Juventus Top Performers – Champions League – Round 4

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Juventus somehow found a way to lose the first game of the season against Manchester United on Wednesday, making a mess in the final minutes after pulling the strings for the majority of the match. A result that delays the qualification to the next phase and puts the top spot in the group in jeopardy. Here are the best performers for each position.

Mattia De Sciglio: third start in a row for the Italian fullback, who is gaining confidence game after game and is also shaking off some of his usual shyness in attacking, because he had a couple of interesting sorties in this one. He was also the only defender to not take part in the ugly goals, the last one in particular, that the team conceded , where Andrea Barzagli committed an avoidable foul, Wojciech Szczesny had a very poor rejection and Leonardo Bonucci and Alex Sandro could not find a way to clear it. The ex-Milan man seems to have find his stride, and his role, after an injury-ridden start of the season.

Miralem Pjanic: the midfield as a whole worked pretty well on Wednesday and the return of Sami Khedira added a new dimension offensively with his customary channel runs, which led to a pair of good chances, including one where he hit the post from favourable position. Rodrigo Bentancur was dynamic enough to make up for the absence of Blaise Matuidi, extending his streak of encouraging performances. The Bosnian maestro lead the way, pacing the team in chances created (5), crosses delivered (5), tackles (4) and coming in second for shots taken (4). He could have had a bigger night because he had a pair of opportunities to sling it from just outside of the box, but he could not find the target. Juan Cuadrado marred a very impactful display by inexcusably missing point-blank chance that would have sealed the deal, epitomizing the wastefulness of the squad in this fixture.

Cristiano Ronaldo: because of weird circumstances, he had yet to score in this edition of the Champions League, so it was only a matter of time before he broke through. He did in empathic fashion on Wednesday with a gem of a goal: a perfect volley on a pinpoint long ball by Leonardo Bonucci, where he lost his defender with an incredible burst to get to the spot, coordinated fantastically and struck it even better, threading the needle between the post and the goalkeeper. He is the gift the keeps on giving.

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