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Published 19 February 2023 5 min read
England Women's Senior Team

England 2-1 Italy - Arnold Clark Cup match centre

Written by:

Milly McEvoy

  • R. Daly (32′) (71′)
Arnold Clark Cup Group Stage
Sunday 19 February, 03:15 PM The Coventry Building Society Arena
2 1
HT: 1 - 0
  • S. Cantore (62′)
The Lionesses make it two wins from two games in the Arnold Clark Cup after Rachel Daly's double in Coventry
20 Feb 2023 8:06

Highlights: England 2-1 Italy

See the best of the action from Coventry, where the Lionesses ran out victorious

England v Italy
Arnold Clark Cup  
3.15pm GMT, Sunday 19 February 2023
Live on ITV
Coventry Arena

What Was Said

Sarina Wiegman has confirmed Keira Walsh is back in training ahead of the game against an Italy team the head coach expects to pose different threats tactically.

Walsh, widely regarded as one of the best centre midfielders in the world, missed Thursday night’s 4-0 win over Korea Republic due to illness.

But the head coach has confirmed Walsh is back in contention for Sunday’s second Arnold Clark Cup match against Italy.

Wiegman said: “[The squad] is good. Everyone is available to train. Of course, we will modify training a little bit, because it is matchday plus two, and matchday minus one, but I am happy to have everyone on the pitch."

On Walsh in particular, she added: "It is really nice for her that she is back because of course she wants to be part of the team and we want to see her play. We want to see many things and it will be really nice to have her on the pitch.”

England travel to Coventry to face an Italy team who despite losing six of their last nine matches, continue to improve.

In the summer, the Serie A Femminile gained professional status, becoming Italy’s first-ever professional sports league for female athletes.

And Wiegman said: "Italy are a pretty good team. If you look at the results, they may have been a bit disappointing for them, but I think they've played some proper games.

"What they do tactically is they do different things in the game which will challenge us - sometimes a little bit of a high press, sometimes dropping a little deeper, when they are in possession they do different things.

"So for us, it's good for us to adapt to that and scan continuously as a team what they do and be proactive in that so we can control the game. That will be a good challenge for us tomorrow.” 

Wiegman was joined in her pre-match press conference by Manchester City defender Alex Greenwood.

The defender has been integral to Manchester City’s title challenge this season, with no player in the Barclays Women’s Super League attempting more passes than Greenwood this season.

At club level, the 29-year-old is more often used at centre half but her versatility and technical ability means that on Thursday night she impressed at left-back for England.

Greenwood said: "It's really healthy that we have such good competition. We have so many players who can play and not just in one role, but more than one. It's only going to benefit us for the summer.

"For me personally it's about whatever role I'm asked to do, doing it as best I can. Everyone will be asked to do different roles at some point and that's really important for the team."

She continued: “I’m really enjoying my football at the moment and I’m enjoying playing for England. 

“When you are happy off the pitch, that is replicated on the pitch.

“[Personal] stats are brilliant and stuff but I want to win football matches so if those stats were the other way around and we were winning, I’d still be happy.”


Italy in profile

Le Azzurre
Milena Bertolini
Captain: Sara Gama
FIFA World Cup best performance: Quarter-finals, 1991 and 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup
Last encounter: England 1-1 Italy, 7 April 2017


Opta stats and facts

● This is the first match between England and Italy since a friendly in April 2017 that finished 1-1. England are currently unbeaten in three games against Italy (W2 D1), only going a longer unbeaten run once against them – four games between 1984 and 1985.

● England have lost 15 games against Italy in total, only losing more matches against Germany (21). Nonetheless, only three of those 15 defeats have come in the 21st century (2003, 2009, 2012).

● Italy have lost each of their last four matches, scoring only one goal during this run. They last lost five games consecutively between December 2016 and March 2017.

● England are currently unbeaten in 27 matches in all competitions (W23 D4), extending their longest ever unbeaten run. Over this period they have scored 129 goals while conceding only seven in return.

● England have won each of their last 12 competitive matches since drawing 0-0 with Spain in this competition last February, while they haven’t lost a competitive match since March 2020 in the SheBelieves Cup, also against Spain.

