The Azzurri needed to win, and a win they got. Italy beat Ukraine 2-1 at the San Siro tonight in the fourth game of their Euro 2024 Qualifiers campaign as Luciano Spalletti collected his first W in his journey as the new Nazionale coach.
Inter midfielder Davide Frattesi was the star of the night as he stroke twice in 30 minutes to build a two-goal cushion for his side. But the Azzurri also benefited from some good performances from Nicoló Zaniolo and Giacomo Raspadori – who replaced Ciro Immobile as center forward.
Here are our full player ratings for tonight’s Italy vs. Ukraine matchup:
Gianluigi Donnarumma – 6.5
Was severely under scrutiny after his quasi-blunder against North Macedonia, but kept his focus on tonight despite being booed by his former Milan fans every time he touched the ball. Came up with a superb save from Artem Dovbyk, but could not do anything as Andriy Yarmolenko tapped the ball in.
Giovanni Di Lorenzo – 5.5
The Napoli full-back seemed off to a good start, but was dashed past too easily by Dovbyk in occasion of Ukraine’s only goal of the night.
Giorgio Scalvini – 6.5
Wasn’t always on the same page as Bastoni when it came to marking Dovbyk, but his confidence grew by the minute. Came close to scoring in the second half with a powerful header that went above the crossbar.
Alessandro Bastoni – 6
He defused Ukraine’s first chance of the night but must share the blame with Di Lorenzo in occasion of Ukraine’s goal: The Girona striker sneaked between him and the Napoli defender to trigger Yarmolenko’s tap in.
Federico Dimarco – 6.5
His only mistake of the night was not clearing the ball away after Donnarumma’s prodigious save from Dovbyk. For the rest, he was the usual dynamo, running all along the left flank and forming a powerful offensive chain with Mattia Zaccagni.
Nicolò Barella – 6.5
A little less effective than usual, but the Sardinian’s grit and passion are always needed in the middle of the park.
Manuel Locatelli – 7
Came back to play for the Azzurri after 15 months and made his presence felt. His distribution was clinical except for one occasion which resulted in a potentially dangerous fast break for Ukraine. Hit the crossbar in the second half and played until full time, remaining concentrated even when most of the Azzurri seemed to have no more fuel left in the tank.
Davide Frattesi – 7.5
A spectacular performance for the new Inter midfielder, who bagged his first brace with the Italy jersey. Had the right attitude from the start, always attacking the ball. Was rewarded with a goal after 13 minutes, then scored a second one with a clinical finish. He eventually slowed down after the restart, but that was to be expected.
Nicoló Zaniolo – 7
The guy loves to dribble, maybe too much, but was very efficient tonight. Often exchanged the ball with Zaccagni on the other flank and moved inward to go for a shot. He didn’t found the net but propitiated the second goal. Also served a brilliant assist to Giacomo Raspadori, which the Napoli forward didn’t take advantage of…
Giacomo Raspadori – 6.5
Played in a center forward role, he is a different kind of striker than Ciro Immobile and that appeared evident tonight. Often engaged in exchanging the ball with the two wingers, rather than waiting to be serviced by them, and left the Ukrainian defense with no points of reference. Had a couple chances that he should have made a better use of, but overall his performance was convincing.
Mattia Zaccagni – 6
He showed no mercy (and rightly so…) when Heorhiy Sudakov slipped and lost the ball, triggering his pass for Frattesi’s finish that opened the scoring. However, the Lazio attacker also failed a couple of easy conversions in the middle of the box that could have made Italy’s job easier.
Cristiano Biraghi – 5.5
Came in for Dimarco, got a golden chance to make it 3-1 but lost the timing to convert it.
Wilfried Gnonto – 5
Shier than usual when it was time to attack, he replaced Zaccagni on the left flank but was never a real threat.
Mateo Retegui – 6
The Italo-Argentine substituted Raspadori upfront. Didn’t came to shot tonight, but made his presence felt upfront, keeping the ball in the final stages of the game when the Azzurri needed to catch their breath.
Riccardo Orsolini – 5.5
Luciano Spalletti’s last minute call-up was wasteful and inefficient.
Bryan Cristante – N/A
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