Juventus Top Performers – Round 12 vs Milan

More of the same from Juventus against a very game Milan, as the Bianconeri were unable to take control of the game and were forced to defend a lot, but the depth of the roster and the quality of the substitutions came to the rescue once again, this time through the angel face of Paulo Dybala.

Wojciech Szczesny (7 points): the fact that the goalie was the co-best player is pretty telling about how the match unfolded. He pulled off a sensational save on a Lucas Paqueta header in the first half and then he was supremely focused on all the attempts from long-range, which he never batted away centrally.  Leonardo Bonucci and Matthijs De Ligt stood tall in the face of adversity with several precise reads, especially in the box, where the Rossoneri had a couple of chances only in the early going and then it was shut down. Alex Sandro defended pretty well but had the opportunity to do more on the other end as Andrea Conti did not challenge him much down that flank.

Rodrigo Bentancur (2 points): nobody really sticked out in the midfield in this one and the Uruguayan youngster gets the nod for his customary hustle in both phases. He is improving in each game and operates at a superior pace compared to the other options there. Miralem Pjanic was held in check but it was not the right type of contest for him advance. It was instead one of those fixtures where Juve could have used a more technical player instead of Blaise Matuidi, since he often found himself with room but lacked ideas and touch to be truly menacing. Ironically enough, he was forced to sub off when he would have come in handy. Juan Cuadrado contained Theo Hernandez and Hakan Calhanoglu pretty decently, but that made him a non-factor on the other end and he was sloppier than in recent outings.

Paulo Dybala (4 points): he lighted the fuse the Madama needed off the bench, delivering a monumental goal in one of the very few actions where the attackers managed to combine centrally. The final dribble to get himself open was marvellous, just like the right-footed finish, which was something new for him. Gonzalo Higuain had a pair of chances where he should have done more, especially late when he could have sealed the deal but skied it from good position, but he was pivotal in the goal with the conclusive feed for La Joya. Douglas Costa started the whole thing off and picked his spots, providing the energy that was lacking until that point. He runs on his own level of electricity. On the other end, Cristiano Ronaldo probably should have sit this out as he was noticeably hampered by his recent ailments on a pair of runs. A better attitude after being deservedly replaced would not have hurt.

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