Gareth Southgate explains Bukayo Saka decision after England’s Euro 2020 heartbreak


Gareth Southgate has taken full responsibility for Bukayo Saka’s penalty miss in England’s Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy.

The Three Lions couldn’t quite bring football home on Sunday night, drawing 1-1 after extra time at Wembley in front of a heartbroken home crowd.

England took the lead after just two minutes when Luke Shaw finished superbly to give his country the dream start in the capital, but Italy fought back in the second-half.

Leonardo Bonucci equalised for the Azzurri, with Roberto Mancini ‘s side having the better of the second period, but neither side could find a winner at Wembley.


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The game then went to penalties and England missed three of their five kicks from 12 yards. Harry Kane scored the first one, with Harry Maguire converting the second.

Andrea Belotti missed Italy’s first with Jordan Pickford saving, with England seemingly in the driving seat. However, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Saka couldn’t beat Gianluigi Donnarumma in the Italian goal with Southgate’s men suffering the most heartbreaking of defeats.

Arsenal star Saka took the fifth spot kick, knowing he had to score, but the 19-year-old saw his shot saved by new PSG goalkeeper Donnarumma.

Southgate has taken responsibility for Saka’s miss, though, telling the media after the game: “That’s my decision to give him that penalty, that’s totally my responsibility.

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“It’s not him or Marcus or Jadon, we work together, we work through them in training, that’s the order we came to. That’s my call as a coach.”

The England boss added: “We prepared as well as we could for the (penalty shootout), that’s my responsibility, I chose the guys to take the kicks.

“In the end, we weren’t quite able to see the game through in the normal regulation time.

“It was very tight, Italy showed they’re the outstanding side that they are and why they’re 30 games unbeaten.

“Our players have done themselves proud, every one of them has been exceptional. It’s the first time we’ve got to a final, and we’re unbelievably disappointed not to go that one step further.”





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