Giorgio Chiellini was the catalyst in defeat, as Juventus went down 1-0 to Napoli at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium on Saturday.
Juventus saw more time on the ball, but were not able to do much with it. The best chance of the first half, as far as the defending Serie A champions are concerned, fell to Federico Bernardeschi, but it was Napoli who ended up breaking the deadlock thanks to an error by Giorgio Chiellini.
Around the half-hour mark, the Juventus captain’s flailing arm caught Amir Rrahamani inside the box and while the penalty calls were initially denied, the referee pointed towards the spot after consulting with VAR. Lorenzo Insigne stepped up to take the spot-kick and made no error in converting it.
For much of the remainder of the game, Juventus enjoyed a lion’s share of position and searched hard for the equaliser, but Alex Meret stood firm in goal for Napoli, who also defended resolutely to deny their visitors a goal and held on to their slender advantage to grab all three points. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Andrea Pirlo’s men.
Wojciech Szczesny: 6/10
This was one of those evenings when Szczesny barely had anything to do, making just one save. Not to be blamed for the goal Juventus conceded after being helpless from the penalty. Completed 27 of the 29 passes he attempted, helping Juventus build play up from the back.
Juan Cuadrado: 6/10
A frustrating evening for Cuadrado. As always, he tried to make things happen and even delivered a key pass in the first half. However, he had to be substituted at half-time after he picked up an injury.
Matthijs de Ligt: 6/10
Not the best of displays by de Ligt, who endured some nervy moments at the heart of the Juventus defence. The Dutchman was not as disastrous in any given moment as Giorgio Chiellini, but he was not composed enough on the odd occasion. Having said that, he was imperious in the air, winning each of the aerial duels he contested.
Giorgio Chiellini: 4/10
— Goal Italia (@GoalItalia) February 13, 2021
An evening to forget for Chiellini. The Juventus captain nearly conceded a penalty for a handball earlier in the first half before actually giving one away when he caught Amir Rrahamani around the half-hour mark. Was solid for the most part thereafter, most notably denying Piotr Zielinski ahead of half-time, but the damage was already done.
Danilo started out as the left-back before moving to the right flank after Cuadrado was taken off. The Brazilian faced some nervy moments against the plucky Hirving Lozano, but also won 6 duels while completing 3 tackles and 2 interceptions. Did not make a great deal of impact going forward.
Federico Bernardeschi: 5/10
Bernardeschi saw the best chance of the first half fall his way from open play, but he could only fluff his lines. Played as many as 3 key passes, but his output in front of goal left a lot to be desired. Popped up on different areas of the pitch to make things happen, but it just did not click for him.
Rodrigo Bentancur: 5/10
Disappointing from Bentancur, who was too passive on the ball at times while also struggling to contain Insigne on the break. Lost each of the ground duels he contested, although he was solid in the air. Needs to do better on the ball, however.
Adrien Rabiot: 6/10
An outing of hits and misses for Rabiot. The Frenchman was more composed in the middle of the park than midfield partner Bentancur, completing 93 percent of the passes he completed while also winning 7 duels and making 4 successful tackles. However, he nodded the ball off target in two set-piece situations, something he will be disappointed by.
Federico Chiesa: 6/10
Such a frustrating evening for Chiesa. The Italian international was once again purposeful in his display and delivered a team-high 4 key passes. Also came close to finding the back of the net, but was denied superbly by Alex Meret on more than one occasion. Just one of those days.
Alvaro Morata: 5/10
A game to forget for Morata, who was set up on a couple of occasions by strike partner Cristiano Ronaldo as well as Weston McKennie. It just did not click for him, though. However, he did play 4 key passes in what was the only major positive for him in this game.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 6/10
Another one of those who were left frustrated on a number of occasions by Meret. While Ronaldo did not test the Napoli goalkeeper as well as he could have, a couple of stops were out from the top drawer. The chance early in the second half from point-blank range should have been converted, though, and he will be disappointed for shooting it straight at Meret.
Alex Sandro: 6/10
Some positives and some negatives for Alex Sandro, who played the entire second half after coming in for Juan Cuadrado. While the Brazilian hardly lost possession, he could not utilise it as well as he would have liked, although he did play 1 key pass. Not too troubled defensively.
Weston McKennie: 6/10
On for Bernardeschi, McKennie tried to influence the game after being subbed in, but he could not manage to do so as Napoli remained stubborn late on.
Dejan Kulusevski: 6/10
On for Bentancur, Kulusevski created a decent opening shortly after being introduced, but could never manage to get into scoring positions himself.