Rating the Juventus Players Against Celtic in the Champions League

Matteo Bonetti@@TheCalcioGuyContributor IFebruary 12, 2013

Rating the Juventus Players Against Celtic in the Champions League

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    In what ended as a 3-0 win for visiting Juventus, this pivotal first match between Celtic and the bianconeri stirred plenty of controversy and gave neutrals an enthralling 90 minutes of action.

    Although Celtic ran on all cylinders for the first half, it was clear that this type of diabolical energy would run out by the 70th minute. Even though Juventus was pressed in their own half for most of the match, they were clinical on the few chances they had, converting three goals on 10 total shots on goal. 

    Let's move on to the player ratings!

Gianluigi Buffon: 6.5

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    The always reliable Gianluigi Buffon made seven saves from the 17 shots that were flung his way by rabid Celtic. Despite making a few key dives, Celtic players squandered a few easy chances on goal by heading it straight to the path of the Italian keeper.

Andrea Barzagli: 7.5

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    There's not much else you can say about the consistency of Andrea Barzagli, who has been the best central defender in Italy for the past two seasons after being salvaged from German side Wolfsburg.

    Against Celtic, he was cool and collected, stopping a number of potentially dangerous counterattacks and being careful in possession.

Leonardo Bonucci: 6.5

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    While others did most of the dirty work, Leonardo Bonucci strung together plenty of passes linking defense with midfield. Sturdy, composed, and gracious with his feet, big Leo aided the bianconeri deal with the onrushing Celtic attack.

Martin Caceres: 6.5

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    The Uruguayan defender dealt well with Celtic striker James Forrest and was fantastic in the air, showing Juventus fans that he's more than capable of relieving the injured Giorgio Chiellini.

Stephan Lichtsteiner: 6.0

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    Lichtsteiner's tussle with Celtic hit-man Gary Hooper on every set piece in the first half provided some unintentional comedy for neutrals, and perhaps a headache for Scottish fans. He could have been given a red card for these antics in the box, but got away with only a yellow to his name.

Claudio Marchisio: 7.0

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    Italian midfielder Claudio Marchisio was fantastic against Celtic, scoring on a perfectly placed pass in the 77th minute from Alessandro Matri, and running rampant through the midfield as he always does.

    Il Principino spearheaded the way for Juventus to reach the final 16 in the Champions League.

Andrea Pirlo: 5.5

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    Celtic must have watched tape from a few years back when Real Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra perfectly shut down Andrea Pirlo in a Champions League match. Celtic Captain Scott Brown did a great job of getting in Pirlo's face all match, playing very physically and trying to rattle the Italian regista.

    Overall, he seemed overwhelmed by the pace of the match and was fairly anonymous when compared to his usually high standards.

Arturo Vidal: 6.5

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    As the prototypical box-to-box engine in the midfield, Arturo Vidal was deployed to provide plenty of bite and the occasional strike of brilliance in the attack. Today, he didn't shy away from Celtic's pressure in the first half and improved as the game went on.

Federico Peluso: 6.5

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    Federico Peluso had a miserable start with Juventus domestically right after he arrived from Atalanta in the January transfer window, but enjoyed perhaps his finest as a bianconero in hostile territory.

    Despite being defensively rugged at times and a red-card threat, he played the pass which led to the first goal by Alessandro Matri, and provided a lovely cross to a streaking Claudio Marchisio which nearly resulted in another Juventus goal.

Mirko Vucinic: 6.0

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    Despite scoring the late goal that virtually guaranteed a place in the next round for Juventus, Mirko Vucinic had one of his notoriously inconsistent performances.

    A languid first half was negated by a bit more spark in the second. For fans who have watched him long enough, they know that this has been the Achilles' heel for Vucinic throughout his entire career: a brilliant display followed by woefulness. 

Alessandro Matri: 7.0

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    The resurgent man up top famously known as Mitra Matri is giving Juventus coach Antonio Conte a clear choice to stop the revolving door of attackers each game. With a goal in the first half and an assist later in the match, Matri added to his tally of scoring in three consecutive matches both domestically and now in the Champions League.