Player Ratings: Belgium 3-1 Italy
Antonio Candreva gave the Azzurri the lead, but goals from Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Michy Batshuayi completed a wonderful comeback for the hosts.
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Simon Mignolet – 6.5 – Redeeming
Parried the initial effort from Graziano Pelle, but couldn’t stop Antonio Candreva poking it past him for the first goal. Made an incredible save to deny Pelle heading past him, throwing himself toward his far corner.
Luis Pedro Cavanda – 6 – Indecisive
Really struggled with the pace and trickery of his former Lazio teammate Antonio Candreva, didn’t offer much going forward but seemed to relax into his defensive responsibilities. Replaced by Denayer in the second half.
Toby Alderweireld – 6.5 – Overworked
Caught ball watching when Antonio Candreva gave the Italians the lead, was perhaps overworked with the lack of support from Vertonghen who kept going forward. Dealt well with every mounting threat as Antonio Conte put on more and more players.
Nicolas Lombaerts – 6.5 – Tough
A strong performance from the Zenit defender, keeping Graziano Pelle in check for vast periods of the match. Combined well with Alderweireld and had Denayer shadow him when he came on.
Jan Vertonghen – 6 – Solid
Drew the hosts level with a brilliantly directed header past Gianluigi Buffon from a corner. Booked not long after for a poorly-timed tackle. Stopped the ball at his feet to pay respect to the victims of the 1985 Heysel tragedy. Had a chance in the second half, but sent it wide.
Axel Witsel – 6 – Engine
Had little influence in the opening exchanges, booked for a high boot that almost caused Graziano Pelle some serious damage. Had a chance in the second half, but guided his shot just wide of the post.
Radja Nainggolan – 6.5 – Powerhouse
Had a speculative effort on the volley, but sent it wide. Lifted the ball delicately into the box into the path of Lukaku, but the Everton striker couldn’t hit the target. Strong in the challenge and reacted quickly to the Italian counter attacks.
Kevin De Bruyne – 8 – Flawless
Provided the excellent delivery which allowed Vertonghen to score. Looked like the man to unlock the resilient Italy back-line, his cross providing Witsel with the chance to put them ahead, but the Zenit midfielder didn’t make enough contact. However, he would in fact give the Belgians the lead when he powered his shot into the ground to deceive Gianluigi Buffon.
Eden Hazard – 5.5 – Anonymous
Saw precious little of the ball, unable to influence the game but very much reflected his recent glut in form.
Romelu Lukaku – 5.5 – Frustrated
Had a brilliant chance in the first half, but had it blocked by Giorgio Chiellini in front of goal. Was kept quiet for vast periods of the game. Had a similar opportunity early in the second half, but again was closed down. Replaced by Batshuayi in the second half.
Yannick Ferreira Carrasco – 6.5 – Creator
Put the ball past Gianlugi Buffon, but had come from an offside position to score. Set up Batshuayi after a wonderful dribbling move which was worthy of a goal in itself. Made way for Mirallas in the dying minutes.
Jason Denayer – 6.5 – Calming
Came on in the place of Cavanda, went straight into the action clearing a dangerous Antonio Candreva cross. Added much needed solidity at the back for Belgium with Alderweireld overworked at the back.
Michy Batshuayi – 7 – Poacher
The Marseille striker replaced Lukaku as the hosts went in search of the winner. Had his shot saved but saw De Bruyne finish off a great attacking move with a goal.
Kevin Mirallas – N/A
Cameo appearances for the Everton winger.