England vs. Italy: 6 Things We Learned

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England vs. Italy: 6 Things We Learned
Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Buoyed by Uruguay's surprise defeat to Costa Rica earlier in the day, England went into their match with Italy in Manaus in high spirits; however, the disappointment was palpable after a 2-1 defeat.

Despite the result, though, they can take plenty of positives from the game after a performance full of attacking intent.

Claudio Marchisio opened the scoring with a fine strike, but England hit back almost immediately through Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge. Mario Balotelli's header from an Antonio Candreva cross won it for the Italians, who are now in a strong position to qualify.

It was an entertaining match that was up to the quality on display since Thursday's opener. The 2010 World Cup may have been dull, but the early signs in Brazil suggest this one will prove to be a massive improvement in excitement.

England now face a crucial second-group game against Uruguay on Thursday. A win in Sao Paulo would see them in with a real chance of qualifying for the round of 16 going into their match with Costa Rica five days later; a defeat would be disastrous.

Here are six things we learned from England's narrow loss in Manaus.

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