- Three Lions opened Euro 2024 qualification
- Claimed a 2-1 victory over title holders
- Rice and Kane on target for Southgate's side
WHAT HAPPENED? Supporters and players were left baffled by an error-strewn rendition of ‘God Save the King’ prior to the Three Lions opening their Euro 2024 qualification campaign against the reigning European champions. Ellynora looked uncomfortable from the off, as she missed the opening note and fiddled with her earpiece, with the Italian-American songstress breaking down in tears afterwards once it became apparent that she had fluffed her moment in the spotlight.
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WHAT THEY SAID: After being ridiculed on social media, Ellynora has told the Daily Mail of why she struggled so badly: “I’m just so angry with what happened because I wanted it to be perfect but what happened wasn’t my fault. I want to say sorry to all the England fans who were at the stadium and watching on TV, I’m mortified for what happened and I want people to know that I wasn’t being disrespectful. It was such an honour to be asked to sing the national anthem and I was so excited about it. I’ve never sung anything like that before.
“I’m more of a pop artist but at the ground there was a sound issue. I had rehearsed the anthem twice the day before the match and then on the night three times but when it came to the actual performance, I had a problem with my earpiece. I had the music in my ear and then it stopped and started again, and I was hearing it twice, so it meant I was out of synch, and it was hard for me to catch up. I really tried my best to solve the problem but there was nothing I could do and I’m so angry about it. I was trying to adjust my singing to catch up with the anthem in the stadium, but it was too late.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: England players, including Jude Bellingham and Kyle Walker, could be seen looking slightly confused as they were asked to join in with an anthem that clearly was not playing out as planned – but the pre-match issues proved to be no distraction for Gareth Southgate’s side as they ran out 2-1 winners on the night.
IN THREE PHOTOS:Instagram
WHAT NEXT? England prevailed courtesy of goals from Declan Rice and Harry Kane, with the latter converting from the penalty spot to register his 54th effort for the Three Lions and edge clear of Wayne Rooney as his country’s all-time leading scorer.