Juventus Top Performers – Round 36 vs Sampdoria

Juventus won the Scudetto thanks to an imperfect but ultimately successful performance against Sampdoria that led to a rare shut-out win.

Wojciech Szczesny (7 points): the Bianconeri tried to give away another lead, but the Polish goalkeeper prevented that with great saves on a venomous free kick by Gaston Ramirez and a point-blank header by Fabio Quagliarella. Not exactly superhuman interventions, but just what the doctor ordered these days when the back-line is not on top of its game. Matthijs De Ligt gutted it out again and thwarted a pair of chances, same thing for Leonardo Bonucci, who bounced back from a pair of subpar outings. Alex Sandro was a bit sloppy but won a PK with a late sprint, while Danilo subbed off early after a worrying head-to-head collision.

Miralem Pjanic (3 points): he perfectly executed a scheme as old as time on a free kick to set up Cristiano Ronaldo’s strike and that extra inventiveness was needed because Sampdoria had bunkered pretty perfectly up until that point. Perhaps helped by the fact that he does not play a full load of minutes anymore, he is ending his season on a crescendo. Even more so for Adrien Rabiot, who was even better but did not tack on bonus points, who is showing the ability to dominate some stretches thanks to his overwhelming physicality and above average technique. Blaise Matuidi mostly took care of the dirty work but was tidier in his passing than in other fixtures, while Juan Cuadrado appears to have run out of energy because he has not been great in a couple of consecutive matches now.

Cristiano Ronaldo (2 points): the late missed PK will likely cost him a final stand to try to surpass Ciro Immobile, but he came through when the game was hanging in the balance thanks to a snapshot from mid-range to break the deadlock and was instrumental in the second goal as well thanks again to his shooting prowess. Federico Bernardeschi finally did something useful and punched in a very determined tap-in to put the match away. It remains baffling that had not scored in such a long time in Serie A, even though he had plenty of playing time, but today was a good day for him. Paulo Dybala bowed out after a difficult first half and Gonzalo Higuain was not effective in relief, which is a troubling sign for the challenges ahead should both La Joya and Douglas Costa be unavailable.

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