Wednesday, 15 August 2012

International Friendly: England vs Italy - LIVE Commentary with EPL News and Transfers:

Hello and welcome to my Live Commentary on England's international friendly match with Italy in Switzerland.
With 3 days before the start of the new EPL season, England will have their only match before qualifications start for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

LIVE Commentary - England vs Italy, LIVE from 8pm:

The major news from this match for both teams is that Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has been ruled out due to an eye problem.

England manager Roy Hodgson has admitted that he hopes Chelsea defender John Terry beats an FA charge and is able to continue playing for England.

Manchester City goalkeeper and England No.1 Joe Hart has been ruled out due to a back injury, while Arsenal wingers Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott are both injured.

John Ruddy and Jack Butland are both fighting it out to start for England tonight, with both goalkeepers wanting their first starts.

Jack Butland and John Ruddy both training to get ready for England's match tonight.
Young guns: England face a tough test against Italy tonight, and only 6 players who were at Euro 2012 will feature.

FACT: England have won 4 of their last 6 matches
FACT: Italy have lost their last 3 friendlies without scoring

England's next 6 matches:

September 7th - Moldova (A)
September 11th - Ukraine (H)
October 12th - San Marino (H)
October 16th - Poland (A)
November 14th - Sweden (A)

Let me tell you about the LATEST news in the EPL now:

Liverpool defender Daniel Agger who is wanted by Manchester City, has admitted that he would leave Liverpool for Barcelona.

Wanted: Agger is wanted by Manchester City, but has admitted that he would only leave for Barca.

He said this 'I am loyal to Liverpool but, there is one club who would make it very hard for me to stay at Anfield, Barcelona would be great because they are the best in the world'

Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner is wanted by Italian club AC Milan. 

Impressive: Nicklas Bendtner was impressive during the Euros for Denmark scoring 2 goals against Portugal.

The bidding war between Luka Modric and Real Madrid has begun, with a bid already been rejected.

Spain calling: Real Madrid are still desperate to sign Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric.
Tottenham want at least £35million for the midfielder, yet Real are sticking to £25million.

Everton have confirmed that Olympiakos midfielder Kevin Mirallas is close to finalising a £6million transfer deal. 

Good signing: Kevin Mirallas is on the way to Everton, as they beat Arsenal and Liverpool in the race to sign him.

He is expected to be at Everton on Thursday.

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has called on Chelsea to open new contract talks with him, because he has one year left on his contract, and he has said that he wants to retire at Stamford Bridge. 

Manchester United are very close to signing Chilean youngster and striker Angelo Henriquez.

For the future: Chilean youngster Angelo Henriquez is on his way to Manchester United.

Peterborough striker Paul Taylor is wanted by two London clubs Fulham and QPR.

Arsenal have started official talks with rivals Manchester United over an improved bid for striker and captain Robin Van Persie.

BREAKING NEWS: Robin Van Persie has been left out of the Holland starting 11 against Belgium tonight.

Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin is expected to choose between Arsenal and Liverpool by the end of this week to move to on a season-long loan. 

The Carling Cup will now be called the Capital One Cup from now on because of sponsorship deals.

Here is the Second Round Draw for the Capital One Cup (also known as the Carling Cup)

EPL Teams only:

Swansea City vs Barnsley
Yeovil vs West Brom
West Ham vs Crewe 
Reading vs Peterborough
Sheffield Wednesday vs Fulham
QPR vs Walsall
Stevenage vs Southampton
Nottingham Forest vs Wigan Athletic
Stoke City vs Swindon Town
Aston Villa vs Tranmere
Everton vs Leyton Orient
Sunderland vs Morecambe
Norwich vs Scunthorpe

Ties to be played week commencing August 27th.


Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba has been told by doctors to retire from football.
That is sad news, because he was a very good player but his health is very important and his well-being is his number one priority.



Manchester United have confirmed the £24million signing of Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie subject to a medical and confirmation over personal terms.

Welcome to Old Trafford: Arsenal captain Robin Van Persie will join Manchester United on Thursday.
For a 29-year-old striker who is injury prone and on his last year on contract, £24million is not a bad deal.

Arsenal should now sign a solid defender and replace RVP with Llorente who is also on his last year on his contract. He has refused a contract extension also.

Team Line-ups:

England: Butland, Walker, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Carrick, Lampard, Johnson, Cleverley, Young, Carroll.

Birmingham City goalkeeper Jack Butland starts his first match for England tonight!

Subs: Ruddy, Lescott, Bertrand, Caulker, Milner, Livermore, Rodwell, Defoe.

Italy: Sirigu, Ogbonna, Abate, Balzaretti, Astori, El Shaarawy, Aquilani, De Rossi, Diamanti, Nocerino, Destro.

Mario Balotelli, Andrea Pirlo and Buffon are all out for Italy.
AC Milan young midfielder Stephan El Shaarawy starts for Italy. Exciting player he is.

