England suffered the embarrassment of relegation from their UEFA Nations League group after falling to Italy in Milan.
Giacomo Raspadori’s superb 68th-minute strike opened the deadlock at the San Siro as a game that lacked spark finally came to life after the break, with England’s winless streak extended to five games, their worst since June 2014.
Raspadori produced instant control and a ferocious right-footed finish that gave goalkeeper Nick Pope no chance in place of the injured Jordan Pickford.
Manager Gareth Southgate has kept faith in Harry Maguire despite his struggles at Manchester United, with the defender suffering an anxious first moment when West Ham United striker Gianluca Scammaca beat him through the air at the far post, only for a combination of Pope and the woodwork to keep his head out.
England finally responded, with Italian keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma producing a fine double against Harry Kane, although the home side had their own chances in a frenetic final.
England still lacks inspiration
Southgate were keen to refocus after their winless run put them in trouble in their UEFA Nations League group, but there was little to get excited about here as the latest scoreless show left them 495 minutes without a goal in open play.
Kane threatened Donnarumma as England tried to react but there was hardly any other clear chance, despite prompting from Phil Foden, apart from a header from Jude Bellingham which he sent over the bar .
Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka had been named England’s Player of the Year ahead of the game and his reward was a role in an unfamiliar left-back position in which he had little, perhaps understandably, impact before being replaced.
It was hard not to feel sympathy for the youngster being asked to play such an unusual role at this level.
Maguire had few serious alarms but England deserved none of the game and must now rise against Germany at Wembley on Monday with their UEFA Nations League fate already decided.
And Southgate must surely involve Brentford’s Ivan Toney, who was surprisingly left out of the matchday squad here. Anything else would make nonsense of its appeal.
It was another disappointing night for England who did nothing to lift their spirits after their recent poor run.
Southgate must restore confidence
England must pull themselves out of this untimely slump with just 90 minutes of international football remaining before the start of the World Cup in Qatar in November.
Time is running out, the showpiece is closing in and England hit their worst form since 2014, mocking their lofty status as one of the World Cup favourites.
Relegation now means they drop out of the elite UEFA Nations League groups and could face a potentially tougher draw at the next Euros.
England used to get the job done even when not at his best but that has been lost now and the lack of power, leaving Kane even more dependent, is a real concern. for Southgate.
He would have hoped to have crystallized his thoughts on the World Cup by now, but England’s current poor form raises more questions than answers.
- 1G Donnarumma
- 19BonucciBooked at 48 mins
- 2Di LorenzoBooked at 80 minutes
- 18BarrelReplaced byPobegaat 63′minutes
- 8JorginhoReplaced byEmersonat 89′minutes
- 3DimarcoReplaced byFrattesiat 89′minutes
- 9ScamaccaReplaced byGnontoat 63′minutes
- tenRaspadoriReplaced byGabbiadiniat 81′minutes
- 5Ramos Marchi
- 2WalkerReplaced byShawat 72′minutes
- sevensakaReplaced byGrealishat 72′minutesBooked at 90 minutes
- 19To go up
- Jesus Gil Manzano
Match ends, Italy 1, England 0.
Second Half ends, Italy 1, England 0.
Failed attempt. Jude Bellingham (England) header from the center of the six yard box is too high. Assisted by Reece James with a cross.
Foul by Reece James (England).
Wilfried Gnonto (Italy) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Raheem Sterling (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Tommaso Pobega (Italy).
Jack Grealish (England) is shown the yellow card.
Handball by Jack Grealish (England).
Attempt saved. Declan Rice (England) right footed shot from outside the box sees his shot blocked. Assisted by Luke Shaw.
Attempt blocked. Wilfried Gnonto (Italy) left footed shot to the left of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Manolo Gabbiadini.
Replacement, Italy. Emerson replaces Jorginho.
Replacement, Italy. Davide Frattesi replaces Federico Dimarco.
Failed attempt. Bryan Cristante (Italy) left footed shot from the center of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Giovanni Di Lorenzo.
Jack Grealish (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Bryan Cristante (Italy).
Attempt saved. Manolo Gabbiadini (Italy) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box sees his shot blocked in the center of the goal. Assisted by Jorginho with a through ball.
Failed attempt. Jude Bellingham (England) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Phil Foden.
Jack Grealish (England) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Wilfried Gnonto (Italy).