England manager, Gareth Southgate, has taken responsibility for his team’s 2-3 loss on penalties to Italy in the EURO 2020 final on Sunday, saying he chose the spot kickers.
England missed three of their five penalties, with Marcus Rashford hitting a post and Gianluigi Donnarumma denying Jadon Sancho before Arsenal teenager, Saka, also saw the giant Italy goalkeeper save his spot-kick.
Southgate introduced Sancho and Rashford in the closing moments, presumably in readiness for penalties, but the decision did not pay off as both failed with their spot-kicks.
There were also questions as to why the English manager thrust an enormous amount of responsibility on the 19-year-old Saka, who enjoyed a brilliant tournament with the Three Lions prior to losing the spot-kick.
But Southgate, who himself knows only too well the pain a penalty shootout can cause after losing the vital kick for England as a player in EURO 1996, defended the team, as well as his choice of spot kickers.
According to him, he chose the spot kickers based on their work at the training ground.
He said: “It is down to me,
“I decided on the penalty-takers based on what they have done in training.
“Nobody is on their own. We have won together as a team and it is on all of us together to not be able to win this game.
“In terms of penalties, it is my call and it totally rests with me.”
Southgate said no blame should be placed on any of his players.
“You cannot have any recriminations,” he said.
“They have done more than any other team in over 50 years.”
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