Italy win Euro 2020: Tactical Review
The Euros are finally here! Join us as FC Mangalore’s Technical team of Biby Thomas and Shailesh Karkera break down the matches.
Sixty thousand fans flooded London for the final of the Euro 2020 Championships played over various locations in continental Europe which finally came to a fitting end at Wembley. England’s remarkable performance through the group stages and playoffs had revitalised the faithful and the fans had begun the familiar chants of “It’s Coming Home” while on the other hand, Italy had booked their place in the finals after a run of 30 matches unbeaten in the past two years under the leadership of Roberto Mancini – not bad for a team who had failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
FC Mangalore Media asked our very own team of Technical Experts Biby Thomas and Shailesh Karkera to pick the top moments from the final decided the ties and here’s what they had to say.
Italy clinch tile to extend English misery
Italy *1-1 England (After Penalties)
Despite going down to the fastest goal scored in Euros history in front of a packed Wembley comprising of mainly English supporters, the Azzuri held their nerve and worked their way back gradually into the game. Credit goes to their incredible spirit and positive mentality which eventually saw them dominate large swathes of the second half and orchestrate a remarkable turnaround.
Persistent Attacking Play
The early goal meant that Italy were always chasing the game and without the services of a traditional #9, they found inspiration in the wide areas in the form of Chiesa and Insigne. England were forced back into their own half and had to defend deep, allowing Italy the freedom of the pitch and the opportunity to commit more men forwards. In the end, Italy had a total of 20 attempts on goal, as compared to England’s 6.
Italian Defence Stays Strong
England had been devastating in this Euro campaign from their set-pieces with Maguire, Stones and Kane being extremely effective in the air although at Wembley, it was the commanding performance of the experienced Chellini and Bonucci that really stood out, the pair were also fittingly involved in Italy’s equalizer scored by the latter. In one-on-one duels with genuine dribblers like Sterling, Kane, Mount and Grealish, the defensive duo came out on time every single time and kept the English at bay all through the 120+ minutes of play.
Jorginho dictates play, yet again
England’s decision to sit back and defend their early lead meant that inadvertently they allowed Jorginho to flourish in the central areas and dominate the midfield contest. He was key to Italy’s build-up play, kept finding spaces, remained composed under pressure and dictated the tempo of the game. Although he missed from the spot during the penalty shootout, he had a fantastic game and was exceptionally consistent throughout the tournament.
Donnarumma Saves the Day
If there is one thing that Italian football is traditionally haunted by, it is the heart-breaking penalty shootout exits the national team has faced time and again in major tournaments. The edition of the Euros saw Italy survive two shoot-outs enroute to winning the championship and much of the credit goes to Donarrumma, who is already on the path to mirroring his legendary predecessor Gianluigi Buffon. With Italy trailing in the shoot-out following Belotti’s miss, it was Donnarumma who stepped up when the team needed him the most – guessing right to deny both Sancho and Saka and sparing the blushes for Jorginho who had blown a glorious opportunities to win it all from the spot minutes earlier.
SK’s Moment of the Match: “In hindsight, Italy were always trailing in this game. They went down early but fought back brilliantly to draw level. When it came to penalties, after Bellotti’s miss, the inspiration came from Donnarumma who stepped up to the occasion brilliantly and it was that moment when England went from scoring two to missing the next three.”
BT’s Moment of the Match: “Bonucci had an outstanding game for Italy and the way they managed the attacking threats posed by the English attackers was outstanding. His goal was all about determination and grit and a fighting spirit that is second to none and thoroughly deserved of the Star of the Match Award”
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.