Alexander-Arnold caught letting slip that England team-mate didn’t want to take penalty

Joe Williams
England defender Trent Alexander-Arnold
Trent Alexander-Arnold reacts to scoring the winning penalty against Switzerland.

Trent Alexander-Arnold has been caught revealing that one of his England team-mates didn’t want to take a penalty in their win over Switzerland.

After Bukayo Saka’s fine effort cancelled out Breel Embolo’s opener against Switzerland in Dusseldorf on Saturday, the two sides could not be separated with the game ending 1-1 after extra time.

England were then perfect in the ensuing shoot-out, scoring all five of their opening penalties for the first time in a major tournament thanks to Cole Palmer, Jude Bellingham, Saka, Ivan Toney and Alexander-Arnold.

It means England have advanced to the semi-finals on Wednesday where they will play Netherlands after the nerve-shredding win over Switzerland.

Only Man City defender Manuel Akanji missed a spot-kick as the Three Lions triumphed but Alexander-Arnold – who took the match-winning penalty – has revealed that one of his team-mates didn’t fancy taking a penalty.

Speaking to family and friends after the match, Liverpool defender Alexander-Arnold let slip about one of his team-mates, saying: “He didn’t want to take one.”

It’s hard to blame any of the Three Lions stars for shirking a penalty kick after the racist abuse Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho received following England’s Euro 2020 final loss to Italy in 2021.

Since then Arsenal forward Saka has morphed into a key player for club and country, scoring 10 of the 11 penalties he has taken for the Gunners following the harrowing experience.

“I think for me it’s something I embrace,” Saka said about exorcising his demons after the Switzerland match.

“You can fail once but you have a choice whether you put yourself in that position again or not. I’m a guy who is going to put myself in that position. I believed in myself.

“When I saw the ball hit the net, I was a very happy man. I’m not going to be focusing on the past. That’s done. I can only focus on now and taking a penalty.

“Of course I know there’s a lot of nervous people watching, my family included and in the crowd. But I kept my cool and I scored.”

Saka added: “For myself, I believe we have some of the best takers in the Premier League and the world.

“We talked about it before that if it did go to penalties, we would be pretty confident. I’m happy we showed that today, we scored five out of five. We’re through to the next round.

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“We know there are two more games until we can change our lives and make some history that’s never been made before.

“We’re really focused on that, we’re going to enjoy tonight and obviously focus on the next game. We’re going to watch the game, see who we’ll be facing and be ready for that when the time comes.”