England too strong for Italy at Wembley with Euro 2024 qualification left in the balance

Italy took the lead against England at Wembley but soon lost their way, falling to a defeat and finding themselves with work to do if they are to reach EURO 2024.

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The Italy Men’s National Team were beaten 3-1 by England at Wembley and find themselves needing two big performances in the final games of the 2024 European Championship qualification phase.

Italy took the lead through Gianluca Scamacca in the first half and had looked good in the early stages, but England soon grew into the game. Harry Kane scored twice, once from the penalty spot, and Marcus Rashford also found the back of the net with an excellently worked goal.

Luciano Spalletti’s side fell a little flat in the second half, and there will be a huge amount of pressure on the final two games of Group C in November, despite the win over Malta in the other of the Azzurri‘s two October fixtures.

Italy fail to build on early goal against England

Italy Men’s National Team’s Bryan Cristante and Gianluca Scamacca celebrate. [@Azzurri]

Italy made an incredibly shaky start to the game with the likes of Davide Frattesi and Bryan Cristante giving the ball away and the centre-backs looking nervous in possession. Despite that, it was the Azzurri who took the lead after 16 minutes.

Good build-up involving Stephan El Shaarawy, Domenico Berardi and then Giovanni Di Lorenzo allowed Scamacca to fire into the roof of the net from just a couple of yards out. It was a goal that came against the run of play but gave Italy something to protect.

The game then retook the same pattern as before the goal and the pressure led to an England penalty. Hold-up play from Kane allowed Jude Bellingham to burst through before being taken down by Di Lorenzo in the box. A long VAR check ensued but the spot kick was given and Kane placed it into the top corner.

Italy lack creativity against England

Italy’s Destiny Udogie dribbles past England’s Phil Foden. [@Azzurri]

Italy were failing to produce any clear-cut chances, reduced to shots from range that caused little issue for Jordan Pickford, whilst England seemed content to keep probing for an opening.

Early in the second half, that opening came as Bellingham burst through the midfield at incredible pace and found Rashford to his left. The Manchester United man ran at the defence and drifted inside of multiple Italian defenders before lashing the ball into the bottom corner. It was a deserved lead and one that England looked like building on.

There was a serious point of grievance for Italy soon after as Phillips, on a yellow card, mistimed a tackle and stamped on the ankle of his opponent. It was missed by Clement Turpin and Giorgio Scalvini instead got a yellow for his protests.

The points, and passage to Euro 2024, was secured for England with 15 minutes to play as Kane got the better of Alessandro Bastoni and calmly finished, making it 3-1.

With Ukraine getting all three points against Malta, Italy go into the final international break of the Euro 2024 qualification campaign three points behind the Ukrainians but with a game in hand.

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