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')

Cesare Prandelli hails Italy midfielders' performances

Italy's coach Cesare Prandelli gestures to his players from the sidelines 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
© Getty Images
Italy boss Cesare Prandelli hails the performance of his midfielders, who dominated possession in the 2-1 win over England on Saturday.

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has hailed the performance of his midfield in their hard-fought 2-1 win over England on Saturday.

Mario Balotelli's headed finish in the 50th minute proved to be the winner in the Group D encounter, which gave Italy a winning start to their campaign in Brazil.

Italy controlled the tempo of the game throughout and dominated possession, leading to praise from Prandelli, who lauded the technical ability of his midfield players.

"I am clearly satisfied with this victory as this match against England was very difficult, they are a very good team," Prandelli told reporters. "We had a very good basis in midfield.

"We don't have players who are as powerful as England so we had to enhance the abilities of our players.

"They have technical abilities that are really, really good. In the first half we had better ball possession. This is a way to go."

Italy face Costa Rica in their second World Cup game on Friday.

Italy's forward Mario Balotelli heads the ball to score a goal as England's goalkeeper Joe Hart (L) and England's defender Gary Cahill try to defend during a Group D football match between England and Italy at the Amazonia Arena in Manaus during the 2014
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