Kevin Doyle defends Raheem Sterling after penalty backlash

Kevin Doyle Raheem Sterling

“Try staying on your feet while sprinting with a ball and that happens.”

Kevin Doyle has defended Raheem Sterling after the England forward won a penalty for his side in Wednesday night’s Euro 2020 semi-final against Denmark.

There has been much debate about the amount of contact on Sterling before he hit the deck, although VAR declined the chance to overturn the decision.

Harry Kane saw his penalty saved by Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel but the England captain fired home the follow-up.

After the match, Sterling insisted that he was fouled although that didn’t stop the likes of Roy Keane from criticising the penalty decision.

“I went into the box and he stuck his right leg out, and it touched my leg so it was a clear penalty,” Sterling told ITV.

Former Republic of Ireland international Kevin Doyle came to the defence of Sterling and insisted that it’s incredibly difficult for players to stay on their feet when impeded at speed.

Doyle tweeted: “Sterling’s right knee gets clipped followed by a hip barge from the other side….how is that ‘not touched?’

Kevin Doyle defends Raheem Sterling

“Try staying on your feet while sprinting with a ball and that happens.”

Sterling has been one of England’s top performers at Euro 2020 and he was an early source of goals for Gareth Southgate’s side at this summer’s tournament.

The Manchester City forward will likely play a crucial role for England in Sunday’s final, when the Three Lions come up against Italy.

“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,” Sterling said.

“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.”

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