COPPA ITALIA FINAL PLAYER RATINGS: ATALANTA 1-2 JUVENTUS
The Juventus 2020/21 football season was one fraught with turmoil and disappointments, but the club would not be disappointed today. Andrea Pirlo and company came up big and collected their second trophy for the season while assuring the new kit (that was worn on the pitch in all of its glory today) would be adorned with the coccarda badge to replace the newly vacated scudetto. The season isn’t over just yet though. Juventus must defeat Bologna on Sunday and then get some help from their just defeated opponent to take down Milan to save the Champions League birth and the season.
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
In what is likely to be the final (again) match for the Italian National and Juventus legend in a Bianconeri shirt, Gianluigi Buffon came up big in multiple moments to help add one more trophy to the Juventus award shelves. There is little space to write a sentence or two that would truly honor what Buffon means to Juventus fans and to me personally. Without the likes of Gigi Buffon and Alessandro Del Piero, I would not be here today with the passion and love that I have for the Juventus football club. All I can say from the bottom of my heart is: Thank you for a lifetime of memories, Gigi. Buffon had to make a huge save within the 3’ when a poorly defended Zapata ball against Matthijs De Ligt allowed the striker to make a pass to set up a shot on goal by Palomino. Buffon saved the De Ligt error in the 18’ that potentially could have led to an easy Zapata goal. Buffon chipped another solid save in the 35’ to deny Hateboer an equalizing goal. Malinovsky was able to deliver a deep strike past the entire Juventus defense as well as Buffon for the equalizing goal in the 41’. No better moment to cap Gianluigi Buffon’s Juventus career than to be the final play of the match that saw the keeper collect the ball with a final save to seal the victory. Forza Gigi! Buffon contributed three saves, one punch, two saves from inside of the box, five accurate long balls, and one clearance.
Juan Cuadrado - 6.5
Juan Cuadrado delivered a monster clearance in the 31’ that set up the run and attack by Ronaldo that eventually led to the opening goal scored by Dejan Kulusevski. Cuadrado made a solid header clearance in the 44’ that saved a second potential score by Atalanta attack. Cuadrado delivered a cross in the 48’ in the box for a header attempt by Weston McKennie that went wide of the left post. Cuadrado contributed one clearance, one blocked shot, two interceptions, three tackles, eight ground duels won, one aerial duel won, three key passes, one accurate cross, seven accurate long balls, and two successful dribbles.
Matthijs De Ligt - 6
De Ligt opened the match with a poor sequence of play that saw Zapata and the squad given multiple shots at the goal, one being miraculously saved by Gigi Buffon. De Ligt, attempting to copy McKennie’s poor pass, in the 18’ did the same and almost gave up possession to Zapata in a dangerous field position that veteran Buffon saved. The Dutchman made up for the poor play in the 23’ taking Zapata one-on-one and made the stop in the open field. De Ligt delivered a monster clearance in the 52’ to stop a potential shot by Malinovskyi, but took the brunt of the shot himself with the studs to his leg. De Ligt was penalized with a yellow card in the 40’ for a repeated aggressive defensive struggle with Duvan Zapata. De Ligt contributed two clearances, one blocked shot, three interceptions, three tackles, one error that led to a shot, five ground duels won, four aerial duels won, one accurate long ball, and one shot off target.
Giorgio Chiellini - 6
Chiellini cleared a dangerous ball in the box in the 24’ before an Atalanta player could play it. The defender made a similar header clearance moments later. The Juventus captain received the first booking for the night on a defensive foul against Pessina in the 27’ that resulted in a yellow card. Chiellini contributed four clearances, one interception, five aerial duels won, and five accurate long balls.