Three Lions come from behind to beat Italy

Italy 1 England 2

After gorging on an Olympic feast, Jermain Defoe's 80th-minute served up another treat for England's sporting public as they secured a rare win over Italy.

In truth, after the Lord Mayor's Show, Boris Johnson would have had difficulty hyping this one up.

But 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.

Defoe's 20-yard shot was enough to complete a comeback too, as Phil Jagielka also scored to give England their first win over Italy since 1997.

Fifty-two days since that shattering quarter-final shoot-out defeat in Kiev, the atmosphere could not have been more different.

A 30,000-capacity stadium in Switzerland that was barely half full for a game few had any appetite for.

Yet, with only Ashley Young surviving from the team that started that last eight defeat, so many had a point to prove.

Three would have gone to the Finals but for injury, Carrick made himself unavailable, Tom Cleverley never had a chance to prove his worth and four were in Poland and Ukraine but had only a peripheral role.

Amongst them was Jack Butland.

The Birmingham keeper has had an amazing summer.

League Two with Cheltenham, to third choice England keeper, Olympics and now this.

Indeed, when Hodgson's squad was announced on Friday, the intention had been to send Butland back to Birmingham on Tuesday so he could feature in their Capital One Cup victory over Barnet.

Joe Hart's back injury changed those plans and after giving it some thought overnight, Hodgson plumped for Butland ahead of Ruddy, his other goalkeeper, who was also hoping to make his first appearance.

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.

Not that Butland would have enjoyed the opening stages of his momentous night as Italy quickly gained the initiative.

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.

Things got better for Butland after that, with the teenager producing a couple of decent saves and commanding his penalty area in a manner that suggested in a few years he will be a genuine challenger for Hart.

Indeed, England improved as a whole, with Carrick and Cleverley starting to get to grips with their roles in a three-man midfield, a new innovation for Hodgson since he succeeded Fabio Capello in May.

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.

Although he had happier things to occupy his mind this evening, Sir Alex Ferguson would not have been too impressed to see Davide Astori go straight through the back of Ashley Young, which led to a few choice words to the referee from the Manchester United winger.

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.

Antonio Nocerino slid a superb pass through to Federico Peluso, who drove his shot into the side-netting.

Kyle Walker was at fault on both occasions, proving the Tottenham youngster is not quite the finished article even though he was last season's PFA Young Player of the Year.

Gary Cahill has a happy knack of scoring for England and thought he had another when he drove home James Milner's corner, only for the goal to be ruled out for an infringement by Joleon Lescott.

Jake Livermore became England's fourth debutant when he replaced Lampard midway through the second-half, a move which saw Carrick inherit the captaincy, and Ryan Bertrand completed the quintet of rookies.

And, 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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering