In the second round of the World Cup qualifiers, Gli Azzurri travelled to Sofia to meet the Bulgarian national team. Although it was far from being the prettiest performance, Roberto Mancini’s men earned their second 2-0 victory in a row. Andrea Belotti broke the deadlock from the spot late in the first half, and Manuel Locatelli came from the bench to seal the win. So here are our player ratings for Italy against Bulgaria.
Gianluigi Donnarumma – 6
A quiet night for the 22-year-old shot-stopper – perhaps even quieter than what he would have liked, as he barely had anything to do all evening.
Alessandro Florenzi – 6
Although it was a decent display from the PSG man, he was completely outshone by his former Roma teammate Spinazzola on the overlaps.
Leonardo Bonucci – 7
The Juventus defender was a dominant force at the back – which wasn’t a hard task admittingly – but also did incredibly well with his distributions from the back. Presented Immobile with a golden chance later in the match
Francesco Acerbi – 6.5
Another Italy center back who managed to shut down any possible threatening attacks from Bulgaria. Looked calm and confident at the back.
Leonardo Spinazzola – 7.5
A brilliant performance from one of the most underrated players in Calcio. A menacing presence on the left flank, and offered his teammates several opportunities from his overlaps – including one for Insigne. Kept running up and down the wing until the final whistle.
Nicolò Barella – 5.5
The Inter midfielder was present on the pitch for the whole 90 minutes, but barely made himself noticed. Although he undoubtedly helped his side in managing the match, a lot more was expected from a player of his caliber.
Marco Verratti – 7
A dominating performance from the Pescara native. Linked up well with Insigne to create the second goal, and provided a sublime long ball for Belotti.
Stefano Sensi – 5.5
The former Sassuolo man could have cost his side a penalty kick with a hand-ball. Didn’t look too comfortable playing in a deeper role than usual (as a Regista), and left the pitch in the second half.
Federico Chiesa – 5.5
The 23-year-old had a frustrating first half against the physical Bulgarian defenders. His performance improved after the break, and offered a decent pass for Belotti which could have resulted in another penalty kick.
Andrea Belotti – 7
The Torino striker had some difficulties in finding space within the Bulgaria penalty box, but eventually won a cheeky penalty kick for Italy which he converted himself. Could have added another with a nice lob, but was denied by the post.
Lorenzo Insigne – 6.5
The Bulgarians kept a close eye on the Napoli captain, as he had a quieter than usual first half. Began to find more spaces during the second half, and provided Locatelli with the assist for the knockout goal. Linked up well with Verratti and Spinazzola.
Manuel Locatelli – 7
A great second half outing from the Neroverdi star. Sealed the match beyond any doubt with a brilliant curler, and provided Immobile with a sublime through ball.
Giovanni Di Lorenzo – 5.5
Replaced Florenzi in the second half, but didn’t add much on the former Roma captain.
Ciro Immobile – 5.5
Wasted a golden opportunity to score the Azzurri’s third goal when he hound himself one-on-one against the goalkeeper.
Federico Bernardeschi – N/A
Matteo Pessina – N/A