England lost another shootout on Sunday in a major international tournament as Italy held on to win the Euro 2020 final, with three England players – Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sanho and Bukayo Saka – missing their efforts.
Rashford’s penalty hit the post, while Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma saved the other two penalties.
England manager Gareth Southgate pitched Rashford, 23, and Sancho, 21, just before the penalty shoot-out, but the pair missed the game as England suffered an all-too-familiar fate. The national team have now lost seven of 10 shots on goal in major tournaments.
Saka is only 19 and didn’t make his England debut until October and the relative youth of this English trio, who missed their penalties and later suffered racist abuse online, led a former international player to criticize that the more experienced English stars should have taken the sanctions.
“You can’t let a shy 19 year old ride in front of you. They have a lot more experience, Sterling won trophies, they had to get in front of the youngster and stand up. “
Grealish objected to this criticism, tweeting: “The gaffer [Southgate] made so many great decisions during this tournament and he did it tonight.
“But I won’t let people say I didn’t want to take a peno when I said I would. “
After the final, Southgate said he decided on the penalty takers based on how the players performed in training.
“No one is alone,” Southgate told the BBC. “We won together as a team and it’s up to all of us together not to be able to win this game.
“In terms of penalties, it’s my decision and it’s totally up to me. I decided on the penalty shooters based on what they did in practice. “
But Southgate has also come under criticism as Sancho and Rashford were brought in as substitutes in the 120th minute, just before the shootout started.
This gave them little to no time to prepare for such an important part of the game, especially as England haven’t won an international tournament in 55 years.
“In reality, it is very difficult for [Marcus] Rashford and [Jadon] Sancho to come and take a penalty after a touch of the ball, ”said AS Roma manager Jose Mourinho.