Italy's miserable draw against Luxembourg

Ranked 112th by FIFA and recently crushed 5-1 by Belgium, Luxembourg still managed a shock draw against Italy to initiate a slight panic before the World Cup. Friendlies, the players insist, rarely inspire dominant performances and that is perhaps true. "Italy has accustomed us to lacklustre performances before momentous triumphs," wrote Corriere dello Sport.

The Azzurri only seem to perform when they absolutely must. With the England challenge coming up, one hopes the Azzurri can shed their confused state and play with fluidity once the World Cup commences.

It all started well, though, with Claudio Marchisio earning the plaudits. Picking out Mario Balotelli with a long ball, the Milan forward then crossed and Marchisio, who made yet another perfectly timed run into the box, headed in the opening goal in the eighth minute.

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