Saturday, April 29, 2017

Juventus’ one-on-one analysis: Old Lady takes decisive advantage against Barcelona

Paulo Dybala scores a brace as Juventus hammer Barcelona (Image: Milliyet).

Gianluigi Buffon (6): The veteran goalkeeper did not have a lot of work in this game. However, he came up big with a monster save against Andres Iniesta when Juventus had a one-goal lead. Responded every team he was required, although his defence helped him a lot.

Dani Alves (5): The former FC Barcelona right back was not able to offer a constant threat going forward due to Neymar’s presence through his flank. But he excelled defensively and limited Neymar’s impact throughout the game.

Giorgio Chiellini (7): He has an excellent partnership with Leonardo Bonucci, and between the two managed to erase Luis Suarez off the pitch. To make things even better, Chiellini scored the third goal for his side. 

Leonardo Bonucci (6): Spent most of the game limiting the spaces of Luis Suarez in the final third. And as a result the Uruguayan only had one clear chance in the entire game. He showed why he’s regarded as one of the best centre backs in Europe.

Alex Sandro (5): The Brazilian left back had a similar situation to Alves. He didn’t push forward a lot of times because he had to contain Lionel Messi. And while the Argentinian was Barcelona’s most active player, he wasn’t decisive and struggled to get past the former Porto standout.

Sami Khedira (6): The former Real Madrid player seems to have recovered his form since he moved to Turin. Operated as a holding midfielder, and managed to contribute on both ends of the pitch. Took advantage of Barcelona’s problems in midfield and cooperated on both sides of the ball.

Miralem Pjanic (5): He failed to appear in this game. The Bosnian was not able to make a big impact on the game, and was largely ineffectual in the middle of the pitch. He was outshined by Khedira.

Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (6): The Colombian winger looked active during the first half, but wasn’t able to replicate that same intensity in the second 45 minutes. Assisted on the first goal with an accurate pass to Paulo Dybala.

Paulo Dybala (8): Man of the match performance. The Argentinian wonderkid was the main reason why Juventus escaped with the win, as he created havoc on the opposing defence time and time again. Scored two goals early during the first half that allowed Juventus to control the game with ease. Left the pitch during the second half under a standing ovation.

Mario Mandzukic (5): The Croatian forward was a game-time decision due to a knee injury, but he didn’t show effects of any physical problem once the ball started rolling. He is not used to play on a wider role, but he works extremely hard. And he seems to grow more and more comfortable in that position.

Gonzalo Higuain (5): It is hard to analyse, but Higuain’s performance decreases considerably on the European stage. The Argentinian marksman held up the ball well, but he wasn’t sharp on his touches in the final third. Had a good chance to score in the second half, but missed it.

Substitutes:

Mario Lemina (-): Replaced Cuadrado in the 73rd minute to add fresh legs in the final third. But he didn’t have a big impact overall, and barely touched the ball.

Tomas Rincon (-): Not enough time to be rated. Played less than 10 minutes and added fresh legs in midfield.

Andrea Barzagli (-): Played less than five minutes after replacing Miralem Pjanic.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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