EURO 2020 analytics: Italy vs England – watch our video
The EURO 2020 final saw Italy face England at Wembley Stadium in London, with 60,000 fans allowed to attend this showpiece event. The crowd was understandably in support of the English, with a tiny Italian contingent, and England were hoping to use this to end 55 years of hurt and win only their second international title ever. Italy, on the other hand, were aiming for their second European Championship trophy, to go with their four World Cup titles, but have also seen a resurgence under Roberto Mancini, having failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Mancini named an unchanged XI from the side that came through on penalties against Spain in the EURO 2020 semi-finals, while England manager Gareth Southgate reverted to a back three, bringing in Keiran Trippier instead of Bukayo Saka.
England started the game in brilliant fashion, scoring inside three minutes, as Luke Shaw got forward from left wing-back and hit a sweet half-volley off Trippier’s cross that hit the net via the inside of the post. The move had been started by Shaw himself, as he kept possession deep in England’s half, before Harry Kane spread it wide to the galloping Trippier down the right, who even had Kyle Walker, the right-sided centre-back, overlapping him when he crossed the ball. This goal was the perfect example of the advantage of playing with three centre-backs and wing-backs, and Italy looked all over the place in the opening minutes, failing to pick up Kane and leaving acres of space for Trippier down their left. However, England did not press their advantage, and instead dropped off after the first 15 minutes or so, allowing Italy to come back and retake control of the match. England moved to a low block, with all 10 outfield players behind the ball, making it difficult for Italy to progress centrally and forcing them to play long balls over the top. However, England themselves also did not create too many chances, and the first half ended with the Three Lions having a slender and precarious lead in the EURO 2020 final.
Italy upped the tempo in the second half, forcing England back and starting to threaten. Mancini made a double substitution in the 55th minute that made a big difference – Ciro Immobile and Nicolo Barella were replaced by Domenico Berardi and Bryan Cristante, respectively, with Lorenzo Insigne moving infield to play at centre-forward, and Federico Chiesa moving to the left to accommodate Berardi on the right. Italy were now able to pick up possession behind the England midfielders, and a sustained spell of pressure led to the equalizer, as Leonardo Bonucci bundled home from a corner following Jordan Pickford’s save from Marco Verrati’s (!) header. Southgate responded by changing shape to a 4-3-3, with Saka coming on for Trippier, and while they were marginally more threatening, they failed to find a breakthrough and the game moved into extra-time. Neither side were able to score the crucial goal needed to win the game, and thus penalties loomed once again – the second Italy game in a row that had gone to penalties, while it would be England’s first shootout at EURO 2020. It started well for England, with Andrea Belotti’s kick being saved by Jordan Pickford and Harry Maguire scoring to give England a 2-1 lead, but it went downhill from there. Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho missed and saw their kick saved respectively, and with Bonucci and Bernardeschi scoring, the penalty master Jorginho had the chance to win it for Italy. Pickford pulled off a brilliant save, however, to give England hope, but Saka’s penalty was saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma to spark Italian celebrations, and English despair.
Check out our analytics report video from the EURO 2020 final for the key statistics, data and visualisations.