Noble makes first start for Under-21s

Mark Noble made his first start at under-21 level as England drew 2-2 with Italy in the European Championship finals on Thursday evening.

The 20-year-old Hammer gave an impressive performance in the centre of midfield alongside his Upton Park colleague Nigel Reo-Coker, as Stuart Pearce's men came within a whisker of progressing to the semi-finals and eliminating Italy from the competition.

After two goals from David Nugent and Leroy Lita in the space of two first-half minutes had sent England into a 2-0 lead, the Italians fought back with a strike from Giorgio Chiellini 10 minutes before the break and then grabbed an equaliser through Alberto Aquilani with 20 minutes remaining.

England must now beat Group B leaders Serbia on Sunday to ensure their place in the last four, while pre-tournament favourites Italy have to beat the Czech Republic and hope that England slip up.

The third Hammer in the squad, Anton Ferdinand, again missed out through a groin strain, but is hopeful of being available for the final group game against Serbia at the weekend.