Northern Ireland vs Italy Player Ratings: No Savior for the Azzurri

Happiness is simply never meant to last in Italian football. Few months after lifting the Euro 2020 trophy, the Azzurri are now running the risk of missing out on their second World Cup in a row following a goalless draw against Northern Ireland. On a cold night in Belfast, Italy needed a hero, but found none, as Switzerland deservedly snatched the ticket to Qatar 2022 with an impressive 4-0 win against Bulgaria. So here are our player ratings for Italy who simply couldn’t find a way through the defenses of Northern Ireland.

Italy XI

Gianluigi Donnarumma – 6

The PSG man was a spectator during the first half, but had to pull off two important saves in the second period. However, he almost allowed the Irish to score late in the match when he abandoned his goal without succeeding in clearing the ball.

Giovanni Di Lorenzo – 5.5

The Napoli right-back was involved in the attacking phase but his delivery was simply off. Wasted a decent chance early on and lost the ball easily on several occasions.

Leonardo Bonucci – 7

The captain was one of the most confident and solid performers amongst Roberto Mancini’s men. Tried to help his teammates with his renowned long ball but most importantly bailed Donnarumma out with a goal line clearance that spared Italy further embarrassment.

Francesco Acerbi – 6.5

The Lazio man was solid at the back, and did well to abolish several attempts from Northern Ireland, especially during the second half when they gained some confidence.

Emerson Palmieri – 5.5

The Lyon left-back was surprisingly uninvolved in the Azzurri’s attacks, as remained close the the center backs even when his side was desperate for goals. However, he did threaten with one long-range effort.

Nicolò Barella – 5.5

Another off-night for the dynamic Inter midfielder. Tried to meet his teammates’ long balls with runs towards the box, but never managed to create danger for the Irish. Lacked the technical touch at times.

Jorginho – 5

The Ballon d’Or nominee looked like a shadow of himself. The hosts obviously identified him as one of the key players to mark, and he was unable to escape his Irish escort and remained too deep to affect the match.

Sandro Tonali – 5.5

What started as a promising display quickly turned sour following a needless booking. The Milan man’s touch looked heavy at times, and Mancini decided to take him off at half time, probably to avoid a second yellow.

Domenico Berardi – 5.5

The Sassuolo man was amongst the players who tried hard to get something going, but it just never happened.

Lorenzo Inisgne – 5

The Napoli captain can’t be blamed, as the diminutive winger was always going to struggle in the false 9 role facing the big Irish defenders. However, he should have done better with his finishing on a couple of occasions.

Federico Chiesa – 6

The Juventus star was the most dangerous player for Italy throughout the match as he managed to break through the opposition’s box at times, but he lacked the finish touch.

Italy Substitutes

Bryan Cristante – 5.5

The Roma man replaced Tonali at half time but hardly added anything when Italy were chasing the match.

Andrea Belotti – 5

Confirmed his negative period with another forgettable display.

Federico Bernardeschi – 5

Added next to nothing following his introduction.

Manuel Locatelli – 5.5

Fought hard in the middle park, but the Azzurri needed something extra.

Gianluca Scamacca – N/A

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