Italy 1-2 England - UEFA European Qualifier match centre
- M. Retegui (56′)
- G. Di Lorenzo (53′)
- Jorginho (61′)
- F. Acerbi (92′)
- D. Rice (13′)
- H. Kane (44′PEN)
- D. Rice (29′)
- H. Maguire (57′)
- K. Walker (71′)
- L. Shaw (78′)
- L. Shaw (80′)
Highlights: Italy 1-2 England
See the best of the action from Naples as the Three Lions start EURO 2024 qualifying with a win
Harry Kane becomes England's record goalscorer as his penalty helps the Three Lions to start EURO 2024 qualifiers with victory
Italy v England
UEFA European Qualifier
7.45pm GMT, Thursday 23 March 2023
Live on Channel 4
Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, Naples
What Was Said
Gareth Southgate believes his England players are relishing the opportunity to make history on Thursday night as the Three Lions look to win in Italy for the first time since 1961.
England kick off their UEFA EURO 2024 qualifying campaign in Naples on Thursday night in what will be their first game since the 2022 FIFA World Cup quarter-final with France.
The match will be followed by a home clash with Ukraine on Sunday at Wembley Stadium connected by EE, as the Three Lions look to go one step further this time around having reached the UEFA EURO 2020 Final two years ago, when they lost to Italy on penalties.
The England players and staff had a ‘reset meeting’ this week and when asked about it in his pre-match press conference, Southgate explained: “We talked about the experiences we have had over the last four or five years. Some of the players have been involved in all of that and some have joined in that period.
“We talked about the fact that we don’t need any more evidence of belief: they’ve been involved with some of the biggest matches in world football and they know the level that is required and they know they have the ability to compete at that level.
“And [we talked about] the fact that whatever we have done in the past is irrelevant tomorrow night because we have to start again, we have to have the humility to work hard to qualify again, and it is a great fixture for us to get that underway.”
He continued: “In a nutshell, [this game] is the sort of challenge that we have to take on and the type of game we have to start winning. We have over a period but we have to consistently do that.
“That being said, we haven’t won here since 1961 so it is also another bit of history that we are trying to break down which is a great challenge for this team because they have knocked down so many of those barriers in the past.
“Italy didn’t qualify for the World Cup but they still have some outstanding players, and they are going to have high motivation as well, so it is going to be a fabulous game.”
● Italy beat England 1-0 at the San Siro last September in the UEFA Nations League, last registering consecutive wins over the Three Lions in November 2000 and March 2002.
● England have failed to win any of their last six away games against Italy in all competitions (D2 L4), scoring just one goal in these games, an Andros Townsend strike in a 1-1 draw in March 2015. Their last away win came in May 1961 in a friendly at the Stadio Olimpico, winning 3-2 with goals from Gerry Hitchens (x2) and Jimmy Greaves.
● This is the first time England and Italy have faced in qualifying for the European Championships. They last faced in a major tournament qualifying campaign ahead of the 1998 World Cup; despite winning neither of their two games against Italy (D1 L1), England topped the group that campaign to qualify automatically, one point ahead of Italy.
● England have won 17 of their last 18 European Championship qualifying games, losing the other 2-1 away at Czech Republic in October 2019. Across those 17 wins, they’ve scored 67 goals and conceded just seven.
● Italy have won their last 14 European Championship qualifiers, a run stretching back to September 2015. They have lost none of their last 40 Euros qualifiers (W34 D6) since a 3-1 away defeat to France in September 2006. On home soil, they haven’t lost a qualifier since September 1999 against Denmark and are unbeaten in 25 games since (W21 D4).
● Italy’s Vincenzo Grifo has been directly involved in seven goals in just eight appearances for the national team, scoring four goals and assisting three. He’s averaging a goal or assist every 61 minutes for the Italians.
● England manager Gareth Southgate has won 49 of his 81 games in charge of the Three Lions (D18 L14) and could become only the third Three Lions boss to win 50 games, after Sir Alf Ramsey and Walter Winterbottom. Ramsey reached the total in 79 games, while Winterbottom took 82 games, the same number as Southgate will have taken charge of after this match.
● Harry Kane needs one goal to break Wayne Rooney’s scoring record for the England national team, which currently stands at 53 goals. However, Kane has never scored against Italy in four previous appearances against them, the most he’s faced a nation without scoring with the Three Lions.
Italy in profile
Nickname: The Azzurri
Coach: Roberto Mancini
Captain: Leonardo Bonucci
England's top five goals against Italy
We've picked out some of the Three Lions' best goals against the Azzurri
Head to head
The Three Lions have met Italy on 30 previous occasions over the years, with England enjoying eight wins, sharing nine draws but losing 13 times.
Our first game came back in May 1933, when it ended in a 1-1 draw in Rome.
You can see details of our last three games below:-
Italy 1-0 England, 23 September 2022, San Siro, Milan
England 0-0 Italy, 11 June 2022, Molineux, Wolverhampton
England 1-1 Italy (AET, Italy win on penalties), 11 July 2021, Wembley Stadium connected by EE
Highlights: England 2-0 Italy
A look in the archives at Le Tournoi in 1997, when the Three Lions took on the Azzurri
England Squad News
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How to watch or stream
This game will be shown live on Channel 4 in the UK.
