Italy boss Prandelli praises England display

Italy manager Cesare Prandelli has hailed England as ‘one of the best sides at the World Cup’, despite seeing his team emerge victorious from their meeting in Manaus on Saturday evening, reports the Independent.

An entertaining and open game saw plenty of chances in the first half, with the Azzurri taking the lead from a well-worked corner; Claudio Marchisio eventually finding the net from 20 yards. England were soon level, however, as Daniel Sturridge finished off a swift counter attack with a half volley from Wayne Rooney’s pinpoint cross.

The win for Italy was secured when Mario Balotelli headed in a cross from the right, as England failed to make the most of their second half pressure. After the game, Prandelli compared this Three Lions side with the one they beat on penalties in Euro 2012, and praised the progress they have made.

“It was an epic match and I feel that England is one of the strongest teams in the World Cup,” said Prandelli. “They have changed a lot, and I am so satisfied. We played a great game.

“We don’t have players who are as powerful as England’s but we have technically skilled players, and in the first half we had better ball possession. Until just a few years ago, England relied on long balls but they are now a skilled team with excellent triangular passing.”

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