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Ex-Premier League Striker Staunchly Defends England Star Raheem Sterling After Penalty Backlash vs Denmark

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Ex-Premier League Striker Staunchly Defends England Star Raheem Sterling After Penalty Backlash vs Denmark

Former Premier League striker Kevin Doyle has defended Raheem Sterling after Wednesday night's controversial penalty in England's historic Euro 2020 semi-final win against Denmark.

During the first half of extra time, the England forward dribbled at great pace into the box and was seemingly touched by Denmark defender Joakim Maehle as the referee awarded a decisive penalty.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Harry Kane stepped up to take the penalty which was consequently saved by Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel but the England captain slotted away the rebound.

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In the aftermath of last night's events, there has been widespread controversy over Dutch referee Danny Makkelie's decision to give the penalty and whether VAR should have demanded the referee to review the tackle at the pitchside monitor.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

However, former Republic of Ireland international Doyle has come to the defence of the Manchester City forward and suggested that as Sterling was running at such great speed, it is extremely difficult for him to stay on his feet as he was clipped by the defender.

Doyle tweeted last night: "Sterling's right knee gets clipped followed by a hip barge from the other side....how is that 'not touched?' Try staying on your feet while sprinting with a ball and that happens."

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After the match, many pundits have insisted that the penalty should never have been given, yet when Sterling was interviewed by ITV, he said: "I went into the box and he stuck his right leg out, and it touched my leg so it was a clear penalty."

Sterling played a crucial role in both of England's goals in the semi-final and has been widely considered to be one of England's best and most consistent performers at Euro 2020.

As Gareth Southgate starts to consider his starting XI for Sunday's final, Sterling will undoubtedly be one of England's first names on the team sheet as he will look to continue his fine form to defeat Italy and secure the Three Lions' first major trophy in 55 years.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Sterling added: "It was a top performance -- we had to dig in deep after the first goal we conceded in the tournament, and we regrouped well and showed a good team spirit to come back and win the game.

"It was difficult going behind but we knew we had to stay patient - we knew with the legs we've got, the aggressiveness and the power we have in the team, it would be a matter of time before we broke them down.

"It's another step in the right direction. But once we're back in the dressing room it's over and we've got to focus on the weekend now. It's step-by-step and that's all we can do."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Football, Euro 2020, UEFA, Wembley Stadium, England, Denmark, Raheem Sterling

Alex White
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