Football Features

“A star is born!” – Player ratings as gamechanger Gnonto lights up Italy’s draw with Germany

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 22:18, 4 June 2022

In a dramatic night of Nations League football, a young Italy side held Germany to a 1-1 draw.

Roberto Mancini’s men rebounded from their Finalissima defeat with a stirring display against Hansi Flick’s Germany, who were obviously good but nowhere near their vibrant best.

Here’s how the players rated at Stadio Renato Dall’Ara:


Gianluigi Donnarumma – 7 – Made several impressive saves to keep Germany at bay.

Alessandro Florenzi – 6 – Played with gusto down the right and should offer a decent alternative to Gianluigi Di Lorenzo.

Francesco Acerbi – 6 – A decent performance but will probably lose his spot to Bonucci, especially after he was so weak when stepping out to defend the Hofmann cross on Germany’s equaliser.

Alessandro Bastoni – 7 – Excellent as always. Possibly could have done better on the German equaliser but had no help from his team-mates. Is the rock the Italian defence will be built around for years to come and will only get better.

Cristiano Biraghi – 5 – Decent going forward but overcovered on the German equaliser, leaving Jonas Hofmann free to penetrate the Italian back-line and provide the assist. Not a massive error, but gave Germany a quick leveller.

Bryan Cristante – 7 – A generally decent display.

Davide Frattesi – 7 – Ran endlessly. Perhaps doesn’t have the quality of established Italian internationals, but his emergy is infectious.

Sandro Tonali – 8 – Looks like a hybrid of Gennaro Gattuso and Andrea Pirlo and he plays like one too. Dogged and determined in the tackle but capable of spraying some delightful passes around. Italy lost the grip they had on the game when he went off.

Matteo Politano – 6 – Saw lots of the ball and made some very potent runs but didn’t use the ball well.

Lorenzo Pellegrini – 7 – Calm and composed in the no. 10 shirt. Some nice set-pieces and he took his goal neatly.

Gianluca Scamacca – 7 – Worked tirelessly for the 85 minutes he was on the field, charging about the pitch and getting involved. Held the ball up well, distributed it nicely and was only lacking a goal to cap his night off (and he did hit the post).

Italy Substitutes:

Wilfried Gnonto (for Politano 65′) – 8 – Immediately infused the match with a sense of life and action. He drove confidently and courageously at the German defence, destroying Thilo Kehrer to set-up Italy’s goal. Dare we say, a star is born? The teenager’s display was so bright it would be a stunning surprise if he wasn’t back playing in Serie A next season.

Tommaso Pobega (for Tonali 80′) – n/a – Came on late.

Federico Dimarco (for Biraghi 80′) – n/a – Came on late.

Matteo Cancellieri (for Scamacca 85′) – n/a – Came on late.

Samuele Ricci (for Frattesi 86′) – n/a – Came on late.

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Manuel Neuer – 7 – Played well as Germany held a lively Italian side at bay.

Benjamin Henrichs – 7 – Solid defensively, albeit he isn’t as productive as most modern full-backs.

Niklas Sule – 7 – The big man was up to big man things. His battle against Scamacca was fantastic.

Antonio Rudiger – 6 – Mostly great, but his failure to clear Gnonto’s cross at the near-post.

Thilo Kehrer – 5 – Was mostly okay until Gnonto came on and started giving him nightmares. Got barbecued for the goal and had to be switched to right-back for his protection.

Joshua Kimmich – 7 – Battled well against the Italian midfield and rescued a point for Germany with a well-taken equaliser.

Leon Goretzka – 7 – Some delicious touches and moments of class but couldn’t imprint the game with his own signature presence.

Thomas Muller – 5 – Nowhere near his usual standard.

Serge Gnabry – 7 – Very lively. Couldn’t get anything going but was constantly looking to create chances and cause problems for Italy.

Leroy Sané – 6 – Not really up to his usual standard. Held his width well but was perhaps lacking a left-back to link with.

Timo Werner – 5 – As always his movement was exceptional and his use of the ball was poor.

Germany Substitutes:

Jamal Musiala (for Sané 59′) – 5 – Had a couple of good chances but simply couldn’t connect properly with the ball.

Jonas Hofmann (for Henrich’s 59′) – 7 – A more potent player from full-back, Hofmann did excellently to set-up Germany’s equaliser.

Ilkay Gundogan (for Goretzka 69′) – 7 – Upped the tempo for Germany and helped pin Italy back in defence.

Kai Havertz (for Muller 70′) – 5 – Did little besides get booked.

David Raum (for Gnabry 80′) – 6 – Came on late but couldn’t find the room he usually does at full-back.