England continued the winless start to their Nations League campaign with a tired 0-0 draw against Italy.
Gareth Southgate made six changes to the starting line-up which battled to a stalemate with Germany in midweek and it returned a similarly disjointed and knackered performance.
Both sides had chances to break the deadlock, with Raheem Sterling and Mason Mount having the best opportunities for the hosts. Italy could have scored through Davide Frattesi and Matteo Pessina.
The vibe around this Nations League encounter could not have been more different to the Euro 2020 final at Wembley 11 months ago, when crowd trouble compounded England’s agonising penalty shoot-out loss to Italy.
That fan disorder meant Saturday evening’s reunion had to be played behind closed doors at Molineux, with only a couple of thousand school children allowed to attend.
Despite the lack of supporters inside Molineux, the game got off to a lively start.
Frattesi should have put the visitors ahead but angled a shot wide of Aaron Ramsdale’s far post before Tammy Abraham passed up a fine chance at the other end.
Mason Mount then cracked a strike off the crossbar at the end of a good move, with the youthful crowd entertained in the early exchanges.
Ramsdale was on hand to make a smart stop as Italy once again threatened at the midway stage of a half that had started to peter out.
Manuel Locatelli’s diagonal pass was hammered across goal by Giovanni Di Lorenzo with Sandro Tonali arriving and firing in a shot which Ramsdale did well to keep out.
The sides would go in level at the interval, Ramsdale again doing well to tip a Matteo Pessina shot over the bar in the closing stages of a goalless first half.
Play continued in a similar manner after half-time, with Pessina missing the target before patient England build-up ended with Sterling missing a great chance.
Jack Grealish played the ball over to the marauding Reece James, whose low cross was somehow turned over at the back post by the forward.
Sterling then saw a snapshot on the turn denied by Gianluigi Donnarumma as he looked to put that miss behind him.
The match continued to a backdrop of school children’s high-pitched squeals, with Di Lorenzo holding his head in his hands after ghosting in to meet a clipped Lorenzo Pellegrini pass before Kieran Trippier got back to extinguish the danger.
Both sides turned to their bench midway through the second half, with captain Harry Kane among England’s introductions.
There were a few boos from the kids at full-time.
The article England 0-0 Italy: It turns out everyone is knackered and really needs a break appeared first on Football365.com.