Mario Mandzukic made the difference for the Bianconeri as Juventus emerged 1-0 winners against a stubborn and resolute Fiorentina side.
Bob Szczesny: I like the way he commands the box and always seems to exude an air of confidence. Not overly troubled during the game, but did what he needed to comfortably. 6.0/10
Stefano Sturaro: A surprise showing. Granted, he didn’t offer much in the final third, but at the back he was solid, rarely beaten or troubled, made a number of good tackles and was solid overall. 6.0/10
Daniele Rugani: Bar one brief mistake, he was strong against Simeone and the Fiorentina attack, controlling and passing well, never looking troubled. An easy second half after the red card for Fiorentina. 6.5/10
Andrea Barzagli: Vocal leadership throughout the game, made a couple of great runs out from defence to try and get things going. A good interception to close out Simeone. Solid. 6.5/10
Kwadwo Asamoah: A substitute appearance for Ghanaian who truly didn’t disappoint. Made a series of good tackles, rarely put a foot wrong and provided some much needed experience and cover on the left. 6.5/10
Juan Cuadrado: Another great showing – Fast breaks, good counters, great service into the box and an assist for his troubles. One of the best players on the pitch tonight. 7.0/10
Rodrigo Bentancur: Handed his first league start and he barely put a foot wrong – Tidy passing, great linkup with the attackers, really intelligent runs when in possession, good tackling but perhaps needs to work on his positioning off the ball a little more. Another performance full of promise – Seems to be learning more and more with each display. 6.5/10
Blaise Matuidi: Midfield engine. Completed every pass on the night, ran from box to box, almost won a penalty and looks to be rolling back the years with Juventus. Impossible to drop him given how he’s improving with each game and providing so much energy in midfield. – 6.5/10
Paulo Dybala: A bright start, winning fouls and delivering some great free kicks – Unlucky not to score early on but it’s a testament to the Fiorentina defence who did a great job of keeping him quiet in the second half. 6.0/10
Mario Mandzukic: Exceptional performance on the flanks, running up and down tirelessly to defend and attack. A great poachers finish for the Juve goal and a solid display overall. 7.0/10
Gonzalo Higuain: Horrid. Had some good service but fluffed his lines on more than one occasion. Granted, he does the hard work of occupying the defenders, but he is in desperate need of a goal. 5.0/10
Miralem Pjanic: Entered the game late on and kept the midfield working. N/A
Federico Bernardeschi: Replaced Cuadrado late on and never really had enough time to make an impact. N/A
Stephan Lichtsteiner: Subbed on late for Sturaro. N/A
Sturaro was dreadful and Juve played a risky (boring) game leading 1-0. Higauin looks out of shape and lazy. I say play Mandzukic up front supported by Costa and Cuadradro or Bernadeschi and Dybala in the middle. Matuidi and Bentacur impress me. Our defense is a bit shaky at times. God we need a new right back.
Sturaro did absolutely fine from what I saw. He was tasked with making sure he was first to the ball for tackles and the RB zone was nut run through. He gave zero going forward but what do you expect for a CM playing as a RB? I saw nothing of his game, of what we can expect for someone out of position, which was dreadful. He worked very hard, defended well, won his tackles, covered, marked. Kept his passing simple.
Granted he is not Lichsteiner, or Sandro, or even De Sciglio, but this is because he is a central midfielder…not a fullback. Similar on the other flank really with Asamoah doing very little going forward.
it was depressing to see us time wasting near the end to hold out for a 1-0 home win over ten man fiorentina.
Offers zero going forward and nervous on the ball. A couple of times he lost the ball on dangerous places.
He is a central midfielder, who has barely played for the last season or so, and is playing now, for the first time in his life as a right fullback. The most I could expect is that he defends, and is first to the ball and keeps it simple. Its a weird thing to find a club of our stature, playing players so hugely out of position. I accept it at Gillingham, my ever struggling english side, where some players earn 200 quid per week, but not so easily at Juve.
Even as a central midfielder he’s NOT Juve material. I think.
Nowhere near Juve standard.
This was my main point in the last post. I maybe wrong here but did or did not Howedes play RB for Germany when they won the WORLD CUP? even if he didnt, it is known he has experience there. Wouldn’t letting him get 65-75 min against Fiornetina at home be a good game to play him finally? He is fit and available but instead you start someone who honestly on his best day at his natural position is a squad player out of position?
“Higauin looks out of shape and lazy.”
