From getting off the train to going home from the game, the final of Euro 2020 might not always be remembered fondly, or for the right reasons, but as days go, the excitement, the anticipation, the atmosphere, the joy of Shaw’s early goal before the disappointment of Saka’s penalty miss, it will go down memorably as the day we could have brought football home…. But instead perhaps brought football to shame…
From Wembley Way (sorry… Olympic Way) covered in bottles and cans… To the empty seats of leaving fans… A day that started with optimism for me, whilst walking the dog in a sunny Nottingham, ended in sadness eating a curry in Kings Cross, but if we couldn’t be proud of our fans, we could certainly be proud of our players, and a Manager who brought a togetherness and team spirit like never before, a nation pulling together as one fully backing the boys, until it all went wrong.
26 heroes, black and white, the back room staff and organisors at FA HQ also need a pat on the back, team England did themselves and their country proud, it wasn’t to be as Italy, superb on the counter-attack, with lightening pace and stunning skill of Insigne and Chiesa, brilliant in midfield with Barella, Veratti, Jorghino, mean at the back thanks to Donnarumma, Bonucci and Chielini, they deserved to win, the best team in the competition, but England ran them close, and deserve themselves to be considered amongst the world elite.
Too many players to praise but stand out shout outs for Raheem Sterling and Harry Maguire, Pickford in goal was outstanding, Phillips and Rice in midfield commanding… the defence from Stones to Walker, Mings to Trippier, each one was superb, only wish we had given more of our talented forwards time out on the pitch… Rashford & Sancho deserved more than they got, Grealish deserved more too, but England to a man can be proud, and I hope the players involved will look back in years to come and say “Boy I did good”.
Sunday 11th July 2021
European Championship Final: Italy 1-1 England (Wembley) *3-2 on pens aet
Italy 4-2-3-1: Gianluigi Donnarumma – Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Emerson – Jorginho, Marco Verratti (Manuel Locatelli 96) – Federico Chiesa (Filippo Bernardeschi 86), Nicola Barella (Bryan Cristante 54), Lorenzo Insigne (Andrea Belotti 90) – Ciro Immobile (Domenico Berardi 55). Coach: Roberto Mancini.
England 5-3-2: Jordan Pickford – Kieran Trippier (Bukayo Saka 70), Kyle Walker (Jadon Sancho 120), John Stones, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw – Declan Rice (Jordan Henderson 74 (Marcus Rashford 120)), Kalvin Phillips, Mason Mount (Jack Grealish 99) – Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane. Coach: Gareth Southgate.
Goals: 1-0 Shaw (England) 2, 1-1 Bonucci (Italy) 67
Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (Netherlands)