalty shoot out. England’s goalkeeper stayed strong by stopping two Italian penaltys but he couldn’t carry his team alone. Under the pressure, three English players missed their shot (Sancho, Rashford and Saka) in front an incredible Italian goalkeeper.
Italy 3, England 2, football’s coming Rome.
England full of regrets…
The Three Lions can be disappointed. They can be disappointed a lot ! After losing in semi-finals three years ago at the World Cup, England was one of the favourite team for this European tournament. They started with some struggles before definitely launching their tournament after a huge 2-0 win against Germany at Wembley Stadium. After an easy 4-0 win against Ukraine in 1/4 finals, the Three Lions had to go through a tough Danish team before reaching the final. They thought the hardest part was behind them but we all know that a final is always the hardest part. They scored early, yes, but they didn’t played the way the use to play. They played full defense, waiting for Italy to attack and above all, waiting for the clock to run off. Unable to score a second goal against an Italian team who played roughly, often unfairly, England spent the other 87 minutes of the game looking at Italy taking over. Then came an unsuccessful overtime and then this dramatic penalty shoot out. Yes Italy played unfairly by causing a lot of fouls, yes we can critic some decisions from the referee but in the end England lacked energy as they let Italy took over the game and they’re paying this by losing in the sadest way possible. Once again England loses a tournament during the penalty shoot out, once again England is full of regrets.
A last word about this tournament
It was great to hear fans again. After spending more than a year in empty and sad arenas, the thrilling atmosphere of soccer is back. I’ve been watching soccer since my early childhood. I’ve watched 5 World Cups and 5 Euros and I gotta say that so far, this is one of the best tournament I’ve ever watched. France out early, Belgium out early, Danemark reaching an historic semi-finals after seeing their captain almost dead during the first game, the magical English fans, a surprising Italian team and above all, high level games during one month, we had what we were looking for. Tensions, drama, surprises, clearly everything we want in such a big tournament and as I said, this may be the best international tournament I’ve watched so far.