Updated: 15/08/2012 22:53 | By pa.press.net

Defoe nets winner in Italy defeat

Jermain Defoe, right, curled home a second-half winner against Italy

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.

15/08/2012 22:19

After the years of disappointment and the atrocious attitude of the players, I COULDN'T BE LESS INTERESTED !!!!!!!!!!!

16/08/2012 08:02
Dont know what others saw? I saw a good game of football with some fine individual performances and an England win. My one question, "why play Rooney?" 
Well done England.
16/08/2012 10:12
Went to Tesco today and picked up some chicken wings. Very tasty.
16/08/2012 00:34
wow some negativity on here. I'd hate to be on here if we lost 
15/08/2012 22:25
A little To Late Don't You Think...All Major Competitons Are Over,We Only Do Well In Friendlies When Other Teams Don't Care That Much,It's When It Comes To the Crunch That Counts!
15/08/2012 22:13
wow we must be first now in the fifa world ranking ... followed by scotland... yes... another world cup final win coming up soon.
15/08/2012 22:37
Good news...we won a friendly...great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
16/08/2012 02:26

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

15/08/2012 22:39
Got bored with footy ages ago and just give a toss what they do anymore,they all need to get a real job
16/08/2012 07:40
Can,t look at this site again. Such a bunch of whinging negative t**ts, Adios.
16/08/2012 08:39
hi man,it is just a friendly international in Berne.The tough way is waiting.
16/08/2012 10:51

sod this-it was a boring friendly-who cares

I'm off for a date with with a black nudist transexual teenage biker

16/08/2012 07:37
John Raynolds comments are crap & they always will be!
16/08/2012 08:46
DeFoe should have been picked ahead of the many forwards that have played for England for years! A great finisher and very skilful.... as with Michael Carrick a great player who rarely gives the ball away, 3 yds or forty yard ball and defence splitting passes,why ever these Managers cannot see he is such a great player!  SAF has him first on the team sheet! l expect the morons on this site will castigate him,closing thier eyes to his obvious ability.....Englands midfield were excellent against Italy,with Cleverley having a superb debut,very mobile and skillfull and a quick brain!!! is'nt this what we want to see...or would you rather we went back to the mundane and negativety of Parker,Barry,etc and never make a chance?
16/08/2012 10:38
It's a meaningless friendly. Only England would read something into this.
16/08/2012 08:54
barry dudbridge absolutely agree, get rid of this donkey called carroll,
16/08/2012 00:08
I'm a bit confused, England was singing Team GB's national anthem tonight!!!
16/08/2012 11:09
good result for england. im sure the italians are not too  pleased in losing a meaningless friendly, whatever that means
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