Juventus suffered a shock 3-0 defeat at home to low-lying Fiorentina as their unbeaten run in the Serie A came to end just before the winter break.
Juventus suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of Cesare Prandelli’s Fiorentina, who won their first match since the Italian tactician took charge. Dusan Vlahovic opened the scoring as early as the third minute, when Franck Ribery played him in through the centre-backs.
Vlahovic took the ball wide and did the rest, chipping Wojciech Szczesny for the opener. It was Juventus that looked to respond positively, but things changed when Juan Cuadrado picked up a red card when he unnecessarily slid in after a long touch and caught Gaetano Castrovilli above the calf.
Despite being a man down, Juventus did not lose heart and tried to make things happen with the introduction of Federico Bernardeschi. As Juventus pushed higher up the pitch, Fiorentina were doing well to catch them on the transition; and, two goals in the 76th and 81st minute sealed the defeat for the Bianconeri.
Cristiano Biraghi put in a peach of a cross which Alex Sandro failed to clear and bundled it into his own net. Leonardo Bonucci then lost the ball cheaply for the umpteenth time on the night and was finally punished by former Juventus defender, Martin Caceres, who was in the right place at the right time to tap in a nice low cross by Biraghi.
For the first time, Juventus have lost at the Allianz Stadium with Cristiano Ronaldo on the pitch. pic.twitter.com/UY4WABBxJC
— Forza Juventus (@ForzaJuveEN) December 22, 2020
After a disappointing performance by the Bianconeri, let’s see how The Hard Tackle rated their players.
Wojciech Szczesny: 5/10
Conceded 3 goals, but was without a doubt let down by the defence in front of him. The Polish goalkeeper could do very little about the second and third goal, but would feel that he could have done better to capitalise on Vlahovic’s poor touches before the first Fiorentina goal. Made a sharp stop to deny Castrovilli in the first half.
Matthijs de Ligt: 5/10
A rare off-night for de Ligt, who was caught out of position and outpaced for the first goal. Responded well to keep Fiorentina at bay for majority of the game. The Dutchman won 6 aerial duels and made 5 clearances, both of which were the highest by any player in the game. Would feel that he could have blocked the low cross for the third goal that crept in between his legs.
Leonardo Bonucci: 3/10
A horror show by the veteran, Bonucci produced one of the worst performances of his career. His positioning was off throughout the night and he lost the ball cheaply inside his own half – was lucky to only be punished once because of it. His place in Juventus’s high line is questionable given his age and lack of pace. One would feel that Merih Demiral would be more suitable for that role.
— Forza Juventus (@ForzaJuveEN) December 22, 2020
Alex Sandro: 3/10
Sandro, who has impressed since returning from injury, produced a disappointing display at the back. Offered very little going forward and did not mark his men properly in the box, letting Martin Caceres evade him with ease for the third. Scored the own goal for Fiorentina’s second when he failed to clear Biraghi’s cross. One wonders why he did not use his weaker right foot and chose to go with an uncomfortable angle on his left.
Juan Cuadrado: 2/10
Cuadrado let all his teammates down after getting sent off when Juventus were a goal down. Cuadrado beat his first man with a long touch and slid in unnecessarily with his foot dangerously high. It was poor decision making by the Colombian, who has been brilliant for Juventus this season. A fully deserved red card and suspension for the right-back.
3’—Fiorentina take the lead against Juventus
17’—Juventus’ Juan Cuadrado is shown a straight red
Juve and Milan are currently the last two unbeaten teams in Europe’s top five leagues… pic.twitter.com/jbsERVHcx9
— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 22, 2020
Aaron Ramsey: 5/10
Played a loose pass and lost the ball early in the third minute when Juventus had pushed way too many bodies ahead. Fiorentina were then able to catch the Juventus high line out and Vlahovic was clear. Ramsey was then sacrificed for Danilo by Pirlo after Cuadrado’s dismissal.
Rodrigo Bentancur: 5/10
For someone who offers very little in the offensive phase, Bentancur was underwhelming on the ball and defensively too. His touches were poor and he lost the ball 16 times from central midfield. He was unable to protect his defence, with Fiorentina were getting clear opportunities to run at the defence with Bentancur nowhere to be seen.
Weston McKennie: 5/10
After a string of good performances by the USMNT international, McKennie failed to step up when Juventus needed him. He wasn’t particularly bad on the ball as he only lost possession 5 times and played 2 key passes too. However, he was not able to impact the game as much as he would have liked to and was poor in tracking back as well.
Federico Chiesa: 7/10
As usual, Chiesa was one of the bright spots in a poor Juventus side. Chiesa put in a real shift, completing 4 dribbles and tackles and also drawing 7 fouls. The former Fiorentina winger took it upon himself to make things happen as he showed a lot of intent in the second half. Unfortunately, had no end-product to show for his performance.
Alvaro Morata: 5/10
Was hooked at half-time as Pirlo sought more width from Federico Bernardeschi after offering very little in the first half. His most notable contribution was a dangerous cross at the far post to Ronaldo that was defended well by Fiorentina. Deserved to be substituted at the break in all honesty.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 7/10
Juventus’s best player and someone who did not deserve to be on the losing side. Ronaldo produced an inspired performance but was unfortunately not helped by those surrounding him. He tested Bartlomiej Drawgoswki with some terrific shots but was unable to find the back of the net.
Ronaldo created three chances as well but was let down his teammates for the finishes. Ultimately looked to take things in his own hands but failed to bring Juventus back into the game.
Cristiano stats v Fiorentina
▪9/14 Ground duels won
▪8/12 Dribbles completed
▪1/2 Accurate crosses
▪1/6 Shots on target
▪3 Chances created
▪3 Key passes
Tried his best. 🐐🇵🇹 pic.twitter.com/KGvukv282S
— Max Statman (@eMaxStatman) December 22, 2020
Came on in the 20th minute for Aaron Ramsey and had a fairly decent game. Danilo has been one of Juventus’s most consistent performers, and he was the only defender to look composed enough, despite both crosses coming from his wing for the second and third goal. Danilo also offered value in the offensive phase, playing 3 key passes.
Federico Bernardeschi: 6/10
Came on at half-time to provide width and directness in the Juventus attack. Bernardeschi did fairly well as he ran tirelessly on his wing and played some nice crosses. Won 4 out of the 5 ground duels he contested as well. Unfortunately, the winger had nothing to show for his efforts in the end.
Dejan Kulusevski: 5/10
Came on in the last 20 minutes and only touched the ball 6 times. This stat speaks for itself as Kulusevski failed to make any sort of impact.
Gianluca Frabotta: N/A
Came on too late to warrant a rating.