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3 vs 1
Played
October 16, 2012 7:45 PM BST
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza — Milano
Referee:‬ D. Skomina‎
Attendance:‬ 37027‎
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Italy 3-1 Denmark

Goal.com evaluates the performances of everyone involved in Milan, after a game in which Mario Balotelli inspired the Azzurri to a vital win over their fellow Euro 2012 finalists

By Mark Doyle

  • Morgan De Sanctis
    80
    16
    3.00

    Morgan De Sanctis

    Handed a rare start in goal because of the unavailability of Buffon and he looked a tad nervy early on, very nearly making a mess of a Balzaretti back-pass. However, made a vital stop from Kvist with his knees, as well as tipping over an earlier effort from Eriksen. Could do little about Denmark's goal before the break.

  • Andrea Barzagli
    103
    12
    3.00

    Andrea Barzagli

    Struggled horribly to compete with Bendtner in the air during the first half and it was a wonder that his Juventus team-mate did not get on the scoresheet as a consequence. However, he got to grips with the task at hand after the break.

  • Federico Balzaretti
    67
    28
    2.50

    Federico Balzaretti

    Preferred to Criscito at left-back, the Roma man was caught out by Jacobsen just seconds after the kick-off before then putting De Sanctis under unnecessary pressure moments later with a bouncing back-pass. Did threaten on occasions going forward, but for the majority of the first half he was reluctant to over-commit himself because of the attacking threat posed by Jacobsen, and ultimately spent the entire second half on the back-off.

  • Giorgio Chiellini
    116
    10
    3.00

    Giorgio Chiellini

    Was also caused problems in the air - and not just by Bendtner - but, for the most part, the versatile Bianconero looked a lot more solid at the heart of the Azzurri defence.

  • Ignazio Abate
    113
    15
    3.00

    Ignazio Abate

    Defended resolutely while Italy were under pressure in the early stages before then showing his worth in an attacking sense with a terrific ball into the corridor of uncertainty that Osvaldo ultimately nodded wide. Had his own shaky moments but far more reliable presence than fellow full-back Balzaretti.

  • Andrea Pirlo
    230
    4
    3.50

    Andrea Pirlo

    Unsettled by Denmark's early dominance and was caught in possession in a dangerous position at one point. However, you can't keep a great man down and he underlined his class by making a fool out of before putting the ball on a plate for De Rossi to double Italy's lead. Even better was to come, the veteran playmaker stepping up to the mark when his country needed him most by teeing up Balotelli for Italy's crucial third goal with a typically sumptuous ball over the top.

  • Claudio Marchisio
    124
    12
    3.00

    Claudio Marchisio

    Not his best performance for the Azzurri but covered plenty of ground and had Andersen beaten all ends up with a sublime curling effort from the edge of the area only to see Kjaer head off the line.

  • Daniele De Rossi
    158
    5
    3.50

    Daniele De Rossi

    Picked up an early knock and actually seemed rattled by the roughouse tactics of Stokholm. However, he regrouped and helped Italy gain a foothold in midfield before heading them into a two-goal advantage with a textbook downward header from Pirlo's cross.

  • Riccardo Montolivo
    160
    8
    3.50

    Riccardo Montolivo

    Looked lively right from the off in the trequartista role he's really grown into for Italy, stealing possession in midfield before testing Andersen with a long-range effort. He left the goalkeeper with no chance, though, when he unleashed the most wonderfully precise drive into the bottom right corner, after collecting Balotelli's lay-off.

  • Mario Balotelli
    282
    22
    4.00

    Mario Balotelli Top of the Match

    Making his first appearance since the Euros, the Manchester City forward was caught in possession early on, but more than made amends by tracking back to block a shot inside his own area while the Azzurri were rocking. As ever, looked like self-destructing at any moment but provided the cutback that led to Marchisio being denied by a goal-line clearance and really came into his own following Osvaldo's dismissal, leading the line superbly well on his own and deservedly capping an inspirational display with a deftly-taken goal.

  • Pablo Daniel Osvaldo
    50
    93
    1.50

    Pablo Daniel Osvaldo Flop of the Match

    Really struggled to get into the game but did draw a corner with a well-struck drive before then heading wide with the goal at this mercy after seemingly being surprised that Abate's cross had reached him at the far post. However, the in-form forward had disappeared from view by the time he jeopardised his side's chances of victory by stupidly lashing out at Stokholm.

Substitutions

  • Antonio Candreva
    43
    15
    0.00

    Antonio Candreva

    Took over from Marchisio midway through the second half, but did not really make a meaningful impact.

  • Emanuele Giaccherini
    55
    12
    0.00

    Emanuele Giaccherini

    Did not have enough time to make an impression after getting just four minutes at the end.

