England coach Roy Hodgson stands on the sidelines during the Euro 2016 round of 16 soccer match between England and Iceland, at the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice, France, Monday, June 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

England 1–2 Iceland: Daniel Sturridge features as England suffer embarrassing Euro 2016 exit

England crashed out of Euro 2016 at the last-16 stage with a humiliating but deserved 2-1 loss to Iceland, with Daniel Sturridge the only Liverpool player to feature.

The Three Lions suffered one of the most embarrassing defeats in English football history as they chucked away an early lead to miss out on a quarter-final clash with host nation France.

Wayne Rooney’s penalty just four minutes in after Raheem Sterling was fouled gave Hodgson’s side the perfect start, and what looked to be a routine evening.

But a shambolic display thereafter, combined with a monumental effort from the European Championship debutants, with first-half goals from Ragnar Sigurdsson and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, earned a historic win for the minnows.

Under mounting pressure following the spineless exit, the result prompted Hodgson to resign from his position as England manager immediately after the match.

Producing an abject performance in the final group game goalless draw against Slovakia – blamed on six changes the English boss made – Hodgson recalled the ‘big-guns’, which saw an even worse display play out, with Sturridge the only Red to feature.

The Liverpool striker completed the full 90 minutes, while Anfield teammates Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Nathaniel Clyne were all unused substitutes in Nice.

Sturridge was the only bright spot on a shameful night for England, showing his class once again – at least in the first half – which actually left you feeling sorry for him with the sheer lack of quality to assist.

With Hodgson refusing to move away from his 4-3-3 formation, the Reds striker was shafted in a wide right role, where, in a move that defied belief from the England boss, he stayed for the duration.

England's Daniel Sturridge, front, celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal during the Euro 2016 Group B soccer match between England and Wales at the Bollaert stadium in Lens, France, Thursday, June 16, 2016. Behind are Marcus Rashford, left, and Jamie Vardy. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

While Harry Kane was preferred to lead the line, and Raheem Sterling operated on the opposite flank, Sturridge still showed his unrivalled ability as England’s best player, making the perfect contribution after just three minutes.

Picking up the ball on the right touchline, facing inside on his left foot, he displayed excellent vision and execution to find Raheem Sterling’s inside run with a through-ball that cut right through Iceland’s defence.

Sterling latched onto the pass, and won a penalty under a challenge from Iceland goalkeeper Hans Thor Halldorsson, which Rooney converted.

England’s orchestrator in the final third in the first 45 minutes, Sturridge later created a great chance for Kane with an inch perfect cross that the Tottenham striker volleyed well but was tipped over the bar before half-time.

With the Three Lions visibly panicking at being behind after the break, the 26-year-old was less influential in the second period, but he still provided a great opportunity for Dele Alli to equalise.

Again skipping inside on his left foot, Sturridge’s pin-point ball in from the right found the Spurs midfielder, who lashed wildly over the bar when well placed.

It was the only real moment of promise in a flat second half for the team and individually for Sturridge, whose impact was restricted by being left out wide as England slumped to a desperate defeat.

Sturridge and his Liverpool teammates now turn their attention to a refreshing break before returning to pre-season training at Melwood. They’ll be given three weeks off from now, meaning they should join up with the rest of the squad when they travel to America in late July.

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