Gareth Southgate took responsibility for England’s loss on penalties, saying the decisions made were entirely up to him.
It was a painfully familiar story for England at Wembley. They drew 1-1 with Italy in 120 minutes, which led to the dreaded penalties to decide the winner of Euro 2020.
It all started well, but the failures of 19-year-old Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka saw Italy claim their second European Championship title, leaving England heartbroken once again as she was beaten 3-2 in a shootout.
England coach Southgate took full responsibility for the penalty shoot-out after the match, choosing the team.
When asked what he would say to Saka, Southgate replied, “It’s up to me. I picked the shooters based on what we did in training and no one is. Alone We won together as a team and it’s absolutely on all of us in terms of not being able to win the game tonight.
“But when it comes to penalties, it’s my decision and it’s totally up to me.
“We had two [penalty takers] start earlier in the game, which is why we’ve made the changes we’ve made. We have been following what they have been doing with their clubs over a long period of time and what they have also shown in training, so this is the process that has worked for us in Russia and in the Nations League. , but tonight it didn’t work. worked enough.
“We were well prepared and started well, but unfortunately the guys couldn’t convert tonight. They can’t look at each other based on how they trained because they couldn’t do that anymore. or better.
“[Saka] is a great boy, he is so popular with the whole group. He’s had an amazing tournament and he’s a star, and he will continue to be a star.
“In a final tonight as well, he behaved exceptionally well when he came into the game. We have to be there to support him and help him, but I’m sure he will receive a lot of love from there. out of the way he won in this tournament. ”
Although the night ended with yet another penalty on penalties, Southgate wants their players to be proud of their efforts at Euro 2020.
He told the BBC: “We are extremely disappointed because first of all the players were absolute credit. They gave everything they could tonight, they dug into the ground. Sometimes they played really well and sometimes, we didn’t keep the ball well enough, especially early in the second half.
“But they can’t have any complaints. It’s a pleasure to work with them and they’ve gone further than us for so long, but tonight it’s incredibly painful in this locker room… You must be feeling that disappointment because that the opportunities to win trophies like this are so rare in your life.
“But when they think about what they’ve done, they should be very proud of themselves.”
Coach winner Mancini lost his words
Italy’s head coach Roberto Mancini added another trophy to his cabinet, completing a sensational turnaround from the national team, which failed to qualify for the World Cup three years ago.
“It was impossible to even contemplate that at one point, but the guys were just amazing. I have no words for them, it’s a wonderful group. It was a tough game made that much harder. after their first goal, apart from that, the start of the period, we dominated the game.
“We are delighted for the people and the Italian public because they really deserve it after a difficult time. It is a great joy for us.
“Winning the European Championship for the first time since 1968 and winning the trophy, I think that’s something incredible.
“It was (crying) the emotion that comes after doing something amazing. It was the emotion of seeing the guys celebrating and the fans in the stands.
“Seeing how much we have been able to create, all the hard work we have put in over the past three years, but especially the last 50 days which have been very hard.
“It’s the fact that we’ve been able to forge that team spirit over the last 50 days, they’ve really created something that can never be separated in the future. They will always be synonymous with that triumph.
“You have to have a bit of luck on penalties. I’m a little sorry for England as they also had a great tournament. The team has grown a lot and I think we can still improve. very happy for all Italians. I have no words for these guys! ”
How the players reacted
captain of England Harry kane at BBC: “The boys couldn’t have given more. Penalties are the worst thing in the world when you lose them. It’s been a fantastic tournament, we should be proud and hold our heads up, but it’s going to hurt now. is going to hurt for a while but we are on the right track and we are building. Hopefully we can make progress next year.
“We played against a very good team and got off to a perfect start. We maybe crashed a little too deep, sometimes when you score that early it’s easy to absorb the pressure and hang on to it. had a lot of ball, but we looked pretty in control.
“We didn’t create too many chances, they got the breakthrough on a set piece and after that it was probably 50/50. We had a few half chances in overtime and then the penalties are penalties. We went through our process and the boys did all they could, but it just wasn’t our night.
“Anyone can miss a penalty. We win together, we lose together and we will grow. It will give us more motivation to do well at the World Cup next year.”
captain of Italy Giorgio Chiellini at ITV: “It was a tough game, we started in the worst possible way, with England scoring after two minutes. The fans, the whole stadium, gave their energy to England, but we were calm and then we started leading the game from 15 minutes and started playing. We found the right passes, controlled the play and that was the way to win. It’s a dream come true, it’s magic . We are more than happy. ”
defender of Italy Leonard Bonucci: “We were special in that we believed in it from day one, when we all got together. There was a different feeling in the air and it happened. It’s amazing how day in and day out. “We never got tired of spending time together. Normally you can’t wait for something to end when it was that long, but we had this burning urge to keep going. It’s amazing.”
“We [Bonucci and Chiellini] We have been waiting for this moment since 2012. We were one step away, but we pursued it. But we thought we could do it. ”
Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma: “We did something amazing. We’re happy. We didn’t give up a millimeter. You all know where we started from. We’re a fantastic team and we deserve it.
“The goal we conceded early on could have helped us, but we’re not a quitting team. It wasn’t easy but we were spectacular, great. We dominated for a lot of the game. We were dominant. deserve all this. ”