Wojciech Szczesny was the standout performer for Juventus but Alvaro Morata and Cristiano Ronaldo disappointed in the 1-1 draw with Atalanta on Wednesday.
Juventus were hot off the gates and had a couple of superb openings to take the lead within the first quarter of an hour. The hosts, though, duly broke the deadlock just ahead of the half hour mark, as Federico Chiesa produced a stunning long range finish in what was his first Serie A goal since joining Juventus.
The Bianconeri had further chances to add to their advantage while at the other end, Wojciech Szczesny was sharp enough to keep Juventus ahead. However, Szczesny had no answer for Remo Freuler’s magnificent long range drive early in the second half, as Atalanta pulled back on level terms.
Both the goalkeepers were at their shot stopping best for the remainder of the game, with Atalanta custodian Pierluigi Gollini taking the cake for his save to deny Cristiano Ronaldo from the spot. The spoils were, therefore, shared between the two sides on Wednesday and The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Andrea Pirlo’s men.
Wojciech Szczesny: 9/10
The clear standout on the night for Juventus, Szczesny made a string of excellent saves to ensure that the Bianconeri never went behind in the game. The late save to deny Cristian Romero stood out, but each of his five stops were crucial. Extremely precise with the ball at his feet as well.
Juan Cuadrado: 7/10
As has been the case for much of the season so far, Cuadrado produced yet another superb all-round showing from the right-back slot. The Colombian saw a lot of the ball against Atalanta and constantly looked to make things happen with his dangerous deliveries. Typically worked hard off the ball as well, completing a game-high 5 interceptions.
Matthijs de Ligt: 7/10
The Juventus defenders stood out from the rest of the outfield players on the night and de Ligt was no different. The Dutchman made a crucial early block to deny Duvan Zapata and his numbers on the whole were generally superb – 7 duels won, 4 tackles, 3 interceptions and 2 blocks. As ever, he was also reliable on the ball, misplacing just 4 of the 58 passes he attempted.
Leonardo Bonucci: 7/10
Another accomplished display for the most part by the Juvenuts skipper, whose only minor fault was to not close down Remo Freuler quickly enough for the only Atalanta goal, although the midfielders needed to do much more in that instance. Otherwise, Bonucci was hardly troubled at the back and made some crucial interventions while being imposing in the air (3/3 duels won).
A solid effort by Danilo, who was largely camped in his own half and did not make any sort of impact in the final third. The Brazilian, though, completed his defensive duties without much of a fuss, winning 5/6 duels while completing 4 interceptions and as many tackles. His only blemish was a first half error that led to a shot from Ruslan Malinvoskyi. Solid otherwise.
Federico Chiesa: 8/10
Federico Chiesa has now scored his 5th career Serie A goal from outside the box – three of those five have come against Atalanta. 🔥🇮🇹 pic.twitter.com/gSrzfIBcfd
— Ticket Huddle (@TicketHuddle) December 16, 2020
The game changer for Juventus in the final third. Chiesa hardly saw the ball on the night but whenever it did reach his feet, it seemed as if he was going to make a difference. That is exactly what Chiesa did as a peach of a strike broke the deadlock, and he also earned the penalty that Cristiano Ronaldo failed to convert. Did all he could to swing the result Juventus’s way.
A frustrating evening for Arthur, whose evening ended before the game even reached the half hour mark after he picked up a knock following a heavy collision with Cristian Romero. Pirlo will hope that the injury is not too serious.
Rodrigo Bentancur: 6/10
Stationed in the centre of the park, Bentancur struggled to have stretched periods when he asserted his side’s dominance in midfield. However, the Uruguayan was hardly wasteful with the ball at his feet, misplacing just 2 passes all game. Benatancur, though, should have done better to close down Freuler for the equaliser, but was instead caught out of position.
Weston McKennie: 7/10
McKennie was not as overpowering as he has been in recent games. However, the 22-year-old was not too involved in the proceedings this time around, but the USMNT midfielder did carry a threat, creating a couple of huge chances that were not converted. As always, put a shift in off the ball.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 4/10
A game to forget for Ronaldo, who was not as involved as he would have liked. The positives from the game for the Portuguese superstar were the two key passes he played, but he fluffed his lines from the two chances he had coming his way while also failing to convert a penalty. Needs to step up.
😱 Cristiano Ronaldo has penalty saved 😱 pic.twitter.com/4KZPuJZdAY
— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 16, 2020
Alvaro Morata: 4/10
Another player who endured a difficult evening. Morata was incredibly wasteful from the chances that came his way, with his end product leaving a lot to be desired. The miss from a bizarre back-heel attempt was ridiculous and he also took too long to take the shot from McKennie’s ball in the second half. Also lost the ball before Freuler scored the equaliser for Atalanta.
Adrien Rabiot: 5/10
On for Arthur, Rabiot did not do much of note. Some of his decisions on the ball were inexplicable. Also did not do enough to stop Freuler in his tracks for the equalising goal.
Alex Sandro: N/A
Alex Sandro replaced Chiesa with 15 minutes left in the game, but hardly got a chance to make a difference.
Paulo Dybala: N/A
A late introduction, Dybala did not have enough time to get all three points for Juventus.