Juventus established a thumping 4-0 win over 18th-placed Lecce at the Allianz Stadium on Friday night to extend their lead at the top of the standings to seven points.
The visitors fought hard against the Serie A leaders in the first half as they tried to play the ball out from the back to mount attacks of their own. However, they were wasteful in their final third activity and ultimately suffered because of it.
Maurizio Sarri’s men eventually took the lead in the 52nd minute through a Paulo Dybala wonder strike. Cristiano Ronaldo would double that lead through a penalty ten minutes later. The reigning champions then scored two goals in two minutes later in the game as Gonzalo Higuain and Matthijs de Ligt added their names to the scoresheet.
Here are Juventus’ player ratings from a game that saw them move further ahead of second-placed Lazio on the table.
Juventus Player Ratings
Wojciech Szczesny: 6.5/10
Wojciech Szczesny was perhaps in action more than he would have expected. However, he was incredibly composed for Juventus when called upon. Ultimately, the 30-year-old only had to make 3 saves in 90 minutes and he did so with ease.
Juan Cuadrado: 6.5/0
It has become clear that Juan Cuadrado is one of Maurizio Sarri’s favourite players. The Italian tactician insists on shoehorning the Colombian in the right-back position even though he may not be suited to it.
Up against 10 men, the 32-year-old played most of the game in the opponent’s half, effectively as a wing-back/winger. He was a constant crossing threat from the right, providing overlapping runs for his teammates.
Matthijs de Ligt: 7/10
Playing for the biggest team in Italy might plague some footballers with an issue of complacency but Matthijs de Ligt is not one of those players.
Having come from Ajax, the young defender learnt to fight and scrap in every game and this was evident in his performance against Lecce. Besides his resolute defensive work, the Dutchman even added a rare goal to his repertoire as he bundled home a header in the 84th minute.
Leonardo Bonucci: 6.5/10
As the captain of Juventus, Leonardo Bonucci’s role in the team transcends mere defending as he is expected to inspire his teammates when things aren’t going their way.
After leading his team through a tricky first half, Bonucci was able to calm things down in the second half as his teammates completely dominated Lecce's ten men. The 33-year-old made 2 tackles, won 3 aerial duels and completed 58 passes in a solid outing.
Blaise Matuidi: 7/10
Although he is naturally a CM, Blaise Matuidi was called upon by his manager in the midst of an emergency. With no left-back available for Juventus, Sarri deployed the Frenchman as a makeshift full-back against Lecce.
It became evident that Matuidi’s positioning was central to Lecce’s game plan as they constantly targeted the versatile 33-year-old. After a few near-scares, the former PSG man finally dominated his role in the second half and did not look out of position.
The auxiliary left-back won 3 aerial duels, made 1 clearance, 1 tackle and was only dribbled past once.
Miralem Pjanić: 6.5/10
Despite the transfer speculation surrounding Miralem Pjanic, Sarri still opted to start him at the heart of the Juventus midfield. The Bosnian responded by putting in an assured performance. At the base of the midfield, Pjanić completed 95% of his passes, won 2 aerial duels and took 6 corners.
Rodrigo Bentancur: 6.5/10
In what was perhaps the pivotal moment of the game, Rodrigo Bentancur pressed Lecce defender Lucioni into making a mistake, drawing a foul and resulting in a red card.
It was the Juventus midfielder’s hard work and willingness to press like a striker that facilitated the opportunity. In another lively performance, the 23-year-old won 4 aerial duels, made 1 interception and completed 38 passes.
Adrien Rabiot: 6/10
Chosen over Aaron Ramsey again, Adrien Rabiot did his best to not only contribute to his team’s possession but also make runs into the box. With Dybala acting as a false nine, Juventus were often left lacking a central figure in the box. Rabiot tried to fill that void by making runs into the box to no avail.
The Frenchman was quickly hooked off early in the second half as Sarri looked to add more flair to his attack.
Federico Bernardeschi: 6/10
After his exploits from Juventus' win over Bologna in the previous fixture, Federico Bernardeschi kept his place in Sarri’s front three ahead of Gonzalo Higuain and Douglas Costa. His first-half performance, however, did not justify this decision as he was found offside several times and missed a sitter from 6 yards out just before the break.
In the second half, the 26-year-old was moved into an LCM role where he attacked the half-spaces in Lecce’s defence. Across his 77-minute cameo, the 26-year-old created 1 chance and completed 30 passes.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 8/10
Cristiano Ronaldo was once again trying to make things happen for himself. With Sarri’s lack of an attacking strategy, the Portuguese talisman took it upon himself to fashion half chances. Although he’s always looking to score, the 35-year-old ace would turn into the creator for Juventus’ opener as he provided a lay off for Dybala’s strike.
Ronaldo would go on to score his own goal through a penalty before providing a beautiful backheel assist for Gonzalo Higuain. In a man-of-the-match display, he completed 1 dribble, attempted 7 shots on goal, provided 2 assists and scored 1.
Paulo Dybala: 7/10
Sarri persisted with deploying Paulo Dybala as a number nine despite the Argentine's unwillingness to start in the position. The 26-year-old constantly kept drifting across the final third and dropping deep to connect with the midfield.
However, it was through his brilliance that Juventus were able to break the deadlock. In the 52nd minute, the former Palermo man hit a sweet strike from the edge of the box into the top corner.
Dybala completed 98% of his passes, created 2 chances and scored the all-important opening goal in yet another game-changing performance for Juventus.
Douglas Costa: 7/10
Douglas Costa’s enthusiasm down the right flank wreaked havoc on the Lecce defence. The Brazilian winger was lively and a constant threat down his flank, completing 7 successful take-ons and providing 1 assist.
Aaron Ramsey: 6/10
Brought on for the last 25 minutes of the game, Aaron Ramsey’s energy in the middle of the park was there for all to see. Despite not being one of Sarri’s favourites, the Welshman always manages to get on the pitch for each game.
In an encouraging display, the 29-year-old completed 16 passes and attempted 2 shots on goal as he got himself into dangerous positions.
Gonzalo Higuain: 6.5/10
Coming on for Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain made an impact within minutes as he broke his unusual goalscoring drought with a left-footed strike in the 83rd minute.
Simone Mauratore: N/A
Simone Mauratore was brought on to add more energy to the Juventus midfield but did not have enough time to impact the game.