Four Chelsea players started and Tammy Abraham came on as a substitute and scored for England Under-21s, but they suffered a defeat that ultimately ended their hopes of winning the European Championships for their age level.
With the Young Lions having been defeated in agonising style by France in their opening match, a win against Romania on Friday evening was all but essential. However in a dramatic conclusion to the match in Italy, they were defeated by four goals to two.
As in the first game, three-quarters of the England defence were Chelsea players – Jay Dasilva, Fikayo Tomori and Jake Clarke-Salter, and this time Mason Mount who came on during the France game began the match.
It was Romania who looked most likely to take the lead in the first half, with several shots saved and a strike against the post, but the match was still goalless as it approached its final quarter-of-an-hour.
Then England went behind from a penalty and although Leicester’s Demarai Gray equalised only three minutes later, Romania took the lead again when Ianis Hagi, son of Romania legend Gheorghe Hagi, scored.
Just a minute after that goal and 10 minutes after he came on, Abraham controlled a pass by Mount and made it 2-2. Still England U21s really needed the win and that became unlikely when a mistake by goalkeeper Dean Henderson on 88 minutes allowed a shot in to put their opponents back in front. Abraham then headed against the bar but another shot from distance by Romania completed the scoring.
France’s subsequent 1-0 win over Croatia in the day’s later game ensured that England will go home after their final group game which will be against the Croatians who are also yet to win a point.