Italy 1-0 England: Player Evaluation as England slump to Nations League defeat
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Italy 1-0 England: Player Evaluation as England slump to Nations League defeat

by Josh
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, STECHITEGIST

On Friday night, Italy defeated England 1-0, ensuring the visitors’ relegation to group B of the Nations League. Giacomo Raspadori’s goal was all that Italy needed.

Both teams had a difficult time establishing control of the game in the first half due to a clear lack of quality in possession on both sides.

Despite a few shining moments from individuals when the game dragged on, England couldn’t recover after the break. After making substitutions, Roberto Mancini’s team appeared revived and took the lead after 68 minutes, increasing the pressure on the visitors to respond and stealing the victory on an otherwise uninteresting night of football.

The first quarter of the game was tense, but Italy eventually gained the upper hand by pressing hard and catching England with the ball early on. Neither team was able to maintain possession or create a real threat, and while possession frequently changed hands, no obvious opportunities appeared.

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When diving deep for the ball and making room for a midfielder to enter from behind, Phil Foden displayed his best qualities as an England player. Even though he wasn’t always discovered, his movements made things difficult for the hosts and gave Reece James and Jude Bellingham room to advance.

It was possible for Italy to harm England in large areas. Throughout the majority of the first half, Bukayo Saka appeared uneasy playing at left wing-back whenever the hosts attacked down his flank, while Federico Dimarco consistently found space for a deep cross to the back post.

However, despite the fact that both teams occasionally found a way to advance, the match lacked any real quality, and neither goalkeeper was put to much of a test. The score remained 0-0 at the half.

After the break, the game dragged on a little bit, but England occasionally enjoyed happy moments when players like Bellingham, Foden, and Raheem Sterling had the room to run past defenders on the counterattack. However, their efforts were futile due to a lack of attacking support in terms of both quantity and quality.

Just before the hour mark, Dimarco managed to get past England’s back line and squared the ball to Nicolo Barella, who sliced the ball wide while stretching. After the play was flagged for offside, Gareth Southgate’s team felt let off the hook.

After an hour, England appeared to slow down, and Italy, which had already taken the lead after 68 minutes, benefited from the addition of quality substitutes. Giacomo Raspadori grabbed a long ball out of the air and, with just a few touches, found room to beat Nick Pope with a low shot.

Truthfully, despite a few encouraging individual performances, England never appeared to score an equalizer, and a late system change just served to give the hosts more opportunities as they easily won in Milan.

, STECHITEGIST

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