England went into their match in Italy needing at least a draw to keep their hopes of staying in Tier A alive.
However, they fell to a 1-0 defeat in Milan.
Giacamo Raspadori’s 68th minute stunner gave Gli Azzurri all three points and condemned England to relegation.
The travelling England fans inside the stadium did not take the performance well and booed the team after the game.
DECLAN RICE GIVES DEFIANT INTERVIEW
While England fans weren’t impressed, Rice was actually pleased with his side’s performance.
The West Ham midfielder played the full 90 minutes and thought there were positives to take from the game.
VIDEO: DECLAN RICE’S INTERVIEW AFTER ITALY DEFEAT
— Channel 4 Sport (@C4Sport) September 23, 2022
He said: “It’s obviously disappointing. Every tournament we go in we set out to win the group and every game. Nations League, we’ve slipped below our standards. But it wasn’t all bad tonight. One chance for them, one goal.
“We controlled the game and passed the ball around well, especially in the first half. Got into some good areas. Just lacked that cutting edge in the end. But it’s coming. Much better performance than in the summer.”
When asked about England’s goal drought, Rice replied: “It’s not that we’re not creating chances. So many times tonight we got into the opposition penalty box. Even myself at the end I could be adding goals and having a shot instead of laying one off.
“I see it in training, there’s goals for fun. Trust me, we’re going to be good.”
GARETH SOUTHGATE AGREES WITH RICE
Southgate also agreed with Rice and was satisfied with his side’s performance.
“It’s difficult to be too critical of the performance, as we had more possession, more shots, more shots on target,” he said after the match, per football-italia.
“I personally thought the performance was a step in the right direction, but I completely understand that because of the result, that won’t be the reaction externally.”
WHAT’S NEXT FOR ENGLAND?
England play their final Nations League game of the season on Monday when they take on Germany at Wembley Stadium.
That is their final game before their opening World Cup game against Iran on November 21.
England need to improve massively if they are to have any chance of ending their 56-year wait to win a major trophy.