Italy beat a brilliant England - Prandelli

The coach was pleased with the way that his team stifled the Three Lions' attackers but hopes in future World Cup matches that his wide players can be better utilised
Cesare Prandelli believes England have one of the best attacks at the World Cup and was thrilled to see Italy defeat them 2-1 on Saturday.

The Three Lions started stronger but the Azzurri took the lead - Claudio Marchisio striking from distance after a set piece routine straight out of the training ground.

England responded with a Daniel Sturridge goal before half-time, but Mario Balotelli's header early in the second half gave all three points to the four-time world champions.

Prandelli was proud that his Italy team held off Roy Hodgson's attackers, whom he considers to be among the greatest in the tournament, for most of the match and was thrilled to see his tactics pay off in Manaus.

"Our logic was that we don't have players who are explosive and as powerful as England so we had to enhance the abilities of our players," the trainer said.

"They have technical players who are very good, in the first half we had better position, we could've been better in defence but this is the way to go.

"We thought that we would line up with Daniele De Rossi, Marco Verratti and Andrea Pirlo in the centre of midfield to try to have the numerical superiority.

"We did have it at times but we need to improve in vertical play, because Antonio Candreva and Claudio Marchisio were always in the right position.

"We balanced our game because England are a very strong team, four or five players have an amazing ability to sprint. In 90 minutes you can't be perfect and there were a few moments we were caught out.

"Teams change and they evolve; England play differently than 20 years ago. Up until a few years ago they played long balls and headers, but now they are very good, not just one on one but they play incisive passes.

"We knew because England changed a lot, that they play a version of 4-2-3-1 and they have one of the strongest attacks at the World Cup. That's why I am satisfied because we played a really great team."

Italy will hope to continue with their winning ways when they face Costa Rica on Friday before coming up against Uruguay on June 24.

Regardless of what happens for the rest of the tournament, they have already picked up more points in this World Cup than they did in the entirety of the last competition four years ago.