MX23RW : Saturday, January 19 00:50:13

Half-Time Report: England Under-21s on brink of European Championship exit

England Under-21s slip to a 2-0 reverse at half time against Italy to leave their European Championship hopes hanging by a thread.

England Under-21s are on the brink of an early exit from the European Championships after two goals in as many minutes gave Italy Under-21s a 2-0 lead at half time at the Ander Stadium.

The Young Lions started brightly, and Harry Kane almost profited from Nathan Redmond's teasing delivery early on before John Stones was alert to thwart Alessio Romagnoli inside the first 10 minutes.

Marco Benassi of Italy celebrates with team mates after scoring to make it 2-0 as Nathan Redmond of England looks on during the UEFA Under21 European Championship match between England and Italy at Andruv Stadium on June 24, 2015 © Getty Images

Kane then linked up neatly with Danny Ings on 13 minutes, but the new Liverpool striker could only flash his strike just wide of the post with the goal at his mercy.

Andrea Belotti opened the scoring on 25 minutes when he lobbed the ball over Jack Butland from inside the area after some sloppy marking of a free kick.

Danny Ings and Harry Kane look dejected after Italy score to make it 2-0 during the UEFA Under21 European Championship match between England and Italy at Andruv Stadium on June 24, 2015© Getty Images

The Italians doubled their advantage almost immediately when Marco Benassi was afforded plenty of room before finishing the move off, despite the best efforts of Ben Gibson.

England's response was a good one, and Kane fired in a long-range effort that forced Italian goalkeeper Francesco Bardi into action, after Redmond had earlier brought out a save on 41 minutes.

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Marco Benassi of Italy celebrates with team mates after scoring to make it 2-0 as Nathan Redmond of England looks on during the UEFA Under21 European Championship match between England and Italy at Andruv Stadium on June 24, 2015
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool22183150104057
2Manchester CityMan City22172359174253
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs22160646222448
4Chelsea22145340172347
5Arsenal22125546321441
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd22125544321241
7Watford229583232032
8Leicester CityLeicester229492625131
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham229493032-231
10Everton228683331230
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves228592328-529
12Bournemouth2283113142-1127
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2275102430-626
14Crystal Palace2264122028-822
15Burnley2263132343-2021
16Southampton2247112339-1619
17Cardiff CityCardiff2254131941-2219
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2246121631-1518
19Fulham2235142049-2914
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2225151337-2411

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