The Silverware wait for England lingers on as they faced a heart-wrenching defeat in the finals of Euro 2020. The Three Lions succumbed to Italy on penalties with Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka missing from the spot.
England’s defeat at the Wembley stadium made fans and pundits puzzled alike over the choice of the penalty takers. In addition, 19-year-old Bukayo Saka was entrusted with the task of scoring the crucial final penalty.
Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane called out Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling for not taking responsibility. Both the players were absent from the penalty-taking duties as they watched their junior counterparts take the walk to the penalty spot.
“If you’re Sterling or Grealish, you cannot sit there and watch a kid walk up ahead of you, you can’t,” Keane said after the match on ITV.
Keane wanted England’s senior members to step up
The former midfielder added that the senior players needed to speak to the younger players. He noted that Sterling had enough experience on his belt to vouch for a penalty. Unlike the backup plan after five penalties that Southgate had in store.
Gareth Southgate opted to bench Jordan Henderson and Kyle Walker late into extra time. The players brought on were Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho.
The young wingers had to take the first kick of their evening in the form of a penalty. The rustiness was evident, as both of them missed from eight yards out. On the other hand, the entire fate of England was rested on the shoulders of Saka through the fifth penalty.
Apart from the crushing pressure, the youngsters had to take their penalties against Gianluigi Donnarumma. The Player Of The Tournament had already rescued Italy in the semi-finals against Spain in penalties.
Southgate defends England players following penalty debacle
England manager Gareth Southgate urged his squad to hold their heads up high despite the defeat. He claimed that the players left everything on the pitch in the intense encounter.
The hosts had begun the encounter on a bright note, with Luke Shaw putting the side ahead in just the second minute. However, the side played passive football after their early lead, which eventually led to the equalizer.
The fixture moved into extra time since the scoreline remained 1-1 after the allotted 90 minutes. With the additional 30 minutes not proving sufficient to draw out a winner, the fate of the competition was rested on penalties.
England adds yet another entry into their string of heartbreaks at this level. But, to make matters worse, the young trio were subjected to racial abuse online after their penalty misses.