Manuel Locatelli was the only bright spot as Juventus succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to Atalanta at the Allianz Stadium on Saturday evening in Serie A.
Coming into the game on the back of a harrowing defeat to Chelsea, Juventus were under pressure to bounce back but were given little chance by a relentless Atalanta outfit, who pressed their hosts aggressively to keep them pinned down and force mistakes. While La Dea kept coming at Juve, Paulo Dybala managed to create a chance for himself at the other end, only to fire a tame effort at the goalkeeper.
Unlike him, Atalanta striker Duvan Zapata made his opportunity count when it presented at the half-hour mark, firing a powerful finish past Wojciech Szczesny to put the visitors in front. A similar trend followed after the half-time break, although Juventus tried to up the ante in their search for an equaliser.
However, despite fashioning a few decent half-chances, Massimiliano Allegri’s men could not pierce the Atalanta goal and succumbed to yet another defeat – their fifth loss in 14 league games this season, which leaves them eighth in the standings.
It was yet another underwhelming and toothless display from the La Vecchia Signora, who lacked the composure to deal with their opponents’ press and did not have the clinical touch to take their chances when they came. Here is how we rated the players of the Juventus stars following the loss to Atalanta.
Juventus Player Ratings
Wojciech Szczesny: 5.5/10
The Polish international could have done very little to stop Zapata’s effort on the day. While he was not tested much on either side of that strike, Szczesny’s passing from the back was scratchy at best and caused his team some problems.
Juan Cuadrado: 5.5/10
The Juventus right-back lacked the usual attacking impetus he brings to the table as the visitors largely pinned him back. While he defended fairly well for most parts, there were some nervy moments for Cuadrado, who also got booked.
Leonardo Bonucci: 5.5/10
The Juventus captain was well below his best levels on the evening as his iffy positioning allowed Atalanta a sight at goal on a few occasions. Usually precise with his distribution, Bonucci’s radar was off the mark on Saturday, leading to misplaced long passes regularly.
Matthijs de Ligt: 4/10
A disappointing display from the Dutchman, who was guilty of playing risky passes that regularly put his teammates under pressure. De Ligt also failed to react quickly to try and thwart Zapata for the only goal of the game. His sudden dip in form will be a concern for Allegri and Juventus.
Alex Sandro: 4/10
Another player who endured a forgettable outing against Atalanta, Alex Sandro could not stem the flow of Atalanta attacks on his side while he was often sloppy with the ball at his feet. The Brazilian did not provide any sort of attacking outlet on the evening either. Perhaps, it might be time for Juventus to consider replacing him.
Weston McKennie: 6/10
The USMNT midfielder did look like causing some problems to Atalanta when on the ball and also created a couple of decent half-chances for his teammates. His movement on the right was fairly sharp as well but failed to make a lasting impact before being forced off the pitch.
Manuel Locatelli: 6.5/10
Locatelli was one of the few positives on the evening for Juventus. While it was by no means a top display, the Italian was heavily involved in everything good that the hosts conjured up. He was also unfazed against the aggressive press from the opponents, often exuding calm and composure on the ball, unlike some of his teammates who looked rattled.
Adrien Rabiot: 4/10
Apart from a shot from distance that forced Juan Musso into a save in the second half, Rabiot did very little of note in the middle of the park for Juventus. The Frenchman struggled to get any sort of foothold in the middle of the park and lacked purpose and incision in his passing.
Paulo Dybala: 5.5/10
The Argentine international was reinstated to the starting XI against Atalanta, and he tried hard to make things happen, but it was not to be. Dybala made a good run in the first period but could not produce a shot decent enough to cause Musso any problems. He did have a couple of other half-chances after the break but failed to take them. Not influential enough.
Alvaro Morata: 4/10
The ex-Real Madrid star was somewhat at fault for the winning goal as it was his poor pass that was cut out before Atalanta sprung into attack. Morata offered very little threat at the top and was unable to do much of note. And while he did have one or two opportunities to score, he lacked the clinical edge.
Federico Chiesa: 6/10
The Italian winger looked bright in the early stages of the game and even found himself with an opportunity to score, but he did not pull the trigger quickly enough, allowing a defender to make a recovery challenge. Chiesa had to be taken off ahead of half-time due to a knock.
Federico Bernardeschi: 6/10
Replaced the injured Chiesa and, like him, was a lively presence on the pitch. Bernardeschi’s presence added some intent to the Juventus attack, while he also carved out a couple of shooting opportunities for himself but was unable to make them count.
Moise Kean: 4/10
Sent on in place of McKennie in the 64th minute, the Italian striker had no effect whatsoever.
Kaio Jorge: N/A
A late replacement for Bernardeschi.