Italy and Nigeria played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage in London on Monday evening thanks to goals from Giuseppe Rossi and Emanuele Giaccherini.
The Azzurri were wasted a host of chances, especially in the second half, though questions will be asked about the defence as it looked very shaky at times.
As a result, that leaves Nazionale coach Cesare Prandelli with just four wins in 22 friendly matches, so who did their World Cup chances a favour, and who looks ready for the Brazilian boot.
Check out Forza Italian Football’s player ratings and let us know what you think.
Salvatore Sirigu – 6 – Lonely
Not really at fault for the goals, let down by a poor defence. To his credit made an excellent save from John Ogu in the second half.
Christian Maggio – 6 – Confused
Gave the Azzurri an outlet on the right side when going forward, but Nigeria did get in behind him on a number o occasions adding more weight to the ‘Maggio is not a full-back’ campaign.
Andrea Ranocchia – 5.5 – Location
Positionally poor a lot of the time and seemed to be lacking in pace and concentration. Not what Italy need at the back at all.
Angelo Ogbonna – 5 – Frustration
Beaten in the air far too many times and was at fault for the second goal. Seemed low on confidence and was easily flustered when put under pressure.
Manuel Pasqual – 5 – Lost
A night to forget for the Fiorentina captain. Did little to influence the game and was overwhelmed by the Nigerians, also could have don’t better for the first goal.
Thiago Motta – 5 – Missing
The Brazilian-born midfielder must have stayed in Paris en-route to London as he was nowhere to be found until Prandelli took him off in the second half.
Riccardo Montolivo – 6 – Ticking
Kept the midfield ticking over and broke well to support the forward line. Could have had a goal but he shot wide.
Emanuele Giaccherini – 6.5 – Turnaround
A literal game of two halves for the Sunderland man. Extremely quiet in the opening period bar the odd decent run, but found himself in the right place at the right time to bag Italy’s equaliser. Seemed revitalised after half time and caused Godfrey Oboabona a number of issues.
Antonio Candreva – 6 – Solid
Another good performance from the Lazio midfielder as he looked comfortable linking up with Rossi and Balotelli. Showed good awareness, vision and selflessness to find Giaccherini for Italy’s second.
Mario Balotelli – 6.5 – Dangerous
It seemed as if the Balotelli of old was on the Craven Cottage pitch. Cause plenty of problems as he drifted to the wings and should have gotten on the scoresheet himself, but wasted a host of chances. Displayed great strength to set-up Rossi for the opener.
Giuseppe Rossi – 7 – Resurrection
Exactly 899 days since his last Azzurri goal, the Fiorentina striker deserved his start and deserved to get the first goal. Excellent touch and finish. He is shaping up to be Italy’s number one forward come the summer. Fantastic.
Andrea Pirlo – 6.5
Had a free kick well saved and passing range was a joy to watch as he brought a control to Italy’s play.
Marco Parolo – 6
Realistically could have had a hat-trick as he wasted a number of excellent changes. Added dynamism in the midfield and will have enhanced his Azzurri chances.
Alessandro Diamanti – 6.5
Another who came on and made a big difference to Italy. Created a number of openings and hit the crossbar from a free kick.
Alessio Cerci – N/A
Andrea Poli – N/A
Cesare Prandelli – 6 – Steady
Putting out what can only be described as a makeshift back line the focus looked to be more on the forward players. He will be happy with the majority of what he saw, but there are still a few tactical issues which need ironed out.