Gonzalo Higuain scores for Juventus against Bayer Leverkusen

Juventus defeated Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 in the 2019 UEFA Champions League with goals from Higuain, Bernardeschi, and Ronaldo. Here are our player ratings for Juve.

It was yet again a tale of two halves for Juventus, where we witnessed a markedly improved performance in the second period. Juve found it difficult to maintain ball possession in the first half, ending the half at just 37%. The team’s play was reactive and Juve created most of its chances from Leverkusen’s errors rather than its own creativity. With Leverkusen sitting back (and pushed back) more and more in the second half, Juventus’ possession figure rose to 46%. 

The team was clearly missing a dynamo in the middle of the park and the build-up play looked a little lethargic as a result. To be fair, this was expected to some degree given the starting lineup. Importantly though, Juve took away a clean sheet and allowed no shots on target. Once again, we came out of the match with the feeling that we could have scored more, particularly with the clear-cut chances Ronaldo had. While Juve had significantly fewer passed than Bayer, they were able to restrict Bayer’s number of passes significantly (~600) versus Bayer’s figures against Lokomotiv (800+) and in the Bundesliga (700+). All in all, this was an encouraging performance by Juventus and will be seen as progress in Sarri’s work this season by many of the faithful Bianconeri.

 
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It was yet again a tale of two halves for Juventus, where we witnessed a markedly improved performance in the second period. Juve found it difficult to maintain ball possession in the first half, ending the half at just 37%. The team’s play was reactive and Juve created most of its chances from Leverkusen’s errors rather than its own creativity. With Leverkusen sitting back (and pushed back) more and more in the second half, Juventus’ possession figure rose to 46%. 

The team was clearly missing a dynamo in the middle of the park and the build-up play looked a little lethargic as a result. To be fair, this was expected to some degree given the starting lineup. Importantly though, Juve took away a clean sheet and allowed no shots on target. Once again, we came out of the match with the feeling that we could have scored more, particularly with the clear-cut chances Ronaldo had. While Juve had significantly fewer passed than Bayer, they were able to restrict Bayer’s number of passes significantly (~600) versus Bayer’s figures against Lokomotiv (800+) and in the Bundesliga (700+). All in all, this was an encouraging performance by Juventus and will be seen as progress in Sarri’s work this season by many of the faithful Bianconeri.

Grading Key

– 8 and above: Excellent
– 6: Meets expectations
– Below 5: Pretty bad

Note: Data sourced from whoscored.com 

Tek (6): Did not have much to do, but almost made a meal of an attempted clearance in the second half that could have resulted in a goal conceded

Alex Sandro (7): More focused on defensive play today, which he did ably. Marginally second highest in terms of number of touches on the ball for Juventus. Showed admirable focus in the aftermath of a personal tragedy.

De Ligt (7): Composed in defense and did what was needed efficiently. Almost had the highest number of touches in the match for Juve, ended the match with 2 tackles and 2 clearances, and seems to be growing in confidence with each appearance.

Bonucci (7): Played well and looks close to reaching his best. Made 1 tackle, 1 interception, and 3 clearances. 

Cuadrado (8): Solid match in both attack and defense. Made 2 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 2 clearances. Offensively, he contributed 2 key passes (Higuain’s goal came from Cuadrado’s attempted pass), 3 dribbles, and 5 goals conceded. Man of the match.

Matuidi (6.5): Not a very active game for Matuidi by his standards with only 54 touches, but he did end up with 2 tackles, 4 interceptions, and 1 clearance.

Pjanic (7.5): Ran the midfield with his short and long passing range on display. Joint highest passes at 86 with 3 interceptions as well.

Khedira (5.5): Only 34 touches with 2 tackles, 2 interceptions, and a clearance. Invisible for large period of the match.

Bentancur (NR)

Ronaldo (7.5): Contributed a goal and an assist, although he looked frustrated for much of the match and missed two good chances (and a man of the match opportunity)

Bernadeschi (6.5): Relatively poor display until he scored. Lowest number of touches on the ball among the starters.

Ramsey (NR)

Higuain (7.5): Scored an excellent individual goal and looked bright with 3 dribbles

Dybala (7): Made a solid contribution with an assist for Ronaldo in the brief period of time he was on the pitch

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