With goals by Daniele De Rossi and Ciro Immobile, Italy defeated Albania 2-0 in their fifth match of World Cup qualifying action.
Here is how we rated each individual performance by the Azzurri at the Renzo Barbera.
Gianluigi Buffon (6.5): An easy 1000th appearance for Gigi in between the pipes. Aside from the beginning of the match, he was tested very little by the opposition. A good result for a historic achievement.
Davide Zappacosta (7.5) MOTM: Undoubtedly the Azzurri’s best player. He showed a lot of maturity and aggressiveness in his decision making and knew to integrate himself into the attack when the chance presented itself. A huge positive for Ventura and his staff.
Andrea Barzagli (6.5): Was beaten once in his own box in a play that was consequently saved by his captain. His distribution was remarkable as he played a big role in buildup and possession.
Leonardo Bonucci (6.5): Calm, cool and collected. It’s clear why Bonucci is the only player that has started all five qualifiers for Italy. Kept Italy’s back line organized and played a big role in ball recovery despite shaky distribution.
Mattia De Sciglio (6.5): A solid performance by De Sciglio who enjoyed lots of space to run forward on. Did well in dealing with Albania’s Hysaj and showed great composure on both ends of the field.
Antonio Candreva (6.0): Showed himself a lot for the ball on the right flank and created space for Zappacosta to work in. At times however he seemed to not make the right decision when in posession. Lacked end product in final third.
Marco Verratti (7.0): After Zappacosta, Verratti was Italy’s most dominant player on the pitch. He dictated the tempo of play, and by letting the game come to him he was able to dominate the midfield. His ability to integrate himself in attack and defense allowed Italy to control this game.
Daniele De Rossi (7.0): After scoring the 1-0 from the spot he showed lots of confidence and character. He complemented Verratti very well in the defensive half and was very determined going forward.
Lorenzo Insigne (6.5): Not the easiest night for Insigne who had to constantly sprint away from his Napoli teammate Elseid Hysaj. Was given very little space and time on the ball by the Albanian fullback but still managed to show a lot of determination in creating chances.
Ciro Immobile (7.0): Worked hard all throughout as first line of defense and saw himself awarded when he connected to Zappacosta’s cross at the far post for the 2-0.
Andrea Belotti (6.5): A positive peformance for The Rooster who as always played with a lot of toughness whether it was in dribbling at the opposition or when tracking back to recover posession. Won the penalty to open the scoreline, thus setting the tone for the rest of the game.