Dusan Vlahovic and Angel Di Maria stood out as Juventus began their 2022/23 Serie A campaign with a clinical win over Sassuolo.

Juventus negotiated a difficult season opener against Sassuolo with relative ease thanks to the clinical Dusan Vlahovic and the impressive Angel Di Maria who enjoyed a debut to remember.

It was the visitors who started brightly and took the game to Juventus. The home side held their own and bided their time until an opening presented itself. Di Maria took advantage of just such an opportunity to put I Bianconeri ahead in the 26th minute.

Vlahovic got into the act soon enough and won a penalty for his side before half-time. The Serbian stepped up to dispatch the spot-kick and give the Bianconeri a two-goal cushion at the break. The striker more or less secured all three points with his second goal in the 50th minute. Sassuolo had several potshots at goal but were largely restricted to attempts from distance.

Juventus held on and have secured a key three-point to begin their season. Given their injury troubles, it is a good result for Massimiliano Allegri and co. Juventus enjoyed their first trophyless season in a decade in 2021/22 and have made a good start in their efforts to improve upon it. The Hard Tackle takes a look at how the Juventus players fared on the night.

Mattia Perin: 7/10

The Italian goalkeeper stepped in for the injured Wojciech Szczesny and did a fine job holding the fort. While Sassuolo did not have any clear-cut chances, the Bianconeri shot-stopper was at hand to snuff out any danger that presented itself.

Danilo: 6.5/10

The full-back enjoyed a good night out and was impressive at both ends of the field. The Brazilian international linked up well with Juan Cuadrado and Angel Di Maria on the right flank to good effect and is something Allegri can look to exploit this season. Danilo made several interceptions and won back the ball on numerous occasions.

Leonardo Bonucci: 6/10

The Italian veteran is now the lynchpin in defence following the departures of Giorgio Chiellini and Matthijs de Ligt. The Juventus skipper organised his backline well and improved upon a rather nervy start. Bonucci overtook the legendary Dino Zoff’s appearance tally for Juventus and celebrated it with a clean sheet.

Gleison Bremer: 7/10

The summer signing made his Serie A bow for Juventus on the night and appears to be the right fit for the Turin side. He slotted in with ease alongside Bonucci and continued from where he left off with Torino last season. His passing left much to be desired but the Brazilian defender’s ability to dominate at the back makes him an excellent addition to the Bianconeri roster.

Alex Sandro: 7/10

A solid yet unspectacular display by the Brazilian defender. He teed up Dusan Vlahovic early in the game but the Serbian striker was unable to take advantage of it. Sandro eventually got himself an assist in the 26th minute after Di Maria gave the home side the lead. 

Juan Cuadrado 5/10

The Colombian utility man was outperformed by Danilo and Di Maria on the right flank and cut a sorry figure all game. He was unsurprisingly taken off at the hour mark as Allegri rang in the changes. 

Denis Zakaria: 6/10

The Swiss international did not particularly stand out but used his athleticism and physicality to give Juventus the edge in the middle of the park. Juventus will hope that his injury is not serious.

Manuel Locatelli: 6/10

The former Sassuolo man helped dictate the pace of the game from the middle of the pitch and was in some ways Juventus’s orchestrator from midfield. Locatelli’s impressive passing range and movement were on show as he helped the home side win the battle in the midfield. The UEFA Euro 2020 hero also grabbed himself a yellow card for his troubles.

Weston McKennie: 6/10

The American international showed good intent and has the drive needed to be a force in the midfield. Unfortunately, his application when in possession turned out to be suspect and was largely found wanting. McKennie has to do much more given his ability and can be a dynamic presence for Juventus when used right. He was taken off in the 76th minute after appearing to show some discomfort.

Angel Di Maria: 8/10 

The Argentine veteran rolled back the years and announced his arrival to the Serie A in style. He opened the scoring in the 26th minute before assisting Vlahovic’s second in the 50th minute. He was a constant menace for the Sassuolo defence and lasted an hour before being taken off as a precaution.

Dusan Vlahovic: 8/10

The Serbian striker was at his clinical best on the night and formed a solid understanding with Di Maria. Vlahovic scored two goals and was a menace whenever he had a go at the Sassuolo defence. The former Fiorentina man will have a huge role in Juventus’s plans this season and could have had a hat-trick had he been more clinical. 

SUBSTITUTES

Mattia De Sciglio: 6/10

The Italian replaced Alex Sandro in the 61st minute and gave a decent amount of himself. There was nothing to write home about in what was a solid yet unassuming display.

Filip Kostic: 6/10

Juventus’s latest addition made his debut after coming on for Cuadrado in the 61st minute. He did not particularly have any standout moments in what was a comfortable run out against a Sassuolo side that was already well beaten.

Fabio Miretti: 6/10

The youngster continued from where he left off last season with an impressive cameo. Miretti made an impressive few runs into the box and could have arguably done better.

Matias Soule: N/A

He replaced McKennie for the last 15 minutes but did little to warrant a rating.

Nicolo Rovella: N/A

Rovella replaced Locatelli in the 76th minute and helped Juventus see out the game.

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