Juventus Top Performers – Round 21 vs Napoli

In a tough day for the whole sports world, Juventus put out their worst and most unexplainable performances of the season in Naples, started playing only when the horse had already bolted and failed to take advantage of the enemies’ stumbles earlier in the day.

Leonardo Bonucci: the back-line was decent for about 70 minutes and the first goal did not come from a mistake by the defenders, but rather from Lorenzo Insigne having too much freedom to shoot from outside the box and Wojciech Szcesny rejecting it too centrally, although the save was not that easy. In the second, instead, which turned out to be very meaningful, Insigne was left alone in the box on a rebound and Matthijs De Ligt slightly deflected the shot, rendering pretty useless a pretty good outing up to that point. So the spot goes to the captain, only because somebody has to get it.

Miralem Pjanic: he was very aggressive in pressing and recovering the ball and probably it is not a coincidence that Napoli broke through after he subbed off. Rodrigo Bentancur uncorked the long-ball for Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal, but, like the rest of the squad, he played pretty poorly as box-to-box and did not close on Insigne on the first goal. The team was too content in sitting back and allowing Napoli have the ball and letting time pass by rather then going for a win that could have been huge. As a result, nobody impressed by any stretch. Blaise Matuidi was okay but could have done better in a pair of situations in the final third, while Adrien Rabiot did not leave a mark.

Cristiano Ronaldo (3 points): his scoring streak goes on thanks to a very clinical finish but that, and a run-and-assist for Gonzalo Higuain a quick counter, was about it in his display. Too little even if he did not have much support. He and the rest of the strikers paid the price for the passive attitude, but they have often been the one ringing the bell this season, so they share the blame. Paulo Dybala was never noticeable, while Gonzalo Higuain took one of the few shots on goal but would have buried it on the best day. The only positive note was Douglas Costa subbing in with a sense of purpose, looking to turn things around and taking some responsibilities, but it was too little too late.

Before the game, director Fabio Paratici commented the club’s transfer market strategies: “The swap between Layvin Kurzawa and Mattia De Sciglio is an option that has been discussed between us and PSG, we will see if it will go through in the next few days. We would be happy if Emre Can stayed, otherwise if an opportunity arose that made us and the player happy, we could take it. Barcelona, Borussia and other clubs want him because he is one of the best midfielders in Europe. We hope he remains because he is an important player, we will not replace him if he moves. We are not negotiating Federico Bernardeschi with Barcelona or Milan, we will move forward with him.”

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