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Gianluigi Donnarumma saved two England penalties en route to a 3-2 shootout victory after the teams fought out a 1-1 extra-time stalemate at a boisterous Wembley on Sunday.

After Marcus Rashford struck the post, the gigantic keeper saved Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, while Federico Bernardeschi, Leonardo Bonucci, and Domenico Berardi all scored for the Italians in the Euro 2020.

The knockout triumphs over Germany, Ukraine, and Denmark at Euro 2020 have been a fantastic voyage and a defying of a historical pattern. England had only only won one knockout tie in this tournament before, beating Spain on penalties in 1996. But when it came down to it, when sporting immortality in the form of only England’s second major prize loomed, they would fall up painfully short.

The tide has shifted substantially in Italy’s favor. Sancho saw Donnarumma go the right way to rescue him after another substitute, Federico Bernardeschi, had scored. Jorginho would come on to win it, but Pickford would hit the post with his kick. England had reason to be optimistic. Then they had nothing when Donnarumma rejected Bukayo Saka, who had also come off the bench. Southgate made a bold decision by entrusting the fifth kick to a 19-year-old.

The goalkeeper Donnarumma also won the player of the tournament for historically saving Italy’s day.

Luke Shaw thumped in a magnificent goal just two minutes to light up Wembley, giving England a fantastic start to their first ever EURO showpiece. However, Italy gradually regained their composure, and Leonardo Bonucci scored midway through the second half. After extra time and penalties, both goalkeepers saved two penalties; but, history will remember Donnarumma as the victor.

On the day of Italy’s fourth EURO final, Roberto Mancini observed, “It’s critical that we get off to a good start.” What happened next was anything but that. With fewer than two minutes on the clock, Harry Kane surprised starter Kieran Trippier by spreading a pass out wide, and his exquisite cross was greeted by a precise left-footed half-volley from Shaw. England was overjoyed.

The good times have never appeared so good for a generation of Italy fans.

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