Subs: Perin, De Sciglio, Peluso, Acerbi, Poli, Schelotto, Gastaldello, Gabbiadini, Verratti, Consigli.


0: The referee has kicked off this match in Switzerland.
8: England corner by Frank Lampard, whipped into the box, but cleared away by the Italy defence.
9: Good ball by De Rossi over the top of the England defence to Destro who skips away from Cahill and Jagielka but Butland holds the ball comfortably.
10: Sloppy defensive play by Italy sees an England corner being conceded. Lampard takes the corner and finds Carroll who heads towards goal... OVER THE BAR!!
He should have done better with that, and if he had headered the ball downards, it would have at least been on target and given Siriugu something to worry about.

13: Italy are looking dangerous inside England's half.
Destro tried to find Aquillani from 12 yards out but the pass was poor.

14: Italy free-kick from 26 yards out, whipped into the box but the ball takes a deflection from the wall before Butland parries the ball away for a corner.

15: Italy corner, whipped into the box to Daniele De Rossi who is not marked well, he jumps up for the header before unleashing a header high towards goal... GOAL!!!!

Captain leading the way: Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi heads the ball past Jack Butland from a corner.
Captain's celebrations: Midfielder Daniele De Rossi celebrates his headed goal against England.

Italy lead England by 1-0 with the captain De Rossi breaking the deadlock.

16: To be honest, it was poor defending because no-one was marking their man tightly enough.

18: Good build-up play by Italy with El Shaarawy looking dangerous down the wing before delivering a 35-yard pass.
The through ball went straight to striker Destro inside the box, but he was not able to head the ball powerfully enough to really trouble Butland who comfortably holds the ball.

20: Slow, patient build-up play by England as they look to equalise before Johnson is tackled by two defenders and Italy clear.

21: Good vision by Frank Lampard to find Adam Johnson with a ball just outside the box.
Johnson weaves past a defender quickly before having a shot from 18 yards but Siriugu holds the ball comfortably.

23: Ashley Young wins an England corner before Italy clear again.
England need to test the goalkeeper more than they are doing, and need to keep possession of the ball by passing more accurately.

25: Italy corner is whipped into the box, but goalkeeper Jack Butland takes the ball into his arms comfortably before clearing the danger.

26: England go on the counter with Adam Johnson sidestepping a defender before finding Kyle Walker with a good pass.
Defender Angelo Ogbonna tackles on the edge of the box, and England have a free corner.

27: Corner taken into the box, with defender Phil Jagielka making a run before making a diving header towards goal... GOAL!!

Diving header: Everton defender Phil Jagielka scores his 1st goal for England with a diving header to equalise.
Everton defender Phil Jagielka has equalised for England here on 27 minutes!

28: Italy 1 England 1, and now the match is getting more interesting.

Other scores include:
Sweden 0 Brazil 1
Denmark 1 Slovakia 0
Argentina 0 Germany 0
France 0 Uruguay 0
Croatia 1 Switzerland 2

FACT: This is Phil Jagielka's first goal for England.

30: England midfielder Frank Lampard had a long shot from 22 yards out parried away by the goalkeeper. Close, on target and was troubling Siriugu.

36: England are trying to hold the ball now, with quick precise passes to try and tire out the Italy defence.

39: Italy are trying to press England again with a swerving ball by Diamanti into the box. 
Goalkeeper Jack Butland had to come out of his goal and clear the ball away from his goal using his feet.

41: The England band are trying to motivate the squad with loud cheers and the national anthem being sung loudly in the crowd.

43: Nice 1-2 passing play by Italy, with full-back Ignizio Abate unleashing a shot from the wing across goal. Close shot, but not accurate enough to hit the target and worry Butland.

45: The referee blows the whistle to indicate the end of the first half with no added time.

England have played well, considering the fact that most of the team are the second crop of players and almost all of the players are inexperienced and young (for the future players) 
Italy have shown their class at times during the first half, and believe it or not, apart from De Rossi, Abate and Aquilani (maybe Nocerino), this is their second side (excluding El Shaarawy who has a lot of potential).
The match has been interesting so far, but England have not troubled Italy's goal at all apart from the goal and Lampard's long shot effort.

Two headed goals, in 45 minutes.

Join me for the second half in 15 minutes.

International Friendly Score Centre:

Norway 2 Greece 3 FT

Two goals from Fulham players John Arne Riise and Brede Hangeland were not enough for Norway to beat Greece as they lost 3-2.

Sweden 0 Brazil 3 FT

The strength of Brazil has been too much for Sweden tonight as they cruised to a 3-0 victory.
London Olympics top goal scorer Leandro Damiao scored again for Brazil in the 32nd minute.
Two goals in two minutes by AC Milan striker Alexandre Pato (84th and 86th) sealed the win for Brazil.

