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Italy’s Player Ratings vs Spain in 3-0 WCQ Loss

Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Spain dismantled Italy 3-0 Saturday night at the Santiago Bernabéu in a seemingly decisive 2018 World Cup Qualifier match.

Italy’s squad looked all out of sorts, and the loss almost guarantees Spain automatic qualification in Group G. Here are the Azzurri’s player ratings from the defeat.

Starters

Gianluigi Buffon (4.5): The Juventus keeper positioned himself too far to one side of the goal on Isco’s free-kick goal. Buffon also reacted slowly or the take could’ve been saved. The 39-year-old did save a Daniel Carvajal chance, but his passes were errant and he didn’t look comfortable on his feet. This was definitely not his night.

Matteo Darmian (5): The right-back created a chance by delivering a cross onto Andrea Belotti’s head in the first half. Darmian tried to be active on the wing in the first half, but Spain was too good in the back. La Roja was strong in the attack, but none of their scoring chances were necessarily at Darmian’s fault.

Andrea Barzagli (4.5): Barzagli joins his Juventus teammate with a lackluster performance. Spain beat him on speed for most of the night besides the one-on-one breakaway with Isco. On the third goal of the match, the 36-year-old lost track of goalscorer, Alvaro Morata.

Leonardo Bonucci (4): Bonucci simply did not bring his A-game tonight when Italy needed it most. The defender’s foul on Marco Asensio set up Spain’s opener. Bonucci’s positioning and passes were also poor throughout the match.

Leonardo Spinazzola (4.5): Spain attacked the Atalanta defender’s side often throughout the match. The young fullback seemed to play catch-up for most of the night and offered little going forward down the left side of the pitch.

Daniele De Rossi (5): The Roma man clearly struggled in the midfield tonight. De Rossi found himself caught in between all of Spain’s midfield possession from start to finish. The effort was there as he covered as much ground as he could, but it was tough in a two-man midfield.

Marco Verratti (4): Verratti may have presented everyone with is worst performance in an Azzurri shirt. The PSG man received a yellow card in the opening minutes and was never able to bounce back. The youngster failed to string together accurate passes and bring creativity.

Antonio Candreva (4.5): Candreva displayed a good connection with Darmian on the right side of the field. His speed almost created a chance in the first half, but his shot inaccuracy was the downside. The Inter player could have done better on a rebound from a De Gea save.

Ciro Immobile (4.5): Spain’s center-backs swallowed up Immobile all game. The 27-year-old ran a lot in this match, but didn’t receive much service to prey upon. Immobile was the one to set up Lorenzo Insigne’s shot-on-goal at the beginning of the second half.

Andrea Belotti (5.5): ‘Il Gallo’ proved to be the most dangerous player for the Italians tonight. Belotti’s headers provided scoring chances and he may have scored with his feet, but he was wrongly called offside. The effort was there, but nothing came to fruition.

Lorenzo Insigne (4.5): Insigne’s performances for Napoli raised excitement coming into the match against Spain on Saturday. However, Napoli’s hometown boy failed to create much on the wing for the attack. Part of this could be because he found himself playing fullback deep on the defensive side of the field for the Azzurri.

Substitutions

Federico Bernardeschi 70′ (for Candreva): N/A.

Éder 70′ (for Belotti): N/A.

Manolo Gabbiadini 77′ (for Immobile): N/A.

All three substitutions did not play enough minutes to warrant a rating. None of them contributed much either.

Manager

Giampiero Ventura (3.5): Fans can see the intent of playing the 4-2-4 information against La Furia. Ventura wanted to bring firepower and strike with it in order to ensure victory. However, he failed to realize that it’s just not effective to play with two midfielders against a ruthless Spanish midfield. Italy already faced a tough challenge in winning in Spain, but going in with this plan didn’t help. His substitutions were also very un-influential. The boss got it wrong.

@ItalianFD

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