Juventus played right into Inter’s hands in the Derby d’Italia, conceding on the first chance and then having a very sterile possession that was easily stymied by the sturdy adversaries, which simply had to pack up the spaces and had countless chances to counter.
Once again the Bianconeri failed to switch gear when they needed to, as the game looked over as soon as they gave up the second goal, and only the imprecision of the opposing strikers kept the score relatively close. Here is who performed the least poorly.
Wojciech Szczesny: the goalkeeper had no fault in a defensive horror show and that is enough to stand out, even though his positive contribution was limited to just a pair of occasions where he came out of the goal with authority and timing. Leonardo Bonucci looked like a cone when trying to stop attackers, while Danilo was the final link in a chain of mistakes on the opening goal, where he failed to muscle up Arturo Vidal, but other teammates had allowed the midfielder to cut unabated until that spot. Giorgio Chiellini fared decently for somebody who had played just once in few months, and he often managed to match Romelu Lukaku’s overwhelming physicality, but the miscommunication between him and Gianluca Frabotta on the second and deciding goal is a major black eye on his display.
Weston McKennie: he and Dejan Kulusevski did not exactly change the contest off the bench, but at least provided some energy and some playmaking, something that was glaringly missing when the starters were out there. The American youngster had a role in the only two good chances Juventus mustered in this one, his header on a corner kick and a mid-range strike by Federico Chiesa. Adrien Rabiot showed once again why he is not geared for battle as he struggles to keep up with dynamic opponents that force him to rush plays, and he was non-existent in the passive phase. Rodrigo Bentancur played more as a regista than in other tilts but did not distribute nor defended well. Aaron Ramsey took a clear step back compared to his recent showings and was not a factor.
Federico Chiesa: he too regressed given the level he had reached in some of the previous rounds, as Ashley Young held him in check way too easily and the teammates could not find him consistently. He did slightly better than the other forwards because he forced Samir Handanovic to pull off a monster save in the only clear scoring opportunity by the Old Lady. The front-line was poorly fed and the two forwards were never able to get open in the box or to combine with each other. Cristiano Ronaldo tried to peel back and either engineer some actions or fire from long distance but was unsuccessful in both propositions and extremely inaccurate, while Alvaro Morata was just too nervous and swallowed up by defenders.
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