Juventus Top Performers – Round 14 vs Sassuolo

Despite getting an early lead, Juventus again waited to be in a hole before playing with some purpose, but this time could not pull off the comeback and overcome a woeful defensive day and were thus held to a tie by Sassuolo.

Leonardo Bonucci (3 points): the veteran centre-back hit the net with a sneaky and probably deflected strike and was not necessarily at fault into the collapses on the two goals. The first one generated on a corner kick on the other end so most of the team failed to track back, then Jeremie Boga did the rest with a gem. On the second one, Matthijs De Ligt started things off with an errant pass that he should have avoided in the first place, Juan Cuadrado did not settle it and then Gianluigi Buffon had a senior citizen moment on a routine shot. Surely the worst showing by the back-line since the Napoli game at the beginning of the season. Alex Sandro returned from his injury but was very lacklustre and slow in general.

Rodrigo Bentancur (2 points): he snatched two points for feeding Bonucci before the goal and in general had the tidiest performance out of the midfield. He is getting a lot of run and he has become very consistent and reliable. Miralem Pjanic was pretty good as well, orchestrating the offense with command and uncorking some juicy long-balls that could have led to more dangerous situations with more cooperation from the teammates. However, he could have executed with more quickness. Emre Can instead completely failed to take advantage of a rare opportunity to start, begun his day with an incredible whiff from from close-range and was way too sloppy and certainly not energetic enough. Aaron Ramsey tried to get things going in his limited stint but to no avail, even though the goalie almost gifted him of a goal.

Cristiano Ronaldo (4 points): he resumed being a major hub in this one and he is progressing nicely from a physical standpoint. He drilled a penalty and was denied by the goalie on a free kick: while he is not back in peak form, he is trending in the right direction and the goals should follow suit. He could have had multiple ones today if he had slightly more touch. Gonzalo Higuain instead was off today, squandering a pair of clear-cut chances and he did not manage to combine a lot with his teammate either. Paulo Dybala instead lighted a fuse off the bench with his electric runs, won a penalty and quaterbacked the charge until the final whistle. Federico Bernardeschi was poor despite starting and had at times got in the way of some interplays by not making the right reads with the necessary speed.

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