Left shorthanded on Italy’s opener, but made an excellent save with his chest as Rossi advanced to within six yards of goal. Had little clear-cut goalkeeping to do later on, but his anticipation was up to the mark.
Put in a couple of magnificent crosses which might have resulted in goals with better anticipation from Pantelic. His free kicks were also a danger all night, and his galloping runs down the left regularly had Italy backtracking.
Stood off as Rossi teed up Marchisio for the opener, but recovered well to sweep up danger a couple of times thereafter. Whenever he was put under pressure on the ball he panicked, often allowing Italy to regain easy possession, but looked much more assured as a marker and sweeper.
Failed to get a foot in on Rossi for Italy’s goal, and was the lesser convincing of the two center backs for the most part. Had Subotic to thank for his late tackle on Giovinco after allowing Rossi’s pass to go through his longs.
Caught out by the attack which led to Marchisio’s first-minute goal, arriving in his defensive channel too late to cover after Subotic and Rajkovic stood off Rossi. Made up for it when fortuitously turning in Tosic’s shot for the equalizer.
Drove into the channel well and fired a left-foot shot which Buffon found too hot to handle. Became a regular thorn in Italy’s side in his danger on the ball, winning several free kicks in tricky positions.
Regularly received the ball in threatening positions, but his lack of a final ball was immensely frustrating. Could have done much more to test his out-of-position Juventus teammate Chiellini. Eventually replaced by Zigic at Serbia went for the win.
Immediately penalized for not tracking back from his defensive midfield position by Marchisio’s opening goal, and then was left in Rossi’s wake as the striker bore down on goal. Improved slightly afterwards, but replaced at the break.
His direct running in the left channel got both him and many of his teammates into great positions from that flank as Maggio was given a rough ride. His vision and ability to play balls both short and long shone through as he drove Serbia forward at regular intervals.
Played the role of captain, driving force and peacemaker to equal measure as he led his men with typical desire. Kept things moving quickly from the center to the flanks as Italy struggled to contain the progression of Krasic, Tosic and Kolarov.
Appeared to be in an offside position as Ivanovic hooked in Serbia’s equaliser, but his movement was otherwise very good. Asked many a question of Barzagli and Bonucci as he occupied the center backs to help free space in the channels for the advancing midfielders.
Almost allowed Serbia in immediately when Kolarov’s shot caught him off guard and his push away was cleared by Chiellini. Forced into a two-handed save at the far post from Kolarov’s deceptively fierce curling free kick just after the break. Put his defense under pressure trying to be clever on the ball.
Looked awkward on the ball at times, but regularly got in good blocks up against Krasic. Sometimes guilty of giving his Juventus colleague too much space to run into, but managed to keep the winger out for the most part. Appeared more at home with the physical game when he drifted centrally.
Looked uncomfortable with attacking midfield players advancing on him, but dealt well with Pantelic on more than one occasion. Solid enough off the ball, and eventually got the hang of clearing first and asking questions later.
As is his way, he attacked with endless willing, but Ninkovic, Tosic and Kolarov all regularly got in good positions when the Napoli man failed to stop the ball being moved around him. Shown the yellow card when clattering into the advancing Kolarov.
Looked very shaky with the ball at his feet under pressure, putting Barzagli and Chiellini in tight spots with equal regularity. Better in the air as usual, but won’t have thanked his defensive colleagues, nor Buffon, for their equally worrying inability to clear the ball first time.
Utterly anonymous for far too long a spell in the game. Got into one good position in the right channel around the hour mark, but couldn’t supply the final ball. Mercifully substituted for Aquilani for the last nine minutes.
His hot run of scoring form continued with his first ever goal in Azzurro in the opening minutes, achieved by him fulfilling his forte of the perfectly timed run into the box and slotting home right-footed. Drifted in and out of proceedings after his encouraging start, and eventually limped off after turning awkwardly on his left foot and then being caught by Pantelic.
His effortless short, quick passing helped Italy on many a break as he continued his recent form with Juventus. Sold himself completely against Krasic from a corner, but got away with it as his club-mate ran the ball out. Wasn’t helped in set-piece situations by the glare of a laser pen being directed from the stands, but was Italy’s most positive player on the night nonetheless.
D. De Rossi
Made one magnificent challenge on Krasic when drifting into the middle but appeared less at ease when defending to the right of centre. Failed to cope with the weight of attacks as Maggio was put under regular pressure, and gave away too many silly fouls.
Showed no fear in taking the ball to the Serbia defence, but his passing sometimes asked too much of his teammates, and as the first half progressed he was seen off more easily by the opposition. Sent one shot in high against the side-netting after the break, but was replaced on 67 minutes by Giovinco.
Kept his head well to turn in possession and slide a pass to the advancing Marchisio as Italy took an early lead, but might have done better when bearing down on Jorgacevic’s goal soon after. Continued to get involved when possible, but Italy’s lack of territorial sway reduced him to one near-assist as Giovinco was foiled by Subotic late on.
- D. Kahriman
- N. Tomović
Replaced Fejsa at halftime and helped to make Serbia appear a much more solid unit. Both in the air and on the ground he added something to his side’s play, and Italy saw much less of the ball and territory as a result.
- N. Milijaš
Came on for Krasic for the final 15 minutes and added the customary aerial threat.
Very late replacement for skipper Stankovic.
- S. Sirigu
- M. Cassani
- D. Astori
Given very little time to shine as he replaced Montolivo late in the day.
Came on for the injured Marchisio for the final 20 minutes, but was unable to make a killer contribution.
Sent on for Cassano as Cesare Prandelli looked to inject some new ideas into attack, and very nearly got a shot in from Rossi’s pass but was superbly denied by Subotic.
- D. Osvaldo