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  Page Last Updated 18 April 2014

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194 vs. Wales
196 vs. Ireland

Wednesday, 14 November 1934
Football Association Friendly Match

England 3 Italy 2 [3-0]

Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, London
Attendance: 56,044;
Kick-off: in the afternoon

Match Summary
England Squad

Italy Squad

England - Eric Brook (met the ball at full pelt from a Matthews cross 3, direct free-kick 10), Ted Drake (a fearsome shot 12).
Italy - Giuseppe Meazza (58, 62).
Results 1930-39

? won the toss, ? kicked-off.


Match Summary





Referee - Otto Olsen
Sweden (x)

Linesmen - Mr L. E. Gibbs, Buckinghamshire & Berkshire FA, and J. De Rensis, Genova, Italy.

Prince Arthur of Connaught had both teams presented to him before the match; the Italian Ambassador, Count Grandi, also attended.

  Goal Attempts  
  Attempts on Target  
  Hit Bar/Post  
  Corner Kicks Won  
  Offside Calls Against  
  Fouls Conceded  

England Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 3rd
Colours: The 1923 uniform - White collared jerseys, navy blue or black shorts, black socks topped with two white hoops
Capt: Eddie Hapgood, first captaincy. Selectors: The fourteen-man FA International Selection Committee, following a trial match, on x.
162nd match, W 104 - D 29 - L 29 - F 489 - A 182.
England Lineup
  Moss, Frank 25 5 November 1909 G Arsenal FC 4 5 GA
  Male, C. George 24 8 May 1910 RB Arsenal FC 1 0
  Hapgood, Edris A. 26 24 September 1908 LB Arsenal FC 9 0
  Britton, Clifford S. 25 29 August 1909 RH Everton FC 2 0
  Barker, John W. 27 27 February 1907 CH Derby County FC 2 0
  Copping, Wilfred 27 17 August 1907 LH Arsenal FC 7 0
  Matthews, Stanley 19 1 February 1915 OR Stoke City FC 2 1
  Bowden, E. Raymond 25 13 September 1909 IR Arsenal FC 2 0
Drake, Edward J. 22 16 August 1912 CF Arsenal FC 1 1
  Bastin, Clifford S. 22 14 March 1912 IL Arsenal FC 9 4
Brook, Eric F. 26 27 November 1907 OL Manchester City FC 10 7




Moss -
Male, Barker, Hapgood -
Britton, Copping -
Bowden, Bastin -
Matthews, Drake, Brook.


Age tbc Appearances/Goals tbc tbc


Italy Team

Current World Champions Colours: Azure blue shirts, white shorts, black socks [with azure blue band at lower calf?].


No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 1st
Capt: Attilio Ferraris IV, first captaincy. Selectors: Vittorio Pozzo, 48,
43rd match, W 26 - D 8 - L 9 - F 97 - A 54.
from 29 June to 3 July 1912, 9 March to 2 June 1924 and 1 December 1929 to 5 August 1948.
Italy Lineup
  Ceresoli, Carlo 24 14 June 1910 G Ambrosiana-Internazionale FC 2 3 GA
  Monzeglio, Eraldo 28 5 May 1906 RB Bologna 1909 FC 18 0
  Allemandi, Luigi 31 8 November 1903 LB Ambrosiana-Internazionale FC 15 0
  Ferraris IV, Attilio 30 26 March 1904 RH SS Lazio 26 0
  Monti, Luis 33 15 May 1901 CH Juventus FC 16 1
  Bertolini, Luigi 30 13 September 1904 LH Juventus FC 24 0
  Guaita, Enrique 24 15 July 1910 OR AS Roma 7 3
  Serantoni, Pietro 27 16 November 1906 IR Juventus FC 4 0
Meazza, Giuseppe 24 23 August 1910 CF Ambrosiana-Internazionale FC 28 24
  Ferrari, Giovanni 26 6 December 1907 IL Juventus FC 24 9
  Orsi, Raimondo 32 2 December 1901 OL Juventus FC 33 13



team notes:

Italy played short a man after Luis Monti left the match injured after just two minutes
2-5-3 Ceresoli -
Monzeglio, Allemandi -
Ferraris IV, Monti, Bertolini -
Serantoni, Ferrari -
Guaita, Meazza, Orsi.


