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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Arts and Entertainment
'Deep Breath' is Peter Capaldi's first full-length adventure as the twelfth Doctor
TVFirst episode of new series has ended up on the internet
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?