Juventus Top Performers – Round 31 vs Atalanta

Juventus ended up losing in unlucky fashion a game that they well-played considering the circumstances and the quality of the opponents. Despite the possible justifications, the L represents a significant blow in the Champions League race, and it seems like the Orobici had more juice in the final stretch and got after it more, while the Bianconeri appeared rather gassed and could not muster much of a reaction after going down in the score.

Juan Cuadrado: the defense, and the center-backs in particular, were splendid throughout the game, as they held a high-wattage front-line to just a pair of chances. Duvan Zapata just missed the target while besting Danilo on a sharp cross, while Ruslan Malinovskyi’s strike was fatally deflected by Alex Sandro, who was at the wrong place at the wrong time after a better-than-usual display. Giorgio Chiellini and Matthijs De Ligt put their vigor to good use, combating Zapata and holding in check Luis Muriel as it has rarely happened in recent games. Wojciech Szczesny was called into action just a couple of times and responded, particularly on a late free-kick right in the top corner by the Ukrainian attacker.

However, since the clean sheet did not arrive, the nod in the role goes to Cuadrado, who was more than half of the offense with his incessant actions down the flank and multiple accurate deliveries, and he could have had multiple assists with better luck and more fierceness by his teammates.

Weston McKennie: a mixed bag in the midfield as Adrien Rabiot and Rodrigo Bentancur could not pull the strings and were mostly overrun by the opponents, taking a step back compared to a pair of the recent showings. Moreover, Arthur came off the bench terribly. The Bergamaschi keyed in on Federico Chiesa, who had limited opportunities to scamper and was forced to sub off early due to a problem. The American midfielder stood out for his mobility and energy, which comes as no surprise, and combined well with Cuadrado on the flank, which was the team’s lifeblood. Dejan Kulusevski had a pair of interesting plays but could not fully work his magic.

Alvaro Morata: the match was so blocked that it was complicated for the strikers to come through. The Spanish forward was more effective than Paulo Dybala, who, like Chiesa, paid the price for the clogged-up spaces. Morata challenged the goalkeeper with one of the few shots on target for the Old Lady in the second half, but he probably should have made different choices when Joakim Maehle and Chiesa served him a golden ball right in front of the goalkeeper early in the match.

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