Italy U21 0-2 England U21: Rhian Brewster double as Conor Gallagher impresses in routine win

The striker trebled his goal tally for Pescara’s young lions as Lee Carsley’s side began their campaign for Euro 2023.

Brewster had scored just once in 16 previous appearances but stepped in as Carsley’s assassin the following summer, having impressed after recovering from the serious hamstring injury that ruled out the Sheffield United striker last season.

Skipper Nicolo Rovella was sent off for Italy late on after England picked up two yellow cards in the win.

Carsley held highlights of Italy in the canteen at St George’s Park to give his team as much information as possible so he has no time with them before the next meeting in March.

The boss was keen to test the side hosting Germany in Sheffield on Tuesday and they had clearly heeded all the messages when they took a 2-0 lead.

Edoardo Bove took out Conor Gallagher after just a minute and Brewster took the lead from the penalty spot for the visitors.

The Blades striker, who has scored just three league goals in the past two years, added a sweet second after five minutes.

Gallagher was involved again, allowing Angel Gomes to dart through Italy’s midfield and find Brewster running in behind to nudge over the exposed Alessandro Plizzari.

Andrea Cambiaso headed in before Chelsea’s Gallagher had a third on 15 minutes when Caleb Okoli made a superb block.

England were comfortable but still needed Brewster to nod Rovella’s header off the line just before the break.

Carsley’s side almost went 3-0 up at the break when Levi Colwill hit the post in first-half stoppage time.

The hosts tried to recover and Lorenzo Colombo fired early in the second half, but England restricted them to a speculative effort.

Cole Palmer saw Plizzari go off just after the hour before Carsley made a number of changes, including replacing Brewster with Folarin Balogun.

Conor Gallagher was heavily involved in England’s victory

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England kept their composure in a professional and controlled performance that will delight the boss, although they almost allowed Italy a lifeline when Colombo headed over.

The night ended just as badly for Italy as Juventus’ Rovella, on loan at Monza, earned a second yellow card after four minutes for a reckless tackle on Jacob Ramsey.

Additional reporting from PA