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England held by Italy behind closed doors in Nations League

England's Raheem Sterling is challenged by Italy's Giovanni Di Lorenzo in the teams' Nations League clash at Molineux.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

England were held to a goalless draw by Italy in the teams' UEFA Nations League clash at Molineux on Saturday night.

Gareth Southgate left captain Harry Kane on the bench until the second half, with Jack Grealish and Tammy Abraham handed starts for the Three Lions.

Mason Mount saw a shot crash against the crossbar in the first half in what was England's best chance of the evening, while Raheem Sterling should have hit the target from close range in the second period.

There were some moments of inspiration from Grealish and some brief flashes from substitutes Kane and Jarrod Bowen late on, but England also needed a couple of superb saves from Aaron Ramsdale to keep Italy at bay.

Overall, it was another tired display from England following a long season and Southgate's side have collected just two points from their three Nations League games so far.

After an unfortunate 1-0 loss away to Hungary last weekend, England rescued a 1-1 draw thanks to a Harry Kane penalty late on in Munich against Germany on Tuesday.

That means the Euro 2020 finalists have scored only one goal in their UEFA Nations League campaign so far and none from open play in 270 minutes of football.

The match at Molineux was played behind closed doors due to disturbances at the Euro 2020 final last summer, with only 1,400 children present in the stands.

Next up for England is a home match against Hungary at Molineux on Tuesday, with the return fixtures with Germany and Italy to take place in September in the build-up to the World Cup.

England are currently bottom of Group A3 with two points. Germany (in third) have three, behind Hungary (four points) and leaders Italy (five).

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Ben Hayward is Weekend Editor for FourFourTwo. A European football writer with over 15 years’ experience, he has covered games all over the world - including three World Cups, several Champions League finals, Euros, Copa América - and has spent much of that time in Spain. He currently divides his time between Barcelona and London.