Player Ratings as Nicolo Barella Header Seals Victory for Azzurri



Netherlands 0-1 Italy | Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Italy made it two wins from two in the Nations League thanks to a 1-0 victory over the Netherlands at the Johan Cruyff ArenA on Monday evening.

Nicolò Barella applied the finishing touches to a slick Italy move in first half stoppage time in what proved to be the winner. The well worked goal typified Italy’s classy, polished performance, as Roberto Mancini’s side knocked the ball around confidently and were well deserving of their victory.

Let’s get into some player ratings.

Nathan AkeAke was playing in a less familiar left back role | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Jasper Cillessen (GK) – 6/10 – Could have done little to keep out Barella’s opening goal, and did well to palm Insigne’s curling effort around the post in the second half.

Nathan Ake (LB) – 6/10 – In a slightly unfamiliar position once more but never looked uncomfortable, largely because the majority of Italy’s attacks came from their left hand side.

Virgil van Dijk (CB) – 5/10 – Was caught flat footed as Barella drifted into the box unmarked to give Italy the lead. Good on the ball but was caused problems by Immobile.

Joël Veltman (CB) – 5/10 – Looked vulnerable when Italy attacked at pace, and was static and failed to pick up Barella for Italy’s opening goal.

Hans Hateboer (RB) – 5/10 – Struggled to contain the threat of Insigne and Spinazzola down the Italian left, who wreaked havoc throughout. Produced a wonderful sliding tackle to dispossess Immobile in the second half.

Georginio Wijnaldum, Manuel LocatelliWijnaldum provided Holland’s brightest first half moment | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Georginio Wijnaldum (LM) – 6/10 – Had Holland’s best opportunity of the first half after a typical surging run but fired straight at Donnarumma. Was more involved and effective after being moved into the number 10 role in the second half.

Frenkie de Jong (CM) – 5/10 – Struggled to get involved or dictate play with the same effectiveness as Italy’s impressive midfield three.

Marten de Roon (CM) – 5/10 – Picked out Depay with a terrific pass towards the latter stages, but like his midfield partner, de Roon had a quiet evening and struggled to get a foothold in the game.

Donny van de Beek (CAM) – 5/10 – Had a well struck first time effort well saved by Donnarumma after arriving from deep, but was otherwise quiet and unable to exert his creative influence on the game and was substituted before the hour.

Quincy Promes (RM) – 5/10 – Struggled to get involved and exert any creative influence, and left Hateboer with a lot to do defensively.

Memphis DepayDepay was unfortunate to not be awarded a penalty | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Memphis Depay (ST) – 6/10 – Was unfortunate to not win a penalty in the first half. Sent a sweetly struck drive narrowly over the bar on the hour mark.

Steven BergwijnBergwijn came on in the second half | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Steven Bergwijn – 6/10

Denzel Dumfries – N/A

Luuk de Jong – N/A

Giorgio ChielliniChiellini returned to the starting XI | Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Gianluigi Donnarumma (GK) – 6/10 – Acrobatically tipped van de Beek’s fizzing first time effort over the bar but had very little to do.

Leonardo Spinazzola (LB) – 8/10 – So impressive going forward and was at the heart of many of Italy’s best moves. Produced a wonderful flick in the build up to Barella’s opening goal. Fortunate to not concede a penalty in the first half for a shove on Depay.

Giorgio Chiellini (CB) – 7/10 – After being accidentally left out of the side for the Bosnia & Herzegovina clash thanks to a Roberto Mancini glasses-based mixup, demonstrated his enduring defensive class time and time again. So solid, so dependable.

Leonardo Bonucci (CB) – 6/10 – An integral part in Italy’s effectiveness at playing out from the back and slick passing game. Always showed for the ball, rarely gave it away.

Danilo D’Ambrosio (RB) – 6/10 – Never ventured forward as much as Spinazzola but was comfortable and efficient in possession, and rarely troubled defensively.

Nicolò BarellaBarella opened the scoring through Barella’s header | Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Jorginho (CDM) – 8/10 – So comfortable in possession and did the simple stuff expertly to keep Italy ticking over. Showed off his incredible vision and effortless passing range with a selection of stunning passes.

Nicolò Barella (CM) – 8/10 – Ghosted into the box unmarked to climb highest, head home and give Italy the lead in the first half. Teed Insigne up with a fabulous deft flick in the second half as Italy came close to doubling their lead. So energetic and eager to get on the ball.

Manuel Locatelli (CM) – 7/10 – Popped up with an excellent crunching tackle in the second half to epitomise his performance. Broke up play effectively and quietly but confidently went about his business in a thoroughly impressive debut.

Lorenzo InsigneInsigne was excellent | Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Lorenzo Insigne (LW) – 8/10 – An absolute live wire. Everything Italy produced came from Insigne and Spinazzola down the left flank. Heavily involved in the slick team move that resulted in Italy opening the scoring. Saw curling effort well saved by Cillessen in the second half.

Ciro Immobile (ST) – 8/10 – Had a good opportunity to open the scoring but dragged the ball wide, but atoned for his miss by picking out Barella with a perfectly weighted cross as the midfielder gave Italy the lead.

Nicolò Zaniolo (RW) – 6/10 – Had looked lively but was forced off on the stroke of half time through injury.

Moise KeanKean entered the fray on the stroke of half time | Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Moise Kean – 6/10

Bryan Cristante – N/A

Federico Chiesa – N/A



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