England v Italy – story of the match
A late penalty awarded using the video assistant referee gave Italy a draw at Wembley.
England’s World Cup preparations continued in encouraging fashion as they drew 1-1 with Italy in their international friendly at Wembley.
The late influence of the video assistant referee saw Italy snatch a draw in the final match before Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate names his squad for this summer’s World Cup in Russia.
Four days after securing a deserved win in Holland, England failed to build on Jamie Vardy’s early goal and Lorenzo Insigne scored the equaliser from the penalty spot after a late VAR call.
Tweet of the Match –
VAR will be a lot of fun at the World Cup. 😬— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) March 27, 2018
Man of the Match – Raheem Sterling
The Manchester City forward has often been accused of not being able to replicate his club form at international level but the 23-year-old was in great form and proved a handful for the Italy defence.
Sterling called for England fans to get behind the team heading to Russia and, if he can continue turning in performances like this for the Three Lions, that should not be a problem.
The former Liverpool man looks to be thriving in the central role handed to him by Southgate for the Holland and Italy double-header and will be hard to budge from that position, even with Harry Kane set to return in time for the World Cup.
Moment of the Match – Italy’s penalty
Italy were awarded their late penalty after referee Deniz Aytekin consulted VAR, concluding that debutant James Tarkowski had stood on the foot of substitute Federico Chiesa.
Ashley Young made his first England start in 1831 days, just over five years, as the 32-year-old Manchester United man looks to secure a berth in Southgate’s World Cup squad.
England: Jack Butland 6 (out of 10), Kyle Walker 7, John Stones 6, James Tarkowski 6, Kieran Trippier 6, Eric Dier 7, Ashley Young 7, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 7, Jesse Lingard 8, Raheem Sterling 8, Jamie Vardy 7.
Subs: Adam Lallana (for Oxlade-Chamberlain, 59) 6, Danny Rose (for Trippier, 59) 5, Marcus Rashford (for Vardy, 70) 5, Lewis Cook (for Lingard, 70) 5, Jordan Henderson (for Stones, 79) 5.
Italy: Gianluigi Donnarumma 8, Davide Zappacosta 6, Daniele Rugani 6, Leonardo Bonucci 7, Mattia De Sciglio 8, Lorenzo Pellegrini 5, Jorginho 6, Marco Parolo 5, Antonio Candreva 7, Lorenzo Insigne 7, Ciro Immobile 6.
Subs: Federico Chiesa (for Candreva, 56) 7, Andrea Belotti (for Immobile, 64) 5, Roberto Gagliardini (for Pellegrini, 79) 5.
Who’s up next?
England v Nigeria (International Friendly, June 2)
Italy v Saudi Arabia (International Friendly, May 28)