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.”
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.”
Reaction to England’s penalty shootout defeat
Thought Saka was just about the best thing to emerge from this tournament for England. What a talent. He’ll be a big part of England teams for a long time to come.
— Oliver Holt (@OllieHolt22) July 11, 2021
Reflecting on his own penalty miss 25 years ago, Southgate said on Friday: “Those sorts of moments in your life don’t have to define you.”
This is now true for Saka, Rashford and Sancho. Nobody better to console them.
— James Olley (@JamesOlley) July 11, 2021
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.