Serie A’s marquee matchup of round 2 lived up, then exceeded, all hype and expectations as Juventus and Napoli played to a theatric 4-3 result, with the Bianconeri managing to come out on top after squandering a three-goal lead in the second half.
Here are the player ratings for Carlo Ancelotti’s Partenopei on the night in Turin.
Alex Meret (GK, 5): The Italian keeper, after seeing three goals pour in last week’s win over Fiorentina, let in another four. Of the four, you can make an argument one or two should have been better dealt with. Meret recovered well in the second half uprising, and it is still early days, but more is expected from the Udine-born shotstopper given his transfer fee and promise.
Giovanni Di Lorenzo (DEF, 5.5): New to squad. New to the rivalry. Di Lorenzo got his first taste of this clash from the start, but like most of the defence, faced his fair share of troubles as Juventus really worked to operate down his flank and create. However, the 26-year old opened his account with the 81st minute goal that leveled terms that gave fans a glimpse of what he can provided bursting forward.
Kostas Manolas (DEF, 5.5): The Greek international put Napoli on the board with his header that kickstarted the inspiring comeback. Other than that, Manolas was off his game, often caught sleeping and poorly positioned which led to a barrage of chances through the middle. Building chemistry alongside Koulibaly is a real work in progress as you can tell.
Kalidou Koulibaly (DEF, 6): A strong start out of the gate for ‘K2″ slowly turned into an uncharacteristic performance. Koulibaly was spun by Gonzalo Higuain for his goal and deflected in the unfortunate own goal in the dying embers of the match. Chalk this up to a rare off game from the usually superb Senegal international.
Faouzi Ghoulam (DEF, 5): Ancelotti yanked the Algerian at the half after a below par 45 minutes. Too often, Napoli’s fullback left the central men exposed, and Ghoulam contributed to it with some suspect defending. Concerns loom over a LB who once was in the top 5 of Europe at his position.
Jose Callejon (MID, 6.5): The Spaniard supplied the assist for Di Lorenzo in the 81st minute. Yet, with Lozano impacting instantly from the bench, the Mexico international will be gunning for his job.
Piotr Zielinski (MID, 7): Lively performance from the Polish international who showed desire and intent to play throughout. Zielinski centred a ball to Lozano who converted to bring Napoli within one at the 68th minute.
Allan (DEF, 6): Less than steady outing from the Brazilian all things considered. Once Ancelotti switched to a 4-4-2 at the break and dropped Ruiz back, there was more balance and protection in place. A slight funk we can expect him to break out of sooner rather than later.
Lorenzo Insigne (MID, 5): Quiet match for the round 1 star who was pulled after 45 minutes for Lozano. Not much more to say.
Fabian Ruiz (MID, 6,5): Initially played further up towards goal, Ruiz dropping deeper next to Allan in the second half brought much more calmness to the midfield. The comfort and impact shown from his preferred left side was prevalent and it is where he belongs if this loaded midfield is to perform to its potential.
Dries Mertens (ATT, 5.5): A bit embarrassing to see Mertens exaggerate the severity of Khedira’s tackle attempt and go down so softly, which just about sums up his performance.
Hirving Lozano (ATT, 7): Replacing Insigne prior to kickoff of the second half, Lozano immediately worked to get involved on his debut and show supporters why they should be thrilled to have the former PSV star. The 24-year old WC 2018 standout ran in behind Matthijs de Ligt unchecked and buried his simple chance, becoming the first Mexico international to score in Serie A. A sign of things to come.
Mario Rui (DEF, 6.5): Improved Napoli on the left flank once he relieved Ghoulam, and assisted Manolas with a pinpoint free kick. Perhaps Rui should be considered to start after the international break concludes vs Sampdoria.
Eljif Elmas (MID, 6): The Macedonian’s tackle on Dybala resulted in the set piece which led to Koulibaly’s own goal, but Ancelotti should be quite pleased with how his 19 year old showed personality and a willingness to assert himself in a tough environment off the bench.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti (6): A tale of two halves for Ancelotti. His switch back to a 4-4-2, movement of Ruiz and selections from the bench in the second half were spot on as they enabled Napoli to position themselves for the comeback. However, 7 goals conceded in two matches is simply appalling for a backline with this much talent and experience.
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