Juventus could not capitalize on a strong first half at the Olimpico Stadium, lost the plot and run out of gas in the second half and eventually conceded two silly goals and suffered the third Serie A loss of the year at the hands of Roma. No point-getters in this case for the Old Lady.
Martin Caceres: sometimes the best attribute for a centre-back is to not be mentioned for the whole duration of a game and that what the Uruguayan defender did on Sunday, holding in check Edin Dzeko and matching the adversary’s physicality. In reality, Giorgio Chiellini was well on his way to earn the shout-out thanks to a fantastic outing and some key blocks, but he had a horrid giveaway on a botched lob pass that led to Alessandro Florenzi’s goal. Mattia De Sciglio focused on defending and Joao Cancelo and Alex Sandro were inserted too late to make an impact. Wojciech Szczesny tipped over the bar a dangerous attempt by Stephan El Shaarawy but could do little on both goals.
Emre Can: he provided a strong contribution at both ends and was the one that best exploited the room to counter in the first, where he set up a Paulo Dybala’s finish that was miraculously denied by Antonio Mirante, and came close to scoring on his own. He moved to pivot after Miralem Pjanic bowed out, which dramatically decreases its effectiveness. The playmaker had a pair of good plays when he managed to get closer to the box, but was mostly subpar or simply too far away from the goal to do serious damage. Blaise Matuidi always runs around but rarely gets something concrete out of it. Juan Cuadrado should have scored in the early going, but once again his shortcomings when finishing worked against him, even though his display was fine, like Leonardo Spinazzola’s, even but the two fullbacks were asked to stick in their positions and attacked more scarcely than usual.
Cristiano Ronaldo: it may not be his favorite role, but he is a weapon when he is the biggest guy in Juventus’ attack, de facto acting as centre-forward even though often starting his forays from the left wing. In such position, he puts a ton of pressure on the opposing back-line since he is always toeing the offside trap, which barely got him on the disallowed goal. The nature of the contest surely helped, as the Giallorossi did not bunker up. It would be one of the ways to make it work with Paulo Dybala, who came out firing in his return for a quad strain and was stopped only by two stunning saves by Antonio Mirante on clear-cut chances from inside the box. Like the rest of the squad, La Joya faded after an hour, but in his case it was more comprehensible.
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