Full-time: Friendlies are like tea leaves: you can make a fool of yourself if you start trying to read too much into them. But Roy Hodgson can be cautiously pleased with much of what he saw tonight. There were traces of increased niftiness in midfield and promising performances from prospects such as Cleverly, Bertrand and Ruddy, all crowned with a superb winning goal from Defoe. There were negatives too, of course, such as Carroll's unwieldiness and tactical naivete in defence but all in all there were more pros than cons to a match of limited value.
89 min: Fine play by England to release Milner down the right, and the winger tricks his way into the box before playing a smart cut-back to Defoe. Schelotto manages to get a tiny deflection to prevent the shot going into the net. And England squander the corner.
87 min: Terrible cross by Schelotto straight into the arms of Ruddy. Elsewhere, signalling a brave new dawn under a reformed Giovanni Trapattoni, the Republic of Ireland have ... drawn 0-0 with Serbia.
84 min: Bertrand has excelled since coming on. Formidable in defence, he now demonstrates his effectiveness going forward, tearing down the left before picking out Defoe at the edge of the area. The striker attempts to smash another one into the net from distance ... but instead sends a lame effort trickling wide. Meanwhile, Ross McCormack has out Scotland 3-1 up against Australia and Northern Ireland and Finland are entertaining themselves in a 3-3 draw.
THAT IS A SUPERB GOAL! italy 1-2 England (Defoe 80') Moments after Bertrand headed off the line, England broke forward and Milner worked the ball to Defoe at the edge of the box. He swiveled past his marker and cracked an exquisite strike into the top corner. Sirigu got his hands to it but it was to powerful for him to push away.
79 min: Ruddy stands tall to deflect a Destro shot after a ball breaks to the Italian in the box. From the ensuing header Bertrand marks his debut with a superb headed clearance off the line!
78 min: There'll be no more enterprise from Baines tonight: he's just been replaced by Ryan Bertrand, another senior debutant.
76 min: Baines is becoming more enterprising down the left for England as Italy appear to have suffered more from the raft of substitutions. Somewhere else, another potential rising European force, Belgium, have taken a 4-2 lead over Holland thanks to Tottenham's new centreback, Jan Vertonghen.
73 min: Excitement! And a mighty let-off for Italy! Milner curled in a sumptuous freekick that that perplexed the Italian defence so much that Peluso almost diverted it into his own goal but the keeper reacted brilliantly to claw it out. Cahill then followed up to clatter a shot off the outside of the post from an acute angle.
70 min: Lescsott does well to nut a cross clear before Gabbiadini could connect. Meanwhile, an own goal by Jason Davidson has given Scotland a 2-1 lead over Australia.
68 min: Jake Livermore has been introduced for Lampard to make his England debut. Italy have replaced Aquilani. Elsewhere, Lukaku has put Belgium 3-2 up against Holland and Di Maria has increased Argentina's lead over Germany to 3-0.
66 min: Good pressure from England, featuring Lampard and Milner, whose low cross yields a corner. Lampard clips the corner across and Cahill fires it sweetly into the net ... but the whistle had gone for a foul by Lescott.
65 min: Walker gets forward well for the first time in the game, but his intended cutback for Cleverly is cut out.
England substitutions: Milner and Lescott on, Young and Jagielka off. Switzerland, by the way, are now leading 4-2 in Croatia, adding to the belief of the many people, myself included, who reckon they are a rising European force.
58 min: If Hodgson did indeed erupt at half-time, he seems to have left his players petrified like the cattle of Pompeii: Italy are playing right through them at the moment, with Destro particularly dangerous. Ruddy, the one lively-looking Englander, has just had to make another two decent saves.
54 min: Smart reflexes and admirable agility from Ruddy to thwart Destro after an incisive move by Italy, with the impressive Diamanti again to the fore.
52 min: According to ITV's touchline rover, England complained to the ref at half-time about Italian rough-house tactics. They don't have a leg to stand on ... now that Baines has just chopped down the ones that Aquilani was standing on as Italy launched a counter. Again the ref decides against a card.
50 min: Ruddy, who came on at half-time for Butland, is called upon for the first time to catch a straightforward Destro shot from 20 yards. Mission accomplished.
