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941 vs. Lithuania
943 vs. Republic of Ireland

Tuesday, 31 March 2015
FIGC Torino Città Azzurra Friendly International Match

Italy 1 England 1 [1-0]


Juventus Stadium, Vallette, Torino, Piedmont
Attendance: 31,138;
Kick-off: 8.45 pm DST, 7.45pm BST
Live on ITV HD (UK) - Commentator: Clive Tyldesley

Italy - Graziano Pellè (glancing eight-yard header from a Chiellini cross 29 28:20)
England - Andros Townsend (twenty-yard shot following a Mason lay-off 79 78:21)
Match Summary
Italy Squad
England Squad
Results 2010-2015 England - Kieran Gibbs (32 31:31). Phil Jones (70 69:04)
Italy - Graziano Pellè (36 35:20)

Italy kicked-off. 94½ minutes (46:07 & 48:17).


Match Summary

Officials from Germany




Referee (red) - Dr. Felix Brych
39 (3 August 1975), München, FIFA listed 2007.

Assistant Referees - Mark Borsch, 38 (16 March 1977), Monchengladbach and Stefan Lupp, 36 (9 September 1978).

Fourth official - Paolo Silvio Mazzoleni, 40 (12 June 1974), Bergamo, Italy, FIFA listed 2011.

13 Goal Attempts 15
3 Attempts on Target 5
0 Hit Bar/Post 1
8 Corner Kicks Won 5
  Offside Calls Against  
19 Fouls Conceded 7
40% Possession 60%

Italy Team



FIFA (12 March 2015) 10th
EFO ranking Group 3
ELO rating 14th
Colours: Made by Puma - Azure blue button-up collared jerseys with white torso trim, white shorts with blue side trim, blue socks with white tops/vertical stripe.
Capt: Gianluigi Buffon Manager: Antonio Conte, 45 (31 July 1969), appointed manager 19 August 2014.
8th match, W 5 - D 3 - L 0 - F 12 - A 6;
team selected on 30 March 2015
Italy Lineup
1 Buffon, Gianluigi 37 28 January 1978 G Juventus SpA FC 147 0
13 Ranocchia, Andrea 27 16 February 1988 LB FC Internazionale Milano SpA 18 0
3 Chiellini, Giorgio, off 72nd min. 30 14 August 1984 CD Juventus SpA FC 76 6
4 Darmian, Matteo, off 73rd min. 25 2 December 1989 LM Torino FC SpA 11 0
19 Bonucci, Leonardo 27 1 May 1987 RB Juventus SpA FC 45 3
18 Florenzi, Alessandro, off 61st min. 24 11 March 1991 RM AS Roma SpA 8 1
16 Parolo, Marco 30 25 January 1985 CM SS Lazio SpA 9 0
8 Soriano, Roberto 24 8 February 1991
born in Germany
CM Sampdoria UC SpA 3 0
17 Citadin Martins, Éder, off 61st min. 28 15 November 1986
born in Brazil
F Sampdoria UC SpA 2 1
10 Verratti, Marco, off 67th min. 22 5 November 1992 AM Paris Saint-Germain FC, France 12 1
20 Pellè, Graziano, off 61st min. 29 15 July 1985 F Southampton FC, England 3 2
Pelle cautioned in 36th minute for unsporting behaviour for a foul after pulling on Jagielka's shirt, bringing him down.
Italy Substitutes
scoreline: Italy 1 England 0
2 Abate, Ignazio, on 61st min (60:01) for Florenzi 28 12 November 1986 D AC Milan SpA 22 1
23 Vázquez, Franco D., on 61st min (60:01) for Éder 26 22 February 1989
born in Argentina
F USC di Palermo SpA 1 0
9 Immobile, Ciro, on 61st min. (60:20) for Pellè 25 20 February 1990 F BV Borussia 09 eV Dortmund, Germany 11 1
14 Valdifiori, Mirko, on 67th min. (66:51) for Varratti 27 21 April 1986 M Empoli FC SpA 1 0
24 Moretti, Emiliano, on 72nd min. (71:53) for Chiellini 33 11 June 1981 D Torino FC SpA 2 0
5 Antonelli, Luca, on 73rd min (72:13) for Darmian 28 11 February 1987 M AC Milan SpA 9 0
result: Italy 1 England 1

unused substitutes:

6-Antonio Candreva, 7-Simone Zaza, 11-Alessio Cerci, 12-Salvatore Sirigu, 15-Andrea Barzagli, 22-Manolo Gabbiadini, 24-Emiliano Moretti, 25-Fererico Marchetti, 26-Davide Santon.
3-5-2 Buffon -
Ranocchia, Chiellini
(Moretti), Bonucci -
(Abate), Parolo, Verratti (Valdifiori), Soriano, Darmian (Antonelli) -
(Vazquez), Pellè (Immobile)

