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Five talking points as England qualify for Euro 2024 with Italy win
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Danny Ryan at Wembley
Marcus Rashford scored England's second goal against Italy
Marcus Rashford scored England's second goal against Italy

England secured their place at Euro 2024 with a 3-1 comeback victory over Italy at Wembley Stadium.

Former West Ham striker Gianluca Scamacca finished off a sweeping move to open the scoring on 15 minutes before Three Lions skipper Harry Kane equalised from the penalty spot just after the half-hour mark.

Marcus Rashford put the hosts ahead with a superb finish and Kane then secured victory with a lovely effort of his own after capitalising on some lacklustre Italian defending.

Here are five talking points from an action-packed night in the capital.

The regulars return

After making a raft of changes in the 1-0 friendly win over Australia last Friday, Gareth Southgate recalled all the Three Lions regulars — and qualification proves it was the correct call.

Harry Maguire and John Stones returned to the centre of defence, while Kalvin Phillips lined up alongside Declan Rice in midfield despite the former's lack of minutes at Manchester City.

And Jude Bellingham, who received perhaps the loudest pre-game cheer at Wembley, was afforded a more advanced midfield role after his recent Real Madrid heroics — a formula which Southgate will likely stick with at Euro 2024.

Kane in the 60s

Harry Kane equalised for England against Italy
Harry Kane equalised for England against Italy

As usual, Kane was ice-cold from both the penalty spot and open play to bring up his 60th and 61st international strikes — it was his 11th brace for England, one fewer than record holder Nat Lofthouse.

The Bayern Munich marksman is now eight goals clear of Wayne Rooney as the Three Lions' all-time top scorer and he is showing no signs of slowing down.

Kane's last 30 appearances for England have yielded 26 goals and six assists, while he has also recorded a goal contribution in each of the last 10 matches.

It should come as no surprise that you could feel the love from the Wembley crowd towards the captain throughout the whole game.

Jude the superstar

Bellingham went from dazzling in the white of Real to shining in the white of England with yet another superb all-round display.

The 20-year-old thrived with the freedom afforded to him by a double pivot of Phillips and Rice, with his well-timed burst into the box winning the Three Lions' first-half penalty.

And it was the ex-Birmingham ace who provided the assist for Rashford as he caught the Azzurri napping with a rapid break forward.

Bellingham's energy levels are nearly as impressive as his flicks, tricks and creativity — and the Italians will not relish coming up against the young superstar in the future.

Jude Bellingham is already one of England's most important players
Jude Bellingham is already one of England's most important players

Henderson's reception

After being loudly booed when subbed off against Australia, Jordan Henderson received a far nicer reception this time around.

The Al-Ettifaq midfielder replaced Phillips in the 70th minute and was greeted with a significant number of cheers from the Wembley crowd.

There were still a few boos aimed in Henderson's direction but nothing like the vitriol we saw just four days ago.

Italian streak ends

Italy's defeat at Wembley brought an end to a quite incredible run.

Going into Tuesday's match, the Azzurri had not tasted defeat in their last 22 away European Championship qualifiers — since a 3-1 loss to France way back in September 2006.

The current European champions won 17 of those matches and will need to get back to winning ways against North Macedonia and Ukraine next month if they are to qualify for next summer's showpiece in Germany.


EnglandItalyEuropean ChampionshipHarry KaneJude BellinghamJordan Henderson
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