Prandelli excited by Balotelli and Rossi partnership

The forward pair played alongside one another for the first time in two years on Monday and showed glimpses of their ability to work together upfront

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli admitted he is excited by the potential of the partnership between Giuseppe Rossi and Mario Balotelli after his side drew 2-2 with Nigeria.

The Fiorentina striker – making his return to the national team after two years out through injury – scored the opening goal of the game in the first half, but the Azzurri fell behind as quick-fire goals from Bright Dike and Shola Ameobi put the Super Eagles 2-1 up before half-time.

A 47th minute strike from Emanuele Giaccherini spared Italy’s blushes and having opted to partner Rossi and Balotelli at Craven Cottage on Monday night, Prandelli was content with what he witnessed.

The 52-year-old said: “Rossi and Balotellicombined many times. The absolutely terrible mistake we made was that when 1-0 up we tried to hold possession in sterile fashion and we should’ve looked for the second goal.

“We found more width, found Alessandro Diamanti between the lines. We also did well at the start with four or five passes in a row to get towards the goal.

“The first Nigerian goal was absolutely a foul, but we take home this good performance.”

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