In an otherwise dull game, Juventus earned three crucial points as Juan Cuadrado converted a stoppage-time penalty to down ten-man Fiorentina.
Juventus were made to work hard and at one point looked to have lost momentum as Fiorentina sat deep, barely allowing the home side space to create chances. Things looked bright deep into the second period when Nikola Milenkovic was sent off for a second bookable offence, giving Juve enough time to find a winner.
And it did come eventually when Juan Cuadrado converted a stoppage-time penalty to secure the three points for Juventus, which was largely underserved for the Bianconeri. The result helped Juventus move level on points with Fiorentina and three other teams, although their inferior goal difference meant they climbed only one place into eighth.
For large periods, the big-name Juve players were awfully quiet by their standards. The former Italian champions found it tough moving the ball forward and creating meaningful chances. A few tame efforts later, Juve were handed a lifeline as Milenkovic was sent off following a challenge on Federico Chiesa. Despite the numerical advantage, they failed to open the visitors up until Cuadrado’s arrival.
The former Fiorentina star arrived 10 minutes before regulation time and instantly gave Juve some life in the attack. The winner from the spot was also Cuadrado’s 40th goal in Serie A, with half of those coming in Fiorentina colours. Here’s how Juventus’ players fared in their lacklustre win over Fiorentina.
Mattia Perin: 6/10
Perin was drafted in the side due to Wojciech Szczesny’s absence and did a decent job. He was barely troubled, although he stood strong when called into action.
Danilo proved to be a useful outlet on the right side as he saw plenty of the ball. The Brazilian did get tight with Fiorentina attackers making some crucial challenges and tackles to keep things close.
Daniele Rugani: 6/10
It was an unusual decision to start Rugani at centre-half for his first Serie A game of the season, given its importance. He did well to keep up with the likes of Dusan Vlahovic and showed his strength in the air.
Matthijs de Ligt: 7/10
The Dutchman put in a decent performance as he took over the leadership mantle in the absence of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci to keep things tight at the back. He showed great strength and power in aerial challenges, too, as Juventus secured a clean sheet.
Alex Sandro: 4/10
Sandro had a bad day, as the Brazilian looked shaky throughout the half. Subbed off at half-time and quite deservedly so as he failed to contribute anything of note in the attacking or defensive side of things.
Federico Chiesa: 5.5/10
Chiesa was kept quiet for most of the game, although he rattled the crossbar on one occasion. He played a crucial role in the sending off of Milenkovic, which probably turned the tide towards a Juventus victory in the final period of the match.
Weston McKennie: 5/10
Allegri likes McKennie for his ball-winning skills, but once again, the American showed a lack of nous in bringing something different in the attack. His passing left a lot to be desired.
He looked out of sorts, which could be the effects of playing in midweek. Locatelli was too passive on the ball and failed to move it forward when needed. A rest could do him good.
Adrien Rabiot: 5/10
Much like Locatelli, Rabiot looked out of sorts, yet he proved somewhat effective in his role out wide. Nothing noteworthy in his contributions, however, although he did provide another body in midfield to allow Juventus to stay on top.
Paulo Dybala: 4/10
The Player to Watch in our match preview, the Juventus and Argentina forward failed to do star against Fiorentina. After his exploits in midweek, this was an awfully quiet game by his standards.
Alvaro Morata: 5/10
Morata was the more active of the Juventus forwards as he looked likely to score at some point. Had the ball in the net, but the goal got ruled out for offside.
Luca Pellegrini: 4/10
Allegri sent in Pellegrini to bring something different to Sandro, but nothing changed. Same result.
Cuadrado was by far the best Juventus player on the day, and he played for just over ten minutes, which shows the overall quality of the team in the game. He tucked in the match-winning penalty in stoppage time.
Kaio Jorge: N/A
A late cameo appearance wasn’t enough to get a rating.