Wednesday, January 26

Italy conquers the Eurocup and punishes the cowardice of England

From extension to extension. And from penalty to penalty. Italy was proclaimed champion of Europe condemning the stingy, unworthy and miserable football that Southgate touts, capable of making two changes (Sancho and Rashford) to shoot the decisive penalties. Cold as they were, they both missed, leaving the responsibility of the fifth and decisive launch for Saka, a 19-year-old boy, who also crashed before the giant Donnarumma.

Wembley was silent, stunned and bewildered that England were a team drama, unable to maintain their initial title lead. Or so I thought. Mancini had his way, grounded in the wonderful hands of the Milan goalkeeper, who could now be Paris SG.

And that Italy was initially late to Wembley. I did not know that the game started at nine. He knew it, but he forgot. What I did not know is the plan hatched by Southgate, who took good note of the roadmap with which Luis Enrique also dismantled Mancini, even though the penalties indicated otherwise.

So neglected was the Azzurra squad that a corner in favor, given by a clumsy pass behind Maguire, a center-back with wooden feet, would be the prologue of the Fastest goal in the history of the Euro Cup finals. It did not take England two minutes to cause an earthquake at Wembley and give back to the country that invented football the pride lost after more than half a century of terrible journey through nowhere.

In just 117 seconds, the ball traveled from the left flank of the English defense to the right-hand side where the flanks were connected. Another PRemedy for the format used by Southgate, which used a line of three exchanges (Walker, Stones and Maguire) to dismantle a surprised Italy. The ball traveled quickly from end to end of the field without Mancini being able to anticipate the scale of the catastrophe. The defensive disorder of Mancio’s soldiers, as the coach is called in his country, contributed to the chaos.

Italy was late to Wembley, but on time

Suddenly, Kane, a nine with a Benzemesque air (go down, receive, leave the area, undertake excursions that misled Bonucci and Chiellini, as if it were Dani Olmo in the semifinal with Spain), connected the English lines to sign a monumental goal.

Monumental in gestation and, of course, in execution. With the net of the three center-backs stretched out back to protect Pickford, the wings flew across the Wembley meadow, cohesive by Kane’s precise pass. Trippier rode to the right, just before serving a precise, poisoned cross. On the other side, with the entire defensive line pending on the ball and not on the rival, he arrived Shaw to hook a left foot like someone who kicks stones down the street. The leather, spat out by the United defender’s left foot, bounced off the grass before taunting Donnarumma’s gigantic body.

Confirmed. Italy was late to Wembley. And from side to side the ball traveled so that England could obtain the loot that they had been waiting for more than 55 years, while the selection of Mancini went into depression. It took her half an hour to escape from the Wembley couch, spurred on by Chiesa, that Juventus striker, capable of surviving the darkest landscapes.

It has a life of its own and does not need to feel wrapped up to create danger in a first half in which Italy had the ball (62% possession) and passed it much more than the English (323 vs 179 in the initial 45 minutes), but it was all extremely innocuous. Not a shot on goal, drowned by that jail that was supposed to have Phillips and Rice in front of them, two guys who have the party’s Google maps in their brains. In addition, Southgate had no shame in folding, low block now experts say, his team under Pickford’s nose. In other words, he placed a lifelong bus, with a 5-4-1, with Kane, the exquisite Kane, just 35 meters from his goalkeeper.

Although it was due to inertia (they seemed the English masters of the ‘catenaccio’), Italy began to settle in the opposite field. Mancini moved the bench with two changes. Nothing changed. The world upside down. At game time, England was, in reality, the replica of old Italy. The ball? They didn’t want it. So that! Better to defend himself, thought Southgate, also protected by those iron hands that Pickford possesses. That powerful left hand that thwarted a sensational shot from Chiesa, determined as he was to keep Italy alive.

When he breathed, even with artificial oxygen, he ran into the Everton goalkeeper, until a set piece action undressed England. It seems incredible, but an Italian corner, pushed by millions of tifosi, allowed Bonucci to climb on the Wembley billboard to celebrate the equalizer. Although Chiellini, another ‘sacred cow’, installed in the small English area caused the necessary disorder for his partner Bonucci to take the glory of the goal after Verratti’s previous header was repelled by the wood. But a central, with a nose for nine, signed the 1-1.

Church when sending

That reaction from Italy can only be understood by the amount of Chiesas that inhabited Federico’s body, until his right ankle bent. He left injured, with tears in his eyes, leaving the Azzurra squad orphan. England, after Shaw’s goal, was abandoned to cowardice, leaving a trace of sadness. What is the use of having such good players if you then send them as your only mission to protect Pickford’s house?

For this reason, the cowardice of Southgate was punished, the coach who chose the path of mischief, who demanded the path of the three centrals to build a traditional line of four defenders, supported by Pickford, capable of stopping until turning the ball around. Angry as the English goalkeeper was walking, screaming at each play, complaining about everything and everyone. Especially from his teammates. And that had the fortune of the absence of Chiesa, the Italian offensive soul, while Pickford continued to leave strange and singular stops, although full of efficiency.

And after more than 100 minutes of no offensive news, England woke up. He had the ball and had control as Italy was exhausted, but the chiellinistic cement was more than half a life in extra time, the referee forgiving Jorginho the red card after a terrible tackle to Grealish. And Southgate’s party management? From bad to worse, exhausting the two changes he had left in the last minute of extra time so that Sancho and Rashford, whom he confined as an improvised right-back, would only shoot penalties. They both failed and so did Saka so that Donnarumma became the hero of Italy by giving him the Eurocup that I had lost from the beginning. In the end, he did arrive on time.


Italy: Donnarumma (9), Di Lorenzo (4), Bonucci (8), Chiellini (8), Emerson (5), Barella (4), Jorginho (6), Verratti (6), Chiesa (8), Immobile (4 ))) and Insigne (6).

Trainer: Roberto Mancini (8)

Changes: Cristante (5) by Barella (54 m); Berardi (5) for the building (c. 54); Bernardeschi (sc) for Chiesa (85 m); Belotti (sc) by Insigne (m. 91); Locatelli (sc) by Verratti (96 m); Florenzi (sc) by Emerson (died 118)

England: Pickford (7), Walker (7), Stones (6), Maguire (5), Trippier (6), Shaw (8), Phillips (7), Rice (6), Mount (5), Kane (6) and Sterling (5),

Coach: Gareth Southgate (5)

Changes: Saka (5) by Trippier (c. 70); Henderson (4) by Rice (m. 74); Grealish (6) by Mount (c. 99); Sancho (sc) by Walker (m. 120); Rashford (sc) by Henderson (m. 120).

Goals: 0-1 (m. 2), Shaw; 1-1, (m. 67) Bonucci;

Referee: Bjรถrn Kuipers, Dutch (6)

Yellow cards: Barella (m. 48); Bonucci (m. 55); Insigne (m. 84); Chiellini (m. 90 + 6); Maguire (c. 106); Jorginho (114 m)

Stadium: Wembley.

Viewers: 65,000.


Berardi: 1-0

Kane: 1-1

Belotti: 1-1, for Pickford

Maguire: 1-2

Bonucci: 2-2

Rashford: 2-2, to the post

Bernardeschi: 3-2

Sancho: 3-2, by Donnarumma

Related news

Jorginho: 3-2, by Pickford, placed

Saka: 3-2, by Donnarumma

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