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Italian fans gather at Mick's to see the victory

Mick Wallace's Italian Quarter in Dublin was the choice location for Italians to watch last night's clash.

Despite the threat of rain, some stalwart Italians watched the match on Millennium Way outside Mick Wallace's Entoca Delle Langhe restaurant.

At half-time, the Italian fans were becoming nervous. Sabrina Gagliolo from north-west Italy said: "I hope we get one more goal to win. I think Trapattoni is good for Ireland, and the Irish fans and the team are the best, they're much better than the Italians."

Marianne from Rome said: "I hope we win and that we play well. Ireland is doing really well, but I think Italy is better. I would be happy for Ireland too if they did well."

In Fitzsimon's in Temple Bar, once the final whistle blew, the Italian fans erupted.

Roberto Eleobra from north-east Italy said: "We're very, very happy. It was a difficult match and I was afraid we were going to lose. But they're a good team and Ireland played well too. The second goal was fantastic."

And Gianni Cosso from Sardinia added: "For the first time in this championship, Ireland put up a real fight."

Meanwhile, Irish fans in Fitzsimon's were disillusioned by the outcome, but adamant that Trapattoni is the only manager for Ireland.

Declan Clarke from Artane, Dublin said: "It looked as if we were coming back into it, but when they brought on Balotelli I saw it coming. I knew he'd get a goal, but still I'm very disappointed."

"To score only one goal and concede nine in our first tournament in 10 years is very disappointing. We'd got results against Italy the last three times, so I thought we'd do something, but it didn't happen."

Paddy Ryan from Fairview added that no other manager could take Trapattoni's place in Irish soccer.

"It's probably the best any manager could do with that set of players."

Barry Mathews from Dundalk, who came home early from Poland yesterday, said: "A draw would have been a fair result, because I thought they did well. They gave it 110pc in this match, they held the formation on the pitch and they were tracking back."