Cristiano Ronaldo stood out while Samir Handanovic was sub-par, as Juventus grabbed a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Inter Milan at San Siro.
Inter Milan were the brighter of the two sides in the early exchanges, and were ahead less than nine minutes into the game, as Lautaro Martinez converted a pinpoint cross by Nicolo Barella from close range. However, Juventus steadily grew into the game and got a way back when Ashley Young bundled down Juan Cuadrado inside the Inter Milan box ahead of the half-hour mark.
Up stepped Cristiano Ronaldo to take the resulting penalty and the Portuguese superstar made no error in finding the back of the net. Shortly after, Juventus went ahead, as Ronaldo pounced on poor communication between Alessandro Bastoni and Samir Handanovic before tapping the ball into an open net.
Thereafter, the clear-cut chances did not flow regularly, although both the goalkeepers did make an important save each in the second half. Juventus, though, held on to their slender advantage to win the Coppa Italia semi-final first leg ahead of the return leg next week. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over both sets of players.
Samir Handanovic: 3/10
Like many of his teammates, this was a game marred by some terrible decision making by Handanovic. The Inter Milan captain’s decision to charge forward when Alessandro Bastoni was receiving the ball was ill-informed and he, in turn, left the goal open for Cristiano Ronaldo to score the winner. Could not have done much to deny Ronaldo from the spot, though.
Milan Skriniar: 5/10
Played the back-pass towards Bastoni without acknowledging the looming threat of Ronaldo, and his pass indeed piled on the pressure on his teammate. Did not really put a foot wrong otherwise, but needed better decision-making.
Stefan de Vrij: 6/10
The best of the lot at the back for Inter Milan, de Vrij tried to the best of his abilities to keep a check on Ronaldo & co. However, he was not backed by the right output from his teammates.
Alessandro Bastoni: 3/10
Some inexplicable decision making by Bastoni, whose decision to take a touch after receiving the pass from Skriniar unnecessarily piled on the pressure on him before Ronaldo scored. Also, put under the pump a lot of times thereafter.
Matteo Darmian: 6/10
A game of hits and misses for Darmian, who struggled at times against Federico Bernadeschi and Ronaldo. Should have done better to convert his chance when he got through on goal.
Nicolo Barella: 7/10
3/3 – Nicolò #Barella has been involved in each of 3 Inter's goals against Juventus this season, among Serie A and Coppa Italia: 1 goal and 2 assists. Crucial.#InterJuventus #CoppaItalia #InterJuve pic.twitter.com/zspxIl4UcI
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) February 2, 2021
The standout performer for Inter Milan, Barella provided the assist for Lautaro Martinez’s goal and was constantly the most potent threat for the hosts. However, his creative outlook also meant that he had a paltry passing rate of 65 percent.
Marcelo Brozovic: 5/10
Sitting at the base of the Inter Milan midfield, Brozovic needed to be more solid to assert his side’s control on the game. However, the Croat lost the initiative and struggled to cope with the forward movements of the Juventus midfielders and Weston McKennie, in particular.
Arturo Vidal: 6/10
A fairly solid display by Vidal, whose combative approach helped Inter Milan control Juventus in the middle of the park for parts of the game. But, he also lost some of the key battles.
Ashley Young: 4/10
A game to forget for Young, who gave away the penalty which was converted by Ronaldo for the equalising goal. Horrible decision-making when bringing down Juan Cuadrado. Hardly posed a threat down his flank.
Lautaro Martinez: 7/10
A rare bright performer for Inter Milan, Martinez made no mistake in converting Barella’s cross to hand Inter Milan the lead. However, he ended up fading after Juventus took the lead. Did not get the right kind of service either.
Lautaro Martinez has been involved in three goals in his last two games for Inter.
⚽️🅰️ vs. Benevento
⚽️ vs. Juventus
He fires Inter ahead against Juventus. pic.twitter.com/XVXiVkpGQp
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 2, 2021
Alexis Sanchez: 6/10
With Romelu Lukaku unavailable, Sanchez got a chance to impress. However, the Chilean was left frustrated despite a purposeful showing that saw him being denied off the line by Merih Demiral. Combined well with Martinez, though.
