England v Italy: Match in pictures
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Roy Keane has questioned why Bukayo Saka took England’s final penalty in their heartbreaking shoot-out defeat to Italy in the final of Euro 2020. The 19-year-old stepped up to take England’s fifth spot kick, with Gianluigi Donnarumma saving his effort to seal Italy’s win.
Speaking on ITV, Keane questioned why Saka was given the responsibility ahead of more senior players like Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish.
“If you’re Sterling or Grealish, you cannot sit there and watch a kid walk up ahead of you, you can’t,” Keane said.
“You can’t sit there and go ‘I see a young kid, 19-year-old, a child, walking up in front of me, and I’ve played a lot more games, I’ve got a lot more experience’.
“Sterling, who has won a lot more games, won trophies.
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“Gareth might have been thinking he’s going to be six or seven, you can’t sit there.
“That must be hard to take, you’ve got to go to this young kid and say I’ll step up before you’.”
Speaking to ITV after the game, Southgate said: “That’s always the risk that you run, but they’ve been by far the best and to get all those attacking players on the pitch you have to do it late.
“It was a gamble, but if we gambled early we may have lost the game in normal time anyway.
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“We did start well, I think our system worked well against theirs.
“That’s my decision to give him [Saka] that penalty, that’s totally my responsibility. It’s not him or Marcus or Jadon, we work together, we work through them in training, that’s the order we came to. That’s my call as a coach.
“We prepared as well as we could for the [shoot-out], that’s my responsibility, I chose the guys to take the kicks.
“In the end, we weren’t quite able to see the game through in the normal regulation time.
“Our players have done themselves proud, every one of them has been exceptional.
“It’s the first time we’ve got to a final, and we’re unbelievably disappointed not to go that one step further.”
England captain Harry Kane added: “The boys couldn’t have given more. Penalties obviously, it’s the worst feeling in the world when you lose.
“It’s been a fantastic tournament and we should hold our heads up high but of course it’s going to hurt now, it’s going to hurt for a while. We’re on the right track and we’re building and hopefully we can progress from this next year.”
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