RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — As so often with England, a setback on the pitch has provoked renewed scrutiny of Wayne Rooney's contribution. Or lack of it.
For all the dynamism of England's youngsters going forward in the 2-1 loss to Italy in their World Cup opener, Rooney's lack of real influence on the game stood out in Manaus on Saturday.
Credit to the Manchester United striker for setting up England's only goal, providing the cross for Daniel Sturridge to equalize, but three of his own shots all went off target.
Rooney was shunted out to the left wing initially in an unsuccessful attempt to allow Raheem Sterling to limit Andrea Pirlo's impact, but he cut a frustrated figure.