Adam Lallana came on as a substitute but could not prevent England being beaten by Italy in tonight’s 2014 FIFA World Cup Group D fixture.
The Southampton man was left on the bench for the game in Manaus, with Roy Hodgson preferring Raheem Sterling in the position many expected Lallana to occupy.
Italy took the lead through Claudio Marchisio’s 35th-minute drive, but the Three Lions quickly levelled matters when Daniel Sturridge converted from close range two minutes later.
But the Azzurri recaptured the advantage five minutes after half time when former Manchester City man Mario Balotelli headed home.
Hodgson introduced Lallana for Sturridge ten minutes from time, but the Saints skipper could not overturn the Italians’ lead.
Luke Shaw was an unused substitute at the Arena Amazonia, as was the recently-departed Rickie Lambert. Academy graduate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain missed out with an injury.
Next up for England is a crucial fixture against Uruguay, who were also beaten today, next Thursday at the Arena Corinthians in São Paulo.
That game could see Saints’ England duo come up against clubmate Gastón Ramírez, who is in the Uruguay squad.