Age tbc Appearances/Goals tbc tbc


    Match Report

England and Italy had drawn, 1-1, 18 months earlier in Rome in their only previous meeting.  The return match was billed as a contest for world supremacy, the most important of the century.  Italy were playing their first game since winning the second World Cup five months earlier in Rome.  They had been beaten only four times in the 34 matches they had played since maestro Vittorio Pozzo took over in late 1929 after two brief earlier stints as national team coach for the Olympic Games of 1912 and 1924.  Remaining aloof from FIFA and its World Cup competition, England were still widely regarded as the world's best team.  Predictably, the game settled nothing, although it is still remembered as "The Battle of Highbury."

The Italians were at full strength, retaining their three controversial South American "oriundi," "Luisito" Monti, Raimondo Orsi and "Enrico" Guaita, and making only two changes in their World Cup-winning team. Carlo Ceresoli, who missed the World Cup through injury but would become the first-choice goalkeeper for the year following it, replaced veteran Giuseppe Combi, and inside forward Pietro Serantoni, who would become a regular in the team and play in the 1938 World Cup final match, replaced Angelo Schiavio.

England fielded a team largely inexperienced at international level.  The selectors had given six players their debuts against Wales in England's last match in late September and now stuck with four of them--right-half Cliff Britton of Everton, centre-half Jack Barker of Derby County, outside right Stanley Matthews of Stoke City and inside right Ray Bowden of Arsenal--while giving debuts to two more--right back George Male and centre-forward Ted Drake.  Six players were thus winning their first or second caps, including the entire right side of the formation.  None of England’s players had more than nine caps entering the match.  Rather appropriately, since the match was played on their club side’s ground, seven Arsenal players took the pitch for England, a still-standing record for one club. Among them were two making their England debuts, Male, who was given a late call to join his Arsenal partner, Eddie Hapgood, at fullback after the withdrawal of injured Tom "Snowy" Cooper of Derby County, and Drake, who was selected late following the injury withdrawals of original centre-forward choice Sam Tilson of Manchester City and Tilson's initial replacement, George Hunt of Tottenham Hotspur.

Italy played almost the entire match with 10 men. Centre-half Monti had a foot bone broken in a challenge from Drake and left the game after two minutes. Convinced the injury was deliberately inflicted, Italy retaliated, and the first half became a blood bath. The azzurri went three goals down over the 10 minutes following Monti's exit, although several England players were injured. The most seriously hurt were Hapgood, making his debut as England captain, who had to leave the pitch for 15 minutes with a broken nose courtesy of an Italian elbow, and Eric Brook, who suffered a broken arm. Ray Bowden incurred an ankle injury, Jack Barker had to have his hand strapped, Drake got a leg cut and some other England players suffered severe bruising.

In the first minute of play, Ceresoli brought down Drake in the penalty area but stopped Brook’s ensuing penalty kick with a magnificent save. Within a few minutes Brook made amends, opening the scoring with a header from Cliff Britton's free kick and adding a second goal with a left-footed shot from a free kick just outside the penalty area.  But for Ceresoli's brilliant penalty kick save, Brook would have had a first-half hat-trick. Drake netted England's third goal while Hapgood was receiving treatment off the pitch. Following an attack down the right flank, the Arsenal centre-forward hooked the ball into the net.

After the half-time interval, Italy settled down to play football and, although shy a man, scored twice through brilliant centre-forward "Peppino" Meazza, whose  career total of 33 goals for Italy during the 1930's has been exceeded only by Luigi Riva, who scored 35 in the 1960's and 1970's.  Meazza's goals came four minutes apart in very heavy rain, the first resulting from Guaita’s skill and the second on a header from Attilio Ferraris' free kick. Only good fortune--Meazza also hit the crossbar--and superb goalkeeping from Frank Moss, in his last international appearance, kept England's lead intact.

Although the match had not settled which was the superior team, Italy's display in the second half, accomplished while short a man, had at the very least served notice that English claims to world footballing superiority were open to legitimate question. 

Source Notes

Player details for Italy are taken primarily from the official Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio website and Libreria dello Sport, Maglie Azzurre: Nomi, cifre e date delle nazionali italiane (Datasport, Milan, 1996).

The official FIGC website has Eraldo Monzeglio's birthdate as 5 May 1906, while Maglie Azzure has it as 5 June 1906.

The official FIGC website has Luigi Bertolini's birthdate as 13 September 1904 while Maglie Azzure has it as 13 November 1904.

The official matchday programme, information of which was kindly provided by Rob Clark.