In a Coppa Italia decisive game that saw Juventus field what can be described as the club’s B+ squad, the Bianconeri held the Inter Milan top squad scoreless for 0-0 draw to propel the Torino side into the Coppa Italia finals on aggregate. It was fairly obvious a few moments into the match that the club was content to play out a defensive struggle and leave the assault on the back burner. The plan was a successful one, thus Juventus will go on to play the victor between Atalanta and Napoli in the final on Wednesday, May 19.
Notice: All ratings are calculated through a stringent process utilizing statistics and the eye test called My Opinion and are most certainly incorrect.
Gianluigi Buffon - 6.5
It's getting repetitive, that could be said for the last theee decades. The GKOAT stays the GKOAT and did everything he could to keep the Inter attack from breaching goal line. That was successful and apparent early on when the first shot on target from Brozovic was easily collected into Buffon’s arms in the 33’. Buffon contributed three saves, two saves from inside of the box, six accurate long balls, one ground duel won, and one aerial duel won.
Danilo Luiz da Silva - 6.5
The stars of the night were the defensive front as Pirlo’s game plan seemed to be comfortable to relax the attack in favor of using the defense and midfield to stymie any scoring from Lukaku, Hakimi, and the Inter attack. The plan worked in part due to the contributions of the Brazilian. Danilo contributed three clearances, one blocked shot, three interceptions, one tackle, one ground duel won, one aerial duel won, two accurate long balls, and one shot off target.
Merih Demiral - 7.5
The star of the match played to Juventus’ goal to a tee. Demiral shut everything down when he came into contact with it and showed off why he is a huge cog of the future of the Juventus defensive front. Including a huge stop on a Hakimi shot deflecting it away from goal in the 21’. Demiral contributed four clearances, five blocked shots, three interceptions, one aerial duel won, one accurate long ball, and a blocked shot.
Matthijs De Ligt - 7
The Dutchman had a huge clearance in the 38’ after Juventus lost possession (head-scratchingly did not receive a whistle) and the Inter attack looked prime to strike. When the Juventus defense is clicking it is a thing of beauty to watch. And to have the players of De Ligt, Demiral, Chiellini, and even Bonucci together is a blessing. De Ligt contributed six clearances, four interceptions, two tackles, three ground duels won, four aerial duels won, two accurate long balls, and one successful dribble.
Alex Sandro - 6
Perhaps the weakest link of an overall great defensive performance, Sandro had the tough task of working on Hakimi throughout the match and did his best to slow the Inter star down. Unfortunately, to save a goal Sandro was penalized with a yellow card for a tackle on Hakimi in the 24’ that will keep him out of the Coppa Italia final. Sandro contributed two clearances, one blocked shot, two interceptions, three tackles, one error leading to a shot, five ground duels won, five accurate long balls, one shot off target, and one successful dribble.
Juan Cuadrado - 6
The Colombian was moved forward again into the midfield rather than his stints in the defensive area of the field he has played recently. Cuadrado put together a serviceable performance, but failed to come up with a game changing/scoring cross Juventus fans have come so accustomed to as of late. Cuadrado contributed two key passes, one accurate long ball, five successful dribbles, seven ground duels won, and one blocked shot. Cuadrado was substituted off for Giorgio Chiellini in the 82’.
Rodrigo Bentancur - 6.5
The Uruguayan performed fairly well alongside the surging Rabiot and both played their party in contributing as defensive producers in the midfield, while also chipping in to help some offensive momentum. Bentancur contributed one key pass, six accurate long balls, two ground duels won, two aerial duels won, two clearances, six interceptions, one tackle, and one error leading to a shot.
Adrien Rabiot - 7
The Frenchman continued his active streak on the defensive end seizing loose balls in the first half including picking the pocket of Hakimi on attack in the 16’. Rabiot’s improved activity was observed throughout the match even to the 90’+2 where he stopped a free kick’s progress and continued to hustle to try to chase down its path. Rabiot contributed one key pass, one accurate long ball, one ground duel won, one aerial duel won, four clearances, one blocked shot, and two interceptions.
Federico Bernardeschi - 6
A questionable addition to the starting lineup, the Italian did enough to make his presence felt in the first 10’ of play on the defensive end to cause Lautaro to miss his shot on goal and beg for a laughable VAR call. Bernardeschi contributed two key passes, one accurate cross, two successful dribbles, four ground duels won, one clearance, and one interception. Bernardeschi was substituted for Weston McKennie in the 63’.
Dejan Kulusevski - 6
Juventus was keen on playing keep away from the Inter attack in an attempt to drain the clock, leaving the attackers with limited opportunity. Both Kulusevski and Ronaldo saw prime positions for attacks being thrown away with off target shot attempts or kicking directly into a defender’s path in the 44’. Kulusevski contributed one shot on target, one successful dribble, two key passes, two ground duels won, one aerial duel won, and one interception. Kulusevski was substituted for Federico Chiesa in the 87’.
Cristiano Ronaldo - 6
Ronaldo struggled to find a goal mainly due to the play of Inter keeper Handanovic who sniffed out each initial shot like a bloodhound for save after save, including the shot attempt that seemed Ronaldo’s beat opportunity early in the second half in the 64’. The offense took a backseat to the defensive front holding strong and advancing the club to the next stage. Ronaldo contributed three shots on target, one shot off target, three shots blocked, three successful dribbles, one big chance missed, one key pass, six ground duels won, two aerial duels won, and two clearances.
Weston McKennie (↔️Federico Bernardeschi ) - N/A
Not enough information for rating.
Giorgio Chiellini (↔️Juan Cuadrado) - N/A
Not enough information for rating.
Federico Chiesa (↔️Dejan Kulusevski) - N/A
Not enough information for rating.
Andrea Pirlo - 6.5
I tweeted out questioning ‘what the hell is Pirlo thinking’ with this lineup when Inter and Antonio Conte were bringing out all of the big guns and their top squas to attempt to steal a couple goals and a spot in the Coppa Italia final. But Pirlo continues to show he knows what he is doing in these games and really has a feel for this team. The defensive slog held firm keeping either team from scoring and holding pat to proceed into the May hardware match, while simultaneously getting some much needed rest for some of the clubs overworked players. Grande Maestro.
Follow Justin Soforo on Twitter @JustinSoforo