Israel coach surprised by 'defensive' Italy

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Elisha Levy felt his Israel side encountered the most defensive Italy performance in his lifetime, despite the visitors winning 3-1 in Monday's World Cup qualifier.

Goals from Graziano Pelle, Antonio Candreva and Ciro Immobile did the job for Giampiero Ventura's side, who had Giorgio Chiellini sent off in the second half in Haifa.

But Levy, who saw Tal Ben Haim respond for his men, was upbeat about the display and expressed surprise at Italy's apparent reluctance to attack.

"We can take some positives from the match," he said. "Besides the result, which was bad, everything that happened we wanted.

"They scored on every opportunity they had. The crowd was fantastic and pushed from the beginning to the end.

"We came back with a great goal by Ben Haim and we developed momentum that could have turned around the result.

"Unfortunately, as is often the case in football, when you play attacking football, you get scored against. Besides the result, I am happy with everything. I have never seen Italy play so defensive in my life."