Juventus’ substitutes saved the day in opposition to Spezia after a late goalscoring flurry in a 4-1 win stopped the minnows from gaining an unlikely point in opposition to the champions on their 123rd birthday.
The narrative of this match was already set in stone from the moment that Cristiano Ronaldo was cleared to play, having examined damaging for coronavirus after a mammoth 19-day wait, and he did not leave it long to make his mark on the match.
With Juventus and Spezia deadlocked at 1-1 after Tommaso Pobega cancelled out Alvaro Morata’s early goal, the evergreen Ronaldo latched on to a by way of ball from Morata and completed expertly.
With the game opened up, Juventus had been free to blow their newly-promoted counterparts away – Adrien Rabiot got here off the bench to bag a good strike before Ronaldo pulled out a basic party trick of his, scoring a pleasant panenka from the spot after Federico Chiesa was fouled within the field.
Here are the player rankings to digest after a routine, but sometimes chaotic, win for Juventus…
Gianlugi Buffon (GK) – 6/10 – Didn’t have an terrible lot to do, though there have been a couple of shaky moments coming off his line and distributing the ball.
Merih Demiral (CB) – 7/10 – Impressive for essentially the most half in opposition to the lively M’Bala Nzola. A strong afternoon for the promising centre-back.
Leonardo Bonucci (CB) – 6/10 – Some good passes and a few scarier ones in what was an unremarkable afternoon for the veteran. Substituted for Gianluca Frabotta.
Danilo (CB) – 6/10 – Quite a lot of motion went down the side of the previous Manchester City man, whose positional sense and one v one potential was sometimes found lacking.
Juan Cuadrado (RWB) – 5/10 – Far from excellent on this game – played Spezia onside for Pobega’s equaliser and nearly had a hand in conceding a late goal after mistakenly selecting to let the ball run throughout the field.
Weston McKennie (CM) – 9/10 – An wonderful game from a man who’s starting to develop into life at Juventus. Drew fouls, got to the byline, flexed a implausible passing vary and found Morata with an unselfish assist. His tough motion deserved a goal but it wasn’t to be as he was substituted for Aaron Ramsey.
Arthur (CM) – 6/10 – Played some good passes as Juve initially pushed for a goal, but was guilty of disappearing a bit when Spezia got a foothold within the match.
Rodrigo Bentancur (CM) – 7/10 – The Uruguayan found Weston McKennie for the goal with an wonderful through-ball and was dominant when Juve had been on the front foot. Faded as the game went on and was substituted for Rabiot.
Federico Chiesa (LWB) – 8/10 – It initially looked as if a left wing-back position was barely unfair on the Italian, but he found a method to affect the game as it opened up, taking part in a attractive go to Rabiot to seal the win before profitable a penalty together with his direct operating.
Paolo Dybala (ST) – 6/10 – The quintessential Dybala game in some ways – for each ingenious contact or artful flick there was a turnover or poor decision in transition. Beautifully inefficient.
Alvaro Morata (ST) – 9/10 – The Spaniard will have been having nightmares about offside flags after Juve’s midweek loss to Barcelona, and it looked like more of the identical after he had a goal dominated out early doorways. It was, nevertheless, the catalyst for a sensational efficiency, with Morata taking part in like the precise number 9 that La Vecchia Signora need on the moment, bagging a easy goal and an instinctive assist for Ronaldo.
Cristiano Ronaldo – 8/10 – Instant. Impact. Who the hell writes this man’s scripts? Didn’t actually do much aside from score a nice goal and an outrageous penalty, but it was sufficient to hand Juventus the win.
Aaron Ramsey – 6/10
Adrien Rabiot – 7/10 – A stunning goal from the Timothee Chalamet lookalike to make positive of a win for Juventus, though he was guilty of being barely sloppy in possession.
Dejan Kulusevski – N/A
Gianluca Frabotta – N/A