By 90Min
November 17, 2018

Portugal secured top spot in League A, Group 3 of the UEFA Nations League after securing a deserved, yet thoroughly underwhelming 0-0 draw with Italy at the San Siro.

The hosts came out the blocks quickly with Ciro Immobile stinging the gloves of Rui Patricio before fullback Alessandro Florenzi flashed his effort just wide of the mark all before the 10 minute mark.

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The tempo of the game then began to drop with Italy enjoying possession whilst Portugal struggled to get out of their own half. The second half proved to be much of the same with the Italians creating all the chances, however in the end they just couldn't find a way through as the game finished in a rather drab 0-0 draw.

Here's a breakdown of the night's events:


Key Talking Point

It was a fine display from Roberto Mancini's men from start to finish. They were by far the better team, created more chances and kept Portugal at bay with relative ease, however they had nothing to show for it.

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One goal was all that was needed, however they lacked the clinical edge in the final third as they failed to convert any of their chances, with Patricio only really having to make a handful of saves.

It'll go down as a night where Italy couldn't take their chances, and they were made to pay as they had to settle for a 0-0 draw in a game they really could of, and should of, won with relative ease.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Donnarumma (6); Florenzi (7), Bonucci (7), Chiellini (7), Biraghi (6); Verratti (8), Jorginho (7), Barella (7); Chiesa (6), Immobile (7), Insigne (8).

Substitutes: Lasagna (6), Pellegrini (6), Berardi (6).

STAR MAN - Lorenzo Insigne looked the most threatening man on the field, putting in a fine display for the Italians. They were the dominant side from start to finish and barraged the Portuguese goal all night with some great efforts.

Unfortunately they just couldn't find a way past Patricio, although Insigne can definitely hold his head up high after what was a solid performance from the Napoli forward.

WORST PLAYER - He didn't necessarily have a bad game, however Cristiano Biraghi had very little to do all night. The Portuguese attack didn't cause much of a threat, meaning the full back's main job was to support Insigne when venturing forward.

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He had to be switched on later in the game when they endured a short period of pressure, however there was nothing out of the ordinary for Biraghi to have to deal with. He'll be pleased with not having much to deal with, but will no doubt reflect on a largely ineffectual performance.


Key Talking Point

It was a staggering performance from Portugal and not for the right reasons. In the first half they had just 32% possession of the ball and managed just two shots on goal without any going on target.


It took until the 75th minute for Portugal to really trouble Gianluigi Donnarumma in the Italian goal, with substitute Joao Mario seemingly giving the Portuguese renewed life. Unfortunately for them, it was too little too late as they held out for a lacklustre draw.

They were always going to struggle without Cristiano Ronaldo, with it being revealed that the forward would be rested by Portugal until 2019, though nobody would have expected Fernando Santos' men to struggle as much as they did given the talent in their squad.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Patricio (7); Cancelo (6), Dias (7), Fonte (8), Rui (6); Pizzi (6), Carvalho (6), Neves (6); Bruma (6), A. Silva (5), B. Silva (6).

Substitutes: Mario (7), Guerreiro (6), Danilo (6).

STAR MAN - On a frustrating night for Portuguese fans, they'll have their back line to thank for keeping the Italian attack at bay. One man which stood out in particular was Jose Fonte, who put in a fine display for his country.

Claudio Villa/GettyImages

There wasn't much to shout about for the team on the night, however Fonte didn't do himself any harm with his performance and certainly covered for the absent Pepe in impressive fashion.

WORST PLAYER - It proved to be a very quiet night up front for Andre Silva. Leading the line for Portugal, he didn't manage a single shot on goal until the 75th minute and was ineffective for most of the game. His evening was ended when he was brought off just before injury time and in truth, he could have been hauled off a lot earlier.

In fairness, Silva's performance echoed those of his teammates - but the on-loan Sevilla striker will most likely demand better of himself if nothing else.

Looking Ahead

With League A, Group 3 of the UEFA Nations League now over for the Italians, they can look forward to a friendly against USA on Tuesday night. Portugal, meanwhile, will bring their Nations League campaign to a close when they take on Poland on Tuesday night, having already secured top spot and their place in next summer's semi-finals.

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