On their return to Serie A football, Juventus travelled to the Renato Dall'Ara Stadium to face 10th-placed Bologna on Monday night. Having suffered defeat in the Coppa Italia final against Napoli last week, the Bianconeri were keen on getting back to winning ways.
After a hesitant start to the game, Maurizio Sarri’s men finally established dominance in the 23rd minute when VAR awarded them a penalty for a challenge on Matthijs De Ligt. Cristiano Ronaldo would emphatically convert the spot-kick to put an end to his four-match goal drought. The Turin giants then doubled their lead through a 30-yard screamer from Paulo Dybala in the 36th minute.
On that note, we rate the Juventus players from their vital victory on Monday.
Juventus Player Ratings
Wojciech Szczesny: 6/10
With not much to do, Wojciech Szczesny responded well whenever he was called upon. The 30-year-old goalkeeper only had to make one save in the match as Bologna registered only one shot on target out of a total of 20.
Juan Cuadrado: 6/10
Maurizio Sarri has often deployed Juan Cuadrado as a right-back this season, which is a position that many believe is not best-suited to him. The 32-year-old, however, adapted well against Bologna and enjoyed a decent performance, completing 3 dribbles, 4 interceptions and 2 clearances.
Leonardo Bonucci: 6.5/10
Leonardo Bonucci was predictably the leader in Juventus' defence on Monday night. The centre-back was brave, dominant and organised in the way that he marshalled his back-line. In a commanding performance, the 33-year-old made 1 clearance, 1 interception and completed 41 passes.
Matthijs de Ligt: 6/10
Regularly criticised for his performances in his debut Serie A season, Matthijs de Ligt rose to the challenge against Bologna on Monday. The Dutchman made 5 clearances, 1 tackle, won 1 aerial duel and was only dribbled past once.
Matteo De Sciglio: 6/10
As a right-footed left-back, Matteo De Sciglio often struggles when run at by tricky wingers. Fortunately for him, most of Bologna’s attacks did not come down his flank. In a hard-working performance, the 27-year-old intercepted 3 passes, made 1 tackle and was only dribbled past once.
Rodrigo Bentancur: 5.5/10
Often known for taking games by the scruff of the neck, Rodrigo Bentancur put up a lacklustre performance in the Juventus midfield on Monday. The 22-year-old misplaced 8 of his 46 passes and failed to dictate the game, making no impact in attack whatsoever.
Miralem Pjanić: 6/10
As the single-pivot in the Juventus midfield, Miralem Pjanić endured the most of Gary Medel’s pressing. The Bosnian manoeuvred Bologna’s high-energy tactics quite well and completed 18 passes in a quiet but assured performance.
Adrien Rabiot: 5.5/10
Up against a relatively combative Bologna midfield, Adrien Rabiot found himself being relatively anonymous in the first half. Things did not get better for him after the break as he was dispossessed three times and lost the ball twice.
Federico Bernardeschi: 6.5/10
Handed a rare start, Federico Bernardeschi made his case for more starting spots in the future. After a shaky first half, the Italian would redeem himself with a flick-assist for Paulo Dybala’s wonder strike. In the second half, the right-winger displayed an improved performance with a few long-range efforts and 2 successful take-ons.
Paulo Dybala: 7.5/10
Paulo Dybala put in a sensational performance against Bologna on Monday night. His contribution was validated by a stunning strike from the edge of the box in the 36th minute. Even though he has expressed concerns about playing as a striker, the 26-year-old still managed to complete 5 dribbles and 42 passes while attempting 4 shots on goal.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 7/10
Cristiano Ronaldo put an end to his four-game goal drought with a well-taken penalty in the 23rd minute. After the opening goal, the Portuguese ace had an extra spring in his step as he completed 1 take-on and 29 passes while winning 2 aerial duels, attempting 6 shots and creating 1 chance in an industrious performance.
Aaron Ramsey: N/A
Sarri brought on Aaron Ramsey to add extra legs to the Juventus midfield after Bologna began to impose their game on the reigning champions.
Blaise Matuidi: N/A
Blaise Matuidi was brought on to steady the ship in the middle of the park. Bologna’s energetic midfield had, at times, been overrunning their opponents. Sarri, therefore, brought on the Frenchman in the last 20 minutes to match that energy.
Despite only being on the pitch for less than 30 minutes, the Brazilian managed to get himself sent off with two needless tackles. This will only further complicate things for Juventus as they were already struggling with injuries in the left-back department.
Douglas Costa: N/A
The Brazilian was brought on to give Dybala some rest but did not make any significant impact on the game.