MILAN — Giacomo Raspadori scored the one purpose with a shocking strike within the 68th minute as Italy defeated England 1-0, which relegated Gareth Southgate’s aspect to the second tier of the UEFA Nations League.
England at the moment are with no win or perhaps a purpose from open play of their previous 5 matches lower than two months earlier than their World Cup marketing campaign begins.
In a recreation of few possibilities on the venerable San Siro, the hosts claimed victory when Leonardo Bonucci‘s lengthy ball sailed previous England’s defence, permitting Raspadori to take it down and hearth an unstoppable effort into the far nook previous the despairing dive of Eddie Pope.
The sport was a repeat of final 12 months’s Euro 2020 remaining, which noticed Italy — who will miss out on the World Cup — declare the title over England at Wembley.
1. Questions develop for Southgate as England are relegated
The World Cup is all that issues proper now, however England’s 1-0 defeat to Italy condemned them to relegation from UEFA Nations League A Group 3 with Monday’s finale in opposition to Germany at Wembley to return. It may have a detrimental impact on their seeding for Euro 2024 qualifying, however of extra rapid concern is the crew’s type over an prolonged interval with only one recreation till the large kick-off in Qatar.
Friday’s defeat in Milan marked a fifth recreation with no win and got here by way of one other uneven efficiency wherein England struggled for any rhythm for lengthy durations. Gareth Southgate continues to modify between 3-4-3 (which turns into 5-2-3 with out the ball) and 4-2-3-1 as his most popular system, and it mentioned one thing in regards to the respect he has for the opposition that he selected the extra cautious method within the San Siro.
His critics will argue it was one other instance of the conservatism that some worry may maintain England again from maximising their attacking expertise in Qatar. Southgate gave the impression to be booed by the travelling followers as he went to acknowledge them at full-time. There’s loads of work forward.
2. The watch for a purpose from open play goes on
England have now gone 5 complete matches — 450 minutes — with out scoring a purpose from open play, relationship again to March’s 3-0 pleasant win over Ivory Coast at Wembley. There’s a sense this specific situation has come full circle as when England reached the 2018 World Cup semifinals, they scored 9 targets from set items — a document at a World Cup for any crew since information was first collected in 1966 — and changing into a extra rounded attacking menace was a transparent intention for Southgate within the years since.
No crew surpassed England’s 39 targets in World Cup qualifying, however 24 of these got here in 4 matches in opposition to minnows San Marino and Andorra, and Friday was one other night time to rank alongside a rising variety of disjointed shows. Harry Kane compelled a great double save from Gianluigi Donnarumma after England switched to 4-2-3-1 following Raspadori’s purpose however they have been largely ineffective with the ball as soon as extra.
3. Patched-up Italy proceed Mancini’s blueprint
Italy received Euro 2020 — beating England within the remaining on penalties — with a 4-3-3 form that was the antithesis of the Azzurri‘s grandest tactical traditions. Roberto Mancini believes a return to 3-5-2 is the most effective system for his gamers and a patched-up aspect purchased into that view with a win they deserved on the steadiness of play.
Giacomo Raspadori benefitted from some poor defending — Kyle Walker stood off the 22-year-old as he collected Leonardo Bonucci’s 68th-minute go — however his low drive previous Nick Pope was an emphatic end that underlined his standing as a rising expertise.
Italy have been lacking a number of gamers together with Marco Verratti, Federico Chiesa, Sandro Tonali and Lorenzo Pellegrini to call simply 4 however nonetheless regarded extra of a compact unit than England.
Subs: Jack Grealish 6, Luke Shaw 6.
Italy: Gianluigi Donnarumma 7, Rafael Toloi 7, Leonardo Bonucci 7, Francesco Acerbi 7, Giovanni Di Lorenzo 7, Nicolo Barella 7, Jorginho 7, Bryan Cristante 7, Federico Dimarco 7, Giacomo Raspadori 8, Gianluca Scamacca 6.
Greatest and worst performers
BEST: Giacomo Raspadori, Italy.
Supplied the sport’s highest second of high quality, making the most of area afforded to him by Kyle Walker to attain the one purpose with a high-quality low drive.
WORST: Bukayo Saka, England.
Though he broke into Arsenal‘s first crew as a wing-back, Saka has since flourished additional ahead so there’s some sympathy for a participant requested to return there as he regarded uncomfortable and ineffective all through.
Highlights and notable moments
England have been relegated from their Nations League group 😳 pic.twitter.com/Jznsc5qdC6
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 23, 2022
After the match: What the gamers and managers mentioned
Gareth Southgate on the shortage of targets: “It is actually troublesome to pinpoint why we aren’t scoring. I feel we’re stepping into the appropriate areas. We had the moments the place we might have the go however we simply did not ship that remaining piece of high quality tonight.”
England midfielder Declan Rice, to Channel 4: “It is clearly disappointing. Each event we go into, we got down to win. Within the Nations League we have now slipped beneath our requirements however I did not assume it was all dangerous tonight.”
Southgate on the boos and criticism: “I perceive the response on the finish as a result of that is the outcomes we have now had on this competitors. It is an comprehensible emotional response.”
Key stats (supplied by ESPN Stats & Data)
– Do not ever anticipate many targets when these two sides play. That is the nineteenth straight assembly between Italy and England to function not more than three targets (the 14th with not more than two targets).
– Not the three-peat Three Lions followers need. England hadn’t been shut out in three straight video games since 2000. The final recreation in that stretch additionally featured a 1-0 loss to Italy.
England: Again to Wembley for one more Nations League match in opposition to Germany on Monday. This would be the remaining take a look at for the Three Lions earlier than the World Cup, the place they’re going to have group stage matches in opposition to Iran (Nov. 21), the United States (Nov. 25) and Wales (Nov. 29).
Italy: A visit to Hungary for a Nations League match on Monday. And whereas the remainder of the normal powerhouses will making ready for Qatar, the Azzurri might be enjoying friendlies at Albania (Nov. 16) and Austria (Nov. 20).