Euro 2020: ‘I wanted to take one, won’t have people say that I didn’t’: Grealish slams critics post England’s final loss


Numerous England players are being subjected to criticism following their loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 final at the Wembley Stadium on Sunday. The home side lost 2-3 to the Azzurri in the penalty shootout and many are trying to understand as to why 19-year-old Bukayo Saka was sent ahead of the Raheem Sterling or Jack Grealish for the fifth and deciding kick.

One of them is former Manchester United captain Roy Keane, who told ITV, as per Sky Sports, that Saka should not have been sent ahead of more experienced campaigners. (EURO 2020 COVERAGE)

ALSO READ| Euro 2020: ‘You cannot have a young kid go ahead of you’: Keane slams England for sending Saka for crucial fifth penalty

“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,” Roy Keanes said. “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.”

Aston Villa playmaker Grealish has also received flak as people are claiming that he didn’t want to take the penalty. Replying to the speculations, Grealish posted a statement on Twitter which read: “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…

The Azzurri defeated England 3-2 on penalties after the normal 90-minute action had finished at 1-1 and even extra time was not able to break the deadlock. England had a dream start to their first-ever Euro showpiece, Luke Shaw thumping in a fine goal inside two minutes to light up Wembley. Yet Italy slowly found their feet and midway through the second half, Leonardo Bonucci found the net. On to extra time, and then penalties, where both goalkeepers saved two; history, though, belongs to Donnarumma the victor.

After the Three Lions’ failure in the penalty shootouts, Southgate said it “totally rests” with him as he was the one who decided who was going to take the kicks on the basis of training.

(With ANI Inputs)

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