WATCH: England players Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka devastated after losing to Italy

Published 07/11/2021, 6:36 PM EDT


The UEFA European Championships ended in heartbreak for England as Italy won the exhilarating match after a penalty shootout. Donnarumma was the inadvertent hero as he saved two penalties along with England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

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However, it was Manchester United star Marcus Rashford’s miss, which proved costly as England crumbled to a 3-2 loss on penalties.

Along with Rashford, new Manchester United signing Jadon Sancho and Arsenal star Bukayo Saka missed their penalties after captain Harry Kane, and center-back Harry Maguire gave them the perfect start.

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Saka and Sancho were in tears after the final whistle as an overjoyed Italy team celebrated around them. Their teammates tried to console them along with manager Gareth Southgate.

While they might’ve lost the match, it was by no means a bad performance as they stood toe-to-toe with this experienced Italian side.

The match couldn’t be decided after 90 minutes, as Luke Shaw’s early opener was ruled out by a Leonardo Bonucci goal. There were very few clear-cut chances for either side apart from the goals and extra time ended without any changes to the scoreline.

England manager Southgate subbed Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho on to take the penalty kicks, but the move backfired.

Under normal circumstances, there might be a lot of backlash for the players and the manager, but this young team is just starting to prove itself.

The core of this English team is young, and players like Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho promise to be huge stars in the future.

Even if it did not “come home” this time around, there’s a world cup coming up next year. Other countries will be afraid of this English team in the future.

Italy and their wonderful victory over England

The same cannot be said for this Italian team, as with two veteran center-backs in Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, the spine of this team is very old.

However, both of them were immense in this tournament and are the reason why Italy was able to bring football to Rome.

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They have several young stars in Manuel Locatelli and Federico Chiesa. However, the biggest star of them all could be their 22-year-old goalkeeper Gigi Donnarumma, who has been one of the best players of the tournament.

They’ll look to capitalize on this generation of players in the 2022 world cup as Bonucci and Chiellini don’t have a lot of time left at the top.

For now, it’s a great win for the country, and they’ll add this trophy to the one they had won in 1968. This concludes a wonderful tournament for both countries, and now it’s time for club football to start in full force with the onset of this transfer window.

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Aniket Awasthi

324 articles

Aniket Awasthi is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. This STEM undergraduate combines an insatiable urge to write with his admiration for MMA and the UFC in general to enhance his journalism. He calls charismatic names like Chael Sonnen and 'The Count' Michael Bisping as his favorite fighters, but he is a great admirer of the rise of Israel Adesanya ever since he fought Rob Wilkinson at UFC 221.

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