PARIS (AFP) - England are bottom of their UEFA Nations League group without a win after drawing 0-0 with Italy in a repeat of the Euro 2020 final, while Germany settled for a point in a 1-1 stalemate in Hungary.
The meeting in Wolverhampton between Gareth Southgate’s side and the European champions was played before just 3,000 people, largely school-children, as a punishment for the incidents that marred the Euro 2020 final between the same nations at Wembley last year.
UEFA rules say a match ordered to be played behind closed doors can still be attended by children accompanied by an adult, as happened last weekend when Hungary beat England in Budapest.
England followed that reverse by drawing 1-1 in Germany and another draw at Molineux leaves them bottom of League A, Group 3 with just two points from three outings before they host Hungary at the same venue on Tuesday in their final game of a long campaign.
Mason Mount hit the bar early on for England, while Aaron Ramsdale produced a fine save to deny Sandro Tonali for an Italy side featuring just two starters who also lined up in the European Championship final.
“We had two or three really good chances we need to score, but just lacked that sharpness in front of goal,” said Southgate.
Roberto Mancini’s Italy are rebuilding after failing to qualify for the World Cup and are top of the group after Hungary and Germany cancelled each other out in Budapest.
Zsolt Nagy gave Hungary an early lead, smashing in after Manuel Neuer had palmed out a Rolland Salai header.
However, Germany needed just three minutes to draw level as Borussia Moenchengladbach’s Jonas Hofmann latched onto a long ball forward and rounded the goalkeeper before slotting in.
“I said beforehand that this was the hardest game you could have after England,” Germany coach Hansi Flick told RTL after his side’s third consecutive 1-1 draw.
“But we are in a development process. We have to see that we learn the lessons from this game.”