Italy – Northern Ireland Player Ratings: Chiellini in Control

At the Ennio Tardini stadium in Parma, Italy welcomed Northern Ireland in the opening round of the World Cup qualifiers. Roberto Mancini’s men completely dominated the first half, and were able to score twice via Domenico Berardi and Ciro Immobile. Whilst the Azzurri’s performance was less dynamic in second half, they managed to maintain their lead, as they earned their first three points in a 2-0 victory. So here are our player ratings for Italy after their encounter against Northern Ireland.

Italy XI

Gianluigi Donnarumma – 5.5

The Milan shot-stopper didn’t have much to do, but looked shaky at times. Dealt with an Irish chance in an awkward manner, and almost cost his side a goal with a poor pass.

Alessandro Florenzi – 7

A fine performance from the PSG man who provided a delicious assist for the opener with an excellent through ball that found Berardi. Looked solid at the back as well.

Leonardo Bonucci – 6.5

Besides few wasted passes and a comical backheel attempt, the Juventus defender enjoyed a decent outing as he celebrated his 100th cap for Gli Azzurri.

Giorgio Chiellini – 7.5

A dominating performance from the Italy captain who took care of business as usual, and intercepted numerous Northern Ireland chances.

Emerson Palmieri – 6

Not a bad display from the Chelsea man by any means, as he did a good job at the back, but on the other side, didn’t offer much support for his teammates in attack.

Lorenzo Pellegrini – 6

The Roma captain was given the nod ahead for Barella, but seemed to be quieter than usual, and was rightfully the first player to be substituted by Mancini.

Manuel Locatelli – 6.5

The Sassuolo man’s horrible back-pass almost resulted in a goal for Northern Ireland, but this one mistake shouldn’t take away his solid performance in the Regista role. Played in a deep position, allowing Verratti the freedom to roam forward.

Marco Verratti – 7

The 28-year-old ran the show as usual with his smart distribution. Started the play that led for the second goal in cooperation with his former Pescara teammates Insigne and Immobile.

Domenico Berardi – 7

The Sassuolo winger is enjoying what is arguably the best season of his career, and he displayed it with a thrilling first half performance – before fading in the second.  Open the scoring with a thunderous close-range effort despite finding himself at a tight angle.

Ciro Immobile – 6.5

The Lazio striker wasted several opportunities, but he’d be happy with the goal he scored, as he doesn’t often find the back of net in the Azzurri jersey.

Lorenzo Insigne – 7

An entertaining display from the Napoli captain who assisted Immobile for the second Italy goal, and cased trouble for Northern Ireland whenever he had the ball at his feet.

Italy Substitutes 

Nicoló Barella – 6

The Inter star added some energy to the middle of the park, but he didn’t see much of the ball.

Leonardo Spinazzola – 6.5

The Roma wingback immediately lightened the left flank after coming on the pitch. Created two opportunities, but wasted one himself after finding himself one-on-one with the Irish goalkeeper.

Federico Chiesa – 5.5

Provided with a brilliant ball by Verratti but couldn’t connect on the volley.

Vincenzo Grifo – N/A

Matteo Pessina – N/A

Chiellini is our man of the match for Italy Vs Northern Ireland player ratings
Chiellini is our man of the match for Italy Vs Northern Ireland