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Sloppiness at set-pieces cost us, says Trap

The Republic of Ireland manager defended Shay Given after tonight’s 2-0 defeat, saying that responsibility for both goals rests with the defence.

Image: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire/Press Association Images

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI PINPOINTED set-piece defending as his side’s Achilles heel after the Republic of Ireland crashed out of Euro 2012 with a 2-0 defeat against Italy.

Goals from Antonio Cassano and Mario Balotelli sent Italy through to the quarter-finals as Group C runners-up behind Spain, who eliminated Croatia with a 1-0 win in Gdansk.

Trapattoni was desperately unhappy about the manner in which goals were conceded, branding his side’s defending from corners a “disaster”.

“We have a dignity. We play also for our credibility and our honour,” the Italian told RTÉ television after the defeat.

“I asked the players for commitment and I think the players showed us their commitment. In the first 30 minutes, we had two or three shots on goal but Italy are strong also.

The set pieces for us, it was a disaster. There is this little mistake, this little misunderstanding and then it’s possible to concede this goal in this situation.

Technically, Italy is a little bit superior but we play a good game. Without these two set pieces, we could have got a draw.

Goalkeeper Shay Given again fielded his fair share of criticism following Cassano’s opener, which came off the inside of his arm before crossing the line.

But Trapattoni denied that the Donegal stopper was not fully fit and said that the blame rests with the defenders instead.

“It was not Shay Given. Shay Given saved also two or three balls. It’s the defenders with the two opponents, they were not careful. They did not pay attention. It was not the fault of Shay Given.”

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Niall Kelly

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