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Stakes high for Napoli, Juventus

Juventus
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By ESPN Staff

Owen slams Sven's decision to play Rooney alone

Michael Owen believes Sven-Goran Eriksson's decision to play Wayne Rooney as a lone striker during last Saturday's World Cup clash with Portugal contributed to England's downfall.

Newcastle striker Owen has suggested Rooney's frustration at not getting enough support up front played a part in his eventual sending off for a foul on Portugal defender Ricardo Carvalho.

England battled on bravely to keep Portugal at bay during regulation play and extra-time but then went out on penalties.

In an interview to be shown during ITV1's World Cup final coverage, Owen said: 'You would suggest he's probably only got angry because of what's happened in the first hour of that game. It's a frustrating role to play.

'Wayne Rooney is one of the best strikers in the world and you're cutting one of his legs off if you're playing just one up front,' quotes The Sun.