Juventus Top Performers – Round Four vs Verona

Juventus got tested beyond expectations by a very aggressive Verona, but slowly figured it out and managed to come out on top to nab the third win of the season.

Gianluigi Buffon: he was spared on the penalty, but then Miguel Veloso scored anyway moments later with a scorcher. The Portuguese midfielder challenged him over and over again in the second half with his sharp free kicks, but he did not cave and pulled off one of his signature saves on Darko Lazovic late to preserve the tie. As for the rest of the defence, Danilo and Alex Sandro were passable, but containing the widest players of the opponents is starting to become a recurrent issue. They both covered a lot of ground though and thwarted few chances with quick runs. Merih Demiral was too exuberant to open the match and caused an avoidable penalty, but his explosiveness was actually very useful on few reads and clearances in the box. 

Aaron Ramsey (4 points): he delivered on his first start with the help of a deflection on a mid-range shot. Besides that, his exquisite technique and offensive game simply raises the bar in the midfield. His motor is not there yet, but it was an encouraging start, especially considering few terrific combinations with the strikers. Juan Cuadrado again played a big part in the result by cunningly drawing a tackle in the box with his agility. He has a extra pep in his step that not many possess so early in the season. Blaise Matuidi has become an integral piece with his dynamism and intelligence and he is becoming a factor in the final third as well, so there is never really much to complain about his outings. Rodrigo Bentancur was yanked five minutes into the second half but he probably fared better than Miralem Pjanic as pivot, as the Bosnian international was unusually sloppy. The squad used to struggle when its beacon did not have it, it was a bit clunky tonight but not it was not as bad as it would have been in the past.

Cristiano Ronaldo (6 points): he made no mistake from the penalty spot and was more menacing compared to the Atletico Madrid game. He had his prettiest plays setting up teammates, as he sprung loose Blaise Matuidi and Aaron Ramsey with gorgeous feeds and the chemistry with Paulo Dybala is improving. La Joya provided a great amount of quality touches and take-ons and was at ease interplaying with the Portuguese ace and Ramsey. Now he needs to bring all of that closer to the goal if he wants to turn into a successful false-nine, on top of working on his back-to-the-goal game.

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