Juventus Top Performers – Round 7

Juventus v SSC Napoli - Serie A

Juventus got off to a poor start against Napoli, but reacted vehemently and ended up winning in a rather resounding manner, extending their lead in Serie A. It is the first time since the 1930’s that the Old Lady managed to win the first eight games of the season.

Leonardo Bonucci (3 points): a redemption story within 90 minutes for the defender, who was at fault for the opening goal as he badly misplaced a pass towards the middle that he should not have made to begin with. He was shaky in the first half, with few other imperfections, but like the rest of the team improved as the minutes passed by. Obviously, he mostly gets the nod for the 3-1 goal, which was key even though the Bianconeri had a one-goal, one-man advantage because they had started to lower their intensity and Napoli just had a big scoring opportunity with José Maria Callejon.

Miralem Pjanic (no points): a decent performance by the all the starting midfielders, with Emre Can and Blaise Matuidi providing a lot of energy and fighting hard with the mighty opponents. However, behind every good Juventus performance there is generally an excellent showing by its deep-lying playmaker and it was not different on Saturday night. The Bosnian man kept the ball moving with quick decisions and sharp passes, swiftly moving it from side to side when needed and kick-starting most of the dangerous actions.

Cristiano Ronaldo (4 points): it is not easy to snatch the shout-out away from a player who bagged a brace like Mario Mandzukic, but he was certainly the best black-and-white player out there against Napoli. He played a vital role in every goal, since he found the Croatian centre-forward with a great cross for the first one, hit the post with a sudden strike from distance to cause the second and finally Leonardo Bonucci buried it after his glancing header on a corner kick. More importantly, he led the charge with some gorgeous plays after the squad went down in the score. Juventus usually have a glass jaw and struggle to respond to the difficulties, but his positive attitude in the face of adversity ignited the comeback. Even without scoring, he had his best outing in Italy yet and truly make a difference because La Madama could have easily lost this game if it was not for him.

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