England were left devastated after losing the Euro 2020 final in the crucible pressure cooker of penalty shootouts to a stoic Italy team and the players' reactions in the aftermath has drawn some ire.
The nation's dream of seeing their team lift the European Championship in front of a raucous home crowd came crashing down in heartbreaking fashion against Italy after losing in penalties after a 1-1 stalemate.
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The scenes at Wembley before and during the game was of a raucous party atmosphere, but an eery hush fell across the stadium as Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma proved the hero.
Italy celebrated the dramatic win, which has brought relief and joy to a nation ravaged by Covid-19 over the last 16 months.
The England players were visibly distraught after having the trophy in their grasp having gone 1-0 up in the game in the 3rd minute and also gaining the advantage in the penalty shootout.
However, during the trophy ceremony, England's players couldn't hide their disappointment.
The English players were awarded the runners-up medal on stage as it was placed around their necks.
But, a number of them immediately removed the medal before even taking a step.
This drew the ire of many fans who felt the symbol itself was 'disrespectful' and not a good look of sportsmanship for the millions of young aspiring athletes watching.
In contrast, Kalvin Phllips showed his appreciation and was seen kissing the medal to acknowledge the nation's achievement.
Italy fight back in Euro 2020 final
Luke Shaw's record-setting first half goal for England was cancelled out by Italian veteran Leonardo Bonucci in the second half, before Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma proved the hero in a drama-charged penalty shootout.
Shaw gave England a dream start after scoring the fastest ever goal in a European championship final.
The Manchester United fullback started and completed a superb passing move from the home side - meeting Kieran Trippier's cross from the right with a sweetly struck half-volley that grazed the side of the post before nestling into the net inside two minutes.
Italy gradually worked their way back into the contest, with Federico Chiesa a constant menace for England as he caused havoc on both flanks for the visitors.
The home side failed to deal with an Italian corner and after Pickford touched a header onto the post, Italian defender Leonardo Bonucci was on hand to sweep in a 67th minute equaliser.
Italy continued to dominate proceedings after the goal but couldn't convert the pressure into a winning goal as the match went into extra time.
Italy took it to England in the final moments after a series of late changes, but neither side could fashion a breakthrough before the dreaded penalty shootout.
The Azzurri eventually prevailed in penalties to seal a historic Euro victory.
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