Juventus believed have tamed the Sassuolo with a one-two punch in the first 15 minutes, but could not have been more mistaken as the Neroverdi managed to fully rally back. The Bianconeri re-focused late and came away with a tie, garnering the third negative result in a row.
Alex Sandro (1 point): the back-line was facing another quality attack, but still conceded way too easily, although it is likely no coincidence that things really fell apart only after Giorgio Chiellini subbed off. Granted that the first two goals were a bit random and product of the shooting prowess of the opponents, the defenders were often on skates when Sassuolo came close to the box. Their best contribution came on the final third, as Danilo bagged a shot from outside the box that surprised Andrea Consigli and Sandro made it three-all with a pretty header on a corner kick. Danilo had an okay display but was caught ball-watching on the third goal, so the nod goes to the other Brazilian fullback, who also had a key clearance near the goal-line. Matthijs De Ligt and Giorgio Chiellini gutted it out through injuries and it showed as they were not very aggressive, Daniele Rugani was too soft. Wojciech Szczesny got pelted in the fantasy game because Sassuolo scored three times, but he was the best performer outright for the Old Lady, as he kept things afloat with several big saves.
Miralem Pjanic (4 points): finally a good performance from the soon-to-be Barcelona player, who set up the two initial goals, first with a clever low-driven pass for Danilo on a corner kick, where he correctly assessed the placement of the opponents, then with a vintage long-ball over the top for Gonzalo Higuain. The other midfielders were more up-and-down, as Rodrigo Bentancur is not looking very sharp these days and Blaise Matuidi often runs around aimlessly. Adrien Rabiot came off the bench convincingly enough but did not have a high note despite having a pair of opportunities to do so.
Gonzalo Higuain (4 points): he finished with aplomb as he was supposed to on the gorgeous Pjanic assist and, even if there was not much more beyond that in his performance, it was still enough to best his teammates, who had a rare day off. Cristiano Ronaldo was in perfect position to deliver in at least a couple of occasions, but either whiffed or shanked his finishes, while Paulo Dybala was over-eager to put his imprint on the match when he subbed on, which resulted in some stubborness. Decent outing for Federico Bernardeschi, who always tend to play better when Dybala is not there, but once again he lacked the quality to make a truly decisive play. Lot of smoke and little fire out of Douglas Costa.
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