Juventus Top Performers – Coppa Italia vs Udinese

Juventus did not mess about in the Coppa Italia round of 16, utterly dominating an Udinese team that offered very little resistance and punching their ticket to the next stage, where they will face either Roma or Parma.

Matthijs De Ligt: Gianluigi Buffon had just one minuscule save and so the rear-guard fully did his job, keeping the opponents at distance. The rest of the squad played a big part in achieving that through incessant possession. The centre-backs saw more action on the opponent’s box than in their one, as De Ligt almost propitiated a goal and Daniele Rugani hit the post. The Dutchman was slightly tidier than the teammate. Alex Sandro instead was in energy-saving mode and did not bother motoring down the flank and Danilo was not very very active either. 

Adrien Rabiot: with a plethora of attackers on the pitch and Juan Cuadrado not in the lineup, there were actually only two midfielders out there and, considering the role, the Frenchman had more opportunities to stand out and his highlight was nutmegging an adversary near the box in the second half. Rodrigo Bentancur held down the fort as deep-lying midfielder and performed with good enough command for the position, but today the team was really powered creatively by the forwards, Paulo Dybala in particular. It is starting to look bleak for Emre Can in Turin if he does not even see the field in these occasions.

Paulo Dybala: another scintillating outing for La Joya, which was tested as right winger opposite Douglas Costa, but in reality did whatever he preferred and found in Gonzalo Higuain a perfect partner to flaunt all his technique. The repeated interplay to generate the first goal was a thing of beauty and Sarri-ball at its finest, then curled shot right over the reach of the goalie to put it away for good another jewel if what is starting to become a career season for him. Higuain was clinical and involved as the tip of the spear in a Cristiano Ronaldo-less formation.

Few glimpses out of Douglas Costa, but the burst does not seem to be really there yet, while Federico Bernardeschi was fine in his first attempt to play box-to-box and the Old Lady played so offensively that it actually was not much different from his previous role as winger, so more challenging tests will be needed to assess the viability of such options. Even Marko Pjaca got few minutes, so there was not much more to be asked out of this soiree.

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