England 3-1 Italy (Oct 17, 2023) Game Analysis

Harry Kane scored a brace and Marcus Rashford joined him on the scoresheet as England came from behind to beat holders Italy 3-1 and march into the Euro 2024 finals in a Group C qualifier at Wembley on Tuesday.

The visitors stunned the home crowd when Gianluca Scamacca swept in a cross from Giovanni di Lorenzo against the run of play in the 15th minute.

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England, who lost the Euro 2020 final to Italy on penalties at the same stadium in 2021, equalised in the 32nd when Jude Bellingham surged into the area and was brought down by a late Di Lorenzo tackle.

The penalty was given a long VAR check before captain Kane calmly stepped up and slotted home, sending Gianluigi Donnarumma diving the wrong way.

Rashford made it 2-1 in style in the 57th, firing a blistering shot into the bottom corner after Real Madrid forward Bellingham set him up.

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Kane then scored his second of the night in the 77th, pushing off defenders to score as manager Gareth Southgate punched the air in delight with his side qualifying unbeaten and with 16 points from six games.

The goals took Kane’s tally at Wembley to 24, one more than 1966 World Cup winner Bobby Charlton.

The defeat left Luciano Spalletti’s Italy on 10 points and facing a battle with Ukraine for the second qualifying slot from the group.

England, needing only a draw to secure their place in the finals in Germany, started with a completely changed lineup from the second-string side that beat Australia 1-0 in a friendly at Wembley on Friday.

The difference was immediate, with slick passing and Bellingham a driving force in midfield, while Italy remained dangerous on the break.

Southgate handed Kalvin Phillips his first England start since March, in a midfield trio with Bellingham and Declan Rice, despite the Manchester City player’s lack of game time at club level.

Jordan Henderson, the starting captain on Friday, started on the bench.

A moment’s silence was held before the match after a gunman shot dead two Swedish soccer fans ahead of a qualifier with Belgium in Brussels on Monday


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