Juventus Top Performers – Round 23


As it is often the case, Juventus roared back after two stumbles, escaped the first wild 15 minutes and then proceeded to cruise to victory, re-sending Napoli back to -11 in the standings.

Mattia De Sciglio (5 points): the spot would have gone to Wojciech Szczesny if it was not for that botched unnecessary deep clearance in the second half that rattled the fans’ coronary arteries. However, he did keep thing from unraveling right away with a daredevil coming out on Filip Djuricic, where he took and won the gamble, and then brilliantly saved an attempt from downtown by Manuel Locatelli. The whole back-line bounced back and the centre-backs held up just fine and blanketed Khouma Babacar. De Sciglio had a slightly better outing than the rest of the defenders as he held in check two not-so-easy opponents like Djuricic and Jeremie Boga

Sami Khedira (6 points): his knack for picking the right lanes for offensive cuts is unmatched in Juventus’ midfield, while his nose for the goal could use some polishing. He punched home a rebound to break the deadlock, but he could and should have had at least one more because a wide-open header finished just wide and he was not alert enough to tap it in on a low cross in the second half. Still obviously a very precious contribution and he has fresher legs than everybody else. As for his teammates, another dynamic output by Blaise Matuidi, while Miralem Pjanic put his fingertips on the game as it went along following a shaky start, with the little through ball while sliding as a nugget to embellish it. Emre Can made the most of his limited playing time with a gorgeous crossing daisy-cutter.

Cristiano Ronaldo (6 points): another road game, another goal for the Portuguese ace, the ninth in a row away from the Stadium. It felt like he was not going to be denied in this one and, after setting up Khedira’s goal with a supersonic shot, he buried a majestic header forestalling Andrea Consigli on a corner kick to seal the game. He put the cherry on top by assisting Can. Mario Mandzukic spent the night picking fights with the opponents, but his presence still opens up spaces for everybody else even when he is not having a great game. Federico Bernardeschi played centrally for most of the contest to limit Stefano Sensi, faring pretty well and coming close to teeing up a pair of teammates.

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