The game may have gone to penalties but it was a game that Italy dominated. England did have a bright start and created the first two scoring chances, but where out-chanced 14-4 in total (4-2 at half-time and 11-4 at full-time); meaning that after the first 15 minutes England created just two scoring chances.
It was also telling through the game that England's most successful duo in terms of passing combination was Joe Hart to Andy Carroll and that Hart had as many touches of the ball as all bar six of Italy's side (including Gigi Buffon and the three substitutions).
Again, England held firm in and around the eighteen yard line - evidenced by the number of defensive + marks but it is important to note that of the 14 Italian scoring chances, England had six minus marks allocated.
Here are the individual numbers (click to enlarge the graphic):
- Balotelli was the key player in terms of scoring chance involvement. In total, he was involved in six scoring chances (averaging 12.77 per 100 touches).
- He had plenty of support during the game though with all of Italy's midfield with a +2 or greater mark and his strike partners Antonio Cassano (+2) and Alessandro Diamanti (+3) were a constant threat.
- Wayne Rooney had a +2 score for England but the highest other mark was for Glen Johnson. Steven Gerrard failed to score, whilst Daniel Welbeck and substitutes Andy Carroll and Theo Walcott were just +1 combined.
- Whilst England had six minus marks allocated on Italy's scoring chances, contrastingly there were none on England's scoring chances. As much as England's defensive play (at times) can be applauded, there was also areas to criticise.