Sunday June 24 2012
Pirlo: 'Why I chipped Hart'

Andrea Pirlo reveals why he decided an audacious chip in the penalty shoot-out against England. “It put pressure on them.”

The Italy midfielder scored with a sensational lob to beat Joe Hart in the 4-2 shoot-out victory.

“At the moment I saw the goalkeeper making strange movements, so I waited for him to move and hit it like that.

“It was easier for me to chip it at that stage. Maybe my effort put some pressure on England and in fact Ashley Young missed the next one after me.

“I didn’t fear an upset, as England barely created anything, just tried to defend the result and drag us to penalties. We stayed in control and in the end won out.

“We knew that we could control the match, as England are a very defensive team and we saw that from the way they played throughout the group phase. It’s just a shame we took this long to beat them and used up a lot of energy.

“We dominated the encounter and it’s a pity we didn’t take our chances during the 90 minutes or extra time. At least the penalties sent the right team through.

“Mario Balotelli worked hard and helped his teammates. He made a few mistakes when finishing, but he has the quality and will improve.”

Italy now face Germany in the Euro 2012 semi-final on Thursday evening.

“Of course we were thinking about Germany, as we knew they would be our opponents if we qualified, but now we have to concentrate and recuperate in time for Thursday.

“Is anything possible? Of course, that’s why we’re here.”

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