Juventus Top Performers – Round Nine vs Benevento

As they are ones to do, the Bianconeri made it harder than it needed to be against Benevento, never really kicking it into high gear and being content with passing the ball around without much sense of urgency. After a decently-played first half, which ended with a random but deciding goal by the opponents, they fell for the time-wasting antics of the Sanniti in the second one and repeatedly crashed into a well-constructive defensive castle, once again throwing two points that were within reach.

Wojciech Szczesny: his contribution would be more noteworthy if Gaetano Letizia had not perforated him with an ultra-precise strike mere seconds after an outstanding save where he deflected the ball right out of the bottom corner. He displayed incredible poise in a pair of nerve-wracking situations with the ball on his feet, giving some heart-attacks to the fans, but he pull them off with confidence. Matthijs De Ligt had another strong display, maybe not squeaky-clean as the two prior because of some imperfections when clearing the ball with his head, but nothing too significant and he single-handedly thwarted some raids with vintage tackles. Pretty standard outing for Danilo, while Gianluca Frabotta was often left often when he attacked, but mostly had routine passes and crosses and not inspired ones; however, with so many playmakers on the pitch, he should not be asked to do so much.

Aaron Ramsey: the midfield struggled mightily in this one, was contastly outhustled byt the grittier opponents and nobody had a satisfactory performance. The Welshman was rather muted as well, but he was an integral part of the best actions in the first half and had some lovely interplays with his teammates, even though they did not directly led to goals. When he subbed off, the creative void was noticeable. Similar performance for Arthur, who was not great by any stretch of the imagination and botched a clearance to set up Gaetano Letizia’s goal, but the ball did not move as quickly when he came out. Juan Cuadrado had to stay put more than usual because the back-line featured only one one-and-a-half centre-back and so he had to take care more of the defensive phase. He did not provide the usual width the offense paid the price for that. Nothing special out of Adrien Rabiot, who had a run-of-the-mill contribution in both phases but without any flashy play. Dejan Kulusevski tried to get something going upon entering the game, but he lacked touch and got bottled up like most of his teammates in a frustrating second half for the offense.

Alvaro Morata: the pinpoint cross-shot that broke the deadlock was a gem, but it was not all glitters this time as had some big lowlights like the point-blank miss at the beginning of the second half, although the defender gave him no room to coordinate properly on that header, and especially the red card after the final whistle for protesting, which could cost him more than one match. Paulo Dybala had some juice in his legs but, sans Cristiano Ronaldo, he had to do more and he fell short depite having a pair of tasty chances to score. He misfired twice and Lorenzo Montipò denied him on a late daisy-cutter that would have been a killer in better days. Federico Chiesa broke the monotony with some signature runs and gets the credit for a terrific long-ball to set up Morata, but he too was not particularly consistent throughout the game and especially after intermission.

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