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Jose Mourinho has claimed that the backlash to Raheem Sterling’s ‘dive’ against Denmark harmed England’s chances of winning a penalty in the Euro 2020 final.
The Three Lions opened the scoring already in the second minute, thanks to Luke Shaw’s goal. However, Leonardo Bonucci equalised the score in the 67th minute. The winner couldn’t be decided both in the main and extra times so the game headed into the penalty shootout.
Italy picked up a 3-2 win on penalties and were crowned EURO 2020 champions for the second time in their history.
And Mourinho, who criticised Sterling after he went down for a penalty in the semi-final against Denmark, believes the “pressure” regarding the supposed simulation played a factor in the decision making process.
“England could have had a penalty to go 2-0 up when Raheem Sterling was challenged by Leonardo Bonucci early in the second half of the final,” Mourinho told the Sun.
“For me, it was more of a penalty than the one awarded when Sterling went down in extra-time in the semi-final.
“If that one hadn’t been given against Denmark, and all the pressure that arrived after that, then it possibly would have been a penalty in the final — and at 2-0 we would be speaking about a completely different story.
“As a coach, it’s hard for me to believe that the English coaching staff told the players ‘stay in a low block, don’t leave the low block, we don’t need to counter-attack, we don’t need the ball, just defend for 45 minutes and we are going to be champions’.
“People said similar things about Tottenham in some matches last season but it wasn’t true.
“Italy just kept the ball, passed the ball, hid the ball, took off their striker and played with an extra midfielder.”
Source – Mirror