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The five key personal duels from Italy’s Euro 2020 final win over England

Assessing the individual battles where the showpiece was won and lost at Wembley.

Neutrals will have savoured a breathless contest in the Euro 2020 final between Italy and England at Wembley.
Finals are always as much about individual contests as they are about cohesive team play and there were some ding-dong battles between the Azzurri and Three Lions.

Planet Sport is on hand to talk through five of the strongest head to heads from Sunday night, in which Italy took the trophy.

Declan Rice vs Federico Chiesa

In such a close contest, goal-getters Harry Kane and Federico Chiesa had to drop deep to get a feel for the ball.

In the case of Italy, it was the wasp-like Chiesa buzzing in the face of England's hardworking holding midfielder Rice.

In the 35th minute, with England 1-0 up, Chiesa snuck between a Rice/Luke Shaw sandwich and used his low centre of gravity to turn away. England centre-mid Doberman Rice had three nips at the rapid Chiesa but couldn't get the ball from his man.

Chiesa, the son of Italy legend Enrico, dribbled with his right before switching to his left and sending a long-range daisycutter fizzing just wide of Jordan Pickford's post.

England had survived but the livewire Chiesa had won that battle.

Jorginho vs Jack Grealish

The Brazilian-born midfielder Jorginho showed his game is about grit as much as it is about flair as he left his mark on England's Grealish in the 23rd minute of extra time.

Aston Villa's Grealish and Chelsea's Jorginho brought some Premier League beef to proceedings as both chased a loose ball in Italy's final third. Both players committed to the challenge with Jorginho going in hard and his studs slipping off the ball and connecting with Grealish's knee.

Grealish rolled around in agony as England fans held their breath for a Jorginho red card but the cool referee Bjorn Kuipers was unmoved on anything beyond a yellow.
Jorginho had taken one for the team and given impact sub Grealish a knock to carry and the Villa man never did step up to take a penalty.

Giorgio Chiellini vs Bukayo Saka

Chiellini had been a behemoth in the Italian defence but that was until England's introduction of Bukayo Saka in the 70th minute.

The speedy Arsenal attacker is a nightmare for any defender and especially so for a 36-year-old veteran like Chiellini.

The Italian centre-half had to use all his street-smarts to stop a surging Saka with the game on a knife-edge in the 96th minute.

With Saka on the run down the right wing, Chiellini opted to haul down his man, almost tearing the attacker's shirt off by the collar.

Again England fans called for the red, while Saka called for a tailor but the referee brandished just a yellow.

Saka won that particular battle as the key Azzurri defender Chiellini was on a booking for the difficult extra-time period.

Kyle Walker vs Emerson Palmieri

These two went toe to toe down the England right all match and Walker struck the first blow by flummoxing Emerson with a run for the opening goal.
The energetic Walker overlapped Kieran Trippier, drawing Emerson's attention and leaving the Three Lions wing-back to land a plum cross on the left foot of Luke Shaw.
Although it was 1-0 to England and Walker, Emerson was to later strike a blow of his own as he jinked past the lunging Three Lions defender on the left flank before sending the ball into a dangerous area in front of the England goal.
Pickford was able to repel the threat but Chelsea defender Emerson had shown he could pierce his opposition in lethal areas, meaning this personal duel finished even.

Gianluigi Donnarumma vs Marcus Rashford

Not all personal duels on the pitch are physical ones and the Rashford vs Donnarumma face-off was a mental battle of who'd blink first.

With Italy having missed a penalty in the shootout, forward Rashford stepped up to try and hand England the advantage. In his way was the 6ft 5in man-mountain Italian stopper Donnarumma and Wembley fell quiet as Rashford stood dead centre in preparation for his spot-kick.
Staring into Donnarumma's eyes, Man Utd ace Rashford side-stepped to his left and then attempted a broken run up to slot home. All the while, the huge Italian keeper kept still, daring Rashford to beat him.
Rashford took too long over the kick, perhaps losing sight of the ball and shanking the kick just enough to see it hit the meat of the post and fly to safety.
Donnarumma pointed skywards but in truth had done little but stand there and fall to the opposite side the ball was kicked. That all-important mental battle had been won though, handing Italy the advantage that they would ultimately make pay.

Marcus Rashford penalty miss Euro 2020

READ MORE: Giorgio Chiellini’s iconic moments for Juventus and Italy

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