Davis can't prevent defeat

Monday 20 May 2002

Both Zat Knight and Sean Davis were in action on Monday night as England's under-21 side lost a thrilling match to Italy in the European Uneder-21 Championships in Basel, Switzerland.

The Italians took the lead in the second half through a strike from the impressive Massimo Maccarone.

But it could have been all so different had Zat Knight not been penalised for pushing his marker as he headed home in the closing seconds of the first half.

Davis was forming a great partnership with David Dunn in the centre of midfield. It was largely due to Sean's excellent covering work in the middle of the park that allowed Dunn to join in with England's attacks.

England pulled a goal back through Barry following some good work from Dunn. After the equaliser, the game lurched precariously from side to side as both teams were looking for the winner.

Despite receiving a harsh first half booking which means he will miss England's next match against Portugal, Sean put in a sterling second half performance - playing his role of midfield anchor to perfection.

Whilst much of the attention would have been away from Davis, his covering play and positional awareness often prevented any Italian counter-attackes before they could be put into action.

England unfortunately went 2-1 down on the 85 minute mark after a breathtaking strike from Maccarone, who created his chance with a stunning first touch.

As England pushed for the winner, Davis was again involved in the action - this time on the receiving end of a punch from Bonera, which was the Italian's last contribution to the game.

England:

England U21: Robinson, Young, Konchesky, DAVIS, Barry, Dunn, Riggott, Prutton, Smith, KNIGHT, Crouch.

Subs: Stuart Taylor, Greening, Christie, Defoe, Pennant, Jenas, Parker, Zamora, Ameobi, Martin Taylor, Howarth.