47 min: Wales are now 2-0 down to Bosnia, while Germany trail by the same score against Argentina. Brazil are beating Sweden 3-0, Holland have come from behind to lead 2-1 against Belgium, and Denmark are losing 3-1 at home to Slovakia. Italy and England, meanwhile, have made a sedate start to the second period.
England substitution: Carroll has been put out of our misery, in comes Defoe, whose sharpness could prove more complementary to the quite nimble midfield behind him.
"The major takeaway from the game thus far is that Mancini is right to want De Rossi. Maybe he'll get him now United have got Van Persie." - Gene Salorio
"I'm in the stand and the only thing England us winning is the noise contest. English end is making the running whereas the Italian crowd completely mute." - Simon Haye
45 min: The ref sees no point in playing any additional time. Hodgson, meanwhile, has a face like a seething volcano and seems poised to erupt once the players get back to the dressing room.
43 min: Slick interplay between Abate and Diamanti concludes with the former lashing the ball across the face of England's goal but again no one is there to prod home.
41 min: Good effort from Lampard, curling a 25-yard freekick inches over the bar. That is Clive Tyldsley's cue to give us a quirky stat: England have not scored from a direct freekick for six years (and I know you know who scored that one).
39 min: That was odd from Butland, the first sign of fallibility that the youngster has shown in an otherwise accomplished performance so far: he hesitated about coming for an out-swinging cross from the right ... and then lunged at it with feet while doing a star jump. He succeeded only in shunting it out a few yards and was fortunate that no Italian was on hand to punish him.
38 min: Cleverley has been involved in most of what England have done well in possession, flitting between the lines in a way that gives the side the unpredictability they have often lacked. Lampard has done well too so far. Carroll, however, is having a shocker. His touch and movement have been dreadfully substandard.
34 min: England are improving and starting to piece together decent moves in the Italian half. Meanwhile, Jordan Rhodes has scores for Scotland but Marc Bresciano has scored for Australia. The mathematicians amongst you will have deduced that that means the sides are currently tied at 1-1.
31 min: Lampard forces a good save from the keeper with a trademark swirling shot from distance. "Any news of the Evra love-in against Uruguay?" wonders Iain Copestake. Well, it's 0-0 and Luis Suarez isn't playing so hasn't had a chance to discuss linguistics with Evra and his team-mates.
GOAL! Italy 1-1 England (Jagielka 28') That last barb seems to have spurred England into action! They were helped to by some slack Italian defending from a corner, though that should not detract from Jagielka's feat: he threw himself full-length to meet Lampard's delivery and direct a splendid header into the far corner.
25 min: Is the reason that this match is being played in Switzerland - Fifa's doorstep - to show the governing body up close the folly of ranking England as the third best team in the world?
23 min: Oh dear. Italy undo England with an elementary ball over the top, which caught Cahill flat-footed. Destro took it down on his chest but then tonked a wild shot over the bar. England are not only technically inferior but tactically naive: players don't appear capable of thinking flexibly during matches.
21 min: That was better from England, with Lampard integral to a decent move. He then had a short charged down at the edge of the area but recovered the ball and nudged it sideways to Johnson, who cut inside to send in a reasonable low shot with his left. Keeper saves.
20 min: Germany have just had their keeper, Zieler, sent off ... but Lionel Messi has missed the ensuing penalty! Still 0-0 between Germany and Argentina.
17 min: Things are going south for Northern Ireland: they've conceded two goals in two minutes, allowing Finland to pull it back to 2-2. Meanwhile, Italy have been emboldened by that goal and starting to play with a strut. Destro has just brought a save from Butland with a header following a good move and a decent Diamanti cross.
GOAL! Italy 1-0 England (De Rossi 14') Hodgson won't be happy with that ... and may even feel vindicated at not bringing Michael Carrick to the Euros: he has just allowed himself to be easily outjumped by De Rossi from a corner, and the Italian nodded into the net from six yards.
13 min: Northern Ireland are now 2-0 up against Finland, while Holland are trailing 1-0 to Belgium and Wales have gone 1-0 down at home to Bosnia. And back in Switzerland (who are leading in Croatia, incidentally), Italy and England are just starting to have graciously gone to play in Croatia tonight so that England and Italy can play in their place) Butland has just been called into serious action for the first time to push a deflected Italian freekick around the post.
11 min: Carroll leaps high to meet a Lampard corner but can't control his header, which hurtles high over the bar.
