England v Italy: Match in pictures
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England star Jack Grealish has hit out at Roy Keane over his comments about the penalty shootout against Italy on Sunday. The ITV Sport pundit accused the Aston Villa star of not having the bottle to take one. But the playmaker has now clarified the matter.
England lost to Italy in the final of Euro 2020 on Sunday night, with Gareth Southgate’s side going down 3-2 in the penalty shootout after they’d drawn 1-1.
It was a horrendous night for the Three Lions, both on and off the pitch, meaning they’ve now missed a golden opportunity to win a first major tournament since 1966.
For the penalties, Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford all missed.
That then led Keane, performing punditry duties for ITV Sport, to criticise Grealish – accusing the Villa star of not stepping up when his country needed him to.
“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.”
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And the Aston Villa star has now hit back.
“I said I wanted to take one!!!!” he tweeted.
“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…”
Fans reacted to Grealish’s comments, lavishing praise on the Villa star.
“Jack has shut down the ‘senior player cowardice’ nonsense!” said one supporter.
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“It showed you nodding at southgate so i don’t know how people are gonna blame you lmao,” said a second.
A third said: “It’s fine bro, let’s go after the World Cup.”
A fourth opined: “It was clear you said yes on tele Jack and Southgate said after the game HE picked the 5 don’t know why so many are still saying why did senior players hide. Ps DCL should have been on to take one.”
And a fifth said: “SUPER JACKY GREALISH YOU TELL THEM.”
England boss Southgate has also spoken out this morning, admitting he was hurting after the defeat.
“You’re not a ‘nice’ team to get to a final. We’ve overcome a lot of hurdles we’ve never been able to in the past,” Southgate said.
“If you want sustained success as a team, you need to be constantly evolving, improving and constantly finishing in latter stages of tournaments.
“It feels like my stomach has been ripped out this morning.
“But the fact we have had the first signs of some consistency – a World Cup semi-final and a Euro final – has to be a step in the right direction.”
Southgate also hailed England assistant Steve Holland for his work over the tournament.
“The work in the background is phenomenal. I have to highlight Steve Holland – a phenomenal man and a phenomenal coach,” he said.
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