Nations League Today Update
There are a number of things to take note of in this update of the Nations League today. Firstly, Italy defeated England 1-0. This is an important result because it indicates that England has a problem in front of goal, and will need to improve on that. Then, there's the performance of Raspadori and the goal he scored for Napoli.
Italy beats England 1-0
England's 1-0 loss against Italy came as a surprise to many. In their previous four games, the Italians had failed to score. However, Raspadori found the net with a powerful finish after a long ball from Leonardo Bonucci. England were unable to get through the Italian wall and conceded the goal.
England have not scored in their last seven matches and have gone over 400 minutes without scoring. This is a worrying trend ahead of the World Cup in November. Raspadori scored the only goal of the game, curling in a clinical finish past Nick Pope. England have gone over 400 minutes without a goal in the Nations League.
England's goalscoring woes
In the last four and a half games, England have failed to score a single goal, and this continues to hurt them. The team has gone over 400 minutes without a goal, and are now facing relegation. This results in more pressure for England boss Gareth Southgate than ever. The last time England went more than five games without a goal was in 2014.
Graeme Le Saux and Matthew Upson have argued that England need to find their goalscoring touch again. Their current run of insipid displays has left England's fans dissatisfied and frustrated.
Despite a poor performance today against England, Giacomo Raspadori deserves credit for his country's win. His long ball into the box from the right is well controlled by the Italian striker, who cuts in onto his right foot before firing past Pope. Raspadori is a key player in the Italian attack, scoring eight goals in the league and winning his country his first cap in five years.
The Italy defender did a good job leading the line alongside Scamacca, and he could have scored the decisive goal early on. His late second-half goal gave his side a late boost, and he caused some problems for the England defenders. However, it was too late to make any real impact.
Napoli striker's goal
After scoring a brilliant second half goal against Napoli, the Italian side remains two points behind the leaders of League A, Group 3. But the Italians can move even closer to the final four with victory over Hungary on Monday. If Napoli beat Hungary, they will be guaranteed a place in the last four. It's the same fate for England, who will be in Qatar in November.
The Uruguayan joined Napoli for EUR17 million in July 2010 after scoring 27 Serie A goals in his two previous campaigns with US Citta di Palermo. This season, he has scored five Serie A goals and four in the Europa League. His form has also been impressive for Nigeria, helping the team reach the play-offs of Africa's World Cup. He also finished joint-top scorer for the team in the delayed Nations Cup qualifying.
Eric Dier's hand injury
Tottenham Hotspur defender Eric Dier has been ruled out of England's Nations League match against Denmark. The Tottenham defender suffered a slight hamstring injury against Belgium on Sunday and will not be able to take part in the match. Other players who have been left out of the England squad are Michael Keane, Ben Chilwell, and Tammy Abraham. In addition, defender Kieran Trippier is still out after missing England's training camp because of a disciplinary hearing with the FA.
The England manager has been impressed with Toney's form this season. He has scored five Premier League goals and contributed two assists. This form stretches back to last season and this season. In fact, Toney has made at least 20 Premier League appearances and has scored 13 goals in that period.
James Gnonto's yellow card
Italy are under pressure from England, with their players defending in numbers. Italian forward Cristante is played into the penalty area, but he shoots an abrasive shot that misses the target. England have six minutes remaining to avoid relegation from League A.
England's defending was poor, but their second half performance was far from disastrous. Their opponents scored a deserved goal during the second half, thanks to a goal by Raspadori.