(Watch Highlights) Italy clinch Euro 2020 trophy, beat England on penalties (Match Report)

Italy’s Azzurri have won Euro 2020 trophy, defeating the Three Lions on penalties after the two sides could not be separated even in the extra time at Wembley.

Leonardo Bonucci cancelled out the early Luke Shaw volley and Gianluigi Donnarumma was decisive with two saves in the penalty shoot-out.

The Azzurri were aiming to go 34 games unbeaten and win the European Championship for the second time after 1968, while this was England’s first major tournament final since the 1966 World Cup, which was also at Wembley Stadium.

Leonardo Spinazzola was in the stands on crutches after surgery on a torn Achilles tendon, so Italy retained the XI that beat Spain in the semi-final on penalties. Gareth Southgate missed Phil Foden, but transformed his side from 4-3-3 to 3-4-3 with Kieran Trippier in and Bukayo Saka out, replicating the system used against Germany in the Round of 16.

It was the worst possible start for Italy, as within a couple of minutes Trippier’s cross had found Luke Shaw unmarked at the back post for a cushioned volley, while defenders had bunched centrally around Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling. It was the first time the Azzurri had been behind in this tournament.

Jorginho had a knee problem after 20 minutes, but was able to continue after treatment, as Italy held possession for long periods while England focused on the defend and counter.

On 35 minutes, Federico Chiesa won a battle with Declan Rice and burst forward, drilling inches wide of the near post.

England sat further and further back to defend their lead and wait for rapid counters, as Ciro Immobile’s volley was charged down from 12 yards by John Stones.

Sterling went down very easily at the dawn of the second half, but the referee waved play on this time, while Insigne’s free kick curled wide of the far top corner.

Mancini had to make changes, introducing Bryan Cristante and Domenico Berardi for a False 9 system. Insigne stung Jordan Pickford’s gloves at the near post, then the goalkeeper got down well for a desperate one-handed save after Chiesa took on the entire England defence and squeezed his shot through a tiny gap.

Gianluigi Donnarumma got his fingertips to a Stones header which was going over anyway from a corner, but the Italy goal had been coming.

It arrived on a corner, flicked on at the near post by Cristante, then Verratti’s header came off the far stick and Leonardo Bonucci bundled the rebound over the line. At 34 years and 71 days, he became the oldest ever player to score in a Euros Final.

England had lost control of the game, so changed back to 4-3-3 with Bukayo Saka, but Berardi almost scored an absolutely spectacular goal when a long ball came over the top and he volleyed just over as Pickford came tearing out.

There was bad news when the extremely lively Chiesa was caught by Kyle Walker and after several minutes of limping, had to make way for Federico Bernardeschi.

It went to extra time with Insigne and Verratti both limping off for Andrea Belotti and Manuel Locatelli.

Chiellini made a crucial interception on Sterling and Kalvin Phillips fired wide after a corner, while Pickford had to get his arm to an Emerson cross before Bernardeschi could tap in.

Pickford parried a Bernardeschi long-range free kick and was fortunate there was nobody on the rebound, while Donnarumma was a little shaky on a cross for Stones’ header and Chiellini made another crucial tackle on Sterling.

Jorginho was booked for a late lunge on Jack Grealish and Alessandro Florenzi made his comeback after an injury against Wales.

They could not be divided, so it goes to penalties, the second in this tournament for Italy, the first for England.

Andrea Belotti had his saved, but both England substitutes brought on only for the penalties ended up failing, as Marcus Rashford hit the post and Jadon Sancho’s was saved.

Pickford got a hand to what was going to be the decisive Jorginho kick, but Bukayo Saka stepped up and it too was parried by Donnarumma.

Shaw 2 (E), Bonucci 66 (I)

Penalties: Berardi (I, goal), Kane (E, goal), Belotti (I, saved), Maguire (E, goal), Bonucci (I, goal), Rashford (E, post), Bernardeschi (I, goal), Sancho (E, saved), Jorginho (I, saved), Sako (E, saved)

Revealed: Colours of Italy, England jerseys for Euro 2020 final, Azzurri fans happy for happy for kits

Italy will wear their blue jersey for the UEFA EURO 2020 Final, while England are in white at Wembley Stadium, and both will take the knee before kick-off.

It is now confirmed that the Azzurri will be in their traditional blue jersey with white shorts.

As for the Three Lions, they are going to be in white, despite some calling for them to replicate the 1966 World Cup Final by donning red.

That is something, according to Football Italia, the Nazionale’s more superstitious fans had also been hoping for, because in the Euros so far, Italy have beaten all the teams whose traditional home kit is red.