Ivan Perisic: 5/10
On for Young, Perisic continued pretty much from where the veteran Englishman had left off and was very ineffective in his display.
Christian Eriksen: 5/10
On for Vidal, Eriksen struggled to provide the creative impetus to get Inter Milan the much-sought equaliser.
Stefano Sensi: N/A
A late introduction, Sensi hardly got an opportunity to showcase his best abilities.
Andrea Pinamonti: N/A
On for the final five minutes or so, Pinamonti did not have enough time to make an impact.
Gianluigi Buffon: 5/10
Handed a rare start, Buffon made a fatal error, as his weak save meant Martinez handed Inter Milan the lead early on. However, the veteran Italian goalkeeper later made amends with a stop to thwart Darmian.
Juan Cuadrado: 7/10
Once again, Cuadrado was influential in a Juventus win. This time around, he helped win the penalty that was converted by Ronaldo for the equaliser and was a constant threat down the right flank.
Merih Demiral: 7/10
Making a rare start, this was a solid performance by Demiral, who hardly put a foot wrong while also making a huge block on Alexis Sanchez to keep Juventus ahead.
Video: Merih Demiral with a goal line clearance. https://t.co/lBpNtzuwSN
— Forza Juventus (@ForzaJuveEN) February 2, 2021
Matthijs de Ligt: 6/10
Not the best of performance by de Ligt, who ought to have been more solid to deny Martinez for the opener. The Dutchman then gave the ball away in a dangerous area before being bailed out by Demiral.
Alex Sandro: 6/10
A blow-hot-blow-cold display by Alex Sandro, who faced some tough times against Barella and was dribbled past twice. Improved as the game wore on and was solid behind the ball.
Weston McKennie: 7/10
There is just no stopping McKennie, whose star just continues to ascend. Did well to wrest control from Inter Milan after their early onslaught and combined well with his midfield partners. Effective outing.
Rodrigo Bentancur: 5/10
A night to forget for Bentancur, who was sloppy in possession when he tried to dictate the flow of the game. Also made an error that put Juventus under the pump. A rare blip, however.
Adrien Rabiot: 6/10
Reinstated in the starting lineup, Rabiot was fairly solid after a superb start to the game for Inter Milan. Did well to contain Barella in the second half while recycling possession smartly. Stepped up in a game wherein Bentancur was off his best.
Federico Bernardeschi: 6/10
A game of hits and misses for Bernardeschi. The Italian international did not see a lot of the ball but was usually efficient with its usage and even delivered a couple of key passes. However, some of his crosses were aimless and his influence waned as the game progressed.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 9/10
8 – Cristiano #Ronaldo has scored the most braces in the top-5 European Leagues 2020/21 in all comps (8). Spatial.
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) February 2, 2021
The clear standout in this fixture, it was Ronaldo’s desire to put Inter Milan to the sword that got him the winner. Forced Bastoni into a mistake and made no error in finding the back of the net. Ronaldo had also converted from the spot shortly before the winner to level things up for Juventus. Menacing.
Dejan Kulusevski: 5/10
Not the best of performance by Kulusevski, who was purposeful as ever in his display but also quite sloppy with the ball at his feet. That he lost the ball 10 times despite having just 32 touches tells the tale.
On for the final 20 minutes, Danilo was fairly solid and helped see the game out without much of a fuss.
Given the final 15 minutes or so, Arthur helped see the game out without much of a fuss.
Alvaro Morata: N/A
On for Ronaldo, Morata did not have many moments to showcase his abilities late in the game.
Giorgio Chiellini: N/A
A late introduction, Chiellini’s substitution helped get full-time that bit closer.
Federico Chiesa: N/A
A late introduction in place of Kulusevski, Chiesa helped see out the remaining moments of the game.