Townsend takes swipe at TV pundit Merson

After scoring the equaliser in England's 1-1 draw with Italy, Andros Townsend hit back at comments made by TV pundit Paul Merson.

Andros Townsend hit back at comments made by former England international Paul Merson after scoring the equaliser in a 1-1 friendly draw with Italy on Tuesday.

Speaking on Sky Sports earlier this week, Merson said: "If Andros Townsend can get in [the squad] then it opens it up for anybody."

But after Graziano Pelle opened the scoring for Italy with a first-half header in Turin, substitute Townsend rescued a draw with a superb 79th-minute strike.

Taking to Twitter shortly after the final whistle, Townsend posted: "Not bad for a player that should be 'nowhere near the squad' ay @PaulMerse?" 

And manager Roy Hodgson says his side are "indebted" to Townsend for restoring parity following a disappointing first half.

"It means a lot to us," he said. "It is no mean feat, to come to Italy and get a result, especially to take the game to them like we did.

"We are indebted to Andros. I haven't forgotten the first half, we can't allow that to happen. I don't think anything was good enough.

"We were lucky they were pretty tame as well."