They saw off Turkey, Switzerland, Wales, Austria, Belgium and Spain.

As for the goalkeepers, Gianluigi Donnarumma will be dressed in yellow, and Jordan Pickford in green.

England have taken the knee in an anti-racism gesture before every game and Italy confirmed they would join in out of solidarity if the opposition team requested it.

That request has been made to the referee, so both squads will briefly kneel before kick-off.

AC Milan legend Filippo Inzaghi heaps praise on Jorginho, identifies Azzurri’s “weakest point” ahead of Euro 2020 final

Filippo Inzaghi has hailed Jorginho for his roles in Italy’s exploits in the Euro 2020, saying the Chelsea star “has surprised me, he’s confirming himself as a candidate for the Ballon d’Or.”

The Azzurri are unbeaten in 33 games, stretching back to 2018, and take on host nation England tomorrow night for the trophy.

“Roberto Mancini did well to create a real team spirit and focus on young players, for example he called up Nicolò Zaniolo when nobody knew who he was,” Inzaghi told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“There is also great talent in the side, as don’t forget Marco Verratti plays for PSG and Jorginho won the Champions League with Chelsea. Jorginho has surprised me, he’s confirming himself as a candidate for the Ballon d’Or.

“Italy play good football, have a world class goalkeeper in Gianluigi Donnarumma and have strong values. Seeing Lorenzo Insigne lose the ball and run 70 metres to get it back is a strong message to everyone. I show tapes of this Italy side to my players in training at Brescia.”

The weakest point in the current Azzurri side is probably the centre-forward, where Immobile and Andrea Belotti have not replicated their club form.

“I have to say that the two centre-forwards, the most criticised players in the squad, are doing a great job and give their heart and soul for this team,” said SuperPippo.

“I wouldn’t consider it a problem getting goals from the strikers, because we won the 2006 World Cup with Marco Materazzi our top scorer on two goals…

“I hope Immobile scores in the Final, as I consider him to be an excellent striker. He did very well, especially in the group phase, doing the hard work to ensure Italy could play well as a team. A goal in the Final would be the icing on the cake.

“He can score 30 competitive goals per season, so Immobile really doesn’t need advice from me. I too had tough moments of form, so Ciro just has to relax and stay focused.

“We need to be wary of England’s physical strength, the fact they are on home turf and Raheem Sterling, because when he’s in the mood, you can’t catch him.”

Inzaghi was asked for his prediction ahead of the Final.

“Italy to win 1-0 with a goal from Immobile.”

Napoli make Emerson opening bid as club manager speaks to Chelsea star for Serie A reunion

Reports in Italy claim Serie A club Napoli have made an opening bid to sign Chelsea’s Emerson Palmieri, who has been convinced to join the Partenopei.

New Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti wants to reunite with the Italy international at the Stadio Maradona.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Partenopei have placed an opening bid between €8m and €10m bid to sign the former Roma man who joined the Blues in January 2018.

The 26-year-old will see his contract expire in June 2022, but the Blues have an option to extend his stay at the club until 2023.

The pink paper reports Spalletti has already spoken to Emerson Palmieri, convincing him to join the Partenopei, although the details of Emerson’s Napoli contract have not been unveiled.

According to both La Gazzetta dello Sport and Sky Sport Italia, Napoli will meet Emerson’s agent next week.

Emerson could reunite with Giovanni Di Lorenzo at Napoli. They will be Italy’s starting full-backs in the UEFA Euro 2020 Final against England this evening.

Gareth Southgate confirms key youngster major doubt for England for Euro 2020 final against Italy

England manager Gareth Southgate confirms Phil Foden is a major doubt for the UEFA EURO 2020 Final against Italy due to a foot injury.

Foden was not present at the final training session yesterday and Southgate told the BBC that there’s a very real possibility the Manchester City starlet won’t even be on the bench tomorrow.

“He’s a doubt. We’ll have to check again but he’s got a fairly minor foot injury,” said the manager.

“But it’s just whether it’s going to be one that clears up in time for him to be able to take part in the game, so we’ll have to assess that again later.”

The 21-year-old played in three EURO 2020 matches so far, but has not started any of them, so it is unlikely to make any difference to the line-up.

The only real doubt for Southgate remains in the trident attack, between Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho, joining Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane upfront.

Foden only made his senior England debut in September 2020.

Jose Mourinho set to raid former club, wants to be re-united with defence ace at Roma

Jose Mourinho is looking to raid former employers Man Utd in his bid to bring Eric Bailly to Roma.

According to Il Tempo, the Special One is keen to be reunited with the Ivorian centre-back in Italy.

