Wilmots disappointed by defeat

Belgium manager Marc Wilmots was not a happy man after seeing his side suffer a 2-0 defeat to Italy in their Euro 2016 opener on Monday.

The Red Devils held their own against the Azzurri up until the 33rd minute when Emanuele Giaccherini broke the deadlock to change the complexion of the Group E clash.

Antonio Conte's team were content to play counter-attacking football for the remainder of the match, which led to Graziano Pelle extending their lead in stoppage time to seal the win.

Wilmots was critical of the approach adopted by the Italians, although he felt his own players could have performed better on the night in Lyon.

"This is a huge disappointment for the whole group," he said afterwards. "In the first half-hour we allowed absolutely no chances and we created a few ourselves, albeit from distance.

"Then we made a small mistake in defence and Italy scored. The communication went wrong between [Toby] Alderweireld and [Laurent] Ciman.

"You know it's difficult to get back into the game then, especially against Italy because they have so much experience. We played a lot better after the break, though it was still not easy against the Juventus block in defence.

"We had some excellent scoring opportunities, but if you don't take them at this level, then it becomes very difficult to get a result.

"[Romelu] Lukaku didn't have a great night and [Kevin] De Bruyne can do better too, but now is not the time to talk about that. We now need to club together to qualify for the last 16.

"If you make mistakes at this level, you pay dearly. But nothing is lost. We've got two games to reach the knockout stage, which is the aim when you are in the group, and that is what we are going to try to do."

Commenting on the opposition tactics, Wilmots added: "Italy specifically played on the counter-attack. They did not play real football and when faced with everyone sitting back, it becomes difficult.

"They were pretty much there on the sofa… they were pretty relaxed."

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