Juventus entered this game with the fewest number of injuries for perhaps the last two years. Only Martin Caceres, Antonio Chimenti and Diego remain sidelined. That enabled Alberto Zaccheroni to field a strong lineup and also have options on the bench.
They gained a slender 1-0 win, but once more the coach made poor changes and the side looked unbalanced, unconvincing and uninspired.
Gianluigi Buffon: 7
Returned to captain the side in what was his 400th Serie A appearance. Will not have had many easier games in that total, Cagliari created very little, although Buffon made one good save from Matri, but he would have had a tougher afternoon if he'd spent it in the stand with his children.
Jonathan Zebina: 5
Gave the ball away on a number of occasions, allowing the opposition to create the few chances they did make from his side of the field. Also lacked the attacking edge we saw last week.
Fabio Cannavaro: 6
Made one excellent goal-line clearance but put his own goal under threat with a couple of very poor clearances. In a game where Cagliari struggled to create anything themselves, the Italy Captain still looked vulnerable.
Giorgio Chiellini: 8
Slotted back into the defense as though he'd never been away and was quick to sense any danger to the back line, covering for teammates and making a number of good tackles. Scored the only goal with a well-taken header, and looked more likely to add a second than any of his supposedly more attacking teammates. Player of the Day
Fabio Grosso: 4.5
In what may be the biggest insult you can make to any fullback, he was actually worse than Zebina today. Poor in possession, never in position, tactically naive; this was a terrible performance and he was rightly substituted.
A creative force all game, making shots for himself and laying them on for teammates. His runs with the ball caused Cagliari to panic every time he made them. He provided the spark that the Bianconeri have sorely missed this season.
Felipe Melo: 5.5
Started well but faded quickly to be the weak link in what was otherwise a good midfield performance, his sloppy play showed just how vital Momo Sissoko. Gives the ball away far too cheaply, while contributing little to the attack.
Claudio Marchisio: 7
In the first half he was everywhere, making tackles, linking with the strikers, having shots (albeit poor ones) and generally dominating Cagliari's weak midfield. In central areas he has so much to offer, he can utilise all his talent, and this is the Marchisio Juventus need. Zaccheroni was the only person able to suppress his effort, which he duly did in pushing him out wide once again.
Paolo De Ceglie: 6.5
Provided a good option on the left, and linked well with Marchisio as always. Some of his crosses were poor but he stretched the opposition defence which made space for the impressive Camoranesi on the opposite flank. Was also far better than Grosso after he dropped into defence.
The fact his name was on the team's lineup sheet was probably the only reason to know he was on the field today. Contributed very little, despite being played into good positions. Hopefully will not play on Friday versus Inter, as Juve will need to play with 11 effective players if they are to stand any chance.
Vincenzo Iaquinta: 5.5
Still woefully short of fitness which clearly showed here, but even half-fit he still made far better (and far more) runs than his Brazilian partner.
Christian Poulsen: 6
Came on to defend the lead. Did his job.
Sebastian Giovinco: 6
Had one good chance, which brought a great save from Marchetti in Cagliari's goal.
Hasan Salihamidzic: NM
No time to make any impression on the game.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!