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August 15, 2012
• Wankdorfstadion, Bern
Referee: S. Kever
• Attendance: 15000
P. Jagielka 28'
J. Defoe 80'
D. De Rossi 15'
So, the Three Lions' boss can be happy with how his experimental side did against an inexperienced, but still quality, Italian side. A good work-out ahead of the World Cup qualifiers, anyway, for which he may now have a slightly better idea of his starting line-up. Thanks for joining us, and good night.
FULL-TIME!! The referee brings the friendly game to an end and Hodgson's men get some slight revenge on the Azzurri for knocking them out of Euro 2012. De Rossi opened the scoring for Italy as he headed home from a corner after 15 minutes, before Jagielka leveled the scores in the same way. After the break both teams were slow out of the blocks but it was England who got all important goal when substitute Defoe came off the bench to net the winner with a long-range effort.
90' + 2'
De Rossi finds Gabbiadini with a long ball, the latter brings it down with a superb touch but is closed down quickly and loses the ball.
Three minutes of added time are signaled by the fourth official.
Milner does great to run his way down the right-flank and into the penalty box before nearly setting Defoe up for his second, but the Italy defence get it behind.
Yellow CardDiego Fabbrini
Half-hearted shouts form handball after Abate's shot hits Lescott's, but the referee says no.
Hodgson's super-sub looks to have stolen the game in Switzerland, probable deservedly so, with just over five minutes to play.
GOAL!! Defoe with a screamer from outside the penalty box! 2-1! England counter at pace and swiftly break down the other end, Defoe looks like he may have lost control of the chance but regains his touch and cuts in onto his favoured right foot before blasting the ball into the top-right corner, just out of Sirigu's reach, though the PSG man gets a slight finger on the ball.
Ruddy tips the ball over as Verratti blasts a shot straight at him, from the resulting corner Ryan Bertrand, just on as a substitute, heads it off the line.
England have it in the net again, but once more Lescott is penalised for a push in the area as Defoe sees his effort chalked off.
HOW have England not taken the lead? Milner whips in a free-kick from the near side, as it swerves in towards the goal Cahill just can't quite reach it, the ball then hits Peluso forcing Sirigu into a brilliant reflex save. Lescott is inches away from knocking it into the open goal but the same defender again almost scores an own goal by hitting the post. So unlucky.
Baines rushes forward on the left-flank in a decent run by delays the cross and the move breaks down.
Carrick takes over the England armband as Lampard makes way.
Oliver Platt reports: "Another debut for England as Jake Livermore replaces Frank Lampard. Lampard turned in a reasonable display, keeping possession well and threatening mildly with a couple of long range efforts from midfield. There is not a player on the pitch who has been outstanding tonight, but Lampard looks as if he can still play a part."
Aquilani shoots from range but gets it horribly wrong as it goes miles wide, the midfielder is appealing for corner but the referee says no.
Cahill has the ball in the back of the net after he volleys home Lampard's corner, but the referee's whistle has gone as Lescott is pulled up for pushing.
Patient play from England again as Milner finds space to drill a low cross in, it's deflected behind for a corner.
Cahill is in the wars as Destro gives him a bloody nose.
Young tries an ambitious strike from range but wildly lashes the ball over the bar. Hodgson decides to switch things up by bringing on Joleon Lescott for goal-scorer Jagielka and James Milner for the aforementioned Manchester United winger.
Stephan El Shaarawy
Italy nearly take the lead but just can't find the finishing touch. Destro can't quite get control of the ball before Cahill pokes it away from the arriving Azzurri players. Aquilani picks it up and tries to find Abate but over-hits it. England have it clear momentarily but then Peluso is played in and should score but can only find the side netting.
Ruddy pulls off a top save to deny Destro who hits it on the turn after being played in by Diamanti. The Norwich keep does well to get down quickly with his vision impaired by Cahill, whose legs the ball went through.
El Shaarawy sprints clear on the right-flank and tries to pick out Diamanti on the far side but over-hits the cross, however the Azzurri man collects the ball and wins a free-kick.
Cleverley breaks out of midfield but can't find Defoe with the through ball.
We've had a bit of a slow start to this second-half, no chances for either side just yet as the tempo has dropped considerably.
Hodgson makes two changes as John Ruddy comes on for Butland and Jermain Defoe takes Carroll's place, while Balzaretti is replaced by Federico Peluso for Italy.
England get the match back underway in Berne.
HALF-TIME!! The referee brings the first-half to an end with the score at 1-1. Both sides' goals were very similar as first De Rossi and then Jagielka managed to get free of their marker and head home from corners. There's been some decent play from both teams but clear chances have been hard to come by as of yet. Be sure to stay tuned.
Abate puts a dangerous low ball across the face of goal but no-one in a blue shirt is there to connect with it.
Young draws a free-kick on the edge on the penalty area after a wild lunge from Abate. Lampard lines it up but narrowly misses the target as the ball goes just over.
Butland improvises to clear the ball with his boot after a dangerous cross by Diamanti from the near side.
Ignazio Abate shows lightning pace as he races down the right-hand-side, but is eventually halted just outside the box.
Carrick plays it to Cleverley who flicks it on first time towards Carroll, however the big man can't bring it down and the move comes to an end.
