England ended the international break on a bittersweet note as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Italy at Wembley on Tuesday.
Italy started the match on the front foot, with Ciro Immobile scuppering three efforts early on. Debutant James Tarkowski was impressive from the get-go, but it was Jamie Vardy who broke the deadlock in the 26th minute after some fantastic work by Raheem Sterling and Jesse Lingard, with England taking the slim lead into half-time.
Both sides went at it in the second half, albeit without a proper end product to finish off some good moves. But, the scores were soon level just as it looked like England were on their way to another win. Federico Chiesa initially had his penalty call turned down, but upon consultation with the VAR, the referee overturned his decision.
FULL TIME: England 1-1 Italy ⚽️
England denied a victory at Wembley after late VAR controversy… 📺 pic.twitter.com/ZivuFDtdR0
— talkSPORT 📻 (@talkSPORT) March 27, 2018
Lorenzo Insigne made no mistake to convert from the spot as the game ended on level terms. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over both Gareth Southgate and Luigi Di Biagio’s men following an entertaiScning draw at Wembley
Jack Butland: 6/10
It was a largely quiet night for Butland, with most of Italy’s efforts either going wide or over the bar. Scope for improvement, but on the whole there was very little to fault the custodian. Stood no chance with the penalty.
Kyle Walker: 7/10
Seems to be settling in well to his new role in the back-three, where his pace comes into good use against Lorenzo Insigne. The work with Pep Guardiola is paying dividends too, with Walker evidently adept at playing out from the back. Could be a wildcard for England at the World Cup.
John Stones: 6/10
A mixed night for Stones. Was guilty of giving away a chance to Insigne, but recovered quickly to come away unscathed. He recovered to some extent later on, but his susceptibility to mistakes could come back to haunt England at the World Cup. The English and Manchester City supporters would be hoping his injury isn’t too serious.
James Tarkowski: 6/10
A night to remember and forget for Tarkowski. The Burnley man was largely comfortable on Tuesday and even had the chance to score, but he blasted his header over. Would be disappointed to have conceded the penalty that undid all the good work in the match.
Kieran Trippier: 6/10
Solid once again at the back, especially in the early stages when Italy had pegged the hosts back. But, provided a pacy outlet in the wide areas whenever he got the opportunity to advance forward, and is a major threat with his dead-ball deliveries.
Eric Dier: 6/10
England’s captain on the night, Dier had a largely solid outing apart from one rash tackle early on. The Tottenham man marshalled his troops smartly, and showcased his versatility later on when Stones had to be subbed off due to injury.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 6.5/10
Oxlade-Chamberlain gave a good account of himself in central midfield once again, even if it wasn’t his best performance. Lively all through his stint, the player kept things ticking, but offered very little in the final third, something he needs to address and improve.
Ashley Young: 6.5/10
The left wing-back role seems to be best suited for Young, and he provided the indication of the same on Tuesday, using his pace to good effect. Also shifted to the right flank in the second half, showing his versatility and is a good option for Southgate.
Jesse Lingard: 7.5/10
⚽️ vs. Netherlands
🅰️ vs. Italy
Jesse Lingard is certainly enjoying the international break. 🏴 pic.twitter.com/gPEDHOPbuo
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) March 27, 2018
Coming into his own on the international scene, Lingard continued from where he had left off in the Netherlands game. Was a bundle of energy, especially during pressing, and created the goal for Vardy with some quick thinking. Looks odds-on to start regularly at the World Cup at the moment.
Jamie Vardy: 7/10
Used his movement and pace well to stretch the Italian defence. Donnarumma had no chance to save his powerful shot, and Vardy could have had more if not for the AC Milan goalkeeper. A solid deputy to the injured Harry Kane.
Raheem Sterling: 8/10
Sterling was in his elements all through the night, with his pace, trickery and directness gave the Italy backline many-a-jittery moment. His willingness to run at the defenders was the reason why England won the free-kick that led to Vardy’s goal. A go-to man for Southgate.
Gianluigi Donnarumma: 7/10
A big reason why Italy were in the game till the dying moments, Donnarumma made some fine saves on the night and commanded his area smartly.
Davide Zappacosta: 6.5/10
Zappacosta was largely solid at the back, even though he had to contend with the threat of Sterling and Young on his flank. But, he offered very little while advancing forward, apart from an early effort in the first half, and will look to improve on that aspect going forward.
Daniele Rugani: 5/10
Had a torrid time against the pace of Vardy, with Sterling doubling up to make it a hard day at work for the youngster. Faces a tough prospect of cementing his place at the heart of the Italy defence.
Leonardo Bonucci: 6/10
His experience came to good use for large parts of the game to negate the threat of the English attack. But Vardy kept Bonucci’s hands full as well, just like Rugani alongside him.
Mattia Di Sciglio: 6/10
Much in the way he performed against Argentina, De Sciglio was decent, but couldn’t do enough to make the required impact, especially in the final third. Nevertheless, a last-ditch tackle on Vardy was one of the reasons Italy managed a draw on the night.
Marco Parolo: 6/10
An unconvincing performance by the Lazio midfielder. England won the midfield battle on the night, and Parolo failed to drive forward as a result, although he did put in a big shift.
Some positives and some negatives for Jorginho. The Napoli midfielder linked up superbly with Ciro Immobile, but he failed to sustain his levels all through the match.
Lorenzo Pellegrini: 6/10
Another player who put in a shift, but couldn’t create a lasting impact. Pellegrini kept things ticking, but couldn’t make himself available in the final third as much as Biagio would have liked.
Antonio Candreva: 7/10
The best player for Italy on the night. His pinpoint deliveries were the biggest threat for the Azzurri, with the player working tirelessly to make things happen throughout his stint on the pitch. Should have enjoyed an extended run on the pitch.
Ciro Immobile: 5/10
Was a constant factor in and around the English box with his movement off the ball. But, his profligacy cost Italy in the end as Immobile could have ideally grabbed a hat-trick on the night, if not more. Quite unlike his club self.
Lorenzo Insigne: 7/10
Lorenzo Insigne is the first player to score against England in 625 minutes of international football.
VAR with the assist. 📹 pic.twitter.com/W9ZUO8y2oy
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 27, 2018
Another standout player for Italy, Insigne rotated the ball effectively. Also got the goal that helped Italy share the spoils in the game, making no error in converting from the spot.