It is officially NOT coming home. Football, that is, and to England, specifically. Liverpool FC’s Jordan Henderson and the Three Lions failed to win a major tournament since 1966 yet again as they fell to Italy in the finals of the Euros.
Gareth Southgate again named Jordan Henderson to his bench, instead opting for his tried and true midfield duo of Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips. England got off to a flying start as in the second minute, wingback Kieran Trippier drove a cross to his left sided counterpart, the previously Mou-ligned (think about it) Luke Shaw. The Manchester United player drilled a half volley past the hapless Gianluigi Donnarumma to give England a 1-0 lead.
England stayed on the front foot through the first half, but Italy got themselves back into it as the game progressed. In the end, one of England’s strengths became their undoing. In the 68th minute, Frederico Chiesa earned a corner for the Italians. Lorenzo Insigne took the resulting set piece, and it was ultimately headed home by the stalwart defender, Leonardo Bonucci.
Jordan Henderson was brought on for Declan Rice just a few minutes later in the 74th minute. Neither team was able to break the deadlock in the remaining regular time, or in the additional 30 minutes in extra time.
Gareth Southgate made the interesting decision to sub on Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho for Kyle Walker and substitute Jordan Henderson just before extra time expired so they would be available to take penalty kicks, albeit coming in cold. Henderson is not known as a penalty kick specialist, and actually missed a penalty attempt in a friendly against Romania ahead of the Euros. Still, sending a player in cold to take a penalty has a history of not working out well. Rashford and Sancho both ended up missing their opportunities as the third and fourth players in the line up. Arsenal youngster Bukayo Saka also missed, leading to England crashing out on penalties yet again.
With the Euros now over, Henderson will now get an extended break before returning for preseason. Players who were not involved in international tournaments this summer have already begun gathering as preseason kicks off this week.