England vs Italty: Fans heartbreak at Gareth's Southgate's side suffer penalty agony

It was heartbreak, sorrow and disappointment at full-time of the Euro 2020 final as Italy beat England on penalties, and tears could be seen on fans at the Newton Arms in Blackpool.

Monday, 12th July 2021, 12:27 am
Updated Monday, 12th July 2021, 12:28 am

After a fantastic start by England with a second-minute goal from Luke Shaw, dreams and hope for Three Lions fans were taken into the second-half, however a 67th minute goal from Italian centre-back Leonardo Bonucci was the beginning of the end of Gareth Southgate's men after England had reached their first tournament final in 55 years.

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It remained level at full-time and the two teams were still 1-1 at the end of added- extra time. The downfall of England would be penalties once again, with England's Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all failing to score leading to Italy lifting the trophy for the second time, the first since 1968.

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England fans watching the game in Blackpool

Looking over the gloomy faces of 450 fans who had come along to the Norcross pub, Newton Arms manager Aaron Johnson said: "It's such a horrible way to go out. After all the memorable moments in the competition, this is the one that will stick.

"It's just bad to see everyone who has come out tonight and to see their faces not smiling. We have had such a brilliant time hosting these events and it's sad they have come to an end but the leagues will start soon and the World Cup is next year as well so there are lots of positives to take out of it all.

"A big thanks to all my staff and the customers who have made this tournament fantastic for everyone."

Husband and wife Richard and Sarah Bradshaw, were joined by their sons Matty and Kyle, as well as more of their family.

England fans during the penalty shoot out

Richard said: "It is so, so cruel the way we have lost, utterly painful. We must think how far we have come and that we are no longer seen as just another average team.

"Gareth Southgate should receive all the praise he can get. It's just terrible to get so far to the end but not be able to lift the trophy."

Sarah added: "We have got the World Cup next year so we just need to think forward and take away the many positives from the Euros. It was brilliant just to take part in an actual final so we shouldn't just slag the team off."

Matty said: "I'm so gutted that it had to be like this. It's awful, especially after Italy's second penalty miss, we were handed a lifeline and then it was just over without a word. It could have gone either way and unfortunately for us, Italy won."