PLAYER RATINGS: CAGLIARI 1-3 JUVENTUS

The Bianconeri returned to Serie A play for an away match against the Isolani following a debilitating expulsion from the Champions League. In a shocking turn of events, a Rugani reinforced Cagliari defense was just the medicine required to give up a plethora of early goals to the Cristiano Ronaldo-led attack. The victory and accompanying points continue to be an exercise in futility, so long as Inter continues to find ways to win and refuses to relinquish points to the other clubs in Serie A.


Notice: All ratings are calculated through a stringent process utilizing statistics and the eye test called My Opinion and are most certainly incorrect.

Starters


Wojciech Szczesny - 6

The Cagliari was all but anonymous in the first half and the defense was able to rest for the most part. That changed in the second half. In the 57’ Tek finally found the need to break a sweat as a thundering shot on goal was made by Joao Pedro, the Polish keeper made a massive save. But the clean sheet would not remain as Simeone was able to enter the box unmarked and complete the Zappa assisted goal. Szczesny made a save in the 89’ on a deep shot on goal from Pedro. Szczesny contributed three saves, one punch, one save from inside of the box, six accurate long balls, two clearances, and one aerial duel won.


Juan Cuadrado - 6.5

No other player on the team delivers across quite like Juan Cuadrado. Nowhere was that more recognizable than in the first goal of the match as Cuadrado delivered a stunner of a corner to Cristiano Ronaldo to open up the scoring in the 10’. The Columbian delivered another great cross in the 71’ for as good a chance at a second assist as any, but Federico Chiesa came up just short on positioning to get under it. Cuadrado contributed one assist, one clearance, two interceptions, one error that led to a shot, two aerial duels won, one key pass, two accurate crosses, four accurate long balls, and one big chance created. Cuadrado was substituted off for Gianluca Frabotta in the 83’. Juan Cuadrado was penalized with a yellow card in the 18’.


Matthijs De Ligt - 6

The best defensive performer was the Dutch Wall, Matthijs De Ligt. The only true egregious act was during the scoring play by Simeone, the Dutch defender and Chiellini both failed to lock down the central defense and the attacker was able to take the shot unmarked. De Ligtcontributed six clearances, one blocked shot, three interceptions, one ground duel own, three aerial duels won, and three accurate long balls.

Giorgio Chiellini - 6

Chiellini exhibited his defensive greatness in the 28’ when a dangerous Cagliari attack into the box was headed away off the dome of Giorgio before the rival Cagliari striker was able to head it in. Unfortunately, the second half told a little bit different of a story as the central defensive pair of Chiellini and De Ligt both allowed Simeone to enter the box unmarked for the clean sheet-breaking goal in the 61’. Chiellini contributed five clearances, two aerial duels won, and three accurate long balls. Giorgio Chiellini was substituted off for Leonardo Bonucci in the 70’.


Alex Sandro - 5.5

The Brazilian saw little playing time through the first 34’ before being substituted off for Federico Bernardeschi after sustaining an apparent injury. Sandro contributed one interception and one accurate long ball.


Dejan Kulusevski - 5.5

One Kulusevski’s early second-half attempts on the ball in the 55’ saw the Swede dribble the ball down the field, but once he arrived in a range of the box lazily kicked what I suppose you can call a cross into the area devoid of a fellow Juventus attacker. Kulu made another angled pass in the box in the 60’, but Morata was unable to capitalize on the ball. Kulusevski contributed one key pass, two accurate long balls, one big chance created, one shot blocked, three successful dribbles, seven ground duels won, and two tackles.


Danilo Luiz da Silva - 6

The Brazilian seems to be somewhat thriving in his role utilized as a defensive midfielder, bringing in a reliable presence missed when the likes of Ramsey start instead. Danilo contributed six accurate long balls, one successful dribble, six ground duels won, one aerial duel won, one clearance, two interceptions, and three tackles.


