A defensive masterclass from Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci helped Juventus seal a vital 2-0 win over AS Roma on Saturday.

Juventus moved to third place in the Serie A table with an important 2-0 win over AS Roma at home on Saturday. They are now within touching distance of the high-flying Milan clubs, as the race for the league table hots up.

The Bianconeri were extremely efficient in their attacking game, especially in the first half, when they created a couple of excellent openings. Roma, in contrast, were equally wasteful, often failing to really test Wojciech Szczesny despite having more of the possession, especially during the final phase of the game.

Juventus were rewarded for their resilience early on in the game, when Cristiano Ronaldo’s effort from outside the box found the back of the net. They defended well and doubled their lead midway through the second half, as a Dejan Kulusevski cross was put in by Roger Ibanez for an own goal.

It made the job excruciatingly difficult for the Roma attackers, who managed to conjure up just three shots on target despite having 14 attempts on goal. Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over these two teams following this vital Serie A encounter on Saturday.

Juventus

Wojciech Szczesny: 6.5/10

Szczesny had very little to do as AS Roma barely tested him during the entirety of the game. He should thank his defenders for some resilient defending that helps him earn a valuable clean sheet.

Danilo: 7.5/10

Danilo fared well in the right-back position, holding his own in defending the Roma attackers. Also pushed forward whenever it was necessary, albeit very ineffectively.

Leonardo Bonucci: 8/10

A commendable defensive effort from Leonardo Bonucci, whose work-ethic and solidity at the back made it almost impossible for Roma to break the shackles.

Giorgio Chiellini: 8.5/10

Giorgio Chiellini was one of the best performers in this game, producing a remarkable defensive display in the Juventus backline. His leadership, experience and ability to sense danger kept Roma at bay throughout the game.

Alex Sandro: 7.5/10

Another impressive outing for Alex Sandro, who did his job well on the far side. He was solid defensively, while also venturing forward whenever given the chance.

Federico Chiesa: 7/10

Federico Chiesa was not particularly useful in attack, primarily due to the fact that he was already occupied in dealing with the threat of Leonardo Spinazzola. Assisted Danilo defensively.

Arthur: 7/10

Starting ahead of Rodrigo Bentancur, Arthur enjoyed a good game in the middle of the park. The former Barcelona man distributed the ball well, barely showing any signs of weaknesses in possession.

Adrien Rabiot: 7/10

While Arthur was vital in Juventus’s possession phases, Adrien Rabiot was involved without the ball. He shielded the backline with his ability to sense danger and also made a few tackles.

Weston McKennie: 6/10

Weston McKennie struggled to influence the game in his unnatural left wing position. A sloppy display from the on-loan Schalke midfielder, who was taken off around the hour mark.

Alvaro Morata: 6.5/10

Alvaro Morata provided the vital assist for Ronaldo’s opener, but it was the only real contribution from him in the attack. Held the ball well, but couldn’t execute most of his attacking moves.

Cristiano Ronaldo: 8/10

Cristiano Ronaldo was once again a menace for the AS Roma backline with his hunger to find the back of the net. It even led to his opener, and the Portuguese sensation came close to doubling his lead as well. A handful for the opposition.

SUBSTITUTES

Juan Cuadrado: 7/10

Juan Cuadrado made quite an impact after coming on for McKennie, notably providing the through ball that led to the goal in the 69th minute.

Dejan Kulusevski: 7.5/10

Truly a super-sub for Andrea Pirlo. Dejan Kulusevski’s dangerous cross made things difficult for Ibanez, who ended up finding his own net.

Federico Bernardeschi: N/A

A late replacement for Chiesa. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

Matthijs de Ligt: N/A

A late replacement for Sandro. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

Merih Demiral: N/A

A late replacement for Bonucci. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

AS Roma

Pau Lopez: 6/10

Pau Lopez was completely beaten by Ronaldo for the first goal but could not have done much to save the own goal from Ibanez. Did not have much to do otherwise.

Gianluca Mancini: 7/10

Gianluca Mancini had his difficulties dealing with Ronaldo, but he deserves credit for remaining resilient for the most part. Also threatened the other half, though he missed a good opportunity.

Roger Ibanez: 5/10

Scored the own goal and piled on the misery for AS Roma. It was certainly not the best of performances from the young defender, though he did look strong for the most part otherwise.

Marash Kumbulla: 6.5/10

Starting ahead of Chris Smalling, Marash Kumbulla’s ball-playing abilities were not really useful against Juventus. Had a decent game overall, keeping the opposition attackers quiet.

Rick Karsdorp: 6/10

Rick Karsdorp tried his best to influence the game on the opposite flank, but he was defended really well by Sandro. It was ultimately quite an ineffective display from the Dutchman.

Gonzalo Villar: 7/10

Gonzalo Villar made a solid impression in midfield with his passing, tackling and overall ball retention. He was vital to Roma having more of the possession.

Jordan Veretout: 6/10

While Villar took care of possession, Jordan Veretout was tasked to create chances for his team with his driving runs forward. It did not work out all too well for him, though.

Leonardo Spinazzola: 6.5/10

Leonardo Spinazzola had a difficult time on the left flank as Chiesa and Danilo remained strong and dealt with him quite well. Poor performance from the Italian fullback, though he did threaten at times.

Bryan Cristante: 6/10

Paulo Fonseca’s decision to start with Bryan Cristante did not really pay off as the former Atalanta star failed to create much chances. Also looked uncomfortable in a relatively wide role.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan: 7/10

Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s ability to run with the ball and provide an overall dynamism in the final third was one of AS Roma’s few bright spots in an otherwise dire evening.

Borja Mayoral: 6/10

The in-form Borja Mayoral had a difficult time getting the better of the Juventus defence, as he was often isolated by the opposition in the final third.

SUBSTITUTES

Amadou Diawara: 6/10

Introduced around the hour-mark, at the expense of Villar to provide more energy in midfield. Did not really influence the game.

Edin Dzeko: 6/10

Replaced the ineffective Mayoral to provide a more physical presence in the final third for Roma. He was defended well by Chiellini and Bonucci though.

Carles Perez: 6/10

Another failed substitute by Fonseca, as Carles Perez found it hard to breach the opposition backline and was only restricted to tame efforts on goal.

Bruno Peres: 6/10

A late replacement for Karsdorp. Could not change the complexion of the game.

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