A rampant England got off to a dream start against Italy, with Luke Shaw volleying home the fastest ever goal in a European Championship final.
A fair few eyebrows were raised as Gareth Southgate decided to make one change to his side that beat Denmark in the semi-finals, with the Three Lions reverting to a back-three and Kieran Trippier replacing Bukayo Saka in the starting XI.
But any doubts regarding England’s team selection were immediately silenced as Shaw’s already outstanding campaign reached new heights just one minute and 57 seconds into Sunday evening’s showpiece.
The Manchester United star – who has been dubbed ‘Shawberto Carlos’ as a result of his heroics from left-back – started the hosts’ attack before passing to captain Harry Kane, who in turn found Trippier in acres of space down the right flank.
Chus Pereda previously held the record for the fastest goal in a Euros final after his early effort in Spain’s 2-1 victory over the USSR way back in 1964.
It took the ex-Barcelona man just five minutes and 17 seconds to break the deadlock in that match 57 years ago.
‘We talked about the formation. The two wing backs… it is pure genius,’ ex-England full-back Dixon said while reacting to Shaw’s stunner on ITV’s commentary.
‘Shaw sets it up, Kane nice and short in that hole he loves to play in, out to Trippier, the overlap gives him time to pick Shaw out and what a chance at the chance at the far post to make yourself a hero and he doesn’t let anybody down.
It’s off his laces, outside of the post, what a start for England!’
Brazil legend Roberto Carlos heaped praise on Shaw when addressing the comparisons with the England left-back in the build-up to the final.
‘You can see he’s very motivated, his performance against Ukraine was very good,’ said Carlos.
‘He’s been improving each game. I think he’s got everything to get to the top.
‘He’s the left-back for England – that in itself says a lot.’
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