Late VAR penalty denies England against Italy

England were largely in control but were held to a 1-1 draw by a relatively limp Italy in Tuesday’s international friendly at Wembley Stadium in London, after a late penalty from Lorenzo Insigne.

    England 1 Italy 1 

  • Immobile goes close
  • Vardy scores opener
  • Donnarumma denies Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • Insigne scores late penalty

Match summary

Ciro Immobile came close in the opening stages after poor play by John Stones but it was not to be following some unconvincing finishing. 

Jamie Vardy hit the opening goal in the 26th minute after good work from Jesse Lingard. The Three Lions always looked the more threatening in the second stanza but play lacked real ambition in the final third. 

Yet, Insigne leveled matters from the spot late on following a seemingly contentious decision.

Match report 

England were at sixes and sevens inside the first 20 minutes as Manchester City defender Stones was guilty of poor decision-making on a number of occasions. 

Firstly, the centre-back dwelled on the ball in a deep area and was dispossessed by Lazio’s Immobile in the third minute. However, the striker saw his shot blocked by Stones in what was an edgy opening for the home team. 

With that said, the English nearly hit the front in the 10th minute as James Tarkowski picked out Lingard, and the Manchester United star slid a pass into Vardy’s path. 

However, the Leicester City man was tackled superbly by Mattia De Sciglio before he could get a strike away on goal. Just before the 20-minute mark, the Italians had a great chance to take the lead through Immobile.

After more static defending, Antonio Candreva’s cross picked out the forward in acres of space but he headed wide of Jack Butland in the goal.

Yet, Gareth Southgate’s men hit the front in the 26th minute after excellent work from Lingard. After a high press led to a free-kick, the Red Devils forward took a quick kick and picked out Vardy who buried home into the top corner past Gianluigi Donnarumma.

After the interval, the hosts continued to pressure the Italians and just before the hour mark on the break, Eric Dier surged forwards centrally before releasing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who saw his strike saved by Donnarumma. 

Italy were offering little threat going forward in London and seemed to display a similar impotence as they showed in their previous 2-0 defeat to Argentina last Friday.

Nonetheless, they did manufacture a chance in the 79th minute as Jorginho clipped a fantastic pass over the top for Lorenzo Insigne, who ran on to it before volleying just wide of the far post.

The visitors found the equaliser late on after a decision was taken using VAR. When the officials decided Tarkowski had stood on the foot of Federico Chiesa, Insigne restored parity from the spot in the 87th minute.