It just had to be penalties, didn't it?

All that hope and optimism, and what a start.

At Brown Street, one of Salisbury's newest venues, there was an incredible eruption of noise and emotion and disbelief when Luke Shaw scored after just two minutes - his first ever goal for his country.

A cacophony of celebrations after 55 years without a goal in a final.

What followed was painful and eerily reminiscent of Croatia in 2018.

After a full back scoring early, (Trippier then, Shaw this time), you could see the Italians turning the screw, and certainly in the second half it seemed like only a matter of time until they equalised.

Congratulations to Italy, who were, let's be honest, the better team.

On the racist abuse that three of England's finest have suffered this morning - obviously disgraceful.

Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, and Jadon Sancho, the whole of England is with you. Those abusing them don't represent us.

23, 19 and 21 years of age, and stepping up to take a penalty in a final. Rashford, and to a lesser degree Sancho, barely had a kick in the entire tournament, and was then asked to try and help win it.

They are brave players, who will come again.

Gareth Southgate deserved the win last night, to say nothing of the amazing, diverse young squad, his coaching team, and the long-suffering fans.

This team remains on an upward curve, and the World Cup in Qatar next year is an exciting prospect for this young group of players.

Players like Saka, Foden, Rice, Sancho, Bellingham (to name but a few) will only get better and gain more experience - as will their manager.

It wasn't meant to be this time around, but football has never been closer to coming home.

And when it does, it will be wonderful.

Yes, it is disappointing to have lost, but Southgate and his team are the best of us, and we should be proud of them.