That it ebbed away might be tactical: Roberto Mancini’s throwing on Domenico Berardi for the ineffectual Ciro Immobile. It might be physical: England had burned out a little in the first 20 minutes or so, and was now paying the price for its fire and fury.
But more than anything, it was emotional: England dropped just a little too far, and Italy had a little too much space to play in; a couple of glimmers of goal were enough to revive hope in Mancini’s team. Leonardo Bonucci’s equalizer was the reward; for a few minutes, until the injury to Federico Chiesa drew the sting from the game, it seemed to have the bit between its teeth.
England, from here, will dread penalties more than Italy. But England has the deeper resources in reserve to avoid them. The question may be when Southgate chooses to use them.