England 1-2 Italy

Saturday evening in the Amazon jungle, Manaus to be exact. Or to be even more specific, the Arena da AmazĂ´nia in Manaus.

All the talk was over, all of the careful down playing of expectation; the preparation for conditions and, let's not forget, a certain amount of whinging about the conditions.

Upshot was, England played pretty well, notably, Raheem Sterling. However, after Claudio Marchisio made it one-nil and Daniel Sturridge equalised virtually immediately, it was that man, the larger than life Mario Balotelli, who popped up on the far post to nod in Italy's winner in the 50th minute.

I think quite rightly, England were lauded for putting up a good performance. However, the fact remained that when quality or composure were required, at either end of the pitch, there was the undeniable sense that something lacking. The Italian team, one felt, would always have just enough extra to see England off.

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