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“It’s coming to Rome”: Italy crowned as Champions in Euro2020 Final

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Italy secures its first win since 1968 in the Euro 2020 Final after an intense shootout at Wembley Stadium

“It’s coming to Rome”. Italian defender Leonardo Bonucci screams this phrase into the camera, overwhelmed by elation after he scored the match’s equalising goal.

He valiantly helped his nation to their second European Championship in the second half.

It was a generally poor shoot-out, with the Azzurri missing two and England missing their last three shots.

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Italy comes back after falling behind in the final two minutes

We spoke to Nathan Albon from the BBC and he couldN’T hide his disappointment

Italy winning the Euro 2020 final comes as a welcome surprise to fans, who were left on the edge of their seat after their team fell behind in the first two minutes of the game.

The Azzurri were seemingly scrambling to restore their defensive lines, as Luke Shaw capitalised on a Giovanni De Lorenzi positioning error to steer home his driving volley from inside the 18-yard box.

But did England look like taking full advantage of this? Seemingly not.

Was it the pressure? The occasion of ‘playing’ at home in a Final may have gotten to the Three Lions. But Gareth Southgate’s men turned timid.

Did they go out and attack, trying to extend the lead? Or did Italy crank the pressure up, trying to impose a possession-based style of football; similar to the one it experienced against Luis Enrique’s Spain only days before in the Euro 2020 semi-final?

English fan celebrations may have begun a tad early when the half-time whistle was blown

BRITISH FOOTBALL COMMENTATOR MATT ILES RECAPS THE PITFALLS OF ENGLAND’S GAME PLAY

Giorgio Chellini and Bonucci – arguably the hero, along with goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma – showed why they are regarded as one of the best centre-back pairings in world football. It was the masterstroke of the two, to come up with the idea to allow the latter to join the midfield fray, meaning the Azzurri would free Jorginho and Marco Verratti to pull the midfield strings.

And once this occurred, the English started to fall.

As La Nazionale pushed forward time and time again, it became evident that the trophy was more heading towards Rome, and not down the aisles of the Stadium it currently resided in.

Souuthgate’s attempt to steer control back with the introduction of Jordan Henderson, almost worked, as his partnership with the midfield seemingly gave England a fleeting chance. And Jack Grealish’s menacing presence gave Three Lions’ supporters the hope they desperately craved.

But the dreaded Beast awoke – every footballing fan and player’s nightmare – the spot-kick.

With confidence, each player strode to the 12-yard disc, but a combination of nerves, misguided spot-kicks and Donnarumma guessing the right way on the final three occasions, saw Italy add a second European Championship to their cabinet, elimination the haunting moments of both the Euro 2000 and 2008 Finals.

Euro 2020 final
Italian goalkeeper and match hero, Gianluigi Donnarumma,

The heartache of failing to qualify for a World Cup tournament – the first time in 58 years – saw Mancini brought into the Azzurri fold, replacing then-tactician Giampiero Ventura. And what a whirlwind journey it has been.

From their lowest-ever ranking, to the highs of their infamous night at Wembley, the former Manchester City and Inter boss has led his nation to an 34-match undefeated streak – something unimaginable only a year ago.

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England misses out on winning first European Championship since 1968

In the first half, England’s Luke Shaw secured the match’s first goal in the first two minutes.

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Williams loses first round at Wimbledon

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There’s been a bit of drama on the court as the most prestigious tennis Grand Slam gets underway

Spectators filled the All England Club on Monday to watch the biggest tennis stars hit the court at Wimbledon.

After coming back from a lengthy break, Serena Williams lost in three sets to 24-year-old, Harmony Tan.

“When I saw the draw, I was really scared. I don’t know what to say, I’m so emotional now because she’s a superstar,” Tan says.

Tan took the first set 7-5, before Williams took over 6-1. Tan fought back to win a thrilling third set tie-breaker.

“Because it’s Serena Williams, she’s a legend. I was like, oh my God. How can I play? If I could win one game, or two games, it’s really good for me.”

HARMONY TAN

Despite her dramatic loss, the former world number one is brushing off retirement rumours.

Kyrgios spits at crowd

Meanwhile, in men’s singles, Aussie tennis star, Nick Kyrgios, caused a bit of a stir calling the chair umpire a “snitch” after she supposedly complained to the court umpire about his behaviour.

The 27-year-old will likely be up for a fine for also spitting towards a fan during the match.

Kyrgios says there was a lot of disrespect from the crowd, which is why he admitted to spitting towards a fan.

“I’ve been dealing with hate and negativity for a long time, so I don’t feel like I owed that person anything,” he says.

The ATP remains in crisis talks over Wimbledon’s Russia ban.

Katerina Kostakos contributed to this report

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Mike Riley steps down as referee chief

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One of the biggest names in the referee world, Mike Riley, has confirmed he will be stepping down as head of the English League referees

After 13 years, Mike Riley has confirmed he will be stepping down from his role as managing director of Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL).

The iconic referee leader will finish his role at the end of the 2022-23 season. Riley says he has enjoyed working in such a ‘dedicated group’.

“I am proud of the contribution our match officials have made to the professional game and have enjoyed working with a such a dedicated, professional and high-quality group at all of the levels that PGMOL manages.

As the elite referee development plan begins to take shape, now is the right time to plan for the future and allow the new leadership team to build on the strong foundations that we have in place. I look forward to working with the new team over the next season and giving them my support before I step down.”

mike riley

The Premier League formally thanked Riley for his contributions and commitment over the last 13 years.

“On behalf of the Premier League, I would like to thank Mike for his valuable contribution and significant commitment to PGMOL over the last 13 years as well as his considerable service to the game as an elite referee for 20 years,” said the Premier League chief executive, Richard Masters.

“During his time at PGMOL, he has worked hard to deliver and develop high-quality match officials across the professional game and led on the implementation of VAR into the Premier League three seasons ago.”

PGMOL

The search is now on to replace the top spot with Riley collaborating with the new team before officially stepping down.

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Hero coach rescues U.S. swimmer at Olympic event

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U.S. Swimming coach, Andrea Fuentes, has saved the life of an American Swimmer, Anita Alvarez, at the FINA World Championships

Fuentes dived into the pool to rescue unconscious Alvarez from the bottom after her Olympic qualifying event.

In a nightmare moment, the 25-year-old didn’t return for breath after her synchronised swimming event and instead began to sink.

In a split-moment decision, Coach Fuentes jumped into the pool to rescue her, after the lifeguards failed to act.

When a swimmer finishes their routine, the first thing they want to do is breathe and so I saw that instead of going up, she was going down and I told myself, ‘Something is going on’ … So I went in as fast as I could.”

Andrea Fuentes

The young Olympic medalist was unconscious and not breathing but quickly received medical attention on the edge of the pool.

She was taken to hospital and is now reportedly in ‘good health’.

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