Portugal v Italy ratings as slippery Silvas light up Lisbon

Matt Jones rates the players as Portugal beat Italy 1-0 in their Nations League opener in Lisbon

Matt Jones 2018/09/10

Portugal got their UEFA Nations League up and running with a 1-0 win over Italy in Lisbon.

Despite the narrow margin of victory it was a commanding performance from the hosts, with Andre Silva’s stylish goal giving Fernando Santos’ side three points.

For Italy and beleaguered coach Roberto Mancini, meanwhile, there’s plenty of work to be done following this defeat and a draw in their opening two games.

Here we rate both sets of players:


PORTUGAL (4-3-3)

Bernardo Silva was majestic in victory for Portugal.

Rui Patricio – 6: Bright and alert to anything Italy threw at him, which was very little.

Joao Cancelo – 7: A constant threat to Italy with his marauding runs down the right. Solid going back, becoming a fine player.

Pepe – 5: Committed as ever as the veteran won his 100th cap. Sharp and alert to repel any Azzurri attacks, but foul on Chiesa late on was crazy, lucky not to see red.

Ruben Dias – 6: A quietly effective night for the 21-year-old, the future of his nation playing alongside the past and present in Pepe.

Mario Rui – 6: Got down the left well to deliver a cross that clipped off Cristante and onto the bar. Lively.

Pizzi – 5: Low drive was eventually smothered at the second attempt by Donnarumma. Unlucky not to win a penalty.

Ruben Neves – 7: Youngster was hugely impressive as he patrolled midfield. Three tackles, clearances and interceptions. Never gave an inch.

William Carvalho – 7: How did he miss his header from Ruben Neves’ delivery? Later saw a rocket fly just wide and was overall a commanding presence in the engine room.

Bernardo Silva – 8: Was a constant menace for the misguided Italians. Turned the screw constantly. Saw goal-bound shot cleared off the line in the first half and only stunning Donnarumma save left him without the goal he deserved.

Andre Silva – 7: Lively from the off, fashioned an opportunity after dummying Lazzari brilliantly. Scored emphatically against the country that employs him. 65.4 per cent pass success was shocking.

Bruma – 7: Finishing was erratic but always looked a danger when in possession. Tenacious running set up the opening goal. The Red Bull Leipzig flyer certainly gave Portugal wings.



Renato Sanches – 6: Nearly got a goal minutes after appearing, forcing a fine low stop from Donnarumma. Didn’t misplace a pass.

Gelson Martins N/A: Only six touches in his 12 minutes.

Sergio Oliveira N/A: No time to make an impact.


ITALY (4-4-2)

Gianluigi Donnarumma was a busy man for Italy.

Gianluigi Donnarumma – 8: Stunning save from Bernardo Silva kept the scoreline at 1-0. Kept things respectable. Save from Sanches late on was excellent.

Manuel Lazzari – 4: Jointly led his side with four tackles. Given a torrid time by the marauding Bruma.

Mattia Caldara – 3: Perhaps lucky not to concede a penalty when he clipped Pizzi. Gave away the ball with alarming ease.

Alessio Romagnoli – 4: On hand to clear off the line in the first half from Bernardo Silva. One of three clearances. Struggled to get to grips with the slippery Silvas.

Domenico Criscito – 5: Had pocket picked by Bruma leading up to the goal. Made himself busy in both attack and defence.

Federico Chiesa – 7: Livewire tried everything he could to spark his side. Showed good strength to outmuscle a defender for an early sighter. Silky skills and composure led to a shot on target minutes later. Was everywhere.

Bryan Cristante – 6: His 93.9 per cent pass success not only led Italy, but any player on the pitch bar late sub Sanches, who only made six.

Jorginho – 6: A busy night for the Chelsea enforcer, leading Italy with six interceptions and making three tackles. Overworked.

Giacomo Bonaventura – 6: Dangerous from set-pieces and one of Italy’s better performers – there weren’t many however. Embarked on three dribbles and led Italy with two key passes.

Simone Zaza – 5: Generally, a threat throughout, but lack of quality showed. Headed over from a corner, one of Italy’s best chances.

Ciro Immobile – 3: One touch in Portugal’s penalty area in the opening 35 minutes as the Inter Milan man cut an isolated figure up front. Subbed before the hour.



Domenico Berardi – 6: Replaced the ineffective Immobile just before the hour. Tried to affect the game but lack of ideas from team-mates didn’t assist.

Emerson – 6: Came on and whipped in four crosses, while making two interceptions. Not his or Italy’s night.

Andrea Belotti N/A: Hardly had a touch after coming on in the dying embers of the game.

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Andre Silva Bernardo Silva Fernando Santos Italy Portugal Roberto Mancini UEFA Nations League