International Friendlies: England vs Italy, 5 Talking Points
Lorenzo Insigne cancelled out Jamie Vardy's early opener as Italy pegged England back with a late draw in a high-profile friendly at the iconic Wembley.
The much-maligned VAR was at the centre of yet more controversy as the Three Lions were denied a win after the referee awarded a penalty to the Azzurri in the dying embers following a brief look at the screens.
Federico Chiesa went down under pressure from Ashley Young and James Tarkowski that was initially waved away for a corner, but a video assistant review led to being declared a penalty that the Napoli forward nonchalantly dispatched to level the tie with only 5 minutes left on the clock.
The Three Lions, after a rocky start to the match, gained momentum that had the visitors by the short and curlies but were forced to settle for a stalemate due to last minute skirmish. Yet, there were plenty of positives for both sides though.
Here are 5 talking points from the game:
#1 England show more promise
The slender yet comprehensive 1-0 win over the Netherlands last week was encouraging enough and England now has more reasons to be confident about following their latest outing. Barring the first 15 minutes of the match that witnessed the defence in a tizzy, the hosts steadily grew into it and almost bagged another win.
Keeping possession and appearing more dangerous going forward, England had a stranglehold on the tie as they turned the tables on Italy and looked comfortable on their way to claiming another friendly scalp.
This wasn't even the strongest XI that Gareth Southgate could come up with (though the same could be said for Italy), yet the cohesion and communication between the players was something to write home about.
Even if the late equalizer left a sour taste in the mouth, England headed down the tunnel with optimism in more ways than one.