Euro 2021
REUTERS/Carl Recine

What Were The Top 5 Games of Euro 2021?

The Euro 2021 tournament ended in thrilling fashion yesterday, with Italy edging out England in penalties. Euro 2021 provided an amazing tournament with many special moments. I know choosing among the number of great games will be difficult, but let’s take a look at the top 5 games of Euro 2021.

Euro 2021 Game #5: Italy vs Spain, (Semifinal 1-1), 4-2 After Penalties

This enthralling match provided a very tense first half in which both teams missed some good chances. But to open the second half, Federico Chiesa put Italy on top with a wonderful strike. Spain stayed resilient, however, and continued attacking and getting scoring chances. Eventually, Spain broke through the Italian defense, and Morata fired home an equalizer to level the score. Neither Spain nor Italy could get a go-ahead goal in regulation or extra time, so the game was sent to penalties. After Spain was trailing by a goal in the shootout, Morata failed to convert, and Jorginho sealed the game for Italy in his next attempt. Morata won Spanish fans’ hearts with his equalizing goal but broke them in the shootout.

Euro 2021 Game #4: Germany vs Portugal (Group Stage) 4-2

Ronaldo. Kimmich. Muller. Kroos. Bernardo Silva. There were so many stars in this game. So even though this was only a group stage game, it featured plenty of chances and goals. It seemed like Germany had opened the scoring, but their goal in the 4th minute was called offsides before Jota found Ronaldo for a tap-in to give Portugal the lead. Germany kept attacking and eventually took the lead going into halftime, courtesy of two Portugal goals. Germany then continued to press as Havertz and Gosens each struck to give Germany a three-goal lead. Jota would add a late consolation goal before the final whistle blew. Even though this game wasn’t necessarily close, it was a game between two big teams that produced a lot of chances and quality moments.

Euro 2021 Game #3: Italy vs England (Final) 1-1, 3-2 After Penalties

“Football is coming home” were the words being discussed around the world. All the hype for this game and this game delivered. England opened the scoring with Luke Shaw finishing a cross off of the woodwork to give England the lead. Italy kept pressing and creating chances, with Federico Chiesa sending one inches away from equalizing in the 35th minute. But Italy’s work finally yielded a result, as off of a corner some scrappy work in the box led to Bonucci tapping in a goal for Italy. Italy continued to press and create chances, but Pickford managed to keep them out in regular time and extra time. In the shootout, Saka, Rashford, and Sancho failed to convert and England fell in heartbreaking fashion. Well, so much for football coming home, going to Rome instead.

Euro 2021 Game #2: Croatia vs Spain 3-5 (Round of 16) After Extra Time

Spain seemingly had this game locked up, but Croatia’s late game heroics threw that thought out of the window. Croatia opened the scoring off a fortunate own goal when Spanish goalkeeper Unai Simon mishandled a pass in front of his own net. But Spain came roaring back as Pablo Sarabia equalized after a bit of pinball in the box. Azpilicueta and Fernan Torres then added to the lead to make it a two-goal advantage. It seemed the game would finish this way before two late Croatian goals from Mislav Orisic and Mario Pasalic sent the game to extra time. In extras, Spain rose to the occasion as Morata and Oyarzabal scored to put Croatia away. However, what seemed like the game of the tournament would have to concede to the game that followed that same day.

Euro 2021 Game #1: France vs Switzerland (Round of 16) 3-3, 4-5 After Penalties

France was one of the favorites to win Euro 2021, and they were expecting quick work of Switzerland. In fact, it would end up being Switzerland that would take the lead off of Haris Seferovic’s header. Switzerland continued to play well, even earning a penalty that they couldn’t convert. But it wouldn’t be long before France started taking control of the game, as Benzema scored twice in a three minute span to give France the lead. Paul Pogba then scored an absolute screamer to give France a two-goal lead. France continued to coast, but Seferovic fired a header past Hugo Lloris to cut the deficit to one. Switzerland then equalized with Gavranovic, sending the game to extra time and then penalties. Switzerland would win in penalties as Mbappe couldn’t convert at the pivotal fifth shot, and France fell, culminating in one of the greatest upsets in Euro history.

Honorable Mentions

England vs. Germany (Round of 16) 2-0: In front of a raucous Wembley crowd, England put together one of its greatest performances to put away a solid German side. Kane and Sterling added two second-half goals for England.

Netherlands vs Ukraine (Group Stage) 3-2: This was a back-and-forth game, as the Netherlands scored twice with goals from Georginio Wijnaldum and Wout Weghorst before Ukraine fired back with goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk. Netherlands would score the decider as Dumfries would score a dramatic game winning goal to give the Dutch the victory.

Italy vs Austria (Group Stage) 2-1 AET: After a supergroup stage performance, many people were calling Italy the favorites to win the tournament. But this slow and sloppy game indicated otherwise as Austria almost beat Italy in regular time with a goal that was called offsides. In extra time, Chiesa and Pessina would seal the game for Italy despite Sasa Kalajdic’s consolation goal.

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