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Photo: What Kalvin Phillips did to Wilfried Gnonto after Italy 1-2 England

Sam Preston

Leeds United stars past and present Kalvin Phillips and Wilfried Gnonto were on the pitch as England beat Italy last night.

Phillips played more minutes in Naples last night than he has in the Premier League this season after swapping Leeds for Manchester City.

Meanwhile, Gnonto came on as a substitute in the 69th minute, as Italy chased an equaliser but to no avail.

The pair of course never played together at Elland Road but shared a conversation at the end of the bruising encounter which saw England get their Euro 2024 qualification campaign underway with a win.

Phillips Gnonto
Photo by Valerio Pennicino – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Kalvin Phillips embraces Wilfried Gnonto after England beat Italy

YEP journalist Joe Donnohue tweeted a photo at full-time of Phillips embracing Gnonto after the final whistle.

Perhaps it is a case of what might have been in terms of the pair playing together for Leeds, and it is fair to say Phillips’ big move is yet to get off the ground.

Phillips was perfect for Marcelo Bielsa, less suited to Jesse Marsch and now he would have been managed by Javi Gracia if he had stayed at Leeds.

He looked rusty at times last night, with the pace of the game catching up with him sometimes understandably, but he helped England see the game out with 10 men.

Next up for England is a match against Ukraine at Wembley, where a victory would go a long way to securing an eventual top two spot in the group already.

It remains to be seen if Phillips starts that game, while Italy prepare to face Malta away from home, in a match Gnonto will hope to start if Roberto Mancini makes changes on the back of last night’s loss.

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