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 27.5 Appearances/Goals 30.4 1.2


England Team



FIFA (12 March 2015) 17th
EFO ranking Group 3
ELO rating 9th
Colours: The Nike 2014 home uniform - White v-necked jerseys with shadowed pinstripes and silvery white trim, white shorts with silvery white trim, white socks.
Capt: Wayne Rooney, tenth captaincy Manager: Roy Hodgson, 67 (8 August 1947), appointed 1 May 2012,
39th match, W 22 - D 12 - L 5 - F 78 - A 30.
England Lineup
1 Hart, C. Joseph J. 27 19 April 1987 G Manchester City FC 50 35 GA
2 Clyne, Nathaniel E., off 46th min. 23 5 April 1991 RB Southampton FC 4 0
3 Gibbs, Kieran J.R., off 88th min. 26 26 September 1989 LB Arsenal FC 7 0
Gibbs cautioned in the 32nd minute for unsporting behaviour for a foul on Valdifiori as his team attempted to counter-attack.
4 Henderson, Jordan B., off 74th min. 24 17 June 1990 RM Liverpool FC 20 0
5 Smalling, Christopher L., injured off 43rd min. (42:18) 25 22 November 1989 CD Manchester United FC 16 0
6 Jagielka, Philip N. 32 17 August 1982 CD Everton FC 35 3
7 Walcott, Theo J., off 55th min. 26 16 March 1989 F Arsenal FC 38 5
8 Jones, Philip A. 23 21 February 1992 CM/CD Manchester United FC 15 0
Jones cautioned in the 70th minute for unsporting behaviour for a foul in the middle of the field. He brought down Immobile on the centre-circle.
9 Kane, Harry E. 21 28 July 1993 F Tottenham Hotspur FC 2 1
10 Rooney, Wayne M. 29 24 October 1985 AM/F Manchester United FC 103 47
11 Delph, Fabian, off 70th min. 25 21 November 1989 LM Aston Villa FC 5 0
England Substitutes
scoreline: Italy 1 England 0
16 Carrick, Michael, on 44th min (43:28) for Smalling 33 28 July 1991 DM Manchester United FC 33 0
15 Walker, Kyle A., on 46th min. for Clyne 24 28 May 1990 RB Tottenham Hotspur FC 11 0
20 Barkley, Ross, on 55th min. (54:50) for Walcott 21 5 December 1993 M Everton FC 12 0
17 Townsend, Andros D., on 70th min. (69:27) for Delph 23 16 July 1991 M Tottenham Hotspur FC 7 3
18 Mason, Ryan G., on 74th min (73:47) for Henderson 23 13 June 1991 M Tottenham Hotspur FC 1 0
scoreline: Italy 1 England 1
19 Bertrand, Ryan D., on 88th min. (87:14) for Gibbs 25 5 August 1989 LB Southampton FC 3 0
result: Italy 1 England 1

unused substitutes:

12-Jack Butland, 13-Rob Green, 14-Gary Cahill.

team notes:

Manager Roy Hodgson had coached Switzerland against Italy in the World Cup quailfying matches on October 1992 and May 1993 (2-2 and 1-0), a friendly in June 1994 (0-1) and a Centenary friendly in June 1995 (0-1).
4-3-3(1-2) Hart -
(Walker), Smalling (Carrick), Jagielka, Gibbs (Bertrand) -
(Mason), Jones, Delph (Townsend) -
Rooney -
(Barkley), Kane
Notes: Jones replaced Smalling as central defence, Carrick took Jones' place in the base of midfield.
When Barkley replaced Walcott, Rooney went up front.

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 25.5 Appearances/Goals 26.8 5.1


    Match Report by Mike Payne


England travelled to Turin full of confidence after their recent unbeaten run of games, but this match would be a different kettle of fish, compared to the group matches of the European Championship they are in the middle of.  Italy, who beat us in the World Cup in Brazil, are always formidable opposition on their own turf and England were missing several regulars from the previous matches, so a stiff task was ahead.

The first ten minutes were typical of this fixture, cagey, with both sides feeling each other out, trying to keep possession, and neither side showing much thrust up front.  In fact we had to wait for ten minutes before there was a shot on goal.  That came after good build up by Italy gave Marco Parolo the chance to shoot.  He let fly from 30 yards and Joe Hart had to be alert to tip the dipping and swerving shot over.  Hart was there again with a good punch out from the resultant corner.  At the other end, from an attacking point of view, England's problem was to find a way through the usual massed ranks of the well-organised Italian defence. On 14 minutes Nathaniel Clyne was penalised for a foul but Eder hit the free-kick woefully wide.

