England U19s ended 2014 on a high after a resounding 3-0 win against Italy in Rotherham.
It was a night in which Chelsea’s young stars shined, as an Izzy Brown brace and a Ruben Loftus-Cheek strike ensured Sean O’Driscoll’s perfect start to his reign continued.
It was the head coach's fourth win in four matches in charge of the Young Lions, and in front of a packed house at the New York Stadium, he put out a side full of attacking intent.
England U19s 3-0 Italy U19s
International U19s Match
7.45pm, Friday 14 November 2014
New York Stadium, Rotherham
Live on BT Sport
Captain Bryn Morris lined up in front of the back four, with Dele Alli and Loftus-Cheek given licence to push forward and support the exciting front trio of Patrick Roberts, Brown and Brandon Barker.
On a cold night in South Yorkshire, England came out of the blocks on fire with Brown looking lively from the first shrill of the referee’s whistle.
He fired inches wide with a wicked left-foot effort before many of the sell-out crowd had even taken their seats.
Minutes later Roberts, Loftus-Cheek and Brown combined on the edge of the box, but Loftus-Cheek shot just over.
England had hit the ground running the crowd and, growing in excitement, the crowd could sense a goal was coming.
And on 15 minutes, Alli broke forward and clipped an excellent cross into the box from the right, perfectly onto the head of Loftus-Cheek.
The midfielder’s header was well saved by Simone Scuffet, but he could only push it into the path of Brown who riffled home from close range.
Five minutes later England doubled their lead, and it was that man Brown again.
The 17-year-old was tormenting the Azzurrini back line and he added the second goal with a wonderful strike.
After picking up a short corner from Barker, he carried the ball into shooting range before unleashing an unstoppable curling effort past Scuffet.
At the other end, 'keeper Angus Gunn remained largely untroubled in the England goal.
Italian captain Lorenzo Pellegrini whipped a dangerous free-kick across his six-yard box early on, though nobody could get a touch.
Luca Vida also went close, but failed to hit the target with a root-foot effort as England kept Alessandro Pane’s side at arm’s length throughout.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first, with England on the attack from the off.
Loftus-Cheek went close just after the restart with a shot from inside the box, and captain Morris fired inches over from long range after being teed up with a short free-kick.
The midfield continued to dominate, and just after the hour mark Loftus-Cheek got his reward for a fine display with a goal of his own.
As he supplied Brown in the first half, this time his club colleague turned provider.
After good work in the box, he squared to Loftus-Cheek who finished with aplomb, clipping it over the onrushing goalkeeper to put the game out of the Italy’s reach.
They could have had a fourth too, as Loftus-Cheek rounded the 'keeper and squared for sub and Chelsea team-mate Alex Kiwomya, but the winger could not shift his feet in time and the ball flew away to safety.
Substitute Bradley Fewster could then have added to his impressive tally of five in the past five games, but his shot was blocked in the dying moments and the referee whistled to applause from all four corners of the South Yorkshire crowd.
England U19s (4-3-3): 1 Angus Gunn (Manchester City); 2 Joshua Aina (Chelsea), 5 Brendan Galloway (Everton), 12 Ashley Smith-Brown (Manchester City), 3 Ben Chilwell (Leicester City); 4 Bryn Morris (C) (Middlesbrough), 6 Bamidele Alli (MK Dons), 8 Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea); 10 Brandon Barker (Manchester City), 11 Isaiah Brown (Chelsea), 7 Patrick Roberts (Fulham).
Substitutes: 17 Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur) for Morris (62), 15 Charlie Colkett (Chelsea) for Alli, (62), 14 Alex Kiwomya (Chelsea) for Roberts (62), 18 Robert Dickie (Reading) for Aina (72), 16 Kean Bryan (Manchester City) for Chilwell (72), 9 Bradley Fewster (Middlesbrough) for Brown (72), 13 Edward Smith (Southend United) for Gunn (76).
Substitutes not used: 22 Russell Griffiths (Everton).
Goals: Brown (15, 20), Loftus-Cheek (64).
Head coach: Sean O’Driscoll
Italy: 1 Simone Scuffet; 2 Michele Troiani, 3 Alessio Lo Porto, 5 Elio Capradossi, 6 Arturuo Calabresi; 4 Lorenzo Pellegrini (C), 7 Daniele Verde, 8 Rolando Mandragora, 10 Vittorio Parigini; 9 Cristian Bunino, 11 Luca Vido.
Substitutes: 23 Alessandro Piu for Pargini (71), 20 Giovanni Sbrissa for Mandragora (71), 17 Enrico Baldini for Verde (82), 21 Accursio Bentivegna for Vido (82).
Substitutes not used: 12 Alex Meret, 13 Kevin Bonifazzi, 14 Andrea Gemignani, 15 Federico Dimarco, 16 Giacomo Sciacca, , 18 Alessandro Murgia, 19 Mario Pugliese.
Head coach: Alessandro Pane
Referee: Darren Bond
Watch the highlights from the New York Stadium in Rotherham