The Italian Lob: Andrea Pirlo explains why he took 'that' penalty like that
Andrea Pirlo was magnificent for Italy last night and the veteran capped a brilliant night with the best penalty we have seen in many years. But he wasn’t just showing off...
England displayed a considerable lack of ambition last nightagainst Italy. For any Irish fans watching it was grimly familiar. But instead of conceding soft goals like we did, England, thanks to Joe Hart, some last-ditch defending and a wasteful Mario Balotelli, held out for 120 minutes.
That presented us with the first penalty shoot-out of Euro 2012 and it looked to be heading England’s way when Riccardo Montolivo missed his spot kick, handing England a 2-1 lead.
Next up was Juve man Pirlo and he not only wanted to score but twist the psychological knife a little. So he took his penalty like this.
It worked as England didn't score again.
“At the moment I saw the goalkeeper making strange movements, so I waited for him to move and hit it like that,” said Pirlo.
“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.
And Pirlo sounded grumpy that they even had to go so far to dispose of Roy Hodgson’s side.
“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.”
Hard to argue with that final sentiment, Andrea.