At the back Phil Jagielka and Chris Smalling looked fairly comfortable until on 16 minutes a break down the left by Matteo Darmian ended when his dangerous cross was brilliantly cut out by Jagielka.  Too often England's attacking ideas ended with a pass that found a blue Italian shirt and as a result Harry Kane and Theo Walcott were starved of any sort of service.  But after 20 minutes good play by England gave them their first chance of the match.  Wayne Rooney and Kieran Gibbs combined on the left and the latter's deep cross found Kane at the far post.  His downward header back across goal was desperately cleared by a defender as Walcott tried to slide the ball past Gianluigi Buffon.  Rooney hit the clearance first time, and his shot struck the back of an Italian defender and cannoned back off the crossbar before being cleared.  These near misses heralded a good spell of England pressure and for a while Italy could not get out of their own half.  On 26 minutes Walcott went close after a fine tackle, run and pass from Rooney but three minutes later, somewhat against the run of play Italy broke away to score. 

A break down the left freed Georgio Chiellini and his cross was deftly headed in by Graziano Pellè.  That was doubly ironic for England because the Southampton player can't hit a barn door in the Premier League at the moment!  And it didn't look as though he was heading at goal, only trying to help it on.  No matter, Italy had the goal they wanted.  England tried to hit back immediately but either the final pass wasn't there or the finish was weak.  Smalling was injured just before the break and Phil Jones moved back from his ineffectual midfield position to join Jagielka at the heart of the defence and allow Michael Carrick to come on.  That substitution was to prove crucial.  It had been a pretty even first-half with both sides probing for an opening and Italy just shading it.  Kane had received very little by way of a decent pass and he was flattened by Chiellini after just 18 seconds.  Welcome to the real world of International football!

Kyle Walker replaced Clyne at the start of the second-half but the first positive attack after the restart came from Italy.  Eder broke through and forced a fine block from Hart.  Jagielka tried to clear the loose ball only to give it straight to the onrushing Pellè who subsequently found that 'barn door' well wide of the goal.  It was a let off for England but they were much more positive themselves this half and pushed forward with more purpose.  Kane created a half chance for himself but his fierce shot was deflected just wide of the Italian goal with Buffon stranded.

One of my pet hates of football at the moment is the number of times you see players blatantly manhandled at corners and free-kicks.  All teams do it but if referees started to clamp down on, what is a penalty offence, and award more penalties, then the players would soon cut it out.  Twice in this match Chiellini blatantly wrapped both arms around Kane as he tried to go for corners and both times, Chiellini, who is a past-master at fouling 'fairly', got away with it.  It has to stop!

England kept plugging away and on 55 minutes Rooney set up Gibbs with another chance.  Unfortunately the Arsenal man went for the near post instead of the far and shot wide.  Ross Barkley immediately replaced Walcott and with Carrick now pulling the strings in midfield, England were on top.  They were much more composed in possession and with Carrick's clever thinking they were asking many questions of the Italian defenders, and Italy's only answer to this was to commit a number of fouls.  Fabian Delph and Jordan Henderson were working their socks off in midfield and England were on the front foot much more often this half.  Italy then made three substitutions in an effort to wrestle back the initiative and Jagielka, who had a fine match, made another brilliant interception to cut out one dangerous move.

England then had a spell of lovely one-touch football, although Jones was booked for a mistimed challenge.  Andros Townsend was then sent on for the hardworking Delph with 20 minutes to go and on 71 minutes a wonderful pass by Gibbs gave Rooney a clear strike on goal.  He hit the ball hard but it was a fairly straight forward save for Buffon.  Italy tried to break up the game with a series of substitutions and it was obvious that their manager did not like the way the match was going.  In the 73rd minute a Kane cross so nearly found Rooney, and then Roy Hodgson sent on another Spurs player, Ryan Mason, for his first taste of a full international.

Italy forced a couple of corners but England kept pushing forward at every opportunity and they were finally rewarded with a wonderful goal by Townsend.  The goal was 'made in Tottenham' as Carrick forward pass was helped on by Mason to Townsend.  He took one touch before sending a superb right-foot shot into the far corner with Buffon nowhere near it.  A great goal, and so deserved for England.  In fact Rooney so nearly turned the game on its head seconds later, but this time Buffon blocked the skipper's shot.  The chance was set up by another raking pass from Gibbs, who also had an excellent game, before he was substituted three minutes from the end with Ryan Bertrand coming on.  The match had one last chance when Kane let fly from 20 yards only for Buffon to dive to his left to save.

In the end it was a thoroughly deserved draw for England, with several notable performances from Jagielka, Gibbs, Hart, Townsend and above all Carrick, who out-Italianised the Italians at their own game.  Andrea Pirlo, eat your heart out!

Source Notes

BBC Sport
Mike Payne - football historian and contributor