In the final game before Gareth Southgate finalises his World Cup squad, England were denied a fifth consecutive clean sheet as Lorenzo Insigne’s late penalty handed Italy a controversial draw on Tuesday night – as VAR played a critical role in determining the outcome of the game.
The first-half started off in sloppy fashion, with John Stones twice gifting the ball to the, if you pardon the pun, somewhat immobile Lazio striker Ciro Immobile who couldn’t shift the ball out of his feet quick enough to trouble Jack Butland.
Immobile had Italy’s best opportunity when he headed just over from inside the area. Pace and quick thinking were England’s greatest assets and they used it superbly to open the scoring, when Raheem Sterling drove through the midfield, going to ground twice before the equally impressive Jesse Lingard played a quick free-kick to put Jamie Vardy through on goal, with the Leicester City striker then arrowing a powerful near-post finish past Gianluigi Donnarumma.
The second-half was played at a much slower tempo and both teams failed to create many chances of note, up until Federico Chiesa was stamped on by James Tarkowski inside the penalty area, despite having already lost control of the ball.
The referee had deemed that there had been no foul but the VAR assistant advised him to reconsider and he subsequently awarded a penalty. Insigne dispatched the penalty with great confidence to draw Italy level.
Here’s how we rated the England players in the game: