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.

News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates one of his goals during the FIFA World Cup 2014 round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Antoine Griezmann has started two of France’s four games so far
sport
Life and Style
techYahoo Japan launches service to delete your files and email your relatives when you die
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
Life and Style
Dale Bolinger arranged to meet the girl via a fetish website
life
Property
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor