Gigi Di Biagio has admitted his Italian Under-21 side deserved to be beaten by Belgium in their opening Euro 2015 qualifier.
The Azzurrini took the lead in Thursday’s game in Rieti through Cristian Battocchio, but the away side hit back with goals from Thorgan Hazard, Junior Malanda and Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco.
“We knew we were up against a good side and they proved that,” the man who replaced Devis Mangia in the summer noted to RAI. “Belgium are a side who have a bit more than us.
“The boys gave their all, but there were a few things that we need to rectify. We need to understand our errors and we’ll take a close look at them on Friday.
“We have to think about playing better and becoming a team in the true sense of the word.
“We did some good things out there at times, but we then became stretched and that is something that should not happen.
“Belgium gave their all and perhaps we struggled physically towards the end, but let us not look for alibis.”
Italy 1-3 Belgium
Goals: Battocchio 39, Hazard 47, Malanda 52, Ferreira-Carrasco 92
Italy: Bardi; Sabelli (Zappacosta 76), Bianchetti, Di Lorenzo, Liviero; Baselli, Battocchio; Molina, Gatto (Longo 64), Piscitella (Improta 56); Belotti.
Belgium:Coosemans; Vermijl, Arslanagic, Mechele, Lukaku; Malanda, Ferreira-Carrasco; Hazard (Ntambwe 61), Michy Batshuayi (Vetokele 69), Bruno; M'Poku.
Ref: Stefanski (Pol)