Cristiano Ronaldo returned to the starting lineup after being rested for a disastrous Serie A outing against Benevento, that saw the club drop more precious points it could ill afford to spare. Having already clinched a spot in the final 16 of the Champions League, the match against Dynamo Kiev was an opportunity for Pirlo to fine tune the midfield and bolster the attack. Leonardo Bonucci reclaimed his captain’s armband as Juvetus defeated Dynamo Kiev 3-0 in Turin.
Notice: All ratings are calculated through a stringent process utilizing statistics and the eye test called My Opinion and are most certainly incorrect.
Wojciech Szczesny - 7
What appeared to be a lazy evening for the goalkeeper quickly heated up by the end of the first half as Dynamo Kiev found their groove and began to attack more furiously through the Bianconeri defense. Szczesney had a fantastic clearance save at the 40’ on what appeared to be a sure goal by the club following a complete Juventus defensive breakdown. Szczesney had an additional stop moments later, collecting the ball on a shot on goal at the 42’. A bouncing ball early in the second half was scooped up by the Polish defender and saved from a Dynamo Kiev score at the 48’. Szczesny followed it up with an additional beautiful deflection at the 54’. Tek had one final save at the 90’+1 to seal the goose egg for Dynamo Kiev. I will take a clean sheet any day of the week and appreciate the bianconeri goalkeeper’s efforts.
Merih Demiral - 6
It was a relatively quiet night for the Turkish defender who logged very few statistical data points, but a clean sheet is a clean sheet for any defender. Demiral contributed two clearances, two tackles, three won ground duels, and three won aerial duels. Demiral was subbed off for Radu Dragusin at the 69’.
Leonardo Bonucci - 6
The return of the defensive captain displayed the return of what appeared to be the modern day Juve defensive lineup flanked by Merih Demiral and Matthijs De Ligt. Bonucci was lucky near the end of the first half to not be caught, essentially attempting to put a Dynamo Kiev player in a sleeper hold on a behind the back header attempt. Bonucci accounted for two interceptions, two aerial duels won, one ground duel won, and four accurate long balls in his return to the squad. Bonucci was subbed off for Danilo at the 62’.
Matthijs De Ligt - 7
Stop me if you have heard this before, but De Ligt was the best defender on the field. The Dutch defender accounted for four clearances, four tackles, three interceptions, four ground duels won, one aerial duel won, and six accurate long balls. Never leave us.
Alex Sandro - 7
In the first half Alex Sandro assisted Federico Chiesa to open up scoring by delivering a beautiful cross to the Italian national that he subsequently deflected past the goalkeeper, Bushchan. Sandro then again set up a teammate for what would have been considered an automatic goal at the 29’ for Cristiano Ronaldo that deflected off the crossbar. Sandro contributed one assist, two key passes, one accurate cross, two accurate long balls, six ground duels won, two aerial duels won, two clearances, two interceptions, and two tackles.
Weston McKennie - 6
McKennie opened up play having a much better game than his last match on the pitch, but that will happen when he plays in his natural position of CM rather than a RM/ACM hybrid. Unfortunately there were multiple occurrences where my American compatriot looked poised to earn his first goal for the black and white, only to disappointingly pull away at the last moment. McKennie contributed three key passes, two accurate long balls, one shot on target, six ground duels won, two aerial duels won, two interceptions, and three tackles.
Federico Chiesa - 7.5
This is the Federico Chiesa that the Juventus upper management were looking to purchase in the summer. A beautiful header on an assist from Alex Sandro opened up scoring for the Bianconeri at the 21’. Chiesa later cleared away a dangerous ball in the box at the 25’ before any Dynamo Kiev attackers could scavenge a score. Chiesa was the driving force behind the attack that led to the goal scored by Ronaldo and assisted in Morata’s goal at the 66’. The one thing that does not show up in the scorecard is the energy that Chiesa brings on the pitch. The Italian youth consistently arrives on the pitch with a childlike exuberance to be able to play in the black and white shirt, something I can hardly recall witnessing when watching him play for the Viola in Florence. Chiesa accounted for one goal, one assist, three key passes, one shot on target, two blocked shots, six ground duels won, one clearance, four tackles, two accurate crosses, one accurate long ball, and two big chances created.
Rodrigo Bentancur - 6
Ramsey and Bentancur suffered the fate of being the least memorable on the pitch tonight. I can barely recall a meaningful play either midfielder made during the match. Rodrigo Bentancur accounted for one clearance, one interception, one tackle, two ground duels won, and five accurate long balls. Bentancur was booked with a yellow card during a tackle attempt at the 10’.
Aaron Ramsey - 5.5
Ramsey and Bentancur suffered the fate of being the least memorable on the pitch tonight. I can barely recall a meaningful play either midfielder made during the match. Aaron Ramsey contributed two interceptions, a shot off target, and three accurate long balls. Aaron Ramsey was subbed off for Federico Bernardeschi at the 62’.
Alvaro Morata - 7.5
Compared to the high scoring Morata we have grown accustomed to, the Spaniard’s performance may have flown under the radar for some. As opposed to his offensive prowess usually witnessed, Morata’s presence was felt multiple times defensively and dribbling the ball through the midfield. Morata did capitalize on his chances by scoring on an assist from Federico Chiesa at the 66’. Alvaro scored one goal, contributed one assist, two shots on target, on shot off target, one accurate cross, two accurate long balls, seven ground duels won, and three tackles.
Cristiano Ronaldo - 6.5
In the first 45 minutes of Ronaldo’s return to play following a rest against Benevento the Portugese player appeared a step or two out of sorts compared to the GOAT the world has grown used to seeing on the pitch. Ronaldo misfired on a perfectly placed pass from Alex Sandro (who was creating every chance he got), ricocheting the shot off the crossbar at the 29’. As the second half progressed the striker again had a goal fall into his lap as Chiesa placed a shot directly at the goal which Morata deflected toward the outside post and Ronaldo was able to tap in from a yard away at the 58’. Ronaldo contributed one goal, two shots on target, two shots off target, two blocked shots, and four clearances.
Danilo Luiz da Silva (↔️ Leonardo Bonucci) - 5.5
In limited time on the pitch with the match already well in hand, little information could be gleaned on the performance of the substitutes. Danilo contributed two interceptions to the stat sheet.
Federico Bernardeschi (↔️ Aaron Ramsey) - 6
In limited time on the pitch with the match already well in hand, little information could be gleaned on the performance of the substitutes. Bernardeschi contributed on shot on target, one shot off target, one shot blocked, three ground duels, one aerial duel won, and one interception.
Radu Dragusin (↔️ Merih Demiral) - N/A
Not enough information for rating.
Dejan Kulusevski (↔️ Federico Chiesa) - N/A
Not enough information for rating.
Arthur Melo (↔️ Rodrigo Bentancur) - N/A
Not enough information for rating.
Andrea Pirlo - 6
These are the matches the manager of Juventus is expected to win comfortably. He did just that.
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