Well, we didn’t expect too much of England so we aren’t too surprised that they went out on penalties. It’s like reliving every England tournament when it gets to penalties, you know someone is gonna be the next Gareth Southgate and be hated and become an ITV pundit in 20 years’ time, and those men are Ashley Young and Ashley Cole. So ashes to ashes, balls to keepers, but England were knocked out on penalties to Italy after a tension filled 0-0 draw dominated by the Italians.
England could hardly get the ball out of their own half let alone to another English player, and it was Italy who had the better chances with Alessandro Diamanti and Danielle De Rossi hitting the post and Andrea Pirlo dominating play with some brilliant passes. England had chances too, with Glen Johnson missing from 5 yards out and Danny Wellbeck firing over from a good position. As it eventually went to penalties, it was Ricardo Montolivo to miss first as England led 2-1, before Pirlo scored the coolest of penalties to level up, before Ashley Young smashed the bar, and Ashley Cole passed it straight to Buffon for old West Ham reject Diamanti to finish off the game.
So another two years until English fans raise their expectations of their boys again and the Germans next for Italy, but at least they can go home with their heads held high, and Ashley Young’s penalty as well.
By Jason Barr