8 min: Baines rumbles forward down the left and wins a corner. Lampard's lofts it into the box and Italy clear. England regain it and work the ball wide to Carroll, who has pulled out to the right for some reason. He swings in a cross to where he could have been, and the relaxed Italian centrebacks play it to safety.
5 min: The ground is half full and the match is being played almost at half-pace. And Alberto Aquilani's early passes have made it half-way to their intended target: he keeps giving the ball back to England, who then give it back to Italy.
3 min: Well, one thing we can say England took away from the Euros is ... Poland's kit. Their new white jersey/red shirt combo shows the FA's merchandising department is on the ball at least. So far in this match, however, England have not been. Italy have all the possession so far.
1 min: Game on.
7.58pm: "Finland, Finland, Finland, a poor second to Belgium" sang Monty Python ... but they're also second to Northern Ireland tonight, as Shane Ferguson has put the Irish 1-0 up early doors.
7.55pm: The players stand to attention for the British national anthem, which you may remember from such victory ceremonies as canoe sprinting, shooting and horse dancing.
Teams are confirmed at last:
Italy: Sirigu, Ogbonna, Abate, Balzaretti, Astori, El Shaarawi, Aquilani, De Rossi, Diamanti, Nocerino, Destro.
Subs: Perin, De Sciglio, Peluso, Acerbi, Poli, Schelotto, Gastaldello, Gabbiadini, Verratti, Consigli.
England: Butland, Walker, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Carrick, Lampard, Johnson, Cleverley, Young, Carroll.
Subs: Ruddy, Lescott, Bertrand, Caulker, Milner, Livermore, Rodwell, Defoe.
7.49pm: Hodgson on tonight's set-up, which formation fans might describe as a 4-3-3: "We've got two natural wingers out there but what we want the three midfield players to do is rotate. They're all capable of going forward and scoring goals and coming back and defending."
7:46pm: Turkey players are clearly pumped up for the friendly: they're 2-0 down to Austria after six minutes.
7.40pm: Hodgson to ITV on integrating a new generation of players: "The younger ones have to show they are better than these guys ... they will get their places when they show they are better."
Hodgson on the tools, so to speak, that he has to work with: "I don't think we should be saying we are light years behind. When I work with the players I see they are very good technicians, we just have to take it on to the field."
Punditry's Roy Keane on that last comment: "I can't agree with [the other] Roy there. We saw in the Euros that there is a massive different between England and the top sides.
7.38pm: You may or may not be interested to know that Russia underwent their first match under Fabio Capello today, and drew 1-1 at home to Ivory Coast.
7.36pm: Uh-oh. ITV are to run a brief interview with Roy Hodgson after ads. Brace yourselves, for, curiously, the celebrated polyglot and savant has taken to showing has much finesse with his words as England generally show with the ball.
7.32pm: Other friendlies that I will strive to keep you more or less up to date with tonight include: Germany v Argentina, France v Uruguay, Wales v Bosnia, Scotland v Australia, Serbia v Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland v Finland and Belgium v Holland.
7.30pm: Here is the England line-up. Still waiting for Italy to confirm theirs. Kick-off is at 8pm.
England: Butland, Walker, Jagielka, Cahill, Baines, A Johnson, Carrick, Lampard, Young, Cleverley, Carroll
7:25pm: We know Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger don't have much truck with international football but surely they wouldn't conspire to delay this announcement till just now simply to steal the thunder of tonight's fixtures?
Evening all. The line-ups are on the way but as you try to contain your excitement ahead of those revelations, here's Daniel Taylor on why Roy Hodgson needs to look at different formations, new players and ways of developing a fluid passing game. Enjoy.
All things considered, it is probably for the best that so many of Roy Hodgson's players to face Italy were spared what happened against the same opposition when the teams last met and, for England, the ordeal started even before the penalties that took them out of Euro 2012.
Hodgson's squad includes only three players — Joleon Lescott, Ashley Young and James Milner — who started against Italy in that quarter-final in Kiev seven weeks ago, when the Azzurri were so much more refined on the ball it barely seems plausible that England are the bookmakers' favourites for the rematch.
What happens from now on is the basis on which the Hodgson era will ultimately be judged and, although the first part of his rebuilding may not amount to a revolution, or even come close, there are at least indications that he recognises there is a need for change.