By Alan Duffy
England crashed out of the EURO U21 group stages after losing 3-1 to Italy in Olomouc, a result which will no doubt spark another debate over the future of the English game.
Boss Gareth Southgate brought in Brighton’s Jake Forster-Caskey, with Everton’s John Stones also starting along with Danny Ings and Jesse Lingard.
Danny Ings had a great chance early on. However, the new Liverpool man wasted the opportunity.
The England youngsters were undone in a two minute spell starting on 25 minutes, when Palermo striker Andrea Belotti superbly volleyed home the opener.
Just two minutes later, Torino’s Marco Benassi doubled the Italians’ advantage after good work from Lorenzo Crisetig.
Man Utd youngster Jesse Lingard tried to get the Young Lions back in the game.
However, a second from Benassi on 72 minutes sealed the deal for the Azzurrini, who were well worth their win.
Nathan Redmond did nab a consolation goal at the death, but ultimately the English were well beaten.
The defeat, coupled with Sweden and Portugal’s draw meant the end of England’ fledgling campaign (as well as Italy’s) with Southgate left to answer some searching questions.
Photos: Getty Images