Azerbaijan 1-3 Italy: Player Ratings
Italy beat Azerbaijan 3-1 in the Baku Olympic Stadium on a rainy night, to secure their place at Euro 2016.
Despite not dominating the game the Azzurri took the lead in the 11th minute through Eder after he was played in by Marco Veratti. However, Azerbaijan hit back through Dimitrij Nazarov after a defensive mix up between the Italian back line in the 30th minute.
Despite this Italy soldiered on, and regained the lead through a Stephen El Shaarawy tap-in. In the second-half Matteo Darmian confirmed the win with a lovely shot from outside the box in the 65th minute.
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Gianluigi Buffon -6- Controlled
He couldn’t have done anything to stop the Azerbaijan goal, but apart from this he was not forced into making a world-class save. A pretty simple night for the veteran.
Matteo Darmian -7- Full-Throttle
His poor communication with Giorgio Chiellini helped lead to the equalizer for Azerbaijan. However, he made up for it in the second-half when he won the ball just outside the box and hit a brilliant shot past the goalkeeper for Italy’s third.
Leonardo Bonucci -6- Solid
Should have done better when clearing a high ball which eventually led to Azerbaijan’s first goal. Despite this he was very confident on the ball and was strong in his defensive duties.
Giorgio Chiellini -5- Stern
His failed clearance led to Azerbaijan’s first goal but apart from that, the Juventus lynchpin was very confident in both playing out from the back and in his defensive work.
Mattia De Sciglio -6- Persistent
The AC Milan full-back was effective going forward and he was rarely troubled by Azerbaijan’s right winger due to his constant pressure.
Marco Veratti -8- Innovative
Veratti was composed on the ball as usual and his assist for the Azzurri’s first goal was absolutely stunning. He also did his fair share of defensive work.
Marco Parolo -6- Honest
The Lazio midfielder was reasonably good throughout, he passed the ball well and worked hard for his team. Produced one excellent pass in the second-half to set up Eder.
Antonio Candreva -5- Disappointing
Pretty ineffective and rarely beat his man but did supply a decent cross for Stephen El Shaarawy to score. Must do better if he wants to keep his place in the side.
Eder -8- Superb
Scored Italy’s first with a composed finish which had been created by a marvelous run in behind the Azerbaijan defence. Moreover, he was nuisance whenever he got on the ball. The Sampdoria forward was also very unlucky not to score a second.
Graziano Pelle -6- Beast
The Southampton man’s hold-up play was excellent throughout the match and he was unlucky to score in the first 20 minutes. He was less involved in the second-half.
Stephen El Shaarawy -6- Quiet
The for AC Milan player had one decent effort in the first-half but apart from that he was rather average in possession. However, he did manage to score a tap-in.
Alessandro Florenzi (74 mins) –6 – Effective
Showed some nice touches and was useful in helping Italy grind out the win
Sebastian Giovinco (79 mins) –6 – Potential
Looked fresh when coming on for the final ten minutes. Played so lovely passes late on in the game.
Riccardo Montolivo (89 mins) -N/A-