England beaten on penalties in final of Euro 2020; 19-year-old Bukayo Saka allowed to take decisive penalty kick; Gareth Southgate: "That's my call and totally rests with me"; Grealish responds by insisting he wanted to take a penalty
Tuesday 13 July 2021 07:23, UK
Roy Keane has lambasted the senior England players who allowed Bukayo Saka to take the decisive penalty in England's shootout defeat to Italy in the final of Euro 2020.
Saka's penalty was saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma as England suffered heartbreak at Wembley.
The 19-year-old has never taken a penalty for his club side, Arsenal, but was given the responsibility of taking the all-important fifth kick in the shootout.
"If you're (Raheem) Sterling or (Jack) Grealish, you cannot sit there and have a young kid [Saka] go up for a penalty ahead of you, you can't," Keane told ITV. "You cannot let a shy 19-year-old go up in front of you. They have a lot more experience, Sterling has won trophies, they had to get in front of the young kid and stand up."
On Monday, Grealish responded on social media by insisting he had wanted to take a penalty.
"I said I wanted to take one!!!! The gaffer has made so many right decisions through this tournament and he did tonight! But I won't have people say that I didn't want to take a peno when I said I will..."
England's other penalty misses were by 21-year-old Jadon Sancho and 23-year-old Marcus Rashford, both of whom had performed peripheral roles in the tournament and were brought on in the final minute of extra-time.
England's only successful penalty takers were Harry Maguire and Harry Kane.
"I chose the penalty takers based on what we've done in training and nobody is on their own. We've won together as a team and it's absolutely on all of us in terms of not being able to win the game tonight," said England boss Gareth Southgate.
"But in terms of the penalties, that's my call and totally rests with me."
Jose Mourinho criticised Southgate's decision to have Saka taking England's fifth penalty.
The Roma manager told talkSPORT: "The decision of the penalty talkers, I think it is hard to leave Saka as the last one. I think it is hard for a kid to have everything on his shoulders at that moment. I just feel very sorry for him.
"In this situation where was [Raheem] Sterling, where was (John) Stones, where was (Luke) Shaw?
"I feel that Gareth is such an honest guy. Such a protective coach of his players. I don't think he would ever say players were not ready [to take a penalty]."
It was penalty shootout heartbreak again for England and Gareth Southgate in a crushing Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy.
Alice Piper is joined by Pete Smith and Gerard Brand to reflect on a dramatic Euro 2020 final, with England unable to mark their progress with the silverware.
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