England captain Steven gerrard and Itaky\'s Andrea Pirlo swap shirts after the match. (@LFCPhoto)
England captain Steven Gerrard and Italy\'s Andrea Pirlo swap shirts after the match. (@LFCPhoto)

More than 7.2 million tweets were sent last night during England and Italy's Group D clash in Manaus, Brazil, as fans took to the microblogging site to encourage the attacking verve of Roy Hodgson's youthful team, and express the pain of defeat.

According to data released by Twitter, activity on the site reached its peak after Daniel Sturridge's 37th minute equaliser for the Three Lions, with 219,637 tweets per minute.

192, 633 tweets per minute were registered after Claudio Marchisio's 35th minute opener for Italy, while Mario Balotelli's winner in the second half winner drove 148,644 tweets per minute.

Though there was understandable disappointment, many England fans took encouragement from their team's performance , comparing it favourably to lacklustre displays in other tournaments.

The World Cup is set to become the most tweeted about event in sporting history, according to a study by Adobe systems, with 69 billion social media mentions already.

According to overnight BBC viewing figures, 15.6 million tuned in to watch the match.

Here are some tweets you may have missed.