Juventus Top Perfomers – Coppa Italia vs Roma

Juventus punched their ticket to the Coppa Italia semi-finals courtesy of the prairies left by Roma in the first half and will face the winner of the Milan-Torino contest.

Leonardo Bonucci: one player in each role made it to stat-sheet so compiling the list is not exactly rocket science. The captain quite miraculously avoided the offside trap on the second ball after a set piece to notch yet another goal in what is becoming a prolific season for a defender. It was instead Daniele Rugani who stood out for his work in the back with a pair of timely reads, general precision and also a little more physicality than usual. Gianluigi Buffon was unlucky on the goal but avoided troubles with a great coming out on an unguarded Alessandro Florenzi in a one-on-one situation deep into the second half, preventing a major turn of the worst. The one-handed save in the final minutes was even prettier but not as significant. Danilo got hurt pretty early, while Alex Sandro turned his usual solid but unspectacular shift it.

Rodrigo Bentancur: scoring has often been indicated as the final missing piece in his evolution, but that did not hold him back when it was time to finish following a strip and quick counter, as he put it through with a very nifty touch. The midfield was rather technical since Blaise Matuidi did not start, but it still matched the opponents’ intensity and muscularity because Bentancur and Adrien Rabiot brought it in those areas and perhaps the tinkering could end here. Miralem Pjanic looked comfortable flanked by two players that were on his same page technically, but when the attack is this heavy he does not have much liberty to advance.

Cristiano Ronaldo: he bagged a pivotal goal at the 30-minute mark as Roma had started the game way better and were gaining momentum and made a laser accurate strike look easy simply because he is an alien. He, like the rest of the strikers, did leave something on the table especially after intermission as La Lupa attacked recklessly, exposing their back-line to counter-attacks. That was evident in particular in the case of Gonzalo Higuain, who had a big part on the first goal, but missed a big chance and was not precise on a pair of key passes that would have led to sure-fire opportunities. His effort on the passive phase was commendable though. Douglas Costa had some vintage flashes and dished out a quality assist on the Bonucci goal.

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