Under-21 Championship Player Ratings: Italy 0-1 Germany

It may not have been particularly pretty from the Germans, but it was certainly effective. Goal.com rates the players on show in the second European Under-21 semi-final.
ITALY

Consigli 6.0:
Wasn’t called into action on too many occasions but produced one good first half block from Aogo. Some would argue he was partly culpable for the goal as he didn’t move his feet quickly enough to get down to a shot that would have taken him by surprise.

Motta 7.0:
Has been a real threat bombing up the right flank for Italy during this tournament, however, his forward forays were limited tonight. Extremely effective from set-plays, sending several powerful headers unsuccessfully towards goal.

Andreolli 6.5:
Certainly not the central defender’s finest game, although he shackled Ozil well for the most part. Was left looking rather silly when the forward skipped past him in the box much too easily in the second period.

Bocchetti 6.5:
Italy looked comfortable for the most part defending as the German forwards were often left too isolated, thereby creating few chances from open play. Bocchetti did was he had to do at the back, despite being troubled by the waspish Dejagah, and like his central defensive colleague, posed a threat from deadball situations.

Criscito 7.0:
The left-back was frequently active in the game during the first half, which Italy controlled. He got forward down his touchline to good effect but struggled to make an impression after half-time.

Morosini 6.0:
No Italian covered more ground this evening than the Bergamo born midfielder. Strong in the first half as Italy dominated, he faded from view a little in the second period as he was not the kind of player the Azzurrini needed when trailing.

Cigarini 7.0:
The most dominant Italian midfielder, producing an extremely sound first half performance in which he dictated the speed of the game. A man known for his passing, Italy would have perhaps wanted a little more after the break to help unlock the German rearguard.

Candreva 6.0:
Arguably had Italy’s best chance of the match in the first half but missed his kick totally when just 15-yards out. That proved something of a turning point in the game.

Balotelli 7.5:
The Inter man showed real flashes of inspiration at times yet there were sparks of frustration in his performance. Numerous tricks and flicks caused the Germans problems, but his decision making at times was a little questionable. Stood on the ball when arguably in his best position all night, relinquishing possession.

Acquafresca 5.5:
Italy’s goal-getter had an off evening tonight and one he will certainly want to forget about. He simply did not look sharp, failing to move to the near post to meet crosses too often. His worst moment was leaving a Balotelli shot that had been deflected when a touch goalward may have been enough. Far from impressive.

Giovinco 7.5:
Once again the ‘Atomic Ant’ was the young Italians’ best player, despite being superbly marshalled out of the game in the second half. However, he did not have the cutting edge to his game previous showing at this tournament have had.

Substitutes

Abate 6.5:
Struggled to get into the game, but when he was involved he looked a threat.

Paloschi n/a:
Was only given 11 minutes to change the game. He couldn’t.

Pisano n/a:
A last, late throw of the dice.

GERMANY

Neuer 8.0:
What a mystery of a goalkeeper! Made a fantastic first half save from Motta, getting down to claw the ball away from almost behind him. Further blocks were made from the likes of Balotelli in the second period. A bizarre kicked clearance on the line capped his evening – showcasing his capacity to perform the unpredictable.

Beck 8.0:
The man of the match. Shackled Balotelli very well for periods of the first half, forcing the Inter man to switch wings, and got forward frequently to great effect. Scored the winning goal from a very unlikely position.

Boateng 7.0:
The German defence relied on organisation rather than individual brilliance, however, Boateng had a strong game keeping Acquafresca under wraps. Made several telling blocks, but was perhaps a smidgen lucky to get away with a late handball in the box.

Hoewedes 7.5:
Led the back line impressively, dominating in the air and rarely looking flustered. Also caused problems in the Italian box, sending an early header narrowly over from a corner kick. Not so impressive at set-plays at the opposite end, something the Germans will be working on over the weekend.

Boenisch 6.5:
Made a distinctly uncertain start to the game and was roasted at times by Giovinco and Balotelli, who found a chink in the German defence at left-back. Recovered well after the interval, getting forward far more often and posing problems for the Italians rather than the opposite way around.

Johnson 6.5:
Not the most enterprising performance in attack from the right-sided player. Was a little more effective in the second half in an offensive sense, although his talents were certainly not wasted defensively as he tracked back impressively.

Castro 7.0:
Struggled to find room in the first half as the German midfield seemed to be too compact. As play stretched in the second half, the central midfielder had more of an influence. Did a fine restraining job on Giovinco along with Aogo.

Aogo 7.5:
Started the match getting forward frequently and testing the Italian goal with numerous long-range efforts. However, he quickly became more use on the defensive front, helping mark Giovinco out of the game in the second half.

Marin 6.0:
His game was to end early in the second half due to injury. Didn’t enjoy a particularly productive first half out on the left, but which German did excel in an offensive capacity prior to the break?

Dejagah 6.5:
Wasn’t really involved that much as he and Ozil were often left too isolated in attack. Deserved credit for the tenacious manner in which he played the game, rarely giving Bocchetti a moment’s peace.

Ozil 6.5:
Germany’s star man only sparked occasionally into life, showing glimpses of his undoubted talent with some sharp footwork or a cleverly conceived pass. He needs to go up a level if he is to really test England, though.

Substitutes

Ben-Hatira 7.0:
Replaced the injured Marin in the second half and proved to be more effective than the starter. Harried and hassled the Italian back line, most notably Motta.

Wagner n/a:
Came on as a time-wasting substitute late on.

Hummels n/a:
Like Wagner, Hummels was brought on only to kill the dying seconds.

Robin Bairner, Goal.com