Juventus once again rallied the troops after a red carded and produced its best football down in ten men, but all in all are left with more questions than answers for what happened in the first hour of the match, where Crotone often had the upper-hand.
Merih Demiral: nobody in the back had a squeaky clean performance, but the Turkish international was the most active man and often made up for the systemic deficiencies with his explosivity. Like in the Roma clash, the Bianconeri gave up way too many chances in the box and left too much room to counter. The back-line was either too exposed and had arrayment issues, leaving big gaps between one man and the other. Leonardo Bonucci had a horrid start with a late tackle in the box (although it could have deserved a second look), then improved as the game progressed. Danilo took a clear step back compared to the first two outings and Arkadiusz Reca often had his way down his flank. Gianluca Frabotta was decent overall.
Dejan Kulusevki: he did not get any bonus out of it, but he literally created the goal by choosing the right timing to feed Federico Chiesa on a quick fast-break, paving the way for the square ball and ensuing Alvaro Morata tap-in. Without Paulo Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo, he was the reference point up front and that should not be taken for granted since he was at his third appearance with Juventus. He was not as devastating as in other occasions, but he had his good share of classy plays.
Arthur impressed for his ball-handling, always looked in control and never wasted a ball or misplaced a pass, unfortunately he played too distant from the final third to really make a difference. Rodrigo Bentancur is surely getting his legs underneath him and the duo has promising potential, but the actions of this year’s Juventus go very quickly through the attackers, so the midfielders have a secondary role in terms of creating. Juan Cuadrado lighted a fuse and almost had a decisive assist.
Alvaro Morata (four points): a thoroughly convincing performance by the Spaniard, who answered the bell on a pass that just needed to be nudged home, came close to a wondergoal with a crafty header and was denied the game-winner for an offside for the slightest of margins. He was positive also in the areas where he usually does not excel like battling with defenders, keeping and distributing the ball on long-range passes. Federico Chiesa’s debut was more bitter than sweet despite the assist due to the early red card for a harsh but surely not malicious tackle. He was pretty energetic but not super incisive prior to that and the lack of chemistry with the teammates was glaring, but that is understandable.
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