Buffon – Could do little for either goal, other than which made a couple of comfortable saves. 5.5
Bonucci – Hardly noticed him, his mind (and body) was elsewhere. 5.5
Chiellini – Getting back to his best, made some splendid tackles, yet lacked support when the home side flooded forward. 7
Sandro – Ineffective. Unable to penetrate and constantly stretched in the defensive phase. 5.5
Alves – Battling showing and took his goal superbly when pushed forward late on. 7
Khedira – Sloppy on several occasions and failed to capitalise on his handful of chances. 6
Pjanic – Out of sorts for much of the game, yet delivered a beautiful assist for Alves to put us ahead. 6
Cuadrado – as with all our wide players, he was out hustled. 5.5
Mandzukic – Achieved little, and was far less involved than usual. 5.5
Dybala – came close on a couple of occasions other than which worked himself into the ground seeking space and time which rarely came. 6
Higuain – Very well marshalled and kept to a series of snap shots, none of which hugely troubled the home keeper.
Not much to report from this outing, other than Gasperini’s troops performed heroics, and were well worth their creditable draw. I would very much like to see them in the Europa next season, which would be a brilliant achievement on such a small budget with a group of formerly unheralded players knitted together superbly, offering a welcome never say die approach.
We were sloppy in the first half, and only got going after the break. We then dominated, deservedly took the lead, but let ourselves down when assuming we would play out the one goal victory. As Allegri said, the penalty incident was on no consequence. We should have won the game regardless with the chances created.
No injuries, more energy than was hoped expelled and one more point clawed towards the league title.
I cannot fault Allegri as he put out the strongest side. Perhaps, understandably, many players were thinking of Monaco, yet if so, they need a reality check of the need to play full pelt every time they step onto the field.
Yet take nothing away from our hosts, who fought for every blade of grass and never lost hope. They were very much under the cosh for the second period and a little fortunate to stumble a draw, yet fortune favours the brave. A lesson some of our squad must embrace, for there are no easy games when you are playing for Juve. Every team sees us as a prize scalp and plays out of their skins to prove to their fans their love for the shirt.
Slight annoyance to drop points, but it is a mere bump in the road, not a turning point for the worse. And it might be a blessing in disguise for Allegri to have reason to roar and rage, spur the squad into livid, seething, berserker zeal for the upcoming semi-final…