Gareth Southgate took full responsibility for England’s penalty shootout loss, saying that the decisions he made were his own. At Wembley, England experienced a painfully familiar story. Despite 120 minutes of play, the two teams drew 1-1, resulting in penalties to decide the winner of Euro 2020.
While England started well, misses from Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and 19-year old Bukayo Saka saw Italy claim their second European Championship title, leaving the team heartbroken once again in a 3-2 shootout loss to Italy.
Following the game, England manager Southgate assumed full responsibility for selecting the penalty shootout lineup. When asked what he would say to Saka, Southgate replied: “That it’s down to me. 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. But in terms of the penalties, that’s my call and totally rests with me.”
“[Saka] is such a super boy, he’s so popular with the whole group. He’s had an incredible tournament and he’s a star, and he will continue to be a star. In a final tonight as well, he performed exceptionally well when he came into the game. We’ve got to be there to support and help him, but I’m sure he’ll get a lot of love from outside from the way he’s established himself in this tournament,” he added.
The evening ended in another penalty shootout heartbreak for Southgate but he wants his players to feel proud of what they accomplished at Euro 2020.