With United keen to partner Harry Maguire with Raphael Varane, Bailly’s opportunities at Old Trafford could be limited.

And it has been claimed that the Red Devils could be willing to do business.

Bailly, who was the first player Mourinho signed at United, appeared in just 12 Premier League games in the 2020-21 campaign.

Bukayo Saka to retain his spot in Three Lions as England face Italy in Euro 2020 final

Bukayo Sakayo looks set to retain his spot in the England side for the country’s date of destiny in the Euro 2020 final against Italy.

The Arsenal ace, 19, was trusted to start by Gareth Southgate during Wednesday’s extra-time semi-final win over Denmark.

Saka – who missed the trip to Rome to beat Ukraine due to injury – has also been given the nod in the victories over Germany and the Czech Republic.

Jadon Sancho deputised last week in Italy and impressed as the Three Lions romped to a 4-0 win but returned to the bench against Denmark.

And Saka’s position in the side was strengthened following reports that Phil Foden is set to miss the final tomorrow with a foot injury.

The Manchester City starlet was pushing for a start after a lively camo in midweek but sat out training today after picking up a knock.

Saka meanwhile will be rewarded for his stunning tournament that reached new heights with his assist against the Danes.

He will once again be flanked by Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling, with the former just one goal away from matching his Golden Boot rivals.

Chelsea, Manchester United eye Italy star as he lines up for Azzurri in Euro 2020 final

Napoli’s attacking full-back Giovanni Di Lorenzo will reportedly be under the microscope of Chelsea and Manchester United when he bids to help Italy beat England in Sunday night’s Euro 2020 final.

The ex-Empoli star, 27, has been one of the Azzurri’s top performers en route to Wembley.

And Di Lorenzo will almost certainly line up for Italy against England at Wembley Stadium on Sunday in what would be his fifth start of the tournament.

But it is his club career that now looks to be up in the air following rumours linking him with a move to Man Utd before the start of next season.

Spanish outlet Defensa Central reports that Di Lorenzo is on Chelsea’s radar this summer.

The Blues missed out on Inter Milan wing-back Achraf Hakimi ahead of his move to Paris Saint-Germain.

According to Il Napolista, the Red Devils have been alerted to the 27-year-old after he revealed during the Euros that he likes the Premier League.

The move for Di Lorenzo is said to be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s way of bringing in some competition for Aaron Wan-Bissaka at right-back.

The 27-year-old has four years left on his contract at the San Paolo but the fullback’s representative Mario Giuffredi claimed before Euro 2020 the defender has ambitions of playing at a higher level:

“Euro 2020 is an important showcase where big clubs like Chelsea, Real Madrid, Atletico, PSG and others can take an interest in these players.

If Di Lorenzo continues like this and a request should arrive, we must then evaluate together with Napoli. He still has a four-year contract and therefore it will not depend on us but will depend on them.”

Thomas Tuchel puts pressure on Chelsea chiefs to make “immediate” move for his prime target

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel wants club chiefs to make an “immediate” move to sign Norway striker Erling Braut Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, according to BILD.

The west London club and their owner Roman Abramovich are keen to signing a prolific striker in the mould of Haaland and Romelu Lukaku to their team.

Real Madrid and Manchester City are equally interested in aquiring the services of the Norway international this summer.

But the German club are planning to still have him at the Westfalenstadion next season as they are demanding 175m euros (£150m) for the 20-year-old this summer.

The club’s chief, Michael Zorc was quoted as saying on Friday, when asked by BILD: “Nothing has changed. We are planning with Erling for the new season! “

Meanwhile, reports claim that Chelsea are still locked in negotiations with Dortmund after personal terms have been agreed with Haaland.

Argentina beat Brazil to clinch Copa America

Argentina sank their closest rivals Brazil in the Copa America final in Rio de Janiero to be crowned kings of South America.

It was a historical night for La Albiceleste, who won their first major international trophy in 28 years, beating Brazil 1-0 at the Stadio Maracana .

Angel Di Maria scored the winning goal for his side, with a chip finish after 22 minutes.

The PSG star’s goal was inspired by a long pass from Udinese midfielder Rodrigo De Paul, who is on the verge of joining Atletico Madrid.

An odd goal from Manchester United misfit Di Maria was enough to clinch victory at the famous Maracana.

Barcelona great Messi finally got his hands on a trophy while wearing the famous blue and white Argentina stripes.

Messi, 34, has won everything possible in the club game during his stellar Barcelona career.

But beating Brazil in their own back yard just months after national icon Diego Maradona died will undoubtedly go down as one of his career highlights.