Juventus came out of the gate with a sharp performance and did not spoil Andrea Pirlo’s debut, easily taking home three points in the season opener versus Sampdoria.
Leonardo Bonucci (9 points): the defence held up while spending sixty plus minutes in the same position where they often caved too easily last season and, even though the Blucerchiati picked it up in the second half, never looked overwhelmed. Bonucci was in his element as linchpin of a sort of three-man line, as he could patrol the middle of the field and had the liberty of uncorking long passes. His opportunistic goal was just what the doctor ordered at that time, as the Bianconeri were at risk of throwing away all the good work they had put in. Giorgio Chiellini was spectacular and seemed as fit as in his best days, something that was never there last year. Danilo did fine in a hybrid role and was sneakily dangerous were advancing. The surprise of the day was Gianluca Frabotta, who was picked over Mattia De Sciglio and played like a veteran, displaying great motor and a quality left foot.
Dejan Kulusevski (6 points): the midfield was often a sore spot for Juventus in the previous campaign, but in this one every midfielder brought something to the table. The Swedish wonderkid shined the brightest, bagging a surgical lefty shot that solved the first issue this kind of fixtures usually presents. He also showcased a singular focus in bringing the ball forward and feeding his teammates, as he did in Parma. Aaron Ramsey had his best performance in black-and-white as he made plays all over the pitch, provided a ton of unpredictability with his roaming and quick passes and was ultimately rewarded with an assist. Juan Cuadrado was lively and productive, but that is no longer a surprise. Adrien Rabiot and Weston McKennie did not light the world on fire, but they performed with excellent poise, the Frenchman served more as the brain and did not bend under pressure, the Texan was the muscle and he was a ball of energy and few of his tackles were really galvazining.
Cristiano Ronaldo (4 points): easy pick as he was the only striker on the field since Douglas Costa played too little to make an impact. As customary, he exhibited a relentless pursuit of the goal, sometimes even to a fault, but the team is almost completely catered to putting him in position to score and he found himself open in at least four occasions. The goalie denied him on the first one, he rocked the crossbar on the second effort and put the third one wide. The final attempt, arguably the most difficult one, resulted in an extremely accurate low-driven cross-shot that put the cherry on top.
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