Prandelli satisfied with Italy draw
Claudio Marchisio put Italy ahead in the opening minute but Serbia's Branislav Ivanovic equalised before half-time as both teams shared the spoils in an entertaining match at the at the Crvena Zvezda Stadium. "It wasn't easy but my players did a great job and were very focused," Prandelli told Rai Sport. "We did a good job in midfield and things went well for us."
The Azzurri played without pressure, having already sealed a first-place finish in Group C and a spot in UEFA EURO 2012 ahead of the game in Belgrade. "We played beautiful football in the opening 20 minutes and had chances to double our lead," Prandelli said. "We knew this was going to be a difficult game as Serbia needed to get a positive result but we wanted to give continuity to our past performances."
Prandelli had spoken of the need for his team to keep the winning momentum going despite being without several injured players, including Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli and Inter Milan striker Giampaolo Pazzini. "I am happy that my team always tried to go forward and go for victory," Prandelli said. "We had several players out injured but the team responded well. It was a good test for us and I'm satisfied with the outcome."
The result in Belgrade has kept the Azzurri unbeaten in qualifying. Italy end the qualifying campaign against Northern Ireland in Pescara and Prandelli has demanded another solid performance from his players. "We will go to Pescara determine to play well and to beat Northern Ireland," Prandelli said.