News In Depth
Italy fans stage Soho celebration
The Peroni was flowing thick and fast at Bar Italia as the Euro 2012 clash between England and Italy got under way on Sunday night.
The Italian bar in Soho in London was packed to the rafters with a crowd noisily blowing whistles and cheering on the Azzuri.
As they chanted "Italia" all attention in the bar in Frith Street was on the big screen showing the game on Italian channel RAI.
Paul Robinson, the bar's Anglo-Italian manager, was "110%" behind Italy in what he said was "the biggest game of the year".
"Being in England, to be playing England, this is a do-or-die situation.
"There will be a lot of unhappy people if they go out today but obviously we think Italy will do well, if not go on and win it.
"I have English on one side of the family, Italian on the other, but working at Bar Italia it lies 110% with Italy."
The cheers turned to howls of anger when Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli missed several good chances, including a one-on-one with England goalkeeper Joe Hart.
But Italian fans poured out of the bars in the narrow Soho street for an impromptu street party after their side won 4-2 on penalties at the stadium in Kiev.
In ecstatic scenes they took over the street, cheering and shouting and waving the green, white and red Italian il Tricolore flags as they celebrated their side's win.
Their cheering could be heard several blocks away on the busy thoroughfare of Oxford Street, where dejected England fans were heading home.
One of the partygoers, Fabrizio Amboroso, said that the better team had won in the end.
"We deserved the game. It was very hard, we had a lot of chances, it was a fair result," he said.
"They (England) did their game but we played better so we deserved it, yes."
The crowd seemed to be made up of native Italians mixed with a lot of Anglo-Italians.
One Italian fan partied stripped to the waist. Asked what he made of the game he said: "We are the best team, we are so going to get through to Kiev. Italia!"
In amongst the throng there was also a few England fans who had come to Bar Italia and the bars around it the experience the atmosphere.
One England fan, called John, said: "I just wanted to experience what it was like in Bar Italia, great celebrations.
"I didn't think we played well. The first half we played well but then just became very defensive and the main thing is we couldn't pass the ball.
"The penalties were poor."
The Italian fans' next chance to get together and cheer on their team is on Thursday, when they line up in the semi-final against a strongly fancied Germany.