England are showing patience as they knock the ball and wait for an opening, the space then opens up for Lampard as he tries another shot from range, but this time it's blocked before it reaches the goal.
Lampard stings the palms of Sirigu as he blasts a strike from outside the 18-yard-box, but the PSG keeper parries it clear.
That's Jagielka's second international goal from 14 caps.
GOAL!! Jagielka levels it up with a diving header! Another corner leads to another goal as the Everton defender gets free of his man and finds the back post where no Italian was to be seen. 1-1.
Johnson feeds Walker on the right wing, the full-back is in a great position but Ogbonna slides in to put it behind.
Ashley Young wins a corner for England on the far side, which Lampard delivers to the back post, however Italy clear the danger.
Destro, who has looked dangerous on the counter, is played in behind once more and brings the ball under control with a delightful touch, however Walker shows pace to get back and puts the Azzurri forward under pressure as he fails to hit the target with the shot.
Decent chance for Johnson. Lampard plays it to the Manchester City man who cuts in from the right-hand-side and shoots, unfortunately for England though he slips as he pulls the trigger and the ball is gathered by Sirigu.
Neat build-up play from England ends in Johnson running into trouble on the right-flank. Hodgson's men just lacking penetration in the final third there.
Italy come forward again as Destro tries his luck with a header, however it's quite a distance out and the Azzurri man fails to generate enough power to trouble Butland.
Oliver Platt reports on the opener: "England have not made a bad start to this match in possession terms but after Alessandro Diamanti tested Jack Butland with a deflected free-kick, the former West Ham forward curled in a corner that Daniele De Rossi rose above Michael Carrick to flick home."
GoalDaniele De Rossi
GOAL!! Italy 1-0 England as De Rossi heads home from the corner.
Italy with a free-kick now, Diamanti forces Butland to put it behind at his near post.
Free-kick from the left-flank for England which Lampard whips in, he puts too much curl on the ball though and Sirigu claims it with ease. Hodgson's men looking good though.
Cleverley and Adam Johnson link up with the latter blasting a shot at goal, however it's blocked by the first man.
England are granted a corner after a poor touch by Antonio Nocerino, Andy Carroll loses his man but heads over when he should really test Salvatore Sirigu. Just got too much on it.
Mattia Destro is almost played in by a fabulous long range ball from Daniele De Rossi however the forward fails to control and the chances goes.
Captain for England tonight, by the way, is Frank Lampard, who has started to try and knock the ball around for the Three Lions.
Oliver Platt reports on a quiet start after that initial chance: Low-key atmosphere in Bern as England and Italy kick-off. The Three Lions are playing in an odd combination of white shirts and red shorts and also name an unfamiliar starting line-up. For players to watch, look to full-backs Kyle Walker and Leighton Baines, who will have plenty of space to run into against winger-less Italy and a big target to aim crosses at in Andy Carroll.
Decent start for the Azzurri as a corner is flicked on from the near post and Angelo Obinze Ogbonna just fails to hit the target with his head. Then Cleverley gets a firm welcome to senior international football as he is crunched with a hefty sliding tackle.
And we're off, as Italy get this friendly match underway.
An awkward moment for Hodgson before kick-off as he stands up in the dugout and hits his head on the roof. Ouch! Only up from here, Roy.
The Italians show the designated 'home fans' how it's done and kick-off is moments away!
The teams are out and here come the national anthems, which the England fans have unfortunately been unable to sing in time with the music ...
Italy are without a number of their stars from that competition, in which they reached the final only to be beaten 4-0 by Spain, but will still pose a threat with the likes of Alberto Aquilani returning and the aforementioned El Shaarawy looking to impress.
So, a young, new look Three Lions side for the clash in Switzerland tonight. Roy Hodgson will be hoping they manage to get some revenge over the side that dumped them out of Euro 2012, although a good performance is sure to take precedence over a positive result tonight.
England starting XI: Butland; Walker, Jagielka, Cahill, Baines; Carrick, Lampard, Cleverley; Young, Carroll, Johnson Subs: Ruddy, Bertrand, Caulker, Lescott, Livermore, Milner, Rodwell, Defoe Italy starting XI: Sirigu; Abate, Ogbonna, Astori, Balzaretti; De Rossi, Nocerino, Aquilani; Diamanti; Destro, El Shaarawy Subs: Consigli, Perin; Acerbi, De Sciglio, Gastaldello, Peluso, Poli, Schelotto, Verratti, Gabbiadini
As for Italy, Cesare Prandelli has eight uncapped players in his squad, with Mario Balotelli out with an eye infection and his Juventus & Napoli players missing due to other duties. AC Milan's Stephen El Shaarawy makes his debut up-front and could be one to watch. Full teams to follow...
Jack Butland wins his first senior cap after impressing at the Olympics with Team GB, while Tom Cleverley also makes the step-up. Elsewhere Michael Carrick comes back in after missing the Euros with Kyle Walker and Gary Cahill, who missed the trip to Poland & Ukraine with injury, also play.
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com's play-by-play commentary of England's friendly with Italy, in what is a rematch of the Euro 2012 quarter-final that saw the Azzurri progress on penalties. However, with a lot less at stake, both managers have chosen experimental sides in both forced and unforced changes.
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