Prandelli praises deserved victory

ITALY manager Cesare Prandelli insisted his side deserved to advance to the European Championship semi-finals after their dramatic penalty shoot-out win over England set up a difficult tie against Germany.

The Italians dominated possession for large periods of play and were ultimately unfortunate not to win in normal time but Prandelli, whose side showed greater nerve than England to score four of their five penalties in a 4-2 victory, was adamant that the better team triumphed.

“We have played a great game,” said Prandelli. “We deserved the win. We were really good against a big team like England. Then, at penalties, what is also needed is luck. This evening we played with heart, character and ideas against a difficult side.”

Prandelli’s sentiments were echoed by midfielder Andrea Pirlo, who also highlighted his audacious penalty as a crucial moment in winning the game.

“Joe Hart was doing strange movements, so when he dived I decided to take it like that,” he said. “It put a bit of pressure on their takers and Ashley Young missed his penalty after that. England did not create any chances, while we wanted to win.”