Trap still loved by Italian faithful.

The Italian papers were full of it the following day: 'Fregati Dal Trap' and 'Vendetta Del Trap' were just some of the headlines as the nation tried to figure how the world champions were outplayed and outwitted in their own back yard by one of their own.

'Lippi Furioso' was another headline and why wouldn't the Italian coach be raging when, once again, the old man, Trapattoni, got the better of him.

In the encounters between Lippi and Trapattoni so far, Trap has won seven, four encounters have been drawn (although the World Cup qualifier was one of those draws that felt like a victory), and in all those match ups only two wins for the redoubtable Lippi.

Revenge might be putting it a bit strongly but there's no doubt that this was something of a triumph for the Ireland coach over his old adversary. Trapattoni has been planning for this fixture all his life, it seems.

It was extraordinary too how much love there was in the city of Bari for Trapattoni and how much antipathy for Lippi, the man who two years ago led the country to triumph at the World Cup in Berlin.

Lippi's failure to include local hero Antonio Cassano in the Italian squad has angered the Baresi and when Lippi emerged at the San Nicola stadium he was greeted by catcalls, boos and whistles.

Lippi must have thought he was having a bad dream. In the aftermath of the game at the post match press conference, Lippi was holding court when Trapattoni arrived. For the second time in two days the Ireland boss was applauded by the Italian media.

The subplot to the game, as George Hamilton pointed out, was always going to be the managerial match up. Trapattoni proved he wasn't as inflexible as most people thought by regular and decisive action from the sideline.

Sure, the sending off early in the game and the concession of an early goal meant we probably had to go for broke, but changing Keogh for Folan, Gibson for Andrews and Hunt for Doyle and the re jigging of the shape and pattern of the team putting McShane to centre half and switching Hunt while moving Robbie Keane to a deeper front line role was fascinating to watch.

The changes had Lippi in a spin and allowed Ireland a platform for possession and a stage for creativity that you certainly could not have expected following Saturday’s turgid display against Bulgaria in Croke Park.

It's remarkable to think how two draws in five days could be so different.

This Ireland squad have clearly bought into the manager and the belief in the squad and the system is paramount.

It was an absolute pleasure to be stationed on the sideline, so close to the bench, on a night when an Ireland team once again made us proud on a foreign field.

Surely a performance like that should go a long way to dispelling the negativity that has surrounded the depleted squad.

Maybe it's time we all bought into the manager's ability and experience and trusted him and the players to do the right thing.

The game against Bulgaria in Sofia in June is shaping up to be a second spot cup final and no doubt the green army will travel well, all present and correct. They might even check on their Bulgarian properties while they are there.

One thing is certain. The currency of Trapattoni's squad has risen appreciably and even in a volataile market we could yet see a spectacular return on the investment.

Tony O’Donoghue is Group Football Correspondent for RTÉ.