Walcott, Hamann and more: Twitter reacts as Italy beat England

Theo Walcott and Dietmar Hamman both tweet their thoughts as England suffer a 2-1 defeat by Italy in their World Cup opener

Walcott, Hamann and more: Twitter reacts as Italy beat England

England’s World Cup campaign began in defeat as Mario Balotelli’s header gave Italy a 2-1 win in Manaus on Saturday night.

Claudio Marchisio’s low shot opened the scoring in the 35th minute but Daniel Sturridge levelled from Wayne Rooney’s cross less than two minutes later.

However, Balotelli headed in Antonio Candreva’s precise cross shortly after half-time to hand the Azzurri victory in their Group D opener.

Saturday’s big game inevitably prompted plenty of activity on Twitter – and here are our favourite updates, listed as the action unfolded.

Vegard Heggem (@vedgy) is supporting the five Liverpool players in the starting line-up: “Come on Liverpool!”

Jim Magilton (@magilton7) is not very impressed by Phil Neville’s co-commentary on the BBC: “Phil Neville gets you going down he? Glass eye to sleep! #paintdry”

Tim Lovejoy (@timlovejoy) feels the same: “Someone needs to get Phil Neville a strong coffee. #LivenUpPhil”

Wigan man James McClean (@JMcC_23) hails Pirlo’s dummy as Italy take the lead: “Serious dummy by the magican pirlo #balla”

Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong (@IAMFRIMPONG26) chimes in with some more praise for the veteran midfielder: “Man like pirlo treating this game like a charity match #nosweat #baller”

Andy Carroll (@AndyTCarroll) is among the first to celebrate Sturridge’s equaliser: “Boooooom!!!!! #studger”

Dietmar Hamann (@DietmarHamann) summarises the goal: “Beautiful ball by Rooney, Sturridge made the finish look easy. Wasn’t as easy as it looked.”

Fabrice Muamba (@fmuamba) keeps the Pirlo praise going: “You have to admit that Pirlo is on a different wave length compared to all the midfield players we have seen so far in this tournament”

Chris Kamara (@chris_kammy) chimes in as Italy take the lead shortly after the break: “Great header from Balotelli aaaarrrgggghhh he leaves Gary Cahill caught short, need to come from behind again, long way to go”

Lineker (@GaryLineker) is already looking for the positives: “Whatever happens in this game, with these young stars, and their fearless approach, the future is very bright for England.”

Arsenal star Theo Walcott (@theowalcott) is upbeat and sends his best wishes to injured physio Gary Lewin: “Some great positives from tonight’s game. Just wishing Gary Lewin all the best.”

Fabio Cannavaro (@fabiocannavaro) is pleased, in his native tongue: “Bellissima partita complimenti all’Italia…”

Peter Reid (@reid6peter) is feeling positive: “We will still go thru. @WayneRooney got to play off the front man. His body language told you something tonight.”

And that just leaves Joey Barton (@Joey7Barton) to have the final say: “Disruption of opposition in transition. Don’t let them settle. Don’t allow them to find their rhythm. We allowed Pirlo/De Rossi to dictate. Lots to build on but plenty of work to do. Again front 4 of Rooney, Barkley, Sterling, Sturridge. Gerrard holding and Wilshere linking play.”

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