The England line-up to kick-off the UEFA EURO 2024 qualifying campaign against Italy in Naples has been named by manager Gareth Southgate.
Among the team, there are starts for Kalvin Phillips and Jack Grealish, while captain Harry Kane will lead the line as he looks to become England's new record goalscorer.
The match kicks-off at 7.45pm GMT and can be watched live in the UK on Channel Four, or you can follow our live commentary and stats right here.
England: 1 Jordan Pickford, 2 Kyle Walker, 3 Luke Shaw, 4 Declan Rice, 5 John Stones, 6 Harry Maguire, 7 Bukayo Saka, 8 Kalvin Phillips, 9 Harry Kane (c), 10 Jude Bellingham, 11 Jack Grealish
Substitutes: 12 Kieran Trippier, 13 Aaron Ramsdale, 14 Jordan Henderson, 15 Eric Dier, 16 Ben Chilwell, 17 Reece James, 18 Marc Guehi, 19 Conor Gallagher, 20 Phil Foden, 21 James Maddison, 22 Fraser Forster, 23 Ivan Toney
Declan Rice had earlier smashed home from a corner to open the scoring after 13 minutes, before Kane doubled the lead from the spot just before half time.
It was the captain’s 54th international goal, taking him above Wayne Rooney and into the pantheon of England greats.
Italian debutant Mateo Retegui halved the deficit early in the second half with a well-taken strike before the hosts dominated much of the second period in search of an equaliser.
But the Three Lions held on despite being reduced to ten men after Luke Shaw was sent-off with ten minutes to play at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona to earn a valuable three points to start the qualifying campaign.
The visitors then had their first chance five minutes later, as Bukayo Saka found space in the box, but his shot was easily saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma.
The Paris Saint-Germain stopper was called into action again just four minutes later, this time tipping Jude Bellingham’s rasping drive over the bar after a fluid England counter-attack.
It was from the resulting corner that England took the lead, with Rice pouncing on the loose ball in the box to lash home after Kane was initially denied at the back post.
Gareth Southgate’s men were well on top at this stage, with Jack Grealish coming close to adding a second but the winger was unable to stretch far enough to reach Kane’s cross.
The hosts continued to threaten despite England’s dominance, with a timely John Stones block required to deny Retegui.
England then got the second their dominance deserved from the spot after Di Lorenzo was penalised for handball in the box after a video review by the referee.
Kane stepped up and slotted past Donnarumma with aplomb to net his 54th England goal, the most of any player in history.
It was almost three before the break, but Grealish was unable to convert from close range after Saka and Kane had scythed through Italy’s left-hand side.
Having won the ball inside the England half, an incisive move allowed Pellegrini to slide in Retegui, who made no mistake in rifling past Jordan Pickford.
That goal gave the Azzurri confidence, with the partisan Naples crowd getting behind their side as they pushed for an equaliser.
The introduction of Leeds United’s Wilfried Gnonto provided fresh impetus, with Shaw forced to get a vital touch on a dangerous cross before Pickford punched away a second from the winger.
The atmosphere became increasingly frenetic and stepped up another notch when Shaw was dismissed for two quickfire yellow cards, the second of which for illegally halting an Italian counter.
Italy pushed hard for a second as they looked to make use of their man advantage, but the Three Lions stood strong to see out an important victory away from home ahead of Sunday’s match against Ukraine at Wembley.
Substitutes: 17 Matteo Politano for Berardi 62’, 16 Bryan Cristante for Barella 62’, 20 Sandro Tonali for Jorginho 69’, 7 Wilfried Gnonto for Pellegrini 69’, 9 Gianluca Scamacca for Verratti 89’
Substitutes not used: 5 Matteo Darmian, 12 Matteo Pessina, 13 Emerson, 14 Giorgio Scalvini, 21 Wladimiro Falcone, 22 Alex Meret, 23 Alessio Romagnoli
Manager: Roberto Mancini
Goals: Retegui 57’
England: 1 Jordan Pickford (Everton), 2 Kyle Walker (Manchester City), 3 Luke Shaw (Manchester United), 4 Declan Rice (West Ham United), 5 John Stones (Manchester City), 6 Harry Maguire (Manchester United), 7 Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), 8 Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), 9 Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) (c), 10 Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), 11 Jack Grealish (Manchester City)
Substitutes: 20 Phil Foden (Manchester City) for Grealish 69’, 12 Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United) for Foden 82’, 17 Reece James (Chelsea) for Saka 85’, 19 Conor Gallagher (Chelsea) for Bellingham 85’
Substitutes not used: 13 Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal), 14 Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), 15 Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), 16 Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), 18 Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), 21 James Maddison (Leicester City), 22 Fraser Forster (Tottenham Hotspur), 23 Ivan Toney (Brentford)
Manager: Gareth Southgate
Goals: Rice 13’, Kane 44’ (pen)
Referee: Srdjan Jovanovic (Serbia)