Adrien Rabiot - 6

The Frenchman has become a small bright spot in the midfield over the course of the season. While not exactly a star player, Rabiot has found ways to contribute and create on the offensive side that has been missed in the midfield and makes the midfielder a solid placeholder for the remainder of the season until the management can (God willing) get a higher level reinforcement in the summer Mercato. One of the main positives on the Rabiot side is the player is not afraid to take a shot or two on goal. One of the biggest grievances of the midfield given that defenders do not regularly have to respect their attack and can focus on the strikers. Rabiot contributed one accurate long ball, one shot blocked, five ground duels own, one clearance, one interception, and three tackles.

Federico Chiesa - 6.5

Quickly becoming my personal favorite player for the club, the Italian unselfishly delivered a perfect pass to set up Cristiano Ronaldo to complete his hat trick in the 32’. Federico Chiesa is becoming the heart and soul of the Juventus midfield and can be one of the cornerstones with which the management can build for the future of the club. Chiesa contributed one assist, four key passes, one accurate cross, one big chance created, one clearance, and one interception. Federico Chiesa was substituted off for Arthur Melo in the 83’.


Alvaro Morata - 5

The second striker role has been one of difficulty for both individuals that have filled that position in recent weeks. Dejan Kulusevski has faltered as he has played out of position in the spot, while Morata might still be getting back into the groove of things after returning to play. Both suffered from missed opportunities. Morata had a big chance with a lot of time in the 22’ to get a shot on goal, but failed to do enough to not send it directly into the Cagliari keeper’s grasp. Morata contributed one shot on target, one big chance missed, two ground duels won, three clearances, and one tackle. Alvaro Morata was substituted off for Weston McKennie in the 70’.


Cristiano Ronaldo - 8

In a game where the points don’t matter nearly as much and we are just treading that proverbial water, Ronaldo had no problem showing up in the early minutes and scoring a goal in the 10’. Ronaldo was awarded a penalty in the 24’ following a takedown by the keeper and the Portuguese striker completed the penalty kick for the 2-0 early lead. Ronaldo had one of his earliest hat tricks completing off of a beautiful Chiesa pass in the 32’, shredding a Rugani and Godin led the defense. Ronaldo finished the match with a laughably bad shot taken on a runout and tip from the goalkeeper, but the hat trick and first-half performance were impressive and nothing to laugh at. Ronaldo contributed three goals, four shots on target, one shot off target, one shot blocked, one successful dribble, one penalty won, one big chance missed, one key pass, three ground duels won, and one aerial duel won. Cristiano Ronaldo was penalized with a yellow card in the 14’.

Substitutions


Federico Bernardeschi (↔️ Alex Sandro) - 6

The Italian relieved Alex Sandro 34’ into play after the Brazilian seemed to aggravate an injury. This weekend Zambrotta gave the opinion that he favors Bernardeschi settling into the left-back position, and at the risk of being called a ‘Berna Apologist’, I tend to agree. Bernardeschi made a splendid move in the 65’ to split defenders and complete the pass to Rabiot downfield. The following actions by target Juventus attackers were less than splendid. Bernardeschi contributed two successful dribbles, one key pass, one accurate cross, three accurate long balls, three ground duels won, and two interceptions.


Leonardo Bonucci (↔️ Giorgio Chiellini) - N/A

Not enough information for rating.


Weston McKennie (↔️ Alvaro Morata) - N/A

Not enough information for rating.


Arthur Melo (↔️ Federico Chiesa) - N/A

Not enough information for rating.


Gianluca Frabotta (↔️ Juan Cuadrado) - N/A

Not enough information for rating.


Coach

Andrea Pirlo - 6

A solid bounce-back performance for Cristiano Ronaldo and Andrea Pirlo following a devastating exit from the Champions League, though a road victory against a bottom four club in the table is anything but a minor accomplishment for the Bianconeri.



Follow Justin Soforo on Twitter @JustinSoforo



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