Jun 14, 2014 at 11pm UK at ​Arena Amazonia, Manaus
England
1-2
Italy
Sturridge (37')
Sterling (90')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Marchisio (35'), Balotelli (50')

Roy Hodgson defends Wayne Rooney performance

Wayne Rooney of England reacts during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between England and Italy at Arena Amazonia on June 14, 2014
© Getty Images
England coach Roy Hodgson rejects claims that Wayne Rooney looked 'uncomfortable' on the wing in the 2-1 defeat to Italy.

England boss Roy Hodgson has leapt to the defence of Wayne Rooney for his performance in their World Cup defeat to Italy in Manaus this morning.

Goals from Claudio Marchisio and Mario Balotelli, either side of a Daniel Sturridge equaliser, consigned the Three Lions to a 2-1 defeat in their Group D opener.

Rooney, who bagged an assist in setting up Sturridge's tap-in, started the clash on the wing and Hodgson has dismissed claims that the Manchester United ace looked 'uncomfortable' on the flank.

"I think it's very harsh to say he didn't look comfortable on the left," he told BBC Sport.

"I thought he actually did very well and set up our goal with a fine piece of play. We know we can play Wayne in many different positions and I think he has to be pretty satisfied with his performance.

"It's looking for things to suggest he didn't do well in that position because I think he did."

England continue their campaign by facing Uruguay on Thursday.

Italy's forward Mario Balotelli celebrates with teammates after scoring during a Group D football match between England and Italy at the Amazonia Arena in Manaus during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 14, 2014
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