Gareth Southgate has revolutionised English football over the past few years but even the waistcoated genius was not capable of ending England’s penalty curse.
After 120 minutes of excruciating action it was Italy who won Euro 2020, beating the Three Lions in the final on penalties at Wembley after things ended 1-1 after 90 minutes.
Before all heartache, fans across the continent were treated to an exciting reveal of each side’s starting XI.
Gareth Southgate sprung a surprise with his selection, reverting to a back three with Bukayo Saka being replaced by Kieran Trippier.
People on social media were split over whether it was a good plan or not…
Weirdly, Eder – the man who scored the winner in the Euro 2016 final – was then wheeled out to present the trophy to the two teams.
What a heartwarming moment.
From one celebrity appearance to another, we then got the long-awaited return of the tiny car. It emerged with a significant glow-up as well, sporting a glorious rainbow colour scheme.
Everyone was loving it, other than Viktor Orban presumably.
England fans would have spent last night dreaming about a perfect start but they never would have thought this would happen.
With less than two minutes on the clock Luke Shaw drilled home Kieran Trippier’s effort at the back post. It was the fastest ever goal in a European Championship and also the quickest strike by an England player in Euros history.
After this ridiculous start the Wembley atmosphere carried England through, with Italy’s only real threat coming through Federico Chiesa.
Chiesa was on fire at time, making Declan Rice look very silly before firing a shot inches wide before the break.
Minutes after half time, Raheem Sterling took a tumble in the box after feeling contact from Leonardo Bonucci.
Jermaine Jenas – on BBC commentary duties for the evening – did not think it was a foul. Most on Twitter agreed with him.
After this early scare Italy grew into the game and just after the hour mark Leonardo Bonucci prodded home at the back post after the ball had ricocheted around the penalty area from a corner.
The goal gave Italy confidence with Roberto Mancini’s side carving out several decent chances. Domenico Berardi had the best of these, narrowly failing to convert a quarterback style pass from defence.
England, meanwhile, looked leggy and were relieved when the final whistle was blown – though a late foul on Bukayo Saka from Giorgio Chiellini might have been punished more rashly. Most on social media were thankful for the break as well, if only to give themselves some respite from the tension.
Extra time was, unsurprisingly, a sickeningly tense affair. The main flashpoint was Jorginho’s challenge on Jack Grealish.
It was rash and Twitter was universally calling for his dismissal.
However, Jorginho survived. This meant he was able to take a spot kick in the resulting shootout.
It was tortuous for both set of fans but Domenico Berardi and Harry Kane did not the let the pressure get to them, striking home confidently. Next up was Andrea Belotti who could not convert, allowing Harry Maguire to put his side up with an emphatic effort.
Parity was then restored when Leonardo Bonucci scored but Marcus Rashford missed, despite sending the keeper the wrong way. Federico Bernardeschi then converted before Jadon Sancho and Jorginho missed, meaning Bukayo Saka had to score to keep his side in it.
Long story short, he didn’t.
There was some criticism about allowing such inexperienced players taking the three decisive spot kicks, but all in all social media was pretty positive about the whole sickening ordeal. Other than Scotland fans of course.
So, it was not to be for England but in 2022 the World Cup is surely coming home, right?
Twitter certainly thought so.