The glamorous tie of the group of death commenced on matchday 3 as Italy and England came face to face in their opening fixture of Group D. Under the brutal conditions of Manaus, the two teams kicked off their World Cup campaign with Italy controlling the possession from the first whistle. England looked to hit on the break during the initial stages of the match and looked the likelier side to get the first goal.But Italy took the lead after Marchisio's shot went past Joe Hart from a well rehearsed corner. England hit back just 2 minutes later with Daniel Sturridge putting things on level terms. Mario Balotelli scored the decisive goal from a header in the second half and Italy held on to a 2-1 score line to put forth a strong case for them to qualify from their group. What were the decisive talking points from the tie? We take a look.
#1 Gabriel Paletta - Italy\'s weak link in defence
Talking about an unconvincing Italian defence may sound ridiculous as they have produced some of the legendary partnerships in the history of the World Cup. But Prandelli's men looked far from comfortable when defending against England specially in the first half. Making his World Cup debut in the Azzurris' colors was Gabriel Paletta of Parma who clearly had a tough time handling the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling.
A communication gap did exist between him and Juventus' Andrea Barzagli. England breached the back line quite often and it was their poor finishing that let them down.Giorgio Chiellini on the left could not provide a threat while going forward even though he was solid while blocking England's attack on the left flanks.
Prandelli should consider Bonucci for the next matches as he and Barzagli will bring a better understanding owing to their defensive partnership at Juventus.