ENGLAND 1- 2 ITALY
The English fans were in good spirits (at least in Liverpool) before the game. We all knew Italy were tough and that they had some very dangerous players. Most fans said England would win and others (who actually supported other countries despite being English) had claimed Italy would draw or win. It was not clear who the victorious team would be by any means, although I had full confidence in all the Liverpool players who would be playing leading up to the kick off.
There were 5 Liverpool players named in England’s starting team… Glen Johnson, Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling. Amongst them, Sturridge and Sterling were by far the best. Gerrard would create chances for them and they would do great things. It would be Italy that scored first surprisingly as England seemed to be creating most of the attacks that were happening in the game up to that point. Marchisio would make it 1-0 but England would not let it stun them into accepting defeat. Far from it.
Sturridge would become England’s first goalscorer of the tournament only two minutes after the Italians had scored and both Daniel and I did THAT DANCE simultaneously (he did it in Brazil while I danced in a bar in Liverpool). England were not done yet! We wanted to show the world what we could do.
Roy Hodgson had been considering using Adam Lallana as a first team starter just hours before the game kicked off and it was Raheem Sterling who would start instead of the Southampton player who has been linked with a transfer to Liverpool over the summer. Sterling would repay the faith put in him by the England manager and work well with his team mate Sturridge for most of the game.
England seemed to have confidence in their play and it was end-to-end football as both teams could easily manage to get a draw and maybe even a winner… but it was not made clear as to who could do that until the 50th minute when Mario Balotelli would score for Italy.
Wayne Rooney was one of the most disappointing players of the game. By the time the whistle had blown for full time I was discussing the available options England had as a replacement for Rooney with other England fans who all seemed to agree that we could probably use Rickie Lambert instead of having to put up with Rooney’s “non-performances” where he fails to make a difference to the game, especially when behind by a goal in an important game.
The only consolations that England could take from their defeat were that the Liverpool players had played impressively and that Uruguay had not won their game against Costa Rica, as both teams playing on Thursday now can attempt to add points of their own to their group table when they face off against each other in their very next World Cup game.
KEY PLAYERS: GERRARD, STURRIDGE and STERLING were excellent as they linked up with one another, showing Liverpool’s strengths in attacking on an international level.
PIRLO and BALOTELLI would be the Italian’s constant threats right throughout the game.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red. I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (about 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.
I’m a die hard Liverpool fan (only supported ONE club in my whole life, Liverpool) and one of the most dedicated fans you’ll ever meet.