England have won a trophy for the first time in 55 years, and ... well ... what else is there to say. It’s an historic night for football and the nation and based on the madness we’ve already seen pre-match, during the match, in the stadium, and outside the stadium, things might get wild tonight all across the Eng-lands.
Turns out, “it” was crushing penalty disappointment. Not a trophy.
it came home!— Graham MacAree (@MacAree) July 11, 2021
('it' being crushing penalty disappointment)
It wasn’t exactly a promising start for England when Harry Maguire simply passed a ball out of bounds for a corner inside the first minute, but not sixty seconds later, England were already ahead, with Luke Shaw starting and finishing a move for his first international goal. Harry Kane’s switch and Kieran Trippier’s cross were both perfect, as was Shaw’s timing his shot on the short bounce that skimmed off the ground and kissed the inside of the near post to take it past a helpless Donnarumma.
Given a lead to protect, England comfortably saw out the first 45 minutes, though Italy did grow into proceedings once England dialed down the intensity a bit around the half-hour mark. Unfortunately for the Azzurri, many of their most promising attacks seemed to end up involving Emerson, which then made them not so promising in short order. (Emerson would improve as the game wore on, in fairness.)
The Three Lions set out to do more of the same in the second half, but that proved to be a tall order. Italy not only dominated possession but slowly ratcheted up the pressure — adding more mobility to their attack; Chiesa switching to the left flank was especially problem — and eventually found an equalizer from a corner, which Leonardo Bonucci scrambled home after Verratti hit the post with a header.
Italy were rampant after the equalizer, but England survived and even threatened a couple times before the end of the 90. Still, neither side would find a second goal, and extra time beckoned.
An attritional 30 minutes produced no goals, and to penalties we went.
In the penalties, England scored their first two but failed to convert on the last three (Donnarumma making two saves on his way to Player of the Tournament), which was enough despite Jorginho missing his chance to win it. The Chelsea man played the full 120, most of it on one leg after suffered a knee injury in the first half. Emerson played all but the final few minutes, and Mount put in 90+ minutes before making way in extra-time.
Blue is the color!