Italy coach Cesare Prandelli admitted relief after their World Cup qualifying win over Bulgaria.

Alberto Gilardino scored the decisive goal for a 1-0 victory at the Stadio Barbera in Palermo, which puts the Azzurri seven points clear at the top of Group B.

"Our fitness levels are not optimal and that makes it all much more difficult," Prandelli told RAI Sport.

"Unfortunately tonight we had to make three changes due to injuries, so it became complicated. Gigi saved the result with an extraordinary performance, so it's nice to suffer and still win.

"Everyone gave more than they could tonight. While we were organised, had the ball and pace we did some very interesting things.

"Bulgaria poured forward towards the end, as they gambled it all, so it was predictable we would suffer."

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