Shootout heartbreak for Norwich City’s Jacob Murphy with England Under-21s as Nathan Redmond sees key penalty saved against Germany
- Credit: PA
Norwich City star Jacob Murphy suffered semi-final penalty shootout heartbreak against Germany with England at the European Under-21 Championship.
Former Canaries winger Nathan Redmond missed the key spot-kick as the Youngs Lions were beaten 4-3 on penalties to see their tournament come to a painful end in the semi-finals in Poland last night.
City winger Murphy had missed out on a starting place but replaced Nathaniel Chalobah in the 66th minute, winning his seventh U21 cap, as the Chelsea midfielder’s thigh problem got the better of him.
Murphy came on to play in his preferred position of right wing in Tychy but was later switched to right-back as the game finished 2-2 after extra-time.
England U21s boss Aidy Boothroyd said: “The tournament has been absolutely fantastic but obviously we’re absolutely gutted to go out in the way that we did.
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“We might not have been at our best for long periods but I thought what we showed was a real British Bulldog spirit, a real willingness to put the body on the line for the country, which was great to see.”
Murphy, 22, has been linked with a handful of Premier League clubs in recent days following his bright performances during the tournament having scored 10 goals in 41 games in all competitions for Norwich last season – with City’s loan keeper Angus Gunn again an unused substitute as the painful exit unfolded.
“What I will say is that there are future England internationals to come out of this team,” the former Canaries academy coach told the official @England Twitter feed.
“There are two out there already (Redmond and James Ward-Prowse) and there will be more.
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“It was a real effort I thought, a real backs-against-the-wall job at times but we do live to fight another day and this experience that these players got was probably similar to the ones the under-19s had in the semi-finals last year and that propelled them on to bigger and better things (winning the U20 World Cup).
“This group that can go again can do that and I said to the lads that can’t get another chance because they’re too old now that we’ve got to be looking to push them on now and get them playing in their clubs and for the senior team.”
Davie Selke’s bullet header had put the Germans ahead in the 35th minute but Demarai Gray thumped home an equaliser in the 41st minute after Calum Chambers had fired at goal as a corner pinged around the penalty box.
Boothroyd’s team then claimed the lead five minutes after the break, midfielder Will Hughes teeing up striker Tammy Abraham for an easy finish from close range for 2-1.
Four minutes after Murphy came on Germany found an equaliser of their own though, Felix Platte heading home from a corner in the 70th minute in an end-to-end battle.
Platte thought he had reclaimed the lead for the Germans eight minutes later but saw his header ruled out for offside and England held on to take the game into extra-time.
Murphy was moved to right-back for the second half of extra-time as Dominic Iorfa came on for Mason Holgate, as Boothroyd used the new regulation allowing for a fourth substitute during extra-time.
Both teams tired in the closing stages though and the tie finished at 2-2 to send the decision on who would reach the final to a penalty shoot-out, with Italy or Spain set to play the second semi-final later in the night.
Jordan Pickford saved the Germans’ second penalty but then Abraham saw his effort saved as well, before the score was left at 4-3 and Redmond stepped up knowing he had to score, but also saw his effort saved – with Murphy not required to take a penalty.
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