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

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

England suffered the embarrassment of being relegated from their Uefa Nations League group after defeat by Italy in Milan.

Giacomo Raspadori’s stunning 68th-minute strike broke the deadlock at the San Siro as a game that had lacked any spark finally came to life after the break, with England’s winless run extended to five games, their worst since June of 2014.

Raspadori provided immediate control and a fierce right-footed finish that gave goalkeeper Nick Pope no chance for the injured Jordan Pickford.

Manager Gareth Southgate kept faith with Harry Maguire despite his struggles at Manchester United, the defender suffering a worrying opening moment when West Ham striker Gianluca Scamakka beat him in the air at the far post, only for a combination of Pope and of carpentry. his head out.

England finally responded, Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma pulling off a fine double block from Harry Kane, although the hosts had chances of their own in a frantic finale.

England again lacks inspiration

Southgate was keen to refocus after their winless run landed them in trouble in their Uefa Nations League group, but there was no excitement here as their latest goalless show left them 495 minutes without a goal in open play.

Kane threatened Donnarumma as England tried to respond but there were no other clear-cut chances, despite Phil Foden’s urgings, apart from Jude Bellingham’s header which went over the bar.

Arsenal’s Bucayo Saka had been named England Player of the Year before the game and his reward was a role in an unfamiliar left-back position in which he made little impact, perhaps understandably, before being replaced.

It was hard not to feel sympathy for the young man who was asked to play such an unusual role at this level.

Maguire had a few serious warnings but England deserved nothing from the game and must now face 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 be folly in his calling.

This was another disappointing night for England who did nothing to lift spirits after their recent poor run.

Southgate needs to boost confidence

England must break out of this dire slump with just 90 minutes of international football remaining before the World Cup kicks off in Qatar in November.

Time is running out with the show looming and England on their worst run since 2014, making a mockery of their elevated position as one of the World Cup favourites.

Relegation now means they will be out of the elite Uefa Nations League groups and could face a potentially tougher draw at the next Euros.

England were used to getting the job done even when they weren’t at their best, but that’s gone now and the lack of power, leaving an even greater reliance on Kane, 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 mediocre form raises more questions than answers.

Player of the match

GnodoWilfried Gnonto

Lining up

Italy

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1G Donnarumma
  • 4Toloi
  • 19BonucciReservation at 48 minutes
  • 15Acerbi
  • 2Di LorenzoReserve at 80 minutes
  • 18BarrelSubstituted forPombegain the 63′minutes
  • 8JorginhoSubstituted forEmersonin the 89′minutes
  • 16Cristante
  • 3DimarcoSubstituted forBrotherin the 89′minutes
  • 9ShackSubstituted forGnodoin the 63′minutes
  • 10RaspadoriSubstituted forGabbiadiniin the 81′minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Ramos Marki
  • 6Pombega
  • 7Brother
  • 11Gnodo
  • 12Meret
  • 13Emerson
  • 14Zerbin
  • 17Riddle
  • 20Gabbiadini
  • 21Vicar
  • 22Esposito
  • 23Stick

England

Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Priest
  • 2WalkerSubstituted forShawin the 72′minutes
  • 5Dier
  • 6Maguire
  • 3James
  • 8Bellingham
  • 4Rice
  • 7SatchelSubstituted forGrealishin the 72′minutesReservation at 90 minutes
  • 11Foden
  • 9Kane
  • 10Genuine

Substitutes

  • 12Trippier
  • 13Ramsdale
  • 14Shaw
  • 15Grealish
  • 16Coady
  • 17Ward-Prowse
  • 18Tomori
  • 19Mountain
  • 20Bowen
  • 21Alexander-Arnold
  • 22Henderson
  • 23Abraham

Referee:
Jesus Gil Manzano

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