Juventus started strong and it was all downhill from there, but who escaped the wrath of Tom Scholes in our Football Italia Player Ratings?
Gigi Buffon - 5
The veteran goalkeeper arguably kept Juve in the game during the first 45 minutes, but he managed to look very shaky from the Harry Kane goal onwards. His point-blank save from Kane was a highlight, but he was at fault for the Christian Eriksen equaliser.
Mattia De Sciglio - 4
With Stephan Lichtsteiner out injured, the former Milan man was always going to start, but he didn’t quite look up to the occasion at times. He wasn’t quick enough to deal with some of Spurs’ attacks and wasn’t as heavily involved going forward as he perhaps would have liked.
Giorgio Chiellini - 5
Normally big Giorgio is strong against world class strikers and knows how to keep them quiet, but he didn’t look himself. Don’t get me wrong, he still managed to stick his fair share of late tackles in, but he didn’t contain Kane as well as many had expected and let the Spurs man run off him at times.
Medhi Benatia - 4
When he received that early yellow card it meant the Moroccan was on a tightrope for the rest of the game. With Chiellini occupied with Kane, it was essentially up to Benatia to keep up with Dele Alli and Eriksen and he didn’t do his job particularly well. Juve will have to hope that Barzagli is fully fit for the second leg or else they’ll be in trouble at Wembley.
Alex Sandro - 6
Arguably Juve’s best player on the night, Alex Sandro was good on the attacking side of his game and made a fair amount of blocks and interceptions from Spurs crosses and attempted through balls. If Juve didn’t have Sandro tonight, I’d imagine Erik Lamela and Serge Aurier would have had the freedom of Turin on that flank.
Miralem Pjanic - 5
Many thought, including myself, that Pjanic would be key for this fixture in the way of controlling the midfield battle. Unfortunately for the Bosnian and Juve, he couldn’t quite get his grip on the game, with the notable exception of his assist for the opening Higuain goal. Mousa Dembele for Spurs was playing the way that Pjanic should’ve, but maybe the fact he was one yellow card away from missing the second leg was playing on his mind.
Sami Khedira - 4
There has to be something wrong fitness wise with regards to Khedira, as he was almost non-existent before he came off in the second half with a muscular problem. He didn’t really track any runners, or even add protection to the back line, and he was passed like a knife through butter. Poor from the German World Cup winner and I suspect he won’t be starting in Wembley.
Douglas Costa - 5
Personally, I felt that Douglas Costa wasn’t actually that bad when he got the ball and attacked Aurier, but he didn’t do it enough to have a truly big impact on the game. When you’re as quick as the Brazilian and you’re matched up against someone so defensively shambolic as Aurier, it’s a free pass! But with the exception of the second penalty on the stroke of half time, Costa didn’t do nearly enough as he should’ve to give Aurier a tough time.
Federico Bernardeschi - 5
Like Costa on the opposite flank, the former Fiorentina wide man was decent when he was allowed to cut in onto his left foot, but it didn’t happen enough. The shot he had saved from Hugo Lloris had Ben Davies in knots, but if he had been given another few situations like that, then maybe he would have scored.
Mario Mandzukic - 5
A defensive attacker if there ever was one, and as much as I respect and rate what the Croat does for this Juve team, it just wasn’t his kind of game. Usually he dominates in the air at both ends, but with no aerial threat for Spurs other than Kane (who was taken by Chiellini) and no crosses were going into the back post, it rendered Mandzukic useless. That being said, it was a shame to see him hobble off with an injury and have him as a doubt for the next game.
Gonzalo Higuain - 6
I may be sounding quite controversial here, but with the exception of the two goals, Higuain was very quiet for the large majority of the game and wasn’t actually that good. He took the opening goal extremely well and made a very good run to drag himself away from Dele and Davies, and his first penalty was well taken, but maybe he shouldn’t have been the one to take the second spot-kick. During the second half, I hardly remember him getting involved apart from a booking he got for protesting the referee. I guess that’s the downfall of being a lone striker.
Rodrigo Bentancur - 5
Brought on to sure up the midfield in the absence of Khedira, he did fairly well to add some kind of steel in the middle and partly restrict Eriksen’s movement. However it must be noted that certain commentators were obsessed with calling him a central defender despite the fact he isn’t one and never has been!
Stefano Sturaro - N/A
Kwadwo Asamoah - N/A
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