Italy 1-0 England: Gareth Southgate’s side relegated after Nations League defeat

Italy 1-0 England: Gareth Southgate’s side relegated after Nations League defeat

Giacomo Raspadori scores for Italy
England went five games without a win for the first time since 2014

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.

player of the match

GnontoWilfried Gnonto

Alignments

Italy

Training 3-5-2

  • 1G Donnarumma
  • 4Toloi
  • 19BonucciBooked at 48 mins
  • 15Acerbi
  • 2Di LorenzoBooked at 80 minutes
  • 18BarrelReplaced byPobegaat 63′minutes
  • 8JorginhoReplaced byEmersonat 89′minutes
  • 16Cristant
  • 3DimarcoReplaced byFrattesiat 89′minutes
  • 9ScamaccaReplaced byGnontoat 63′minutes
  • tenRaspadoriReplaced byGabbiadiniat 81′minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Ramos Marchi
  • 6Pobega
  • sevenFrattesi
  • 11Gnonto
  • 12Meret
  • 13Emerson
  • 14Zerbin
  • 17Griffin
  • 20Gabbiadini
  • 21Vicar
  • 22Esposito
  • 23bastoni

England

Training 3-4-3

  • 1Pope
  • 2WalkerReplaced byShawat 72′minutes
  • 5say
  • 6Maguire
  • 3james
  • 8bellingham
  • 4Rice
  • sevensakaReplaced byGrealishat 72′minutesBooked at 90 minutes
  • 11Foden
  • 9Kane
  • tenSterling

Substitutes

  • 12Tripper
  • 13Ramsdale
  • 14Shaw
  • 15Grealish
  • 16Coody
  • 17Ward-Prose
  • 18Tomori
  • 19To go up
  • 20Bowen
  • 21Alexandre-Arnold
  • 22Henderson
  • 23Abraham

Arbitrator:
Jesus Gil Manzano

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