England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce confessed “the better team won tonight” after their defeat to Italy .
The Azzurrini were dominant and denied a clear penalty, but only managed to win with a late Lorenzo Insigne free kick in the European Championship opener.
“We didn't play very well, that was there for all to see,” Pearce told Sky Sports.
“The better team won tonight. They caused us problems all night. We didn’t get any performances from our bigger players.
“We were well beaten and we can’t grumble. We were stagnant and we had nobody running in behind. We were awful today and the positive thing is we only lost 1-0.”
England also fell foul of the referee, as they had a goal disallowed for a dubious push.
“I’m not sure what he chalked the goal off for. But they should have had a penalty in the first half. Now we’ve got to reload and go again at the weekend.”