England 1 Italy 2: Raheem Sterling performance analysis

How did the Liverpool youngster perform in Manaus

Sunday 15 June 2014 01:30

Raheem Sterling was given the nod from the outset in England's World Cup opener against Italy in Manaus.

It was a bold call by Roy Hodgson to bring in the teenager and Press Association Sport's Simon Peach looks at how he fared in the Three Lions' 2-1 defeat in Manaus.


Giving Sterling the number 10 role in just his third start was a bold move but one which clearly had Italy rattled. His quick feet, vision and dribbling created havoc, with his ability to find passes also causing the Azzurri concern. Sterling's ball was key in Daniel Sturridge's first-half equalisier in Manaus, opening up the defence with a fine pass that put Wayne Rooney through to cross. He also provided a number of excellent crosses and worked well with his fellow attacking players.


Only four minutes were on the clock when the teenager decided to strike from an unthinkable distance, with his effort rippling the side-netting and leaving those inside the Arena Amazonia opened-mouthed. It was a chance that made Italy sit up and take note, but one which he was unable to repeat over the course of night.


The fact he was arguably England's man-of-the match says it all. Quick, direct and dangerous, his unpredictability had Italy on the backfoot. He had less of an impact as the second-half wore on, but battled to the end despite suffering with cramp.

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