Defoe nets winner in Italy defeat
Jermain Defoe, right, curled home a second-half winner against Italy
Jermain Defoe earned England their first victory over Italy for 15 years with a late winner in the 2-1 friendly international in Berne.
With five debutants, including an excellent performance from second-half substitute John Ruddy, Michael Carrick easing himself back into the international fold and revenge, of sorts, for that Euro 2012 exit, Roy Hodgson's troops can be delighted with their efforts.
The Tottenham striker's 20-yard shot was enough to complete a comeback too, as Phil Jagielka scored a first-half equaliser - following Daniele de Rossi's header - to give England their first win over Italy since 1997 .
Yet, with only Ashley Young surviving from the team that started that shattering quarter-final shoot-out defeat in Kiev, so many had a point to prove.
Hodgson's intention had been to send goalkeeper Jack Butland back to Birmingham on Tuesday, but Joe Hart's back injury changed those plans and after giving it some thought overnight, Hodgson plumped for Butland ahead of Ruddy.
At 19 years and 158 days, it meant he became England's youngest keeper, beating the record of Billy Moon, who was 19 and 222 days when he played against Wales at Crewe in February 1888.
Cesare Prandelli had named an equally experimental squad but it was one of his Euro 2012 stalwarts, De Rossi, who did the damage, rising to meet Alessandro Diamanti's corner and power it in. England improved as a whole after that, with Carrick and Tom Cleverley starting to get to grips with their roles in a three-man midfield.
Adam Johnson also sparkled, although the equaliser arrived from an unlikely source just before the half hour when Jagielka's diving header found the bottom corner. It was the Everton man's first international goal, which skipper Frank Lampard nearly built on when he curled a free-kick inches over.
Butland and Andy Carroll were replaced at the break, which gave Ruddy his chance. And he could not do much more than get down brilliantly to turn away Mattia Destro's shot on the turn that was heading for the bottom corner.
After Ruddy produced another sparkling save to deny Marco Verratti, Defoe's shot exposed some sloppy keeping by Salvatore Sirigu to seal victory to ensure it was a night to remember for them all.
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After the years of disappointment and the atrocious attitude of the players, I COULDN'T BE LESS INTERESTED !!!!!!!!!!!
To all the people who have left negative posts about Englands football team if there is a TV program i don't like i change channels that is the obvious thing to do so you moaners why not switch over or switch off and for your information football has the largest folloeing of all sports around the world IE all those people can't be wrong
sod this-it was a boring friendly-who cares
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