The Euro 2020 final, although a year late, came at the perfect time. In a time where many have lost their lives, jobs, and loved ones, this competition has restored the joy of millions around the world.
In a final for the ages, England welcomed the almighty Italians to a boisterous Wembley filled with raw emotions. In typical euphoric fashion, Wembley would erupt as Luke Shaw gave England the lead in the 2nd minute.
The Three Lions would hold onto this lead up until the 67th minute when Leonardo Bonucci would scramble one in from close range. That equalizer had been coming as Roberto Mancini’s men were firmly in control of possession.
Despite the relentless pressure from Italy, the game would go to penalties where Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho & Bukayo Saka would all miss penalties in heart-breaking fashion for England. Italy are now the Champions of Europe and unbeaten in 34 games under Roberto Mancini.
Here are the Hits and Flops from Italy 1-1 England (3-2 pen)
Hit: Federico Chiesa (Italy)
In a game that was set to be decided by fine margins, Federico Chiesa was a shining light in Italy’s rather impotent attack. The Italians probed England’s resolute back five for most of the game, but it was the outbursts from Chiesa that caused England the most amount of problems.
The 23-year-old completed 75% of his take-ons, won 8 duels and attempted 3 shots on goal. The Italian showed everyone why his name should be mentioned amongst the best young players in the world.
Flop: Mason Mount (England)
Don’t get it twisted, Mason Mount is one of England’s brightest young talents. The 22-year-old has proved throughout the season he’s ready for the bright lights and can shine on the biggest of stages. However, tonight he was not at his best.
In fact, his performance has led fans to question why Jack Grealish did not start ahead of him.
Smith Rowe would have 100% done better in this system than Mount. pic.twitter.com/3CkDrvT1yY— Arsenal Presser (@APresserV2) July 11, 2021
England were set up in a low-block with the aim of counterattacking down the flanks. This tactic relied on quick transitions in ball carrying, speed of thought and switches of play. Unfortunately, Mason Mount was unable to aid his teammates in any of these facets last night.