JONATHAN SHALLARD REPORTING —- Harry Kane became England’s 54-goal all-time leading scorer in a 2-1 win over Italy in Naples which was the perfect start to their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign.

The Tottenham centre-forward was handed a chance to not only break the record but also put his penalty miss in the World Cup loss to France behind him when England were awarded a penalty.

A VAR check ruled handball against Giovanni Di Lorenzo after Serb referee Srdjan Jovanonic checked his pitchside monitor. The England skipper stepped up and made no mistake, sending keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma the wrong way to break Wayne Rooney’s record.

Harry Kane . . . plenty to celebrate

This was England’s first victory in Italy in 1961 and took a measure of revenge for the shootout defeat by the Azzurri in the final of the last European Championship at Wembley. Kane also provided the assist from which Declan Rice scored the opening goal after 13 minutes.

He said later: “It means everything. I was so excited to put the England shirt on, get back out here and get the campaign started for next year’s Euros. It had to be a penalty, and once it hit the back of the net, huge emotion. A magical moment.”

“It’s been a a really special night – the first time England have won in Italy for a long, long time. To be a part of that is amazing. I just want to say a big thanks to all my team-mates, the staff, the fans, my family back home and my wife. Just a really special night for me and a night I will never forget. I’m just really proud.

“Thank you to everyone in here and everyone who has made this dream a reality.”

Harry Kane has scored in 18 of his last 19 qualifying appearances for major tournaments – ie the World Cupand Euro. He is also England’s 16-goal all-time leading scorer in European Championship qualifying matches. Kane has scored twice as many goals in matches started as captain as any other player in England’s history, netting 46 goals in 56.

Italy, flat in the first half, raised their game in the second half and deserved to pull one goal back through their new Argentina-born striker Mateo Regetui in the 56th minute.

England then held firm despite having to play the last 10 minutes with 10 men after Luke Shaw was sent off following two yellow cards within two minutes.

Manager Gareth Southgate will want his team to follow up with a second victory over Ukraine at Wembley on Sunday. Southgate is the third England manager to reach 50 victories after Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Walter Winterbottom.

Sunday’s Group C tie will be preceded by a presentation to Kane.

Euro qualifiers:

Gp C: Italy 1, England 2; N Macedonia 2, Malta 1. Gp H: Kazakhstan 1, Slovenia 2; Denmark 3, Finland 1; S Marino 0, N Ifreland 2. Gp J: Bosnia 3, Iceland 0; Portugal 4, Liechtenstein 0; Slovakia 0, Luxembourg 0.