The press had a field day after England's latest penalty shootout heartache but just don't link it back in any way to Fabrice Muamba.
A nation's pain, a sub-editor's delight
Reading the headlines in English tabloids after the Three Lions lose penalty shootouts is one of The Circus' favourite pastimes and Fleet Street didn't disappoint on Monday morning.
'Ashes to Ashleys' screeched The Sun after Messrs Cole and Young botched their spot kicks to hand Italy a 4-2 win in the shootout after extra time failed to break the 0-0 deadlock in the EURO 2012 quarter-final.
The Daily Mail did its best to outpun its rival with 'Hung, drawn and QUARTER-ED' as it salted already gaping wounds with a look back at England's past penalty shootout failures.
Winner of the most contrived splash goes to The Mirror's 'Dis-ash-ter' headline on its online image gallery, which features the only known photo of Joe Hart looking like he has any idea where Andrea Pirlo's penalty was going.
However, The Circus' favourite post-defeat headline from EURO 2012 comes not from the Fleet Street muckrakers but the venerable Independent, which had the cojones to write what every English football fan was feeling.
After all, if there's one thing that the Three Lions hate more than going to spot kicks after two hours of major tournament football, it's fronting up for another inevitable loss to Die Mannschaft.
Rooney's time to shine
He may have missed the first two games of the tournament, but Wayne Rooney did score the crucial goal against Ukraine that ensured England progressed through the group stages at Eueo 2012.
Unlike Cole and Young, Rooney also managed to slot his spot kick against Italy.
Despite these two amazing feats, The Circus gets the feeling Rooney will perform some of his best work on the flight home from the Ukraine.
As funny as a heart attack
After all Fabrice Muamba has been through this year, surely no one would begrudge his acceptance of an honorary doctorate from the University of Bolton, on behalf of the medicos who revived him after he died for 78 minutes during an FA Cup game? Surely?
Wrong. Charity founder Nick Hartshorne-Evans, 41, of Hapton in East Lancashire labelled Muamba "disrespectful and disgraceful" for what he apparently believes was the Bolton man's willingness to be celebrated for almost dying mid-pitch.
"I'm all for praising people who save lives but my big concern (is) Fabrice Muamba has accepted this award without thinking about the impact. What about those who save lives on a daily basis?" he raged while completely missing the point.
If accepting an honorary degree sparked such fury in the Hartshorne-Evans household, The Circus can only imagine the outrage evoked by Muamba's heart attack joke on Twitter before the penalty shootout.
The spoken word
"It's a sad moment. It is always difficult after a defeat, but the support we received today was really quite incredible, from the first minute to the 120th. The mood back at home and the feeling we have being supported back here has made the defeat even harder. We so much wanted to stay on and give the fans a reward for the support they've given us. I couldn't ask any more than the players gave tonight. They gave their all. We have to accept we weren't quite good enough to win it over the 120 minutes and, in the shoot-out, we went down the same road we've been so many times before." – England manager Roy Hodgson prepares to lock this speech away in readiness for use at England's next failure at a major football tournament.
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