Italy win Euro 2020: Gareth Southgate takes responsibility for England's penalty misses

  • Kobe Tong

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England suffered heartbreak at the final hurdle of Euro 2020.

England vs Italy

The Three Lions had reached their first major final at an international tournament since the 1966 World Cup, but it was Italy who were crowned champions of Europe at Wembley Stadium.

Although Luke Shaw fired England into the lead with the fastest ever goals in Euros final matches, there was a crushing blow after the break as Leonardo Bonucci smuggled home an equaliser.

From that point onwards, the game devolved into a cagey fair and trundled all the way to a penalty shootout despite Italy testing Jordan Pickford with a number of energetic chances.

Italy vs England Final Highlights | Euro 2020 (Football Terrace)

Penalty heartbreak for England

And despite the England goalkeeper's heroics from spot-kicks, brilliantly denying Andrea Belotti and Jorginho, there was more heartbreak from 12 yards as the Three Lions missed three of their efforts.

With Marcus Rashford striking the post and Gianluigi Donnarumma making saves from Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, Italy were crowned champions of Europe with a 3-2 win on penalties.

It was a heartbreaking way for England to lose such a massive occasion, but you couldn't fault the leader and inspiration of the national team through the entire tournament for their reaction.

We are, of course, talking about Gareth Southgate who knows all-too wall about the heartbreak of penalties after he missed the crucial spot-kick when England crashed out of Euro 96.

Southgate's classy interview

And that past experience, plus the sheer fact that he's a proven gentlemen, greatly informed the classy reaction that we saw from Southgate upon the full-time whistle.

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Not only was he one of the first individuals to console Saka on the back of his miss, but he showed remarkable strength, determination and dignity when he stepped up for his post-match interview.

No doubt speaking in front of the media was the last thing that Southgate wanted to do during such an emotional moment, but he did so with complete and utter class.

Even going as far as taking responsibility for the three penalty misses, Southgate conducted himself with the wholly genuine class of someone thoroughly deserving of his role - check it out:

Southgate attracts praise from fans

Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is how to handle yourself on the back of a heartbreaking defeat.

And it wasn't lost on fans either because many England fans across Twitter were keen to praise the England manager for showing such dignity, bravery and leadership in such a key moment.

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Fair play, Gareth

How can you possibly wish for anyone else as England manager right now?

It is desperately sad to see some supporters calling for Southgate's head on the back of the Italy loss because the fact of the matter is that the England boss has created history this summer.

Win or lose, England entered this tournament having not reached a major final in more than half a century and Southgate brought fans closer than ever to the prospect of football coming home.

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Euro 2020: News, Groups, Fixtures, Dates, Tickets, Odds And Everything You Need To Know

In the end, an outstanding Italian display meant that it fell short of walking through the door, but we heard it knock, he heard it turn the handle and Southgate deserves all the credit in the world for that.

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