Route to the EURO 2020 final: how England and Italy made it all the way | UEFA EURO 2020

Kacper Wilkins
Kacper Wilkins
6 Min Read


Six games played and four rounds successfully navigated – now only one hurdle remains. Either Italy will get their hands on the trophy for the second time, or England are to lift a major title for the first time since 1966.

Our dedicated team reporters – Paolo Menicucci and Simon Hart – have followed the ups and downs of their nations every step of the way and look back over all of the matches prefacing Sunday’s showpiece at Wembley Stadium.


Live coverage: EURO 2020 final

Italy

Group A: Turkey 0-3 Italy (Merih Demiral 53 og, Immobile 66, Insigne 79)




Mancini delight after winning start for Italy


Mancini delight after winning start for Italy

Paolo Menicucci, Italy team reporter: A more than promising start. After lacking only the final touch during a dominant first-half performance, the Azzurri took the lead courtesy of an own goal and immediately went for the jugular.

Group A: Italy 3-0 Switzerland (Locatelli 26 52, Immobile 89)

PM: Another scintillating display by Italy, who at this point were 29 games unbeaten and had not conceded in their last ten. They were starting to play like a well-oiled orchestra rather than a collection of individual talents and continued to show great enthusiasm.

Group A: Italy 1-0 Wales (Pessina 39)

PM: A perfect group stage record posted and key players rested on Matchday 3. The Azzurri passed their Group A test with flying colours and could travel to London with the wind in their sails.

Round of 16: Italy 2-1 Austria, aet (Chiesa 95, Pessina 105; Kalajdzic 114)

PM: Roberto Mancini continued to stress how there are 26 first-choice players in this team and the substitutes proved him right once again, making the difference when it was most needed.

Quarter-finals: Belgium 1-2 Italy (Lukaku 45+2pen; Barella 31, Insigne 44)




Watch Italy fans celebrate Insigne goal


Watch Italy fans celebrate Insigne goal

PM: They had to go beyond their limits to beat a team like Belgium and the Azzurri did just that. It was a great collective effort: from goalkeeper Donnarumma and veteran centre-backs Bonucci and Chiellini, to conductor Jorginho and goalscorers Barella and Insigne.

Semi-finals: Italy 1-1 Spain, 4-2 pens (Chiesa 60; Morata 80)

PM: On a night that proved more difficult that many expected, Italy still managed to reach the final as Spain failed to make the most of the chances they created. After failing to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in 2018, the Azzurri have made giant steps in returning to the European football elite.

England

Group D: England 1-0 Croatia (Sterling 57)

Simon Hart, England team reporter: England achieved a first by winning their opening match. Beforehand Gareth Southgate stood and had a quiet moment of reflection alone on the pitch; by the end Wembley had erupted in noisy celebration and his team were up and running.

Group D: England 0-0 Scotland




England's Rice: 'We need to improve'


England’s Rice: ‘We need to improve’

SH: England’s winning streak ended at seven but this was probably a point gained on an enthralling night when Scotland had the better chances. Just one attempt on target is a statistic that might have concerned Southgate.

Group D: Czech Republic 0-1 England (Sterling 12)

SH: England gave us a dynamic first-half display, full of pace and movement, and were rewarded with Sterling’s second goal of this EURO. The return of Harry Maguire after his 44-day absence was another positive for Southgate.

Round of 16: England 2-0 Germany (Sterling 75, Kane 86)

SH: Southgate’s ghostbusters did it again with this long-awaited tournament knockout win over Germany. It wasn’t coming home just yet, but England could head to their Rome quarter-final with a spring in their step.

Quarter-finals: Ukraine 0-4 England (Kane 4 50, Maguire 46, Henderson 63)




Star of the Match: Watch Kane's England double


Star of the Match: Watch Kane’s England double

SH: The Three Lions’ biggest victory at any EURO and Southgate’s men by now were developing an irresistible momentum. With five clean sheets at one end and Kane’s mojo recovered at the other, they could return to Wembley full of belief. It was a brilliant collective effort that secured England’s first back-to-back semi-finals since 1968.

Semi-finals: England 2-1 Denmark, aet (Kjær 39 og, Kane 104; Damsgaard 30)

SH: After semi-final defeats in 1968, 1990, 1996 and 2018, England finally made it to a first final since the 1966 World Cup. They did it the hard way, coming from behind with the support of a roaring Wembley, and drawing on some harsh lessons from the past to finally get across the line. Southgate, the man whose penalty miss cost England in a 1996 semi, had buried yet another demon.



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