Friday November 11 2011
Pazzini admits he was offside

Giampaolo Pazzini feels there is a lot of pressure on Mario Balotelli, but doesn’t care if his goal was offside!

The Inter striker got the second goal in Poland, sneaking on to a Balotelli through ball to beat Wojciech Szczesny after Simone Pepe grazed the pass.

“Did Pepe touch it? Yes. I was offside, but I’m taking it anyway! I’ve had enough chalked off incorrectly to take a bit of luck!”

‘Pazzo’ was given the starting spot as Giuseppe Rossi and his former Sampdoria teammate Antonio Cassano are out for six months after knee and heart surgery respectively.

“I’m sure Cassano was watching and we made fun of each other, as I ‘took’ his jersey tonight.

“These games are important to try out other options and there is so much competition for places, as thankfully Italy have real strength in depth.

“We are different players to the recent pairing of Rossi-Cassano, so perhaps there are more options and different situations. Of course we have to improve, as we could have and should’ve done more from through balls.

“We were a little too far apart in the first half, though it wasn’t easy either. We should’ve scored a second goal earlier.

“Obviously we’re pleased to be on the scoresheet. Mario scored a fantastic goal and I’m pleased to have netted in a packed stadium, as there is no such thing as a friendly with the Nazionale.

“I think we were clinical with our chances, but also could’ve scored more, as after taking the lead we tried to keep possession a bit too much and not enough passes came through to me.

“We talked it over in the locker room that for me the 4-3-3 system was better, so the second half suited us more, I think.”

The fans and media were waiting for Balotelli to deliver and he scored a sensational strike, his first at senior level for Italy.

“Mario got annoyed at one point as he slipped over twice. I assured him he’d be fine and a few minutes later he scored,” revealed Pazzini.

“It seems likely that people could put too much pressure on Balotelli. He has a lot of character and when you’re young then you don’t feel it as much, but it’s true there are many expectations around him and that could be damaging.”