Aaron Ramsey and Paulo Dybala come up clutch as Juventus saw off Inter Milan in a potential title decider at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday.
The game started off quite slow, with both teams taking their time to attack the opposition keeper. It was Matthijs de Ligt who came closest in the first half, forcing Samir Handanovic to make a great save from a corner.
Juventus turned up the heat not long into the second half, with Aaron Ramsey driving the ball into the net after a miscontrol from Cristiano Ronaldo. Soon after, Paulo Dybala got himself on the score sheet as well, scoring a beautiful solo goal to round off the win. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over the defending champions.
Wojciech Szczesny: 6.5/10
To be fair to the Polish international, he did not have anything to do in the entirety of the game. While Inter Milan came close, they were not able to string in the important pass in the final third. Szczesny had to make only 1 save in the 90 minutes, that too in the first half, off a deflected Marcelo Brozovic shot.
Juan Cuadrado: 8/10
After playing in his more natural position last weekend, as a winger in a front three, Cuadrado was shifted back to his makeshift spot as a right-back. And boy, did he impress. The Colombian was key to everything that went right for Juventus against Inter Milan, both in defence and attack.
He made 91 accurate passes, 33 more than any other player for the Bianconeri. He also had 115 touches of the ball today, 26 more than the next best Alex Sandro. Cuadrado was also able to make one key pass in the game. A strong man of the match contender.
Matthijs de Ligt: 7.5/10
Matthijs de Ligt seems to have finally found his feet in Turin, putting in important defensive shifts in the absence of Merih Demiral. Against Inter Milan, the 21-year-old came close to scoring on 2 occasions, both from corners.
He also had a passing accuracy of 97.5%, the highest of any player on the pitch. Apart from this, de Ligt also made a vital interception without which Lautaro Martinez would have been through on goal. Signs of better things to come from the young man.
Leonardo Bonucci: 7.5/10
Youngest of the iconic BBC trio, Bonucci donned the captain’s armband in the absence of his partner-in-crime Giorgio CHiellini. The Italian international is a top class defender, but what makes him a standout is his ability to play exceptional passes.
His 92% passing accuracy and 8 long balls out of an attempted 10 are proof of the same. Defensively as well, the 32-year-old was brilliant, winning each his duels – ground and aerial.
Alex Sandro: 7/10
Brazilian left-back Sandro lasted 77 minutes on the pitch before being subbed off due to an injury. During his time on the pitch, Sandro was constantly roaring up and down the sideline, showing why he is still one of the most complete full-backs in the world. He created one chance, which was not capitalised by Juventus, but his 2 interceptions and an acrobatic block got his team over the line.
Aaron Ramsey: 8.5/10
Welshman Ramsey started on the right hand side of the three-man midfield for Juevtnus against Inter Milan, but was constantly playing like an orthodox attacking midfielder. After a slow start in the first half, where he had virtually no contribution, Ramsey scored the opener in the 54th minute, slamming the ball home after Cristiano Ronaldo miscued his effort.
The former Arsenal midfielder made 3 key passes on Sunday, one of which was wonderfully converted by Paulo Dybala, getting Ramsey an assist as well.
Rodrigo Bentancur: 7/10
Bentancur took over the duties of playing the holding midfield role in a decision that saw Miralem Pjanic being benched by Maurizio Sarri. The Uruguayan international was constantly involved in every build-up for his team, ending the game creating 4 goal scoring chances for his team.
Benatacur could have probably done better when off the ball, as he was constantly overrun by either Nicolo Barella or Marcelo Brozovic. Nevertheless, a solid showing.
Blaise Matuidi: 7/10
World Cup winner Matuidi has been indispensable for Sarri this season because of his outstanding work-rate. The Frenchman was quietly doing his job throughout the game against Inter Milan, making off the ball runs to and latching on to loose balls. He also put on a defensive show, winning 4 tackles, including a last-ditch effort on Antonio Candreva just outside the box.
Douglas Costa: 5.5/10
Probably the worst player on the pitch among the starters. This was Costa’s first start in nearly a month, when Juventus lost to Hellas Verona. Unlike that day, however, Costa added virtually nothing to the game against Inter Milan.
All responsibility of attacking from the right hand side was carried out by Juan Cuadrado. Due to his shambolic display, Costa was subbed off before the clock even struck 60 minutes.
Gonzalo Higuain: 6/10
Higuain was another player who did not add enough substance to the game, except creating a goalscoring chance for Matuidi in the first half. Higuain did manage a 100% long pass completion, which was probably his highlight stat from the evening.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 6.5/10
Maybe it wasn’t the best day for Juventus’ starting forwards. It was a day in which Ronaldo could broken Gabriel Batitstuta’s record of scoring in 11 consecutive Serie A matches, but he came up short. The Portuguese star was almost invisible in the first half of the game, but he managed to get an assist for the opening goal after poorly controlling a cross that then fell to Ramsey.
Paolo Dybala: 8/10
Dybala was left out of the starting XI for such a crucial game, and the decision could have gone worse, to be fair. Dybala came on in the 59th minute and was quick to show his importance, scoring within 7 minutes of being introduced.
The Argentine controlled the ball beautifully with his left boot, beating Ashley Young with his first touch. He then played the ball in the path of Ramsey, who was quick to return it. Meanwhile, Young had come into the box, but came up short yet again as Dybala beat him with a deft touch and toe poked the ball into the net. A goal of the highest order.
Mattia De Sciglio: 5/10
De Sciglio came on for an injured Alex Sandro with 13 minutes left in regulation time. His first touch of the ball resulted in a turnover, with Candreva trying to make full use of the chance. De Sciglio faced no other threat, though, and comfortably saw off the game.
Federico Bernardeschi: N/A
Bernardeschi came on late in the game and touched the ball just 5 times.