Lorenzo Insigne was the star performer as Italy finished top of Group A1 with a convincing 2-0 win over Bosnia & Herzegovina on Wednesday.
Italy finished top of Group A1 in the UEFA Nations League by registering a 2-0 win over Bosnia & Herzegovina in Sarajevo on Wednesday. The victory helps them seal their place in the Finals, alongside France, Belgium and Spain.
The visitors were the better side throughout the game, showcasing a lot of attacking prowess. The attacking combination worked perfectly from Roberto Mancini’s men while the midfielders also did their part in dominating the game. As a result, the Italians found a breakthrough in the 22nd minute through Andrea Belotti.
The Bosnian defence does deserve some credit for denying them any clear cut opportunities, but were questionable on the counter. They also failed to provide any real danger going forward, with striker Smail Prevljak emerging as the only bright spark in an otherwise dire offensive unit.
The Azzurri doubled their lead in the 68th minute after initially experiencing a relatively a slow start to the second half. It was Domenico Berardi who found the second goal, making full use of Manuel Locatelli’s remarkable pass. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a look at the Italians following their convincing performance against Bosnia on Wednesday.
Gianluigi Donnarumma: 7/10
Gianluigi Donnarumma was forced to make an astonishing save to deny Smail Prevljak in the first half. Fortunately for him, that was the only time he was forced into any kind of action as the Bosnian attack struggled to create any clear cut opportunities. A well deserved clean sheet for the AC Milan custodian.
🚧 15 clean sheets in 27 matches since Roberto Mancini took charge
— Italy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@azzurri) November 18, 2020
Alessandro Florenzi: 6/10
Alessandro Florenzi might have hoped for a better game, though he was involved in a couple of attacking and defensive moments in the first half. The right-back was taken off at half-time, perhaps due to fatigue issues.
Francesco Acerbi: 7.5/10
Francesco Acerbi was the most impressive defender for Italy. With Alessio Romagnoli and Giorgio Chiellini missing, the Lazio centre-back’s presence in the side was critical in denying Bosnians any sort of room to work with. He was also great with his tackles, and notably had an attempt on goal in the second half.
Alessandro Bastoni: 7/10
Alessandro Bastoni offered the necessary defensive support to Acerbi, proving himself to be a real obstacle for the Bosnian forwards. The Inter Milan defender played a key role during build-up play as well, distributing passes from the back and easing his team’s transition play.
Emerson Palmieri: 6.5/10
It wasn’t an eventful game for Emerson as far as the attacking endeavours are concerned. He was, however, remarkably solid during the defensive phases, denying Benjamin Tatar any leeway into the final third.
Nicolo Barella: 8/10
Nicolo Barella was one of the best performers for Italy in this game. The Inter Milan sensation served as a creative force in the middle of the park, notably playing a remarkable a cross-field pass to set up Insigne for an excellent opportunity. He also impressed the onlookers with his determination and a willingness to win the ball back for his team.
Barella, Jorginho and Locatelli-this current incarnation of Azzurri under Mancini has been fun & such a breath of fresh air after Ventura https://t.co/Xw1MEmjGkJ
— David Amoyal (@DavidAmoyal) November 18, 2020
Jorginho provided the defensive cover from the holding midfield role. The in-form Chelsea midfielder kept things neat and tidy in the middle of the park, making things much easier for his two midfield partners to go out and dominate the game. Classy and composed as ever.
Manuel Locatelli: 8/10
Manuel Locatelli played a key role in both the Italian goals. It was his commitment that opened up an excellent opportunity for Insigne to launch a counterattack that led to the opener while the ex-AC Milan prodigy provided a delightful chipped pass to set up Berardi’s goal in the second half. A great display of creativity, aggression and work-ethic.
Domenico Berardi: 8/10
Domenico Berardi was a lively figure in the first half, often hassling Advan Kadusic with his runs across the byline. His crosses provided a lot of threat to the Bosnian defence in general. And although the winger’s performance did wane in the second half, he managed to seal all three points for his side with a neat finish in the 68th minute.
Andrea Belotti: 7.5/10
Andrea Belotti missed an excellent early opportunity to net the opener for his team and might even call himself lucky to find the back of the net in the 22nd minute. Nevertheless, the Torino forward did show a lot of enthusiasm and linked well with his teammates in the final third.
Lorenzo Insigne: 9/10
Lorenzo Insigne was simply a menace for the Bosnian defence throughout the course of the game. His technical prowess and quick feet were just too much for the opposition, who struggled to contain him on the left flank. His cross to feed Belotti for the opener, in particular, was simply delightful.
🇮🇹 Andrea Belotti scores his first UEFA Nations League goal to put Italy ahead
🅰️ Lorenzo Insigne has the assist and it means that no player in League 🅰️ has registered more assists than the Azzurri star pic.twitter.com/cKXJKAbRI5
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) November 18, 2020
The Napoli winger also created an excellent opportunity for himself using an excellent first-touch from Barella’s cross-field pass, though his effort was wide. Nevertheless, Insigne has every reason to call himself unlucky to not find the back of the net. Man of the match.
Giovanni Di Lorenzo: 6/10
Replaced the fatigued Florenzi at the start of the second half, providing more energy to the table in the Italian. Did not do much to influence the game, though.
Federico Bernardeschi: N/A
A late replacement for Berardi. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Kevin Lasagna: N/A
A late replacement for Belotti. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Davide Calabria: N/A
A late replacement for Insigne. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.