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Five talking points from Italy 1-2 England
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William Furness
Harry Kane is now England's all-time record goalscorer
Harry Kane is now England's all-time record goalscorer

Harry Kane became England's all-time record goalscorer as Gareth Southgate's side fought valiantly to beat Italy 2-1 in the opening Euro 2024 qualifying game. 

The Three Lions had an excellent first half — Declan Rice opened the scoring in the 13th minute and Kane tucked away the record-breaking penalty in the 44th minute.  

Roberto Mancini's side, who were cheered on by a raucous crowd in Naples, pulled a goal back when debutant Mateo Retegui slotted past Jordan Pickford. 

Despite the Azzurri piling on the pressure as the game progressed, England held on to secure a vital three points and their first win in Italy since 1961.

Kane has his moment 

Kane stepped up to take his first penalty for England since the France miss at the World Cup knowing only 12 yards stood between him and becoming his country's all-time record goalscorer. 

The result was emphatic. Kane placed his penalty into the top corner and ran away with pure elation, well aware of the history he had just created. 

After a torrid experience in the summer, he will be delighted that he finally got his moment in front of the delirious England fans in Naples.  

Plundering 54 goals in 81 games is an incredible record and there is plenty of time for him to build on this. 

England show grit 

England faced immense pressure in Naples with the home fans in buoyant mood.

They were clinging on to a 2-1 lead with only ten men after Luke Shaw was sent off after receiving two yellow cards. 

England were defending increasingly deep and resorted to last-ditch tackles and time wasting — but this was required to gain all three points. 

Southgate will be proud of how his side dug deep to secure the win with the Naples crowd roaring their team forwards.

 Maguire rust

Harry Maguire is struggling for form
Harry Maguire is struggling for form

Harry Maguire is famed for being a very reliable performer for England and Southgate rewarded him with a start tonight despite not featuring regularly for Manchester United. 

However, Italy's goal in the second half did not reflect well on the centre-back.  

He misplaced a pass and then jumped out to try and win the ball back but Nicolo Barella flicked it past him to create the space for Retegui to score. 

If Maguire wants to continue being an England regular, he must eradicate mistakes like this.   

Set-piece specialists 

Declan Rice slots home for England following a set-piece routine
Declan Rice slots home for England following a set-piece routine

England have proven to be very dangerous from set-pieces under Southgate. 

This trait was on display at just the right time in Naples as Bukayo Saka's corners were the catalyst for England's two first-half goals.

Rice's opener came straight from the training ground with Kane peeling off to the back post as Saka looped the ball towards him. 

The England captain found himself some space and his deflected shot fell to Rice, who put the ball in the back of the net. 

England's penalty was won through the same pattern as Giovanni Di Lorenzo stretched his arm out to try and stop Kane at the back post following another looping Saka corner. 

Rice shows value

Rice has become a staple of this England side and tonight was a stark reminder as to why. 

He protected the England back four brilliantly, snuffing out any potential danger that could threaten his defence. 

The 24-year-old also showed his class on the ball — he was a good outlet in possession and took his goal like a seasoned striker.

With two major tournaments under his belt now, it is obvious that Rice is one of the first players on the team sheet for Southgate. 


EnglandItalyEuropean ChampionshipHarry Kane
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