Metropolitan Police have confirmed they made 45 arrests in London on the day of the Euro 2020 final as the scenes in and around Wembley Stadium descended into chaos.
The 8pm kick-off always had the prospect of proving problematic for the capital’s law enforcement, with many fans hitting the pubs or streets armed with booze prior to midday.
Both Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square were packed out before being left in a sea of rubbish and broken bottles.
A similar picture could be seen along Wembley Way, before scenes soon turned ugly.
Large groups of ticketless fans forced their way past stewards at the ground with many staying inside while the game went on, causing disruption with paying match-goers.
Fights between England fans had broken out before the game kicked off, while inside more supporters clashed.
Those who had bought tickets seemed to be angered by the attempts of those to break into the stadium.
Video footage captured one fan being repeatedly kicked in the head by fellow fans while he lay on the ground.
The same clip caught a grown man punching a teenager who was trying to flee the scene following a nasty brawl.
Outside the stadium, ITV news reported that fans continued to clash with police as the game was ongoing.
The Met Police later tweeted: “We have made 45 arrests while policing today’s #Euro2020 final.
“A number of officers remain on duty, helping fans leaving #Wembley or central London. We are there to look out for your safety.”
Officers had been kept bust at Trafalgar Square earlier in the day when groups of fans tried storming a fan zone to gain entry.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the FA said of the disruption at the ground: “We strongly condemn the behaviour of a group of people that forced their way into Wembley Stadium before the EURO 2020 Final. This is entirely unacceptable.
“These people are an embarrassment to the England team and to all of the true fans who wanted to enjoy one of the most important matches in our history.
“We will work with the relevant authorities to take action against anyone who is identified to have illegally forced their way into the stadium.”
Inside the stadium England’s hopes of ending 55 years of hurt were dashed as they fell to a penalty shootout defeat to Italy.
Luke Shaw’s early goal had put Gareth Southgate’s side on course for victory until Leonardo Bonucci’s second half equaliser.
With the scores still level after extra time, the game then went down to spot kicks in a dramatic finale.
Italy’s Andrea Belotti was the first to see his effort saved by Jordan Pickford as England gained the advantage, but the scores were back level when Marcus Rashford struck his shot off the foot of the post.
Gianluigi Donnarumma then denied Jadon Sancho but Pickford kept English hopes alive as he pushed Jorginho’s penalty onto the post.
But sadly for the Three Lions, Italy’s No..1 Donnarumma then palmed away Bukayo Saka’s attempt to clinch the trophy for the Azzurri.