● Since the beginning of 2022, Arianna Caruso has scored the most goals of any player for Italy, netting seven times in 15 appearances. Four of those goals came against Moldova in a World Cup qualifying match last September.

Alessia Russo has scored eight goals across her last 12 appearances for England, despite only starting five games during this run. She has scored a goal every 73 minutes during this period, the best rate of any England player with at least 500 minutes played.

Lauren James scored her first goal for England last time out against Korea Republic. She completed the most dribbles of any player in the match (3), had the most touches in the opposition box (6), and the joint-most shots (5).

11 Nov 2017 3:11

Highlights: England 1-1 Italy

See the best of the action from England's game with Italy at Port Vale FC back in 2017

Head to head

The Lionesses have met Italy on 30 previous occasions over the years, with Italy winning 15, England enjoying nine wins and the games have ended in a draw six times.

Our first game against the Azzurre came back in June 1976, when it ended in a 2-0 defeat but our first win came on home soil the following year with a 1-0 win at the old Plough Lane in Wimbledon.

You can see details of our last three games below:-

England 1-1 Italy, 7 April 2017, Port Vale FC

In what was one of England's build-up games to that year's EURO Finals, an excellent lob from Jodie Taylor put England deservedly ahead in this game at Vale Park. But the visitors found an equaliser through Valentina Cernoia soon after to take a draw, following an exceptional goalkeeping performance from Katja Schroffenegger to keep Mark Sampson's side at bay.

England 2-0 Italy, 5 March 2014, Larnaca, Cyprus

A Karen Carney penalty and a second-half goal from Toni Duggan ensured a victory for the Lionesses at the 2014 edition of the Cyprus Cup in what was Sampson's second game, and first win, as England head coach.

England 4-2 Italy, 6 March 2013, Nicosia, Cyprus

Almost ten years ago, there was another memorable win for England against Italy in the Cyprus Cup thanks to goals from Jordan Nobbs on her Lionesses debut, Steph Houghton, Jess Clarke and Ellen White.

06 Mar 2017 4:51

Highlights: England 4-2 Italy

See the best of the action from ten years ago when the nations met in the Cyprus Cup

England Squad News

Sign up to My England Football for updates on squad announcements in addition to a host of other benefits including discounts and ticket eligibility. 

Ticket Information

Tickets for all of the Arnold Clark Cup 2023 games are on sale now. Members of My England Football also receive priority access for home tickets, but as this competition is organised by a third party, they can only be purchased directly here.

How to watch or stream

This game will be shown live on ITV in the UK. 

Check here throughout the game for team line-ups, in-game stats and live commentary.

Sarina Wiegman has made nine changes to her line-up from Thursday's win over Korea Republic, including starts for Ellie Roebuck, Jess Park, Niamh Charles, Katie Robinson, Maya Le Tissier and Laura Coombs.

Keira Walsh is back in the team after missing the last game through illness, while Alex Greenwood captains the side.

England: 13 Ellie Roebuck, 3 Alex Greenwood (c), 4 Keira Walsh, 11 Lauren Hemp, 12 Rachel Daly, 14 Jess Park, 15 Jess Carter, 19 Niamh Charles, 20 Katie Robinson, 23 Maya Le Tissier, 25 Laura Coombs.

Substitutes: 1 Mary Earps, 2 Lucy Bronze, 5 Millie Bright, 6 Leah Williamson, 7 Chloe Kelly, 8 Georgia Stanway, 9 Alessia Russo, 10 Ella Toone, 16 Lauren James, 17 Ebony Salmon, 18 Katie Zelem, 21 Sandy MacIver, 22 Lotte Wubben-Moy, 24 Jordan Nobbs

Match Line Up

 Rachel Daly celebrates scoring the opening goal of the match
Rachel Daly celebrates scoring the opening goal of the match
Two powerful headers from Rachel Daly kept England’s defence of their Arnold Clark Cup title on track with a 2-1 win over Italy at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

The Lionesses were persistent in the first half, with Daly heading home in the 33rd minute to put them ahead.

Italy found an equaliser with 28 minutes to go as Sofia Cantore nodded in before another Daly header restored England’s lead.

