Alex Sandro scored twice as Juventus came back from a goal down to defeat Parma 3-1 at the Allianz Stadium on Wednesday night.
Coming into the game on the back of the storm caused by the European Super League, Juventus did not make the best of starts with Parma taking the game to them. And the deadlock was broken in the 25th minute when Gaston Brugman converted from a free-kick just outside the penalty box to put the visitors in front.
The Bianconeri struggled to break down the Parma defence but were able to get back on level terms just before half-time courtesy of a thumping half-volley from Alex Sandro. The Brazilian then added a second goal just two minutes into the second half, turning home a cross from Juan Cuadrado with a precise headed effort.
Parma didn’t threaten much in attack but saw Yordan Osorio’s goal-bound header get cleared off the line a little after the hour mark before Juventus stretched their lead further as Matthijs de Ligt’s powerful header from Cuadrado’s corner nestled into the back of the net to make it 3-1. Yann Karamoh had a chance to pull one back for the visitors but fired his effort straight at Juventus, who saw off the rest of the game without any hiccups.
With AC Milan losing to Sassuolo, Juventus have now managed to close down the gap to the second-placed Rossoneri to just one point while they are eleven points behind leaders Inter Milan, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Spezia. Here’s how we rated the performances of Andrea Pirlo’s men on the night at the Allianz Stadium.
Gianluigi Buffon: 6/10
Had no chance of stopping Brugman’s sensational free-kick. Made a straightforward save to deny Karamoh late in the game with the score at 3-1. Fairly accurate with his passing from the back.
A solid showing from the Brazilian who was sound defensively, making a game-high four tackles and winning a couple of aerials while also getting forward with good intent. Managed to create a couple of chances on the night as well.
Leonardo Bonucci: 6.5/10
Back into the lineup, replacing Giorgio Chiellini, Bonucci had a straightforward game where he dealt with everything that came his way rather comfortably. Positioning was key to snuffing out threat while he was reasonably strong in the air as well. Passing precise as usual from the back.
Matthijs de Ligt: 8/10
De Ligt with a goal and an assist… Carrying Juventus 🤝🔥 pic.twitter.com/cthYQ8iVdc
— 𝕄𝕒𝕣𝕔𝕖𝕝 🇳🇱 (@MFKraan) April 21, 2021
Building on his positive display in the loss to Atalanta last time out, the Dutchman enjoyed a fine outing on Wednesday. Got the assist for Sandro’s opening goal with a knockdown header before scoring the all-important third goal to kill the game off. Defended solidly throughout, making a game-high eight clearances while he also misplaced just three of his 83 passes on the night. Top-notch.
Alex Sandro: 9/10
Not often that he finds the back of the net, let alone twice in a single game. Brilliant hit from the edge of the box to draw Juventus level before half-time. Made a ghosting run to knock home a free header to put his team in front soon after the restart. Wasn’t tested a great deal defensively but did what he needed to do. Finished the game with two key passes, two dribbles and two aerials won.
Goals scored since the start of last season before tonight: 1
Goals scored in four minutes vs. Parma: 2
Alex Sandro goal machine. 😁 https://t.co/id0eHaZcuc
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 21, 2021
Juan Cuadrado: 8/10
Such a huge influence for Juventus going forward down the right-hand side. Having been picked in an advanced position rather than the usual right-back role, Cuadrado constantly pushed forward and caused all sorts of problems to the Parma defence. Good cross for Sandro’s second goal and another accurate corner for de Ligt to head home the third. Played a game-high three key passes.
Juan Cuadrado with 15 assists has become the player with the most assists for Juventus in a single season since Pirlo (13 assists) in 13/14 season. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/SyW8w1YXpg
— Forza Juventus (@ForzaJuveEN) April 21, 2021
Rodrigo Bentancur: 6/10
Kept things ticking along nicely in the middle without offering that bit of incisiveness on the ball. Put Buffon under pressure with a backpass that Graziano Pelle almost pounced upon.
Arhtur Melo: 6.5/10
Starting ahead of Adrien Rabiot, the Brazilian midfielder looked sharp here, having struggled for fitness in his debut season in Italy. Was progressive with his passes and tried to drive his team forward when on the ball. Made one key pass but his most important contribution would come at the other end as he pulled off a crucial goalline clearance to deny Yordan Osorio with the score still at 2-1.
Weston McKennie: 5.5/10
Getting the nod over Aaron Ramsey on the left, McKennie did not have the best of outings. Gave away the free-kick from which Brugman scored and was booked. Not really involved a great deal going forward either, apart from a few moments here and there.
Paulo Dybala: 6.5/10
Getting another start on Wednesday, the Argentine looked bright in bursts, especially when he ran at the opposition with the ball, as he completed five dribbles while also playing in two key passes, including a chance he created for Cristiano Ronaldo early on. Had a shot saved late in the second game. Another positive display after his lengthy injury layoff.
Look at Ronaldo blow this perfect assist by Dybala 😐 pic.twitter.com/fPqKj9AyAV
— aiden (@lLovePikachu) April 21, 2021
Cristiano Ronaldo: 5/10
A frustrating outing for Juventus’ main man as nothing really fell his way on the night. Had a shot saved early in the game, link-up with those around him wasn’t always the sharpest and grew visibly frustrated as the game wore on. Guilty of ducking in again in the wall during Brugman’s free-kick goal.
Dejan Kulusevski: 6/10
Sent on in place of Cuadrado with a little over 15 minutes left. Created a chance for Dybala.
Adrien Rabiot: 6/10
Came on for Bentancur in the 74th minute. Helped Juventus see out the game.
Aaron Ramsey: 6/10
Replaced McKennie in the 74th minute. Misplaced just two of his 15 passes as Juventus controlled the proceedings to see off Parma.
Alvaro Morata: N/A
On for Dybala in the 84th minute.
Federico Bernardeschi: N/A
Late substitute for Arthur.