It’s not coming home yet as Italy triumph at the Euros
Image cc: Al Jazeera
England which had not seen a cup final since 1966 saw a ray of hope under the guidance of Gareth Southgate and his players but must wait a little longer for their taste of bringing a cup to England. They had a pretty good tournament and cemented themselves as real contenders for the Euro win after defeating a strong German side in the quarter finals which silenced the critics and haters that England meant business this season, but hearts broke at the final when Italy won on the penalty shootouts. It was quite known that England wouldn’t win if the game did go to penalties as that was their weak point, but Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were brought on during ending stages of the game for that reason. Despite Pickford’s brilliant save Rashford, Sancho and Saka ended up missing their penalties which handed Italy the win.
Image cc: goal.com
It was looking like an easy win for England as Luke Shaw scored the opening goal in just under 2 minutes making it the fastest goal scored at the euros. He was by far the best left back of the tournament alongside a strong defense of Maguire and Stones, but Italy had emerged as an unlikely contender at the tournament. It was pretty well known that England woud not win the game if it went to penalties so they had to do everything in their power to score one more goal and not take it to that point. The match took an interesting turn when Italy’s defender Leonardo Bonucci equalized from a corner kick in the second half. They had gone through struggles in the past even as far as failing to qualify for the 2018 world cup but made immense strides under manager Roberto Manaccini. Most of the nation was sympathizing with the players about the loss but some fans did not take this lightly and resorted to racism against the penalty takers which Prime Minister Boris Johnson later criticized. Jack Grealish was also criticized by former Manchester United Captain Roy Keane who believed Grealish should have taken the penalty before Saka as he was a senior player, which Jack later clarified as the decision taken by the manager on who would take the penalty. There was a lot of vandalism and littering before the game as well as some fans tried to get in the stadium without a valid ticket, but hell went lose when the team lost and there was violence, racism and abuse everywhere on the street, social media described it as the unseen side of the British which is often masked from the tea sipping culture. Italian fans who had come to watch the match had to hide as they were being attacked from the English fans.
Image cc: dw.com
Italy was deserving winners of the tournament they had been looking brilliant throughout the tournament but were looking pretty weak defense wise on Sunday when they conceded the goal in just 3 minutes but immediately bounced back despite being in the away ground and having less fans travelling due to the pandemic Italy beat the odds delayed “Its coming home” for some time now and broke the hearts of millions of English fans who were looking to win their first major trophy since 1966. England who had looked sloppy at times played like real champions yesterday. Some do say England were lucky this tournament as they played 6 out of their 7 games at Wembly which is their home ground and had unfair advantage of having fans every game. They were also fined by the UEFA for the use of flairs and pointing a laser at the Danish Goalkeeper during the penalty which booked England’s spot in the final. It’s been said that Gareth Southgate might be in contention for a knighthood and wishes to lead the team again at the world cup next year in Qatar.
-Siddhant Mane for LuxPresso Magazine