Monday, August 2

Bloody draws and broken penalties: six classic England-Italy matches | England


England 2-0 Italy, November 1977 (Qualifier for the World Cup)

With Don Revie 12 months earlier, goals from Giancarlo Antognoni and Roberto Bettega had condemned England to a 2-0 defeat in Rome in the teams’ first competitive meeting. But with Ron Greenwood in charge of acting for the return at Wembley after Revie’s surprise departure to the United Arab Emirates in the summer, Kevin Keegan’s header, his career favorite goal, and a second from Trevor Brooking sealed the deal. England’s victory after a strong performance in front of 92,000 fans in what turned out to be the last game of legendary Internazionale defender Giacinto Facchetti for Italy. Greenwood was rewarded with the job permanently, a position he held until July 1982. However, it was still not enough to send England to the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, as Italy beat Luxembourg 3-0 some. weeks later. it meant they led the qualifying group on goal difference.

Italy 1-0 England, June 1980 (Euros group stage)

“We thought we had a chance to win,” Ray Wilkins said. “Everything went wrong.” After a disappointing 1-1 draw in their opening match against Belgium in Turin, England knew that victory against the hosts would give them a good chance to reach the final. The Azzurri had been deprived of emerging striker Paolo Rossi after he was sanctioned for match fixing and tied his first game against Spain. In a close match, England struggled to create chances against the winner of Marco Tardelli with 11 minutes remaining. Keegan nearly tied with an overhead kick in the final minute, only to be parried by a brilliant save from Dino Zoff. Despite England’s victory over Spain, Italy finished second in the group after a 0-0 draw against Belgium, which was defeated by West Germany in the final.

Italy 2-1 England, July 1990 (Play-off for third place in the World Cup)

It was the game that nobody wanted. Three days after a heartbreaking penalty shootout loss to West Germany, England traveled to Bari to meet a team that had suffered the same fate against Argentina. Peter Shilton was making his 125th and final record appearance in goal two months short of his 41st birthday and Roberto Baggio embarrassed him for the opening goal before David Platt’s equalizer. On a night also remembered for the sanctioned Paul Gascoigne joining John Barnes and Chris Waddle in a Mexican wave on the bench, Salvatore Schillaci’s late penalty sealed the Golden Boot for him and third place for his country. Full-time, Tony Dorigo swapped jerseys with Italy’s captain Giuseppe Bergomi, who then asked to change shorts and socks. “Yes, but nothing more,” replied the England defender.

England players on the substitutes bench perform a Mexican Wave during the 1990 World Cup third-place tie. From left to right: Steve Hodge, Terry Butcher, Chris Waddle, John Barnes, Paul Gazza Gascoigne, Steve Bull, Chris Woods, Dave Beasant, Stuart Pearce, and Neil Webb.
England players on the substitutes bench perform a Mexican Wave during the 1990 World Cup third-place tie. From left to right: Steve Hodge, Terry Butcher, Chris Waddle, John Barnes, Paul Gazza Gascoigne, Steve Bull, Chris Woods, Dave Beasant, Stuart Pearce, and Neil Webb. Photograph: Simon Bruty / Getty Images

Italy 0-0 England, October 1997 (Qualifier for the World Cup)

The night that inspired the phrase “And then one night in Rome, we were strong, we had grown” in the relaunch of Three Lions for the 1998 World Cup. After losing at Wembley to Italy in February 1997, England had recovered some confidence in beating them 2-0 at Le Tournoi in the summer and winning the preparation competition that also featured France and Brazil. Needing a draw in the Italian capital to reserve his place in the final, it could have been even better for the visitors if Ian Wright’s effort had not hit a pole, but rather the image of bloodstained and bandaged captain Paul Ince celebrating. with fans at the final whistle it remains one of the most famous in England. “Ian Wright was crying with joy and it made me want to cry too,” Ince said. “I have played in cup finals and in big European matches, but this was at the height of everything I have achieved, possibly the best moment of my career.”

England 0-0 Italy (Italy wins in pens), June 2012 (Quarterfinals of euros)

Andrea Pirlo shoots a bold penalty from Panenka that beats Joe Hart at Euro 2012.
Andrea Pirlo shoots a bold penalty from Panenka that beats Joe Hart at Euro 2012. Photograph: Matthias Schräder / AP

Thrown into the background when he replaced Fabio Capello a month before the first Euro Cup game, Roy Hodgson led England to the quarter-finals as group champion after beating Sweden and Ukraine. His reward was a draw against Cesare Prandelli’s team in Kiev, with Andrea Pirlo pulling the strings from his deep playmaker position as England’s midfield largely chased the shadows. England’s most successful passing combination came from goalkeeper Joe Hart and forward Andy Carroll, although they did enough to take the game to penalties. Ashley Young and Ashley Cole were the unfortunates who missed out this time, with the audacious Panenka from Pirlo sending to Italy. “We’re going undefeated in regulation time, but we’re going home because we can’t win on penalties,” said a frustrated Hodgson.

England 1-2 Italy, June 2014 (World Cup group stage)

England came to Brazil with the difficult task of facing two former World Champions in the group stage. They couldn’t have had a worse start against Italy, as Raheem Sterling missed a glorious opportunity to open the scoring before Claudio Marchisio’s goal in the 35th minute. England responded immediately through Daniel Sturridge, but in stifling conditions in Manaus, suffered in the second half after Mario Balotelli forced Hodgson to chase the game. Balotelli asked the Queen for “a kiss on the cheek” if Italy could beat Costa Rica in their next match and give England a chance to qualify, but England and Italy went home early after their losses to Uruguay. “I don’t think there is any need to doubt that this group of England players will continue to do good things,” Hodgson said.


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