PLAYER RATINGS: UDINESE 1-2 JUVENTUS

Fittingly in a day that saw the snake, Antonio Conte, and his Inter squad crowned champions of Italy, the most disappointing Juventus team in over a decade I never thought this day would come that I would say something (to me) that is so sacrilegious, but Andrea Pirlo has thoroughly failed this club….. I wrote the beginnings of this intro long before the final ten minutes of the match arrived and Ronaldo pulled the save of all saves to keep Juventus in the top four of the league. But in truth, I stand by it. The teams showed no quality or effort for 90% of the match and it was the efforts of Ronaldo that saved this team’s metaphorical ass. Ronaldo proving he really is Fino Alla Fine today.


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 - 5

Tek and the defense took it on the chin early in the match with the Molina score in the 10’, but tightened up for the remainder of the match. That’s great, but the mishap that is quickly becoming a habit of giving up an early score for the opposing team especially in the manner the club did is unacceptable for any keeper of Juventus’ caliber. Tek contributed one save and four accurate long balls.


Danilo Luiz da Silva - 5.5

The Brazilian defender was lucky to miss out on being a part of the party that allowed for the opening score that almost sunk Juventus’ season, but still has the honor of being one of the members of the least enjoyable Juventus teams of the last decade. So congratulations. Danilo contributed two clearances, three interceptions, four tackles, six ground duels won, one accurate long ball, and one successful dribble.


Matthijs De Ligt - 6

De Ligt was doing the most in the 37’ to try to create some sort of score off of the free kick taken by Cuadrado, grabbing possession twice and attempting shots, but almost no other plan or assistance was given by his teammates to create while in threatening range. The Dutchman contributed three clearances, one blocked shot, two interceptions, two tackles, four ground duels won, two aerial duels won, one key pass, one accurate cross, one accurate long balls, one big chance created, one shot blocked, and one successful dribble.


Leonardo Bonucci - 5

The Italian captain was a key piece in the defensive front that allowed for Molina to make the scoring move for goal following a pass delivered by highly touted Udinese prospect Rodrigo De Paul. Bonucci and staff cracked down later in the match, but the damage was already done and Leo had seemingly taken the season out back and shot it Ole Yeller style. Bonucci contributed three clearances, three interceptions, one ground duel won, and five accurate long balls.


Alex Sandro - 5

Sandro was the other main piece of the main guilty parties for the defensive breakdown that allowed for Molina’s early game score that almost crippled the season. Following the breakdown that allowed for the opening score, it was to my surprise that one of the players working hardest to make something positive happen for the lifeless Juventus team was Alex Sandro as he single-handedly drove the ball into the box in the 24’, but was left alone against the Udine defense without support. Sandro contributed one clearance, five interceptions, three tackles, six ground duels won, one aerial duel won, one key pass, five accurate long balls, and three successful dribbles.

Juan Cuadrado - 5.5

Cuadrado found himself threatening in Udinese territory with the opportunity to take a shot in space and decided to throw the whole damn game in the garbage disposal by passing instead and allowing the returning defense to engulf the Juventus offense like a limping calf left for dead by its mother to a pride of lions. That’s the best analogy I can muster for what this club has become. Cuadrado contributed four key passes, one accurate cross, three accurate long balls, one big chance created, four ground duels won, and one interception. Juan Cuadrado was substituted off for Felix Correia in the 84’.


Rodrigo Bentancur - 5.5

Bentancur checks off this match’s ‘I hardly remembered his performance’ player of the game. But to be fair that was mostly because the performance by the entire team until Ronaldo’s heroics in the final minutes was an absolute pile of dog feces. Bentancur contributed two key passes, five accurate long balls, one shot blocked, one successful dribble, four ground duels won, five interceptions, and three tackles.


Weston McKennie - 5

Weston McKennie attempted to equalize shortly after the Molina score on a Cuadrado corner but was unable to get to the ball in time to head it in. McKennie contributed one key pass, two successful long balls, one shot off target, one shot blocked, one big chance missed, one ground duel won, one interception, and one tackle. Weston McKennie was substituted off for Adrien Rabiot in the 84’.


Federico Bernardeschi - 4.5

Bernardeschi was back to doing Federico Bernardeschi things. The club has learned little to nothing in managing Bernardeschi’s usefulness as he has shown himself to be less than useful in the midfield and winger role. If anything the Italian is best utilized in the left-back role, not that he is a solid player anywhere on the field, but one would argue he is less than serviceable in the winger role. Bernardeschi contributed one accurate cross, one accurate long ball, one successful dribble, five ground duels won, and two tackles. Bernardeschi was the first player to be pulled and was substituted off for Dejan Kulusevski in the 59’.

Paulo Dybala - 5

The Argentinian continues to struggle to regain his position in the starting lineup and showing the Dybala fans grew to love during the 2019/20 season. Paulo took a shot on goal in the 33’, but failed to get enough force behind it that the Scuffet was fairly easily able to corral the ball. Dybala contributed one shot on target, two shots blocked, two successful dribbles, two accurate long balls, six ground duels won, and one tackle. Paulo Dybala was substituted off for Alvaro Morata in the 66’.


Cristiano Ronaldo - 7

Following a listless and sleep-inducing first eighty minutes to the game, most fans had given hope on the match and the season, but Ronaldo felt differently. Ronaldo took a solid deep shot on target in the 58’, unfortunately, the depth gave the Udinese keeper more than enough time to save it. Ronaldo was awarded a free-kick that eventually led to a handball penalty awarded by the wall in the final ten minutes of the game. Ronaldo completed the penalty kick to level the match at 1-1 in the 83’. Delivered a great cross high from Adrien Rabiot in the 89’, Ronaldo placed a perfect header to score the season-saving goal in the most Ronaldo way possible. Ronaldo gets a lot of criticism, and rightfully so when you are his caliber of a player, but he deserves all of the praise today. Was he great the whole match? Not even close, but he was great when Juventus needed it. Ronaldo contributed two goals, three shots on target, two shots off target, one shot blocked, one big chance missed, one key pass, one accurate long ball, and one interception.



Substitutions


Dejan Kulusevski (↔️ Federico Bernardeschi) - N/A

Not enough information for rating.


Alvaro Morata (↔️ Paulo Dybala) - N/A

Not enough information for rating.


Felix Correia (↔️ Juan Cuadrado) - N/A

Not enough information for rating.


Adrien Rabiot (↔️ Weston McKennie) - N/A

Not enough information for rating.


Coach

Andrea Pirlo - 4

I can repeat this until I am blue in the face, but you should know it by now. I love Andrea Pirlo, I love all that he has done for the club and the Italian national team. I probably don’t have half as many good football memories without his performances as a player. That being said the writing is on the wall. His time (for now) as the manager of Juventus should be over. The club has shown no direction or growth over the past nine months and now more than ever looks like a relegation side team. The experiment failed, and the club and Pirlo need to cut their losses while they can. Ronaldo pulled off some heroics only a player of his stature can, but without that, no player on this club showed the effort or even the desire to pull out this victory. I have always said: when someone is pissed off and can produce anger for or at you there is still something to fight for, but when the relationship has turned to apathy then it is dead. The divorce is all but official. The club needs to make the move now to save its position in the top four for UCL and the other pieces that will fall in the Mercato. Also a stat info bonus: Pirlo was penalized with a yellow card today.



Follow Justin Soforo on Twitter @JustinSoforo


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