juventus-celebrates

(MOTM) Wojciech Szczesny (8): Made two stupendous saves on either side of halftime to keep the clean sheet for Juventus and preserve the victory. His ability to step in when Gianluigi Buffon is unavailable is a valuable asset that not many teams in Europe can boast about.

Mattia De Sciglio (7.5)Another solid match from De Sciglio who has grown every game since joining Juventus and continues to prove his doubters wrong. Provided an incredible assist for Paulo Dybala in the first half but the attempt was saved by the Proto’s fingertips.

Andrea Barzagli (7):  Great performance from Barzagli who has continued to impress since Italy’s failed WC Qualification campaign. His leadership will be needed with Giorgio Chiellini’s health being a problem at the moment.

Mehdi Benatia (7.5): An absolute rock on the night and for the last few weeks. His confidence in the middle of the backline and going forward have been much needed. A string of successive clean sheets have come also in part due to the rising form of the Moroccan.

Alex Sandro (7): One of Sandro’s better performances in the last few months. Provided the incredible assist on Juan Cuadrado’s opener which essentially qualified Juventus for the knockout stages.

Blaise Matuidi (7): The Frenchman continues to provide stability in the middle of the pitch. His partnership with Sami Khedira worked well on the night specifically in the first half.

Sami Khedira (6): The German continues a series of underwhelming performances in the Juventus midfield. Khedira struggled to find his teammates on outlet passes and often found himself out of position, something that he is not known for doing.

Juan Cuadrado (7): Scored the winning goal and almost added a second in the first half. Cuadrado is one of the only players on the planet who can look abysmal one minute and a hero the next.

Paulo Dybala (5.5): The worst player on the pitch for Juventus on the night. His shot in the opening minutes of the match almost opened the scoring but la Joya saw his shot saved by the fingertips of the Belgian goalkeeper. After that, his performance declined and Dybala’s brutal giveaway in the second frame almost resulted in a tying goal. Concluded the group stage with 0 goals.

Douglas Costa (7): A standard performance from the Brazilian who has done a lot right since entering the team as a starter. His growth on the pitch will continue and all that was missing from Costa’s display was a goal. Worked tirelessly getting the ball back in the defensive end.

Gonzalo Higuain (6.5): Had an effort deflected wide in the first half but did not do much else offensively as Juve was content to sit back and absorb pressure in the second half. His efforts coming back to defend do not go unnoticed to fans and I’m sure to Max Allegri as well.

Substitutes:

Federico Bernardeschi (7.5): Came onto the pitch with 7 minutes to spare and immediately provided a spark with a cracker of a shot from outside the 18. His effort was parried wide by the Olympiakos shot stopper but Fede was not to be denied minutes later as he cut into the box and slotted a wonderful shot home to give Juve an insurance marker.

Daniele Rugani (7): Came onto the pitch and was as solid as ever. Made a goal-saving intervention near the end of the match which ended up off Juve’s upright.

Miralem Pjanic (6.5): The metronome of the Bianconeri’s midfield. Was brought into the match late to bolster the midfield for a lacklustre Paulo Dybala.

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