International Friendlies

Italy 1-1 England

By Phil McNultyChief football writer in Turin
Italy goal
Graziano Pelle has not scored in 11 Premier League appearances in 2015 for Southampton
  • Italy unbeaten since World Cup
  • England now not lost in nine matches
  • Both teams started with experimental sides
  • Harry Kane makes full England debut

Andros Townsend's spectacular strike gave an experimental England line-up a creditable draw against Italy in Turin.

Southampton striker Graziano Pelle's first-half header looked to have put Italy on course for victory in this friendly as England struggled to get to grips with the changes made by manager Roy Hodgson after Friday's Euro 2016 qualifier win against Lithuania.

England, however, were lifted by the introduction of several substitutes and Townsend capped a second-half display that merited a draw. The Tottenham winger's rising 20-yard drive 11 minutes from time gave Italy's veteran keeper Gianluigi Buffon no chance.

Hodgson's side then ended the game on top and only a fine save from Buffon stopped England captain Wayne Rooney - who had earlier hit the bar - from adding to his total of 47 goals for his country and closing even further on Sir Bobby Charlton's all-time record of 49.

The experiment of using Phil Jones in midfield failed dismally and he reverted to defence when Chris Smalling went off ill just before half-time. Similarly, it was a wasted night for Arsenal's Theo Walcott, misused in a forward role rather than on the wing.

Andros Townsend
England completed 126 passes in the final third of the pitch, 42 more than Italy

There were pluses too, however, with an excellent cameo from Everton's Ross Barkley and a composed performance from Michael Carrick when he replaced Smalling.

England, for long periods, looked poor and disjointed in a performance pock-marked by wayward passing. It was no coincidence that they improved significantly once players assumed more familiar positions and others were introduced who gave them pace, drive and width.

England's run of seven straight victories since the World Cup may be over but Hodgson might regard this as a satisfactory few days. Victory against Lithuania made it five wins out of five in the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign and this was a worthwhile fact-finding mission in Italy.

Hodgson will get his players back together in June for a friendly against the Republic of Ireland in June then another key qualifier away to Slovenia.

How England might warm up for Euro 2016
England look set to play friendlies against France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands should they qualify for Euro 2016.
The FA is hoping to arrange games against France at Wembley on 17 November and away to Spain later that month.
A match against world champions Germany has been agreed for March 2016, while discussions are taking place to arrange a game against World Cup semi-finalists the Netherlands prior to the tournament.

Kane's first action here was in sharp contrast to his debut as a substitute against Lithuania when he scored after only 79 seconds - as he was bundled unceremoniously to the ground within the first two minutes by a shuddering challenge from Giorgio Chiellini.

England's formation, with Jones floundering in a defensive midfield role, also lacked width and meant that chances were at a premium, although Rooney almost took another step towards Charlton's record with a deflected shot that bounced off the woodwork.

Italy were not markedly better, although England keeper Joe Hart did well to save from Marco Parolo's 25-yard effort, but they took advantage of poor defending from England to take the lead after 29 minutes. Chiellini escaped Jones far too easily and Pelle was then afforded too much time and space to glance a header past Hart.

England's makeshift side needed another revamp two minutes before half-time when Smalling went off feeling unwell, allowing his Manchester United team-mate Carrick to move into midfield and Jones to revert to his customary defensive role.

Italy almost doubled their lead within three minutes of the restart, Hart saving well from Citadin Eder before Pelle fired off target after Phil Jagielka's miscued clearance.

England carried a little more threat and there were half chances for Kane and Kieran Gibbs but they could only find the side-netting on both occasions. Rooney was also on target with a powerful shot but Buffon was equal to it.

Then came Townsend's powerful strike to give England the platform for a late surge. Kane had another shot saved by Buffon late on but there was to be no decisive late contribution from either Italy or England.

Graziano Pelle and Phil Jagielka
Southampton striker Graziano Pelle has scored two goals in three Italy appearances
Joe Hart
Joe Hart became the sixth England goalkeeper to reach 50 caps
Joe Hart
Italy are unbeaten at home since August 2013 - since then, five wins and five draws
Italy celebrate
Six of the last 10 goals scored in international matches involving England have been headers
Harry Kane
Italy have conceded just nine goals in their last 13 international matches



Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Buffon
  • 13Ranocchia
  • 19Bonucci
  • 3ChielliniSubstituted forMorettiat 72'minutes
  • 18FlorenziSubstituted forAbateat 60'minutes
  • 16Parolo
  • 14ValdifioriSubstituted forVerrattiat 67'minutes
  • 8Soriano
  • 4DarmianSubstituted forAntonelliat 73'minutes
  • 17ÉderSubstituted forVázquezat 61'minutes
  • 20PellèBooked at 36minsSubstituted forImmobileat 61'minutes


  • 2Abate
  • 5Antonelli
  • 6Candreva
  • 7Zaza
  • 9Immobile
  • 10Verratti
  • 11Cerci
  • 12Sirigu
  • 15Barzagli
  • 22Gabbiadini
  • 23Vázquez
  • 24Moretti
  • 25Marchetti
  • 26Santon


Formation 4-3-1-2

  • 1Hart
  • 2ClyneSubstituted forWalkerat 45'minutes
  • 5SmallingSubstituted forCarrickat 44'minutes
  • 6Jagielka
  • 3GibbsBooked at 32minsSubstituted forBertrandat 88'minutes
  • 4HendersonSubstituted forMasonat 74'minutes
  • 8JonesBooked at 70mins
  • 11DelphSubstituted forTownsendat 70'minutes
  • 10Rooney
  • 7WalcottSubstituted forBarkleyat 55'minutes
  • 9Kane


  • 12Butland
  • 13Green
  • 14Cahill
  • 15Walker
  • 16Carrick
  • 17Townsend
  • 18Mason
  • 19Bertrand
  • 20Barkley
Dr. Felix Brych

Match Stats

Home TeamItalyAway TeamEngland
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Italy 1, England 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Italy 1, England 1.

  3. Post update

    Michael Carrick (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Roberto Soriano (Italy).

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Harry Kane (England) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, England. Ryan Bertrand replaces Kieran Gibbs.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Italy. Conceded by Phil Jones.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Italy. Conceded by Kieran Gibbs.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Luca Antonelli (Italy) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Franco Vázquez.

  10. Post update

    Corner, England. Conceded by Andrea Ranocchia.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Wayne Rooney (England) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  12. Goal!

    Goal! Italy 1, England 1. Andros Townsend (England) right footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Ryan Mason.

  13. Post update

    Offside, Italy. Emiliano Moretti tries a through ball, but Leonardo Bonucci is caught offside.

  14. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Roberto Soriano (Italy) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Italy. Conceded by Phil Jones.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Italy. Conceded by Phil Jones.

  17. Post update

    Phil Jagielka (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Franco Vázquez (Italy).

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, England. Ryan Mason replaces Jordan Henderson.

  20. Post update

    Phil Jones (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Tuesday 31st March 2015

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