International PSG: 5 players involved in Italy and Portugal matches
As many as five players from PSG were called-up and involved in the games played by their nations on Sunday, Mar. 26th.
After losing to England in Naples last Thursday, Italy went on the road to face Malta at the Ta'Qali National Stadium trying to recover from their MD1 defeat against the Three Lions.
The Italians did so in resounding fashion, earning a 2-0 victory away from their home nation and closing their first stint of qualifier games for the Euro 2024 with three points of a possible six.
Gianluigi Donnarumma captained Italy with Marco Verratti starting on the bench
PSG midfielder Marco Verratti captained Italy last Thursday but he started the game against Malta on the bench only entering the pitch by the 66th minute replacing Sandro Tonali. On the other hand, PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma started for the Squadra Azzurra and completed the game while wearing the captain's armband himself with Verratti absent.
Gigio stopped a couple of shots, conceded no goals, and finished with a rare clean sheet (considering what he usually does at PSG...) also completing 22-of-23 passes, another rare development.
Verratti touched the ball 27 times completing 22-of-26 passes, one of them into the final third. He also won the lone tackle he attempted and dribbled past a couple of foos through the game. Moving on, I guess...
Danilo, Nuno Mendes play 90 minutes with Portugal, assists Cristiano Ronaldo's first goal
Only two PSG players of the three called-up by Portugal played last Thursday, and something similar happened on Sunday with Vitinha sitting the 6-0 victory against Luxembourg out.
Defenders Nuno Mendes and Danilo Pereira started and played the full 90 minutes for Portugal in the Iberian trouncing of their rivals on Sunday. Mendes didn't appear in Thursday game, but he assisted Cristiano Ronaldo's first goal on Sunday less than 10 minutes into the game.
Ronaldo could have scored a hat-trick but he was subbed off the pitch before Rafael Leao took (and missed) a penalty kick in the 85th minute of play. He later made up for that miss, though, scoring the sixth and final goal for Portugal in the 89th minute.
Otavio, Joao Felix, and Bernardo Silva scored the remaining three goals of the game.
Danilo was extraordinary completing 79-of-83 passes to go with a near-perfect 6-of-7 duels won, six interceptions, and eight recoveries.
Nuno Mendes was equally great attempting 48 passes and succeeding with 83% of them, creating the goal-scoring chance (and assisting) for Cristiano Ronaldo, and winning five of the eight duels he entered through the game.
Portugal wrapped up their international break leading their Euro 2024 qualifiers group with six points after winning their two games, with Italy getting three of six points and sitting second behind England (six points) and tied with North Macedonia (three).