A police officer suffered a bloody head wound outside Wembley Stadium (Image: JAMES CURLEY AND MAGICMOMENTSUK)

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More than a dozen police officers were injured confronting 'volatile crowds' after England's crushing defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020.

The Met Police said that 49 people had been arrested during the policing of the final and that 19 officers had been injured.

Fans clashed with each other and officials, breached security cordons and charged into the perimeter area of Wembley before the start of the match, which Italy won after a penalty shootout.

Some witnesses said they saw isolated cases of fans running through the seating areas inside the ground being chased by security.

Inside the stadium, there was a party atmosphere with fans singing "Sweet Caroline" and "Three Lions."

Most fans didn't cause trouble but police said there were flare-ups.

Officers said nearly 50 people had been arrested
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

The force said on social media: "Frustratingly, 19 of our officers were injured while they confronted volatile crowds.

"This is wholly unacceptable. A big thanks to officers across London and our blue light colleagues for their part in keeping Londoner's safe and moving tonight."

They also thanked the tens of thousands of fans who were in good spirits and who 'behaved responsibly.

Police union representatives branded violent England football fans as 'thugs'

Officers added: "We made 49 arrests during the day for a variety of offences. We will have officers on hand throughout the night."

The Metropolitan Police Federation, the body which represents thousands of London's police, slammed those who attacked officers.

A spokesman said: "These people should be ashamed of themselves. They are not fans. They are thugs. We wish our injured colleagues well."

Police officers walk past broken bicycles and rubbish outside St. Martin-in-the-Fields church on the edge of Trafalgar Square
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

A day of alcohol-fuelled festivities had begun with rowdy scenes in central London and tens of thousands made their way to the stadium for the game, with flares being let off in railway stations.

About two hours before the game, fans burst past stewards and some reached the concourse while bottles were thrown in from outside the perimeter.

Some security staff were attacked, witnesses claimed, and entry to the stadium was halted for over 20 minutes while order was restored at the entrances.

A fan stands with police in London's Leicester Square
(Image: PA)

Outside the ground, several thousand fans continued drinking and partying in the area immediately adjacent to the entry points with empty beer cans lining the street.

Police said they helped the security teams at the ground.

Police had previously urged supporters not to travel to Wembley if they did not have match tickets, and complained of multiple cases of flares being set off within the vicinity of railway stations in London.

Met Police officers carry a man in front of the National Gallery, in Trafalgar Square
(Image: PA)

Across the capital, many had set up camp early with thousands queuing to get into pub gardens before lunchtime and others packed into city squares.

Hundreds of fans draped in red and white flags threw and smashed bottles in Leicester Square earlier in the day.

Hours before the 8 p.m. kick-off, Wembley Way was crammed with supporters all the way from the underground station to the stadium.

Beer cans and bottles flew through the air as acrid smoke from flares drifted through the crowd and supporters, dressed in England shirts of various vintages, sang and chanted.

Gus McKay, a 53-year-old England fan from Bradford-on-Avon, joined the party at Leicester Square in central London.

"It feels incredible," he said. "I've been waiting all my life (to reach a final)."

Dave Woodall from York added: "I was one when we won the World Cup and it's a dream that I never thought would happen," he said.

"So I'm like a kid at Christmas. It's the best feeling ever. I had to come down for the day, I couldn't miss this."