Publish date:

Italy Defeats England in Penalty-Kick Shootout to Win Euro 2020

Football is coming Rome. 

With its second straight penalty-kick shootout win, Italy won the European Championship in thrilling fashion thanks to two straight saves from Gianluigi Donnarumma as England missed its final three penalties in a 3–2 spot-kick triumph for the Azzurri after a 1–1 draw through extra time.

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all missed after Harry Maguire had given England the shootout edge through two kicks, with Donnarumma claiming Player of the Tournament honors after his heroics.

The day started off on a considerably brighter note for England. The Three Lions took an early lead in just the second minute from a Luke Shaw goal that sent Wembley Stadium into hysterics. But Italy withstood the storm, waiting until the second half to secure an equalizer thanks to Leonardo Bonucci's 67th-minute effort. 

The win, Italy's third victory of the tournament that went beyond 90 minutes, extends the Azzurri's unbeaten streak to 34 games—one shy of the international record—while England's trophy drought since winning the 1966 World Cup will continue.

The tension ahead of the final escalated in the lead up to kickoff with fans storming the stadium after reports circulated that ticketless fans were able to rush the gates at Wembley for the semifinal. 

It didn't take long for Wembley to erupt in a more appropriate manner, though, with England taking the lead on Shaw's opener. Kieran Trippier picked out the left back making a back-post run with a perfect cross before Shaw struck it into the back of the net. Shaw's goal was the first of his England career and the quickest goal in Euro final history.

Italy tried to answer back in the eighth minute when Federico Chiesa drew a foul at the edge of the area. But Lorenzo Insigne's free kick flew just over the bar.

England was riding high off the energy buzzing throughout Wembley, continuing to push forward and break down Italy's defensive structure to earn a pair of corners. In the 14th minute, Donnarumma ran out to grab a dangerous corner that somehow found no one in white, but England's momentum continued to build.

Italy midfielder Jorginho went down in the 23rd minute with an apparent leg injury that required treatment off the pitch, but the Chelsea midfielder limped on in what would've otherwise had been a major blow to the Azzurri. 

Italy managed to settle into the game and control possession after a hectic 25 minutes, but nothing seemed to trouble England other than a long shot from Insigne that eventually skipped wide in the rain at Wembley. 

Raheem Sterling and Mason Mount nearly combined for a beautiful one-two combo at the edge of the penalty area in the 34th minute before Italy snuffed it out. But the Azzurri returned with their best chance of the night thus far: a formidable drive up the pitch from Chiesa until the Juventus winger's low rocket from distance fell just wide of the post.

Italy had another chance in the 42nd minute with a free kick in a perilous position, but John Stones swooped in to deal with a dangerous cross into the area.  

In the 44th, Sterling went to ground hoping to earn a penalty, but referee Björn Kuipers waved play on. Ciro Immobile and Marco Verratti then saw a pair of shots from inside the England area blocked in the final minutes of the half and Italy continued to come away empty-handed. 

Sterling went to ground again seeking a penalty in the Italy penalty area to start off the second half, but Kuipers once again calmly gestured for play to continue.

In the 50th minute, Italy won a free kick from just two yards outside of the penalty area. Wembley went quiet until Insigne's curling free-kick effort soared just wide of the top-right corner as the stadium erupted in relief. 

Italy made the first change with a double switch in the 55th minute. Bryan Cristante and Domenico Berardi came on for Nicolò Barella, who was already on a yellow, and Immobile. 

Maguire, the most expensive English transfer of all time, showed why he is a formidable aerial threat with his flying header in the 56th minute, but his effort went well over the bar. 

Italy answered in the 57th minute with one of its best chances of the match as Chiesa's shot fell to the shifty Insigne, but the Napoli star couldn't find a way past England keeper Jordan Pickford with his goal-line shot. 

Chiesa continued to break down England's defense with another close chance in the 62nd minute. The winger cut onto his right and sent a low shot through three defenders from the edge of the area, but Pickford dove low to his left for a deft save. 

SI Recommends

Stones nearly added a second for England in the 64th minute off a corner as Trippier whipped in a stellar cross into the area. But the Man City defender's header was tipped over the bar by Donnarumma to avoid the danger in what was England's first shot on target since the third-minute goal.

Bonucci found Italy's answer in the 67th minute with a rebounded effort amid the chaos in front of goal. Verratti's headed effort off a corner was saved by Pickford before it hit the post and bounced out to Bonucci, who stuffed it away for the equalizer.

Italy had England on its heels as the momentum shifted to the Azzurri. Second-half sub Berardi nearly had a moment of glory in the 73rd with a volley on a ball over the top from Bonucci, but it would've taken something special to turn that around. 

Chiesa took on three defenders in the 80th minute down the wing with a brilliant series of touches, but the 23-year-old paid the price, holding his ankle during a two-minute delay in play. Chiesa lasted only a few more minutes before being subbed off for his Juventus teammate, Federico Bernardeschi.

Six minutes of stoppage time were added to the end of the second half as the sides continued to push and pull, with England failing to get anything out of a pair of set pieces in their attacking third.

Italy had a golden chance in the 95th minute with a Berardi cross into the area for Insigne, but the ball soared over the winger and dropped to Kyle Walker, who chested in back to Pickford as Wembley exhaled. One minute later, Chiellini yanked down Saka by his collar to earn the yellow but stop the England counter attack. 

And just as each of the semifinals ended, the final, too, went to extra time with the score tied at 1-1.

England knocked on the door in the 96th minute when Sterling was played in on goal by second-half substitute Jordan Henderson before Giorgio Chiellini sent the chance out for a corner with a massive block. On the subsequent corner, Kalvin Phillips's long-range effort zipped just past the goal and out of play.

Italy had the best chance of the first half of extra time in the 103rd minute when Emerson whipped in a dangerous cross into the middle of the action that barely avoided Bernardeschi and deflected off Pickford.

The Azzurri continued to push forward in extra time with a series of chances. Bernardeschi's free kick from distance fell surprisingly on target to test Pickford but the Everton keeper was there to pick up the rebound.

In the 111th, Henderson and Sterling combined for a one-two around the Italian penalty area but the 36-year-old Chiellini came to the rescue once again, standing his ground to stop the chance.

Two minutes later, Italy midfielder Jorginho was handed a yellow card for stepping on Grealish's leg during a tackle and may have been fortunate to avoid a red. 

Ahead of a potential penalty-kick shootout, England sent on Manchester United duo Rashford and Sancho in the 120th minute, specifically for the shootout, as three minutes were added. 

The two sides ran out the final minutes and headed to the bench to prepare for penalties in front of a nervous crowd of 65,000-plus.  

Berardi took the first kick and scored past Pickford with a calm shot into the bottom left corner, but Harry Kane followed up with a converted penalty of his own.

Pickford came up big with a save on Andrea Belotti's shot to Pickford's left while Maguire converted his penalty for the lead. 

Bonucci followed up coolly with a penalty to make up for Italy's miss in the second round and Rashford hit the post on his penalty to even the shootout once again.

Bernadeschi scored down the middle to give Italy the lead while Sancho, another late sub, saw his shot saved by Donnarumma.

Jorginho, who scored the winning penalty against Spain on the final shot, stepped to the spot and saw it saved by Pickford to deny the immediate win. But Donnarumma saved Saka's final penalty shot to crown Italy champions of Europe. 

More Euro 2020 Coverage: