Perhaps it was the complacency that comes with having secured the Serie A title already but Juventus were seriously below par against a lower-placed Cagliari outfit on Wednesday night. Cagliari notably outperformed the visitors who, by the looks of it, couldn't find their clinical side and struggled in vain to score a single goal.
Not resting his top players, Maurizio Sarri clearly had every intention of picking up all three points from the game but it was not to be as the Bianconeri's 34 shots at goal couldn't make a difference on the scoreboard.
After Juventus squandered a number of chances to open the scoring, it was Cagliari who took the lead only 8 minutes into the game. A dangerous cross fell into the final third for the home side, and Federico Mattiello cut it back for Luca Gagliano, who beat Gianluigi Buffon from close range.
An onslaught was underway immediately after the opening goal as Juventus looked intent on pushing Cagliari into submission. The visitors took chance after chance, but more often than not, their finishing was just wide off the mark.
On the cusp of half time, a defensively solid Cagliari side were on hand to punish the Bianconeri once more. It was an accurately flicked ball over the top by Luca Gagliano that found Giovanni Simeone at the edge of the box. Simeone shifted away from Leonardo Bonnuci and drove a thunderous shot past Buffon and into the goal to give the hosts their second goal of the game.
Juventus came back to the second half and looked like they would overpower Cagliari but the home defence was steadfast and remained firm. Cagliari goalkeeper Alessio Cragno complemented the defence with his capability between the sticks. He kept out Juventus' numerous chances that his teammates couldn't block and successfully finished the game with a clean sheet against Italy's champions.
Although they sit in mid-table obscurity, Cagliari will be pleased with their efforts against a much stronger Juventus side. They will look to finish off the season with a sparkling defensive display in their next game against Zlatan Ibrahimovic's AC Milan.
Juventus, on the other hand, will head to the training ground in a bid to fix up their attacking issues. After they play AS Roma, their eyes will be focused on their Champions League game against Lyon.
Without further ado, let's take a look at the Juventus player ratings from their Serie A fixture against Cagliari.
Juventus player ratings
Gianluigi Buffon - 5/10
Gianluigi Buffon may not have finished the game with a clean sheet but he made a number of decent saves and claimed the ball authoritatively at times. However, while he couldn't do much about the first goal, he should have done better with saving the second.
Juan Cuadrado - 6/10
Juan Cuadrado was competent with his passing and helped recycle possession from his flank. Notably, he had the most touches by any player on the field but he couldn't do much to change his side's fortunes. Except for a good cross and some key passes, he didn't give much else in attack.
Leonardo Bonnuci - 4/10
Leonardo Bonnuci certainly could have done better with taking on Giovanni Simeone and stopping the second goal in its tracks. While he did make important tackles during the course of the game, he would have to take part of the blame for Simeone's goal. He did a good job attacking but his chance, like many of his teammates', was off target.
Daniele Rugani - 5/10
Daniele Rugani was certainly a defensive threat when it came to dealing with aerial balls but he failed to do much else. The 26-year-old struggled at times, and his lack of awareness is partly to blame for the first Cagliari goal.
Alex Sandro - 5/10
Apart from getting all his shots on target - something no one else on the team can boast of, Alex Sandro seemed non-existent on the field. While he stepped up his game in the second half, there was nothing significant to take note of, besides his chances in attack. Defensively, the Brazilian star barely did anything to help.
Miralem Pjanic - 5/10
Picking up a yellow card in what will now be his final Serie A appearance for Juventus, Miralem Pjanic struggled to pull the strings in midfield effectively. His passes were on point and his vision was handy but the midfield maestro did not reach expectations and could have been much better.
Simone Muratore - 5/10
Simone Muratore made important passes, had chances at goal that were mostly on target and played an average game overall.
Rodrigo Bentancur - 6/10
Rodrigo Bentancur had a sluggish start but eventually picked up towards the end of the first half and tried to make something happen for his side. However, he did nothing of note, apart from a great first-half shot.
Federico Bernardeschi - 6/10
A creative force for the team, Federico Bernardeschi was on hand to seek out important passes and dish the ball appropriately. His clinical side, however, was clearly on holiday as the 26-year-old put a shocking six shots off target.
Gonzalo Higuain - 6/10
While he did keep most of his chances on target, Gonzalo Higuain could certainly have done better than the performance he showcased against Cagliari. He looked rusty, slow to get into positions and was unappealing overall.
Cristiano Ronaldo - 5/10
Cristiano Ronaldo took a surprising amount of shots from outside the box but his finishing was so bad that only two in ten shots were on target. While it did look like he was doing his best to score for Juventus, he played well below expectations.
Blaise Matuidi - 5/10
Blaise Matuidi spent some time on the pitch but did nothing of note.
Luca Zanimacchia - 6/10
He came on as a substitute and livened Juventus with his movement and direct style of play. Late on, he took a good shot that forced a save from Cragno.Published 30 Jul 2020, 09:33 IST