Juventus-Lazio: Ratings in Black and White
The Alberto Zaccheroni era began in Turin this evening, as Juventus played host to Lazio. It seems the more things change, the more they stay the same as the Bianconeri struggled yet again.
The new coach was just appointed on Friday around lunch-time, so there was no time to implement his usual 3-4-3 formation. Despite being entrenched in the relegation battle, Lazio left the Olympic Stadium with a credible 1-1 draw. Here are the Juventus ratings.
Alex Manninger: 6
Blameless for the Lazio goal, as the Austrian had very little to do, standing in for the suspended Gigi Buffon. Manninger made one good save from Mauri in the first half. Clearly one of the best reserve keepers around.
Zdenek Grygera: 5
Grygera surprisingly kept his place following Caceres' return to the squad and after this display probably won't next week. He offered little going forward and was under pressure all game. Zdenek was even less impressive after switching to left back, where he was at fault for the goal.
Giorgio Chiellini: 6.5
Chiellini completely neutralised Julio Cruz and still managed to cover for other teammates by pushing forward to contribute in attack. Giorgio is easily the club's best performer so far this term, as he never lets the team down and rightly became captain after Del Piero left the field.
Fabio Cannavaro: 6
Lazio's negative approach meant Cannavaro was rarely troubled. Cannavaro stepped forward to make important tackles in midfield on a couple of occasions, but games like this make it so easy for him. Nevertheless, a good start under the manager who rarely used him at Inter.
Paolo De Ceglie: 6.5
Fabio Grosso's suspension meant a rare start in his natural position and he made the most of it. Looked solid defensively and pressed forward at every opportunity. Moved to midfield after Melo's withdrawal and looked equally comfortable.
Antonio Candreva: 6
Candreva's pass helped Del Piero win the penalty, but far too many others went astray. Is steadily improving with every game, but the shirt is still weighing heavily on his shoulders at the moment.
Felipe Melo: 6
Melo was much improved today, but has seemingly improved every time he is paired with Sissoko. Felipe made some good passes, covered a lot of ground and generally impressed before coming off seemingly due to an injury.
Momo Sissoko: 7.5
Sissoko was simply everywhere, as he was in both boxes, out wide, making tackles, having shots and even his passing was good today. Things are so much more assured in midfield now that he has returned from the Cup of Nations, as he seems to lift the other players, especially Melo. Juventus deserved to win the game by his efforts alone. Player Of The Day
Diego was another player who took his performance up a notch for the new manager. He was instrumental in most of Juve's attacking play. He lacked the magic of earlier in the season, but seemed determined to find a way to help the team that has been missing recently.Diego was unlucky with a shot that came back off the post.
Alessandro Del Piero: 6.5
A well-taken if undeserved penalty from the Captain in only his second league start of the season. Did the job asked of him by Zaccheroni, operating much wider on the right than usual. Still finding his way back to fitness, he had started to fade out of the game before the penalty, rightly substituted.
Amauri worked hard, was great in holding up the ball and bring the midfield into play, but still way below the level he needs to be at. He actually seemed reluctant to shoot on a number of occasions. Iaquinta's return cannot come soon enough.
Martin Caceres: 6
Caceres should have started, as he was far better than Grygera at both ends of the field.
Michele Paolucci: NM
Paolucci did not have enough playing time to make any impact.
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