On Saturday at the Stadio Friuli in Udine, Italy managed to secure the 2-0 win over Finland in Group J of Euro 2020 Qualifying thanks to Nicolò Barella and Moise Kean opening up their accounts for the Azzurri.
Here are the player ratings from the victory.
Gianluigi Donnarumma (GK, 6.0): The Milan shotstopper wasn’t tested too much, but managed to keep a cleansheet with the assistance of a Pukki misfire from close range.
Cristiano Piccini (RB, 6.5): Decent outing from the Valencia man. However, do not expect Mancini to have established who his fullbacks are as it is likely the competition remains open.
Leonardo Bonucci (CB, 6.5): Long balls were on the money and provided the verticality necessary to stretch the field for Italy. Like always though, a bit suspect at times in defence. Calls for Alessio Romagnoli grow louder.
Giorgio Chiellini (CB, 7.0): The Juve captain executed a few key clenching tackles to support Bonucci. The glue keeping the backline functional, organized and together.
Cristiano Biraghi (LB, 6.0): Not much more to say about Biraghi, and the same assessment of Piccini applies here. Expect Spinazzola to get the full run vs Liechtenstein.
Nicolò Barella (CM, 8): Italy’s best midfielder on the day contributed with his first senior goal early on to set the tone for a strong performance in blue. Provided balance, personality and the proper technical ability to show promise charging forward.
Jorginho (CM, 5,5): A relatively normal day at the base of the midfield for the Chelsea man, though he looked a bit frustrated at times in trying to play into certain areas.
Marco Verratti (CM, 7.0): Solid outing for the diminutive midfielder who worked hard in and out of possession, showing that trademark bite and tenacity. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Verratti performance without a yellow card.
Moise Kean (RW, 8): The Azzurri’s top attacker on the day. Lively, energetic and exudes the confidence on the ball Italy require to become a more potent attacking side. His movement and great run was met with a perfectly threaded ball by Immobile in the 74th minute, which he calmly tucked away to kill the game off. A clear talent for the present and future.
Ciro Immobile (ST, 6.0): A bit too erratic and inconsistent in the final third, but did well to shake his man and charge forward to assist Kean on the match-securing goal at a delicate time. As Mancini stated, the Lazio man must not become too preoccupied with scoring.
Federico Bernardeschi (LW, 6.5): Early and often, the Juventus attacker got on the ball and looked to create. At times, he tends to overcomplicate matters; sometimes he is rewarded, sometimes he isn’t. Probably should have earned a penalty, but the official did not grant him the call.
Fabio Quagliarella (ST, 7.0): The 36-year old immediately graced the home crowd, one he is very familiar with from his days as a Udinese player, by heading his first touch on net which was denied. Luck was not on his side minutes later as his attempt hit the post after a perfectly executed and timed run. It will be interesting to see if Mancini starts him over Immobile vs Liechtenstein as he certainly has plenty in the tank to support Italy in a time of need up front.
Nicolò Zaniolo (CM, n/a): The Roma youngster was quiet on his Azzurri debut, leaving little to assess in his performance.
Leonardo Spinazzola (LB, n/a): Mancini gave the ex-Atalanta man a brief cameo to shake off the rust from his injury spell away from international duty. Many are hopeful Spinazzola can win a starting job in time.