Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 25 January 2015

Italy v Northern Ireland player ratings

Maik Taylor
Maik Taylor - 8
An ill-fitting end to an illustrious international career, Taylor was given little chance with the pin-point finishes for Cassano's goals but made three smart saves.
Lee Hodson - 6
Troubled by the movement of Parma's Sebastian Giovinco but should not be disheartened given the midfielder's recent Serie A form. Stuck to his task admirably for the duration.
Chris Baird - 6
Played at centre-back again after the international retirement of Aaron Hughes and made some important interceptions during a trying night for all of Northern Ireland's backline.
Gareth McAuley - 5
Another away trip to forget for the West Brom centre-back, coped manfully with any aerial threat posed by the Italians throughout but scored an unfortunate own-goal.
Ryan McGivern - 5
Allowed Antonio Cassano to drift past him as he latched onto De Rossi's exquisite pass for the Italian opener but forced Buffon into his only save of note with a glancing header in the first-half.
Corry Evans - 6
After impressing as a substitute on Friday against the Estonians was once again deployed in the middle rather than on the flank and was more comfortable and involved in the central position.
Steven Davis - 7
Even on an uncharacteristically quiet night still made a number of trademark bursts from the middle and was impressive in possession. Worthington's successor must build the side around him.
Oliver Norwood - 5
Struggled with the movement of the Italian midfield but can take considerable solace from the knowledge that it will be a rare occasion when he is opposed by a player with the quality of Pirlo.
Andrew Little - 6
Displayed impressive versatility when deployed on the right flank and looked bright early on but faded as the Italians imposed themselves on the game. Found himself increasingly on the periphery.
David Healy - 5
Had little to celebrate on the night he equalled Mal Donaghy's outfield cap record, cutting an isolated figure up front. Replaced just after the hour having been unable to make an impact.
Jonny Gorman - 7
An impressive performance from the youngster who was a surprise inclusion in Worthington's final side. Tracked back well to assist McGivern and was careful and considered in possession.
SUBSTITUTES
Warren Feeney (for Healy, 65mins) - 5
Blazed a half-volley over the bar.
Conor McLaughlin (for Norwood, 75 mins) - 5
Unable to produce much.
Niall McGinn (for Gorman, 82 mins) - 5
Looked bright.

Italy 3 Northern Ireland 0: Northern Ireland performances rated.

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