Euro 2012: Group C: Mario Balotelli’s brilliance as Italy wreck Ireland, 2-0


With John O’Shea draped all over him, Mario Balotelli showed his strength and sublime timing to side volley the ball past Shay Given with his back to goal. Following which Leonardo Bonucci shushed him up as the volatile Italian looked like he was going to go through a stream of consciousness. Italy went ahead through Antonio Cassano which means the bad boys delivered.
Italy advance to the quarterfinals and later Cesare Prandelli praised Spain for playing to win. There was overwhelming relief the events of eight years ago were not repeated.
Irish fans won the hearts of this Euro electing to chant rather than hurl racial abuse, throw offensive objects, and unfurl far right symbols. But their team faces many questions and many are unimpressed by Giovanni Trapattoni. They scored just one goal and gave away nine in three consecutive losses. They played better against Italy which seems to have assuaged the Irish somewhat and Trapattoni appears to be in no danger of losing his job.

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