Germany 0 Argentina 2 - LIVE

Barcelona striker Lionel Messi has missed a penalty for Argentina, but so far his side are leading against Euro 2012 semi-finalists Germany.
Real Madrid defensive midfielder Sami Khedira has scored an own goal on the stroke of half-time, before Messi made up for the penalty miss with a goal in the 52nd minute with a goal. Second half underway there.

Croatia 2 Switzerland 3 - LIVE

Former Arsenal striker Eduardo has scored twice already, but his side are still behind against Switzerland.


England have made a couple of changes here:

Jack Butland OFF
Andy Carroll OFF

John Ruddy ON
Jermain Defoe ON

Butland has done well in goal tonight, and has his first cap in-tact so a change so that he can stay fit for Birmingham.
Liverpool striker Andy Carroll has also come off for Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe, and you know that Defoe commands the 6-yard box.

45: The referee has started the second half of this match. England 1 Italy 1.

48: Italy free-kick given after Defoe tackled Daniele De Rossi.

53: Italy on the counter with Aquilani finding El Shaarawy who chips the ball down the wing towards Diamanti who tries to weave past Tottenham full-back Kyle Walker but he is bodychecked.

54: Good pressure by the Italians.  
A cross was whipped into the box before striker Destro shot from 8 yards out towards goal by John Ruddy parried the ball away to safety.
The ball trickled through Chelsea defender Gary Cahill's legs and sometimes those can slide past the keeper into the net.

58: Italy SUB:
Alessandro Diamanti OFF
Stephan El Shaarawy OFF
Marco Verratti ON
Manolo Gabbiadini ON

61: England SUB:
Ashley Young OFF
Phil Jagielka OFF
Joleon Lescott ON
James Milner ON

62: Uh oh..... Chelsea defender Cary Cahill is down on the floor clutching his nose. He has recievied a knock after being hit by Destro with his arm across the face.

66: England corner taken into the box to Cahill who volleys the ball towards goal... GOAL!!! 
No goal, the whistle has been blown. 
Still 1-1, because Lescott was pushing and shoving with an Italy defender inside the box.

68: England SUB:
Frank Lampard OFF
Jake Livermore ON

Italy SUB:
Alberto Aquilani OFF

Andrea Poli ON

Debut for young Tottenham midfielder Jake Livermore.

72: England free-kick, whipped into the box by Manchester City midfielder James Milner.... 
The ball is high over the defenders and the England attackers, before the ball curls towards goal but the ball hits defender Peluso before goalkeeper Sirigu clears the ball off the line.

Close, and a good ball into the box by Milner.

77:  England SUB:
Leighton Baines OFF
Ryan Bertrand ON

79: England are on the counter attack with midfielder James Milner finding Defoe with a through ball. Defoe beats Abate with skill before unleashing a shot from the edge of the box towards goal... GOAL!!!!!

Wonder strike: Jermain Defoe scores a belter from the edge of the box against Italy to give England the lead.
What a goal by Defoe, and England gave taken the lead with 10 minutes to go here. 

82: All England need to do for the last 8-12 minutes is to KEEP THE BALL. 
Something they are having trouble with so far this year.

85: First yellow card of the match for Diego Fabbrini. 

Italy SUB:
Ignazio Abate OFF
Ezequiel Schelotto ON

89: James Milner with a run down the wing before passing the ball towards Defoe, but Ogbonna clears the ball out for a corner.

90: The fourth-offical has indicated that there will be three minutes of stoppage time to be added on here.

90+3: The referee has blown the whsitle to end this international friendly match.

FULL-TIME: England 2 Italy 1

A good win for England tonight.
An amazing strike from Jermain Defoe gave England the win against a tough Italian side who played well throughout but did not attack as much as they did in the first half, in the second and were sloppy at the back at times.

Promising young guns for England with Jack Butland, Tom Cleverley, Kyle Walker, Jake Livermore and Ryan Bertrand all playing well.

Stand-out of the match:
Jermain Defoe and James Milner

Despite lacklustre performances in Euro 2012 for Milner, he played well tonight, with good passes, crosses and looked dangerous throughout by giving Italy trouble.

Defoe scored an amazing winner for England and proved yet again why he is a 'Super Sub'.

I will speak to all of you on Friday when I do my first EPL Match Preview of the new 2012-13 season.

This are the matches this weekend:

(LIVE from 15:00pm unless stated)

Arsenal vs Sunderland
Fulham vs Norwich City
QPR vs Swansea City
Reading vs Stoke City
West Brom vs Liverpool
West Ham vs Aston Villa
Newcastle United vs Tottenham Hotspur - LIVE from 17:30pm 

Wigan Athletic vs Chelsea - LIVE from 13:30pm
Manchester City vs Southampton - LIVE from 16:00pm

Everton vs Manchester United - LIVE from 20:00pm