I think we all need to calm down. Here’s what happened today: a team that beat us 4-2 earlier this season – and that has since been decimated by injuries and, more recently, suspension – and that lost to us 1-0 on Sunday – without Borja Valero – drew us 1-1 in an open match. Yes, it was at Juventus Stadium. Well, guess what? Mario Gomez is back in form. He almost scored on Sunday, his header only being a bit wide, and he scored today. Anyway, let’s get down to business and do the match ratings.
Buffon: 6. He gets an extra .5 points for his late save on a Borja Valero screamer, and you can’t really blame him for the Gomez goal, the defenders failed him there. More on that in two seconds.
Chiellini: 6.5. I feel a little uncomfortable giving any of our defenders a rating higher than a 6 but, I thought Chiellini was fine today. He wasn’t really involved in the Gomez goal (for better or for worse) as he tends to be the centerback that pushes up the most (saying something, as all of our centerbacks push up when we are in possession.)
Caceres: 5.5. Aside from the goal he wasn’t that bad. BUT, he’s a centerback so, that’s sort of his job. In my opinion, he was largely at fault for the goal, as he lost his mark on Gomez. Honestly aside from that he played decently but that changed the outcome of the match.
Ogbonna: 6. He would have a pretty high ranking, but I also fault him for the goal. While Caceres lost the mark, Gomez’ diagonal(ish) run brought him right up against Ogbonna. Ogbonna attempted to clear the ball as it was coming down, but he misjudged his distance from the landing site. Gomez gained one or two steps on him during this process, and that’s basically all he needed to insure he could control the ball and take his shot before Ogbonna could close him down.
Isla: 6. I thought Isla started the match very well, but as it went on he made a few errors and had a few poor crosses. I don’t think he played poorly, though plenty on Twitter do. However, I was very let down in the drop off in his play from the start of the game through the second half.
Padoin (82′): s.v. Why was he brought on?
Asamoah: 7. If it wasn’t for Vidal, he would be man of the match. Another fine performance from Asamoah, who is slowly becoming a really good left wing back. Hopefully he can re-create his performance from Sunday when we face the Viola again next week.
Vidal: 7.5. Per usual, Vidal is the best player for Juventus. He scored moments into the game, and almost added a second with a shot that hit the goalposts. And then he had his normal excellence in all other areas of play.
Marchisio: 6. Fine performance from Claudio. He defended well, and was very good in attack. I wish he would be less reckless when it comes to efforts on goal, as I feel like sometimes he takes silly shots, but then again we have seen what happens when Claudio connects on the ball and scores a howler.
Pirlo: 6. He didn’t create too much but he’s also not the type of playmaker who can be super-successful when his team only has 40% possession. I think he had a good game given the fact that he wasn’t able to totally dictate play as he is used to doing with Juve, though there were also times where I felt he wasn’t ready for the intensity displayed from some Viola players.
Osvaldo: 5.5. His worst game with Juventus, he offered nothing.
Pogba (75′): 6. He seemed to be trying too hard, which is silly to say but he appeared to be frustrated with how things were going, especially after the Fiorentina goal.
Giovinco: 6.5. Officially credited with the assist for the Vidal goal, Giovinco was also our only truly impactful striker today. He was substituted rather early, at least relative to his play, but I suppose Conte wanted to have Fernando Llorente and Osvaldo on together for long ball efforts, more or less. As opposed to Giovinco who is more skillful but not as good at holding up the ball or keeping possession (at least compared to Fernando.)
Llorente (64′) 6. He held up the ball well, but other than that he was offering little. At the same time, we had not much possession and were playing defensively so, what is a striker to do?
Those are the ratings. The tie is not over yet, and I have faith in Conte. Let’s wait until the second leg before we make any drastic judgements.