Blues' trio involved as England lose

, 14 June, 0comments  |  Jump to most recent
England 1 - 2 Italy
Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines were named in the starting line-up for England's Group D opener in Manaus as Roy Hodgson went with a largely predictable but attacking XI to take on Italy.

Ross Barkley was kept in reserve, hopeful of making an impact from the substitutes' bench when he was introduced after an hour, but the Three Lions were chasing the game at 2-1 in energy-sapping conditions and couldn't find an equaliser.

Both Everton starters were heavily involved in the first half, Baines battling to cope with Darmian and Candreva revelling in the space behind Wayne Rooney and Jagielka having to come to England's rescue on the stroke of half time when he headed off his line to deny Mario Balotelli.

Before that, Claudio Marchesio had arrowed a 25-yard shot into the corner following Andrea Pirlo's slick dummy, only for Daniel Sturridge to convert Rooney's whipped cross from close range.

Hodgson swapped Rooney with Danny Welbeck for the second half but he too left Baines exposed on the left and Candreva was able to pick Balotelli out with a flighted ball from which the striker made no mistake to make it 2-1.

Barkley's first involvement was positive, the 20 year-old latching onto Jordan Henderson's long pass and testing the 'keeper with a low shot that was beaten away by Sirigu.

And it was Sirigu who later denied Baines from a direct free kick that didn't have the height that the Blues' left back would have wanted but the 'keeper had to push it behind for a corner.

England's best chance to grab a point fell to Rooney who screwed his shot wide of the near post from a great position.

England: Hart; Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines; Henderson, Gerrard; Sterling, Welbeck, Rooney; Sturridge.


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