England U'21's 2 - 2 Italy U'21's
What a breathe of fresh air to finally see an exciting match in this tournament, and more importantly to see a performance after the laboured effort against the Czech's.
England look like they should go on to finish 2nd in the group playing against a side who have already qualified top of the group. There were plenty of positives to take from the performance, and should give English fans hope for the future. First and foremost we look like we have two very good young full backs in Baines and Hoyte, who were exceptional against Italy tonight; in particular Baines up against the dangerous Rosina.
Milner and Young also look great prospects; the former Watford player terrorised his full back and every time he touched the ball there was an air of expectancy that there would be an end product, and he didn't fail to deliver. Reo Cocker, though struggling fitness wise, gave a battling performance and his runs forward are both exciting and productive. Finally i would like to pick the strikers out who looked dangerous all evening, Nugent who i was skeptical about pleasantly surprised me, though not the completed article he looked very able; as for Lita, a bit more composure in front of goal and he could become a really good player.
Though an enthralling match and Italy were phenomenal after a fortuotous equaliser, which did change the game, England fell foul of the 'English Disease' when under pressure. When England come under pressure we through away posession far too easily, how many long balls did we play instead of passing the ball out of the back? Yes they were tired, but so too were Italy.
Nevertheless England got a deserved draw which should set up a Dutch semi final, which will be another great test, as the Dutch have been very good thus far. Despite panicking slightly and throwing away a 2 goal lead, the future does look bright for England and hopefully the youngsters can go onto win the tournament.