  • Mattia Destro
    58
    10
    0.00

    Mattia Destro

    Only saw a minute of action, coming on in place of Balotelli.

  • Stephan Andersen
    2
    19
    2.00

    Stephan Andersen

    Was grateful to Kjaer for keeping out Marchisio's strike but was left with absolutely no chance by Montolivo before being badly let down by his defence for De Rossi's header. Perhaps could have read the situation better and been out quicker to block Balotelli for Italy's third but that might be being harsh on Andersen.

  • Daniel Agger
    18
    15
    2.50

    Daniel Agger

    Initially seemed to savour the physicality of his battle with Balotelli, but the striker got the better of him by laying the ball off wonderfully well for Montolivo to open the scoring. Threatened whenever he ventured forward, but only in the air, as his shooting and passing were wayward.

  • Lars Jacobsen
    16
    7
    3.00

    Lars Jacobsen

    Was one of the best players on the pitch in the first half, nullifying the threat posed by Balotelli down the left-hand side while at the same time causing havoc with his crosses every time he got forward. Indeed, it was no surprise that it was one of his balls into the area that led to Kvist's goal.

  • Simon Kjaer
    23
    8
    2.50

    Simon Kjaer

    Showed terrific reading of the game in stepping back onto his own goalline to prevent a certain goal by blocking Marchisio's wonderful strike from the edge of the area. Also put his head to good effect at the other end only to see his central defensive partner Agger nod over from six yards out. However, both he and Agger must accept great responsibility for losing Balotelli for Italy's third goal.

  • Christian Eriksen
    22
    12
    2.50

    Christian Eriksen

    Played a key role in Denmark's early dominance, regularly getting in behind Italy's midfield and drawing a fine save out of De Sanctis at one point. However, his influence waned in the second half and, in truth, he was outshone by many of those around him.

  • Michael Krohn-Dehli
    6
    19
    2.00

    Michael Krohn-Dehli

    Another Danish player who caused problems during the opening period but who eventually ran out of steam - and ideas. Nowhere near as dynamic as he was at Euro 2012.

  • Nikolai Stokholm
    5
    14
    2.50

    Nikolai Stokholm

    A real thorn in Italy's side. Replaced Thomas Kristensen in midfield and really relished the opportunity to put himself about, putting in crunching tackles on Balotelli (twice) and De Rossi inside the opening quarter. It was inevitable that someone clad in blue would eventually lash out at him. However, while Stokholm did plenty of excellent work upsetting Italy, he completely lost De Rossi for Italy's second goal.

  • William Kvist Jörgensen
    27
    6
    3.50

    William Kvist Jörgensen

    An dynamic presence in the middle of the Danish midfield until he was withdrawn shortly after being booked, breaking up play well, distributing the ball sensibly and driving forward at every opportunity. Indeed, he had already gone close to scoring before deservedly dragging Denmark back into the game with a coolly-taken volley that displayed his wonderful technique.

  • M. Silberbauer
    1
    21
    1.50

    M. Silberbauer

    Surprisingly got the nod at left-back and Olsen must now be regretting that decision, as Silberbauer looked desperately vulnerable throughout, and was turned inside out by Pirlo for Italy's second.

  • Dennis Rommedahl
    5
    18
    2.50

    Dennis Rommedahl

    Lively enough during the first half, creating a decent opening which Jacobsen wasted by blazing wide, as well as tracking back to good effect. However, he just did not provide enough quality crosses in the second half.

  • Nicklas Bendtner
    50
    18
    2.00

    Nicklas Bendtner

    Caused all sorts of problems with his aerial ability, but really should have hit the target after being picked out by Jacobsen's cross from the right. Was nowhere near as influential in the second half and his frustration eventually got the better of him, manifesting itself in a booking for constant shirt-pulling.

Substitutions

  • Jakob Poulsen
    3
    13
    0.00

    Jakob Poulsen

    Thrown on in place of Krohn-Dehli late on, but was unable to alter the course of the game.

  • K. Lorentzen
    1
    12
    2.50

    K. Lorentzen

    Replaced the hapless Silberbaeur midway through the second half and was much more solid, although that's not saying much.

  • Thomas Kahlenberg
    2
    11
    2.50

    Thomas Kahlenberg

    Took over from Kvist in midfield but did not make anything like the same impression on the proceedings.

Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Robin van Persie Robin van Persie
Striker
Man Utd.
11 2
Edin Dzeko Edin Dzeko
Striker
Manchester City
10 0
Mesut Özil Mesut Özil
Midfielder
Arsenal
8 3
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Striker
PSG
8 1
C. Ronaldo C. Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
8 0