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Euro 2020

England Players 'Shocked' By Southgate Decision

A new report has suggested that England's players were completely shocked by a certain decision made by Gareth Southgate during their 2020 UEFA European Championship final loss to Italy.

Click through the gallery above to see some images before, during and after England's shootout defeat on Sunday.

The Three Lions were defeated on penalties by Italy following a 1-1 draw in extra-time, with Bukayo Saka's saved effort ultimately costing England, although not many blame the 19-year-old.

Rather, it is manager Southgate who has had to bear the brunt of the criticism following their shootout loss, particularly for his decision to choose Saka as his fifth taker, but also for bringing Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho on late in extra-time just to strike from the 12-yard spot.

Both players failed to convert their efforts, with Rashford hitting the post and Gianluigi Donnarumma diving the right way to stop Sancho's strike from finding the back of the net.

Despite their misses, it was Saka's that resulted in the Azzurri winning the final, and it has since been claimed that even England's players were surprised by Southgate's penalty-taking order.

According to the Daily Mail, the shock came as the versatile Arsenal youngster had never previously taken a penalty at senior level and because it was felt that it was perhaps unfair placing that much responsibility on the teenager's shoulders.

It is further suggested that Jack Grealish was set to follow Saka if he had converted his effort, with Jordan Pickford and Kalvin Phillips next in the order. Raheem Sterling, meanwhile, was further down the apparent list.

Gallery: England Players React To Euro Final Loss

While Southgate revealed he was in charge of deciding who took penalties, new Roma manager Jose Mourinho, who worked as a pundit throughout the tournament, suggested the tactician was protecting his players when he said this, especially the ones he feels may have shied away from stepping up.

Here is the official Euro 2020 Team of the Tournament: 

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