Juventus failed to bounce back from their midweek mauling at the hands of Chelsea as they slumped to a 1-0 home defeat to Atalanta on Saturday evening.
Atalanta’s relentless pressure caused Juventus some real problems throughout the first half, with the home side struggling to get themselves into the game as La Dea enjoyed a string of half-chances.
The returning Paulo Dybala had Juve’s first chance. His mazy run saw him make some space in the penalty area, but his bending effort rolled tamely into the hands of Juan Musso – a passage of play which was indicative of their struggles in the first 45.
Atalanta always looked most likely to open the scoring, and the in-form Duvan Zapata did exactly that on the half-hour mark. Some sloppy passing from Juve was punished by the Colombian, who latched onto a through ball and thundered past Wojciech Szczesny before you even had any idea what was happening.
The second half was the same story. Atalanta, who weren’t particularly good themselves, kept Juventus pinned back while always looking vulnerable on the counter. Some uncertainty at the back gave Weston McKennie and Dybala a handful of chances on goal, but yet again, the quality just wasn’t there whatsoever.
That moment of uncertainty appeared to spark Juve into life. Adrien Rabiot came close with a nice effort from range and a number of average chances followed, but despite their renewed optimism, it never felt like Juve were going to get back into this.
The visitors had to dig deep to withstand some pretty intense pressure in the late stages, but they defended well and watched on as Juventus flirted with the idea of being threatening. Dybala sent a late free-kick over off the crossbar, but that was as good as it got for Massimiliano Allegri’s side.
Wojciech Szczesny (GK) – 5/10 – Had no chance with Zapata’s opener but nearly gifted Atalanta with more chances with some sloppy passes.
Juan Cuadrado (RB) – 5/10 – Combined some brilliant defensive moments with some absolutely shocking decisions. Did well to cope with Zapata’s threat for the most part.
Matthijs de Ligt (CB) – 4/10 – Some really dodgy passes which invited far too much trouble. Caught out for the goal and needed to be quicker to react.
Leonardo Bonucci (CB) – 5/10 – A nice last-ditch challenge in the second half just about atoned for some poor positioning in the first. Seemed more interested in playing 40-yard passes, most of which weren’t that good.
Alex Sandro (LB) – 2/10 – Far too many mistakes. Offered absolutely no resistance as Atalanta came charging down his wing. Felt like he wasn’t even there at times.
Weston McKennie (RM) – 5/10 – Somewhat decent. Had some good spells on the ball but couldn’t turn that into anything in the final third. Cannot stress enough how much he is not a winger. Limped off after an hour.
Manuel Locatelli (CM) – 4/10 – You can tell Locatelli has a good pass in him, but his ability to actually use that remains a mystery.
Adrien Rabiot (CM) – 2/10 – Another nothing performance from Rabiot, whose score is boosted thanks to a decent effort from range which drew an impressive save from Musso.
Federico Chiesa (LM) – 5/10 – Was Juve’s main outlet in the first half but was visibly unfit and limped off at half-time. Carrying a whole team takes its toll.
Paulo Dybala (ST) – 4/10 – Can’t really fault his effort but seemed to forget how to actually put power on a shot. Pea rollers for days.
Alvaro Morata (ST) – 2/10 – Dropped too deep far too often. Offered nothing there and even less in attack. Had a few half-chances but wasted them all.
Federico Bernardeschi (RM) – 6/10 – Involved a lot following his introduction. Didn’t have that quality in the final third but was the only Juventus player who ever looked like making something happen.
Moise Kean (ST) – 5/10 – His presence seemed to give Juventus a boost, but he didn’t really offer much in his time on the pitch.
Kaio Jorge (ST) – N/A – A late introduction.