Sunday June 15 2014
Gerrard: 'Italy found extra gear'

England captain Steven Gerrard concedes Italy “found an extra gear” in their 2-1 World Cup victory.

Claudio Marchisio and Mario Balotelli got the decisive goals around a temporary Daniel Sturridge equaliser.

“They caused us a lot of problems down our left-hand side in the first half but we made tweaks at half-time and dealt with it better. We played most of the second half in their half,” Gerrard told BBC Sport.

“No matter what the result were tonight we'd need to beat Uruguay on Thursday. It's certainly doable.

“We weren't sure how much Italy would have improved from two years ago but they found an extra gear. However we matched them all the way.

“At this level it's so cruel. You can try so hard and come away with nothing. It was a tough night. It was warm, sticky - it was a tough pitch - it was dry. But they're excuses. Italy were very good.”

Group D is now intriguingly poised, as Uruguay face England with both having lost their opening games.

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