Stuart Pearce's young Lions' European Championships began with heart-ache yesterday after they were comprehensively beaten by an impressive Italian Under-21 side.
England's Under-21s lost 1 - 0 in a game in which the deficit could have been a lot more. Boss, Pearce described his sides performance as "awful" and not many could argue with that seemingly harsh summary.
Jack Butland had to watch from his goal as his teammates were outclassed by their Mediterranean cousins in almost every part of the pitch.
England found themselves under the kosh from the off and saw little of the ball- with the Italian's holding onto 58% possession. The young Azurri were unlucky to not be awarded two penalties.
However, ultimately it did not matter as one of the penalties-that-should-have-been was the free-kick just outside the box that the Italians scored from- and secured their 1 - 0 win.
England looked lacklustre and off-tempo throughout the match. And will need to improve dramatically if they are to challenge teams like Italy, Spain and Germany in this competition.