Sunday's Euro 2020 final between Italy and England was in danger of being postponed because ticketless fans broke into the stadium, Metropolitan Police said.
Stewards at Wembley were unable to prevent supporters from breaking through the barricades ahead of the tournament decider.
A total of 26 people were arrested at the stadium and deputy assistant commissioner Jane Connors has praised police for their response to ensure the game went ahead.
What has been said?
A statement on Met Police's website read: "On Sunday, for the first time in more than 50 years, England had qualified for the final of a major international football tournament. This was meant to be a day of national pride, full of jubilance and celebration.
"In the main, the day was exactly that. However, it was sadly tarnished by a minority of disorderly and violent fans who attempted to hijack the final for their own selfish personal gain.
"Throughout the course of the day, police officers witnessed disgraceful behavior both in central London and at Wembley, where a number of people pushed through security cordons or fought with police officers.
"Soon after gates opened, the stewarding and outer security perimeter became overwhelmed and fans began pushing through security checks. I want to praise the quick response by police commanders and those brave officers who confronted these subsequent scenes of disorder and violence.
"I am in no doubt that their swift action prevented any further escalation. Frustratingly, 19 of our officers were injured during the course of Sunday's policing operation when confronting volatile crowds.
"I do not accept that the policing operation failed and I stand by the difficult decisions made by police officers and the Met's public order commanders. Without their immediate intervention, it is possible that this game could have been abandoned.
"The ugly scenes at Wembley on Sunday night will rightly be reviewed by the Football Association and by police. Where lessons can be learnt we will work with partners to ensure that future matches are not disrupted by a group of hooligans who are fueled on alcohol."
Video posted to social media showed huge numbers of fans rushing past security and gaining entry to the stadium ahead of the Euro 2020 final.
Many supporters managed to gain entry to the stadium to see the match despite not having tickets.
As well as those arrested around the ground, a further 25 were arrested around central London.
Police warned that "as part of the post-incident investigation, we expect further arrests to follow in the days and weeks ahead."