Juventus kept their slim 2020-21 Serie A title hopes alive with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Napoli on Wednesday. Both sides were level on points heading into this tie and needed a win to move back into the top four in the points table.
In a rousing start to the game, both sides could have opened the scoring in the opening few minutes. However, it was Juventus who took the lead.
Federico Chiesa showed some mesmerising footwork before crossing into the box, where Cristiano Ronaldo atoned for an earlier miss by making an unerring finish for his 25th league goal of the campaign.
It was not until the second half that Juventus doubled their lead. Substitute Paulo Dybala drilled in a beautiful low curler from 18 yards to score only his fourth of the season to give the Bianconeri a two-goal cushion.
Napoli reduced the arrears in the 90th minute as Lorenzo Insigne scored from the spot after a Giorgio Chiellini foul in the box. However, Juventus hung on to take all three points.
On that note, let's have a look at the Juventus player ratings.
Gianluigi Buffon - 7/10
Making a rare start, Gianluigi Buffon had a quiet first half. With Napoli picking up the pace in the second half, the veteran Juventus keeper had to make a few saves but was let down as Chiellini gave away a penalty.
Danilo - 5.5/10
It was a subpar performance from the Juventus full-back. He was sloppy on the ball and produced several misplaced passes. Danilo was mostly undisturbed down the right flank, though.
Matthijs de Ligt - 6/10
The Netherlands international had little to do in the first half as Napoli stayed deep and offered almost nothing in attack. However, he stood his ground when called upon in the second half, making a decisive block to deny Victor Osimhen from restoring parity in stoppage time.
Giorgio Chiellini - 5/10
The Juventus veteran gifted Napoli a lifeline late in the game when he needlessly hacked down Osimhen to give away a penalty in the 90th minute.
Alex Sandro - 6.5/10
The Juventus full-back showed flashes of his former self as he performed brilliantly down the left flank. He made five interceptions and four tackles and also occasionally joined the attack.
Juan Cuadrado - 7/10
Juan Cuadrado was one of Juventus’ best performers on the night. Playing on the right side of midfield, the Colombian international showed an adept reading of the game and was a constant threat to Napoli.
Cuadrado completed all his dribble attempts while also making four of his five long ball efforts.
Rodrigo Bentancur - 6/10
It was an industrious performance from the Uruguayan. Rodrigo Bentancur has struggled in recent weeks for Juventus, but he looked assured against Gennaro Gattuso’s men.
Adrien Rabiot - 6.5/10
Adrien Rabiot performed brilliantly at the centre of the park against a dogged Napoli side. He dictated the flow and pace of the game for Juventus and was on deck to provide a defensive cover in midfield all game.
Federico Chiesa - 7.5/10
It was a superb performance from Federico Chiesa, who has been a key player for Juventus this season. He created the first goal with a sublime piece of play, skilfully beating Elseid Hysaj before sending in a low cross for Ronaldo to tuck home.
Cristiano Ronaldo - 7/10
Cristiano Ronaldo continued his fine goal-scoring record in the Serie A this season by opening the scoring in the 13th minute. After seeing a few glorious chances go begging, the 36-year-old found the back of the net by tucking home Chiesa’s low cross.
Alvaro Morata - 6/10
It was a decent outing for the Spanish international. Alvaro Morata linked up brilliantly in attack and created a few scoring chances for Juventus. However, he failed to threaten the Napoli goal, finishing with no shot on target.
Player Ratings for Juventus substitutes:
Paulo Dybala - 7/10
The Argentine made an instant impact after he was brought on for Alvaro Morata in the 69th minute. Paolo Dybala doubled Juventus' lead with a precisely-placed shot from 18 yards out.
Arthur Melo - 5/10
Arthur Melo was back in action after serving his suspension for breaching COVID-19 guidelines. He made no telling impact on the game, though.
Weston McKennie 5/10
Weston McKennie replaced Juan Cuadrado in the 69th minute but failed to hit his stride.