Italy 2 (Marchisio, Balotelli) England 1 (Sturridge) – Manaus
This was a wonderful performance by both teams, each attacking in their own style – in each case, a style almost unprecedented in their national history.
This Italy want the ball. They have a perfect passing midfield. All the pre-match focus was on Andrea Pirlo, and he justified the hype, but Daniele de Rossi, Claudio Marchisio, Marco Verratti, Thiago Motta and the stunning little Antonio Candreva of Lazio are quite as confident in possession. At times this was Italian “tiki taka”, and their strings of passes were appropriately accompanied by cries of “Ole!” from the Manaus crowd.