This. I despair at the number of times I have to read nonsense such as “Higuain is a footballer, not a fitness model”; “A few more kilos can’t harm, Brazilian Ronaldo was also chubby”, “Higuain scored 32 times last season”.
If there is a player I consider worth a comparison, it is Edinson Cavani. I see Higuain and him as similar in many respects: same finishing skills, shot power, age, South American background, similar difficulties with their national team where they play second fiddle to more skilled players.
But where the Uruguayan stands out is just how fit he manages to stay. Don’t you think this does not benefit his team: Cavani’s runs when his team is attacking helps his teammates as he draws defenders and opens up spaces (all while averaging 24 league goals per season over the past 7 years, a superior and far more consistent return than Higuain’s). When his team doesn’t have the ball he defends diligently, pressing with hunger. Yet I am told by Higuain’s fans that Allegri is asking him to defend too much!.
Higuain cannot manage any of that, even if he wanted to. Because he is chronically unfit. A player with his level of fitness cannot cover as much ground as a fully fit one. He loses that extra second which would allow him to sprint past a defender to beat them to the ball. He cannot run as much as he should to be opening up spaces for Dybala, Cuadrado, etc.
I am fed up of reading that an unfit striker does not affect their own performance as well as their team’s, because it is incorrect. And even if that was true, Higuain should have the decency to turn up in good shape – if only because he was bought for such a high fee and has been chosen by Juventus to lead their attack into a new cycle.
Far superior players to him (Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, Lewandowski) somehow also manage to keep fit even though they could grow complacent and give in to the temptation of relying on natural talent alone. So Higuain has no excuse of his own for complacency.
I was never enthusiastic with that transfer. Sadly, the player is showing all the negative signs displayed with his previous clubs Real Madrid and Napoli – one of a striker who has a gift for finishing, but wastes it because he can’t be bothered to put in that extra effort which would bring him on a superior level.
With all due respect, why does the rating never go beyond to 5-7 range no matter how good or bad a player has been? It isn’t only here, but on newspapers as well. I would make these changes:
Cuadrado – 8.5
Bentancur – 7.5
Mandzukic – 8.5
Higuain – 3.0
I’d have given Bentancur a 7, considering his age and experience. Yet Mandzukic – other the the header – offered very little. he ran hard, missed an easier chance than the header with his right boot…other than which didn’t achieve much. One header from close range, easily saved. ANd Juan was his usual self, one good shot, maybe 2 very good crosses, other than which fairly inept. Poor decision making, poor passing. Great pace and that 1/5 decent end product.
Higuain is a curious case. Dybala also looked very average in this game. Seems more they were very well marshalled by the visitors than both poor.
I’d agree with Rav that CUadrado was one of the best players on the pitch…but this was, for me, more a sign of a game of low quality offered by both sides. Neither side created much nor produced more than 1 or 2 passes in a row, which made for a very poor spectacle.
Dybala must play more simple and direct.Seems like today he forgot that football is collective sport.Too many times he could simply pass the ball but he decided to dribble through 3-4 opponents but it didnt work today.Lost a lot of balls like this.
TGP, you and I simply have to agree to disagree on Cuadrado once again. It’s almost like we are seeing two different games.
Mate that is fine! The world would be a boring place if we all saw and felt the same…
That sounds good, my friend. We agree on a lot of things, but Cuadrado (and Bernardeschi to a much smaller extent) have been persistent sticking points.
More important things to hope to find others in agreement with than Cuadrado…
Indeed. Thanks for sharing the wonderful poetry.
Tbh mate, Cuadrado 8,5?what for?Mandzukic scored but that’s it!8,5? No way.But Im with you in case of Higuain.Did we realy pay 90m for this fat shit? Jesus
Cuadrado created four goal scoring opportunities (key passes) and two tap-ins that Higuain and Mandzukic somehow missed. I thought Mandzukic was all everywhere doing everything. Higuain never looked this bad in a non-Argentina shirt. I trust Allegri will work his magic to get him back on track.
If you call some blind cross a goal scoring opportunity ok then, and that crazy “shot” through fiori’s box a tap in, well well.
Cuadrado had delivered many crosses like that in the past. It was neither blind nor crazy.
Ok mate, but thats all he can offer us, speed and some crosses. We need to play Costa or Berna cos they are miles ahead of cuadrado when on form.
Like you say, he puts in many crosses, but most of them are useless craps, his delivering and decision making is disaster.average player nothing else.No juve material.