It was once again a veteran who stood up for Italy in the European Championship finals against England. Leonardo Bonucci came from nowhere to steer the ball home following a Jordan Pickford rebound.
The Juventus centre back became the tournament’s oldest goalscorer at the age of 34 years 71 days.
The Three Lions took an early lead via a fantastic move from Kieran Trippier which was finished by Luke Shaw. It was a poor defending display from the Azzurri as they left the Manchester United left completely free in space in the penalty area and as the ball landed near him he made no mistake to steer it home on the volley.
Gareth Southgate’s men controlled most of the first half and looked like the team taking charge of the big stage. However, the second half saw a different Azzurri side as they imposed themselves and pressed the English side with a higher intensity.
The relentless attacks from Italy led to a corner and it fell nicely for Marco Verratti who headed it goalwards but Pickford was up to the task to save the header. But Bonucci was alert as he steered the rebound home, restoring parity for the Azzurri.
Apart from being the oldest goalscorer, Bonucci has also registered the highest appearances in the Euros finals. After restoring parity, the Juventus centre back went on to celebrate with the Italian supporters as they went wild at Wembley Stadium. Bonucci also scored from the spot in the penalty shootout and played a massive role in Italy’s historic Euros win.
Both the sides were inseparable even after extra time and hence it was to be decided on penalties. Italy, despite starting well through Domenico Berardi, were in slight trouble when Andrea Belotti missed from the spot.
However, Marcus Rashford’s wild penalty restored parity in the shootout. But what unfolded next was shocking for the English fans. Federico Bernadeschi piled up the pressure by putting Italy ahead. However, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were kept out by Gianluigi Donnarumma handing Italy the European title.
The Three Lions were near flawless in their run till the finals of the Euros 2020. This was their first final appearance in a major international tournament in 55 years following their 1966 World Cup win.