Katie Robinson showed early signs of her talent on her first senior start as she spun with the ball to set up an attack down the left wing, which ended with Jess Park firing wide.

It was then Italy’s turn for an early chance as Aurora Galli led an attack for Le Azzurre, passing to Valentina Giacinti, who forced Ellie Roebuck to tip behind.
 Katie Robinson impressed in Coventry, and provided the cross for Rachel Daly's opener
Katie Robinson impressed in Coventry, and provided the cross for Rachel Daly's opener
Daly worked herself into space on numerous occasions, forcing saves from Laura Giuliani in quick succession as England searched for that crucial final touch.

There was no surprise when Daly moved the Lionesses ahead, with Robinson again involved, sending a good cross into the box which the Aston Villa player headed home to fire up the Coventry crowd.

With seconds of the first half remaining, Daly rattled the crossbar as she directed a header from Maya Le Tissier goalwards before the offside flag was raised.

Substitute Katie Zelem hit the ground running having come on at the start of the second half, feeding Robinson who again found Daly in the box, but the forward could not quite control.

Jordan Nobbs was another influential substitute, linking up well with captain for the day Alex Greenwood and Lauren Hemp before forcing Giuliani into a save with a long-range effort moments later having been set-up by a pull-back from Robinson.
Despite the Lionesses’ dominance, Italy got back on level terms as Cantore headed the ball past Roebuck in the 62nd minute after a cross from the by-line by Barbara Bonansea.

But moments after sending a header wide, Daly combined power with precision to hit the mark in the 71st minute, running on to a dipping cross from Lauren James who resisted multiple challenges to send it in to Daly.

Daly was cheered from the pitch as she made way for Ebony Salmon with nine minutes to go, with 32,128 fans paying witness to her masterclass, a record for any sporting event at the CBS Arena.

Match Line Up

England saw out the closing stages comfortably and will face one final challenge to their title against Belgium on Wednesday evening in front of a sold-out Ashton Gate. 

England (4-3-3): 13 Ellie Roebuck; 3 Alex Greenwood, 4 Keira Walsh, 11 Lauren Hemp, 12 Rachel Daly, 14 Jess Park, 15 Jess Carter, 19 Niamh Charles, 20 Katie Robinson, 23 Maya Le Tissier, 25 Laura Coombs 

Substitutes: 18 Katie Zelem for Walsh 46’, 24 Jordan Nobbs for Park 46’, 7 Chloe Kelly for Hemp 63’, 22 Lotte Wubben-Moy for Greenwood 63’, 16 Lauren James for Robinson 63’, 17 Ebony Salmon for Daly 81’ 

Substitutes not used: 1 Mary Earps, 2 Lucy Bronze, 5 Millie Bright, 6 Leah Williamson, 8 Georgia Stanway, 9 Alessia Russo, 10 Ella Toone, 21 Sandy MacIver,  

Goals: Rachel Daly 33’ 71’ 

Coach: Sarina Wiegman  
 Keira Walsh returned to the team, after previously missing the Korea Republic game through illness
Keira Walsh returned to the team, after previously missing the Korea Republic game through illness
Italy (4-3-3): 1 Laura Giuliani; 2 Valentina Bergamaschi, 19 Martina Lenzini, 23 Cecilia Salvai, 17 Lisa Boattin, 4 Aurora Galli, 8 Martina Rosucci, 6 Manuela Giugliano, 9 Valentina Giacinti, 10 Cristina Girelli, 11 Barbara Bonansea

Substitutes: 5 Elena Linari for Boattin 46’ 18 Arianna Caruso for Galli 56’, 7 Sofia Cantore for Girelli 56’ 15 Annamaria Serturini for Bonansea 79’, 21 Giada Greggi for Rosucci 79’

Substitutes not used: 3 Maria Luisa Filangeri, 12 Katja Schroffenegger, 13 Federica Cafferata, 14 Agnese Bonfantini, 16 Elisa Polli, 20 Martina Piemonte, 22 Rachele Baldi, 24 Michela Catena, 25 Benedetta Orsi, 26 Emma Severini

Goals: Sofia Cantore 62’

Coach: Milena Bertolini