Crazy scenes in Melbourne after Italy's victory in Euro 2020 final

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Football fans, pictured here packed onto Lygon Sreeet in Melbourne to watch the Euro 2020 final.
Thousands packed Lygon Sreeet in Melbourne to watch the Euro 2020 final. Image: Getty

Thousands of football fans have packed Lygon Street in Melbourne to watch and celebrate Italy's victory in the Euro 2020 final.

Italy won the European Championship for the first time since 1968 on Sunday as Gianluigi Donnarumma saved two England penalties en route to a 3-2 shootout win after the teams had fought out a 1-1 extra-time draw at a raucous Wembley.

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The giant keeper saved from Jadon Sancho then Bukayo Saka after Marcus Rashford hit the post, as Federico Bernardeschi, Leonardo Bonucci and Domenico Berardi all scored for the Italians.

While the majority of Australia were desperate for England to lose, it was most apparent in Melbourne where there is a massive Italian community.

Thousands of fans showed up in the early hours of Monday morning to watch the final on the big screen, while flares and fireworks were let off in Argyle Square and on Lygon Street.

Reporting from the scenes, Today reporter Izabella Staskowski said the crowds were jam-packed.

“It is impossible to park anywhere within kilometres of Lygon Street right now,” she told 3AW.

“It’s crazy how many people are here.”

Italy fans, pictured here on Lygon Street in Carlton celebrating Italy's goal in the Euro 2020 final.
Italy fans on Lygon Street in Carlton celebrate Italy's goal in the Euro 2020 final. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Local cafe owner Lara Ferraro told 3AW the vibe was “just fantastic”.

“Our Italian culture is about happiness, people, food and soccer,” she said.

“It’s just a feeling of happiness. It’s just so happy after what Victoria endured last year it’s just so nice.

“A lot of people are walking the streets, a lot of people going to work and caught up in the happiness.

"Lots of flags and lots of car horns."

Italian fans, pictured here celebrating in Melbourne after Italy's victory in the Euro 2020 final.
Italian fans celebrate in Melbourne after Italy's victory in the Euro 2020 final. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Another local told the Herald Sun he was “absolutely thrilled”.

“I still can’t believe it. It’s absolutely incredible, I’ve taken the morning off work to celebrate," he said.

The incredible scenes in Melbourne come as a stark contrast to those in Sydney, where a Covid-19 surge has sparked a lockdown.

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Italy make history in Euro 2020 final

Luke Shaw had given England a dream start with a superb goal after just two minutes but Italy, who offered almost nothing in response in the first half, gradually took command as the hosts sat back and levelled through Bonucci after 67 minutes.

It was the first final to be decided on penalties since Czechoslovakia beat West Germany in 1976 and will be wildly celebrated in Italy after they lost in the final in 2000 and 2012.

They made most of the running after half-time and in extra time and England can have few complaints after their early promise faded away.

Italian fans, pictured here celebrating on Lygon Street in Melbourne after the Euro 2020 final.
Italian fans celebrate on Lygon Street in Melbourne after the Euro 2020 final. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

It was nevertheless heartbreaking for most of the 67,000 Wembley crowd as England came up short in their first major final since they won the World Cup 55 years ago.

England did briefly force their way back into the game in the second period of extra time, albeit without either side creating anything to reward the crowd for their waves of noise.

So it went to penalties, where England's young guns failed and Italy took the glory.

with AAP

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