A spectacular Euro Cup final has seen Italy down England 3-2 in penalties to became Champions of Europe for the second time, 53 years after capturing their first title. 

England struck first, and quick, as Luke Shaw smashed through a Kieren Trippier cross to take the lead just two minutes into the game. With the lead in tact the Brits appeared content to defend it as they controlled the first half with conservative play, despite the Azzuri challenging with a pair of wide strikes. 

The second half was dominated by Italy as they pressed hard and eventually equalised through Leonardo Bonucci after he banged home a saved ball that ricocheted off the post. An aggressive Azzuri continued attacking but failed to find the back of net again which forced extra-time. 

England started showing signs of urgency during the additional period and a goal seemed almost certain had Harry Kane not missed John Stones with a fractionally high cross.

Conversely, Italy were lucky not to be reduced to 10 men and down a pivotal penalty taking star as Jorginho made a clumsy studded challenge on England youngster Jack Grealish, which controversially resulted in only a yellow card. Just like that extra-time wound down and the two European giants were off to penalties. 

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  • Domenico Berardi scored first for Italy as he struck hard to the bottom left. 
  • Harry Kane responded by smashing it to the left, just far enough to pass a stretched Gigi Donnarumma 
  • Andrea Belotti missed right as Pickford scurried across to deny the shot
  • Harry McGuire went bang and the ball soared powerfully into the top right corner

At this point the Wembley Stadium was shaking with anticipation as most believed that it was coming home. 

  • Leonardo Bonucci then just managed to sneak one past Jordan Pickford as the balls was inches from his last instant upwards swipe. 
  • Marcus Rashford stuttered in and hit the left post 
  • Federico Bernardeshi then calmly scored down the middle 
  • Jaden Sancho missed to the bottom right as Gigi Donnarumma pounced to make the save

This was the moment that doubt started to silence the England faithful as the air was proverbially sucked out of the building. 

  • Jorginho then missed left as Jordan Pickford slides and palms the ball to the post and out, reinvigorating the crowd and restoring hope
  • Bukayo Saka then had his bottom right strike saved by Gigi Donnarumma which sealed the deal for the Azzuri

The iconic win has Italy unbeaten in 34 consecutive games and cemented Gigi Donnarumma as a football hero given his outstanding tournament and composure in the critical stages of the shootout.