The new Juventus got their season properly underway today with a visit to Bari's San Nicola Stadium, a 1-0 loss meant the first opening day defeat for the Turin club since 1982. While a loss is never a good thing, the team showed the grit that was sorely missed last season. With nine new additions so far Gigi Delneri's new look Juve was always going to need time to gel.
Marco Storari: 6.5
By far the busier of the two keepers, he made a fantastic early save from Ghezzal which saw him need lengthy treatment and some heavy bandaging. Made some other crucial stops, but takes no blame for the Donati strike.
Marco Motta: 6
A huge improvement on Zebina or Grygera in both attack and defence, but still a way to go before reaching the standard set by the now departed Martin Caceres. Had a great chance to score, but of more concern is his defensive positioning, which needs some work.
Leonardo Bonucci: 6
Covered well for Motta but was perhaps a little over-awed at returning to his former home for the first time. His partnership with Chiellini looks promising and being able to hone it at international level as well as at Juventus means this will happen more quickly—to the relief of fans of both teams.
Giorgio Chiellini: 6.5
Had two great chances to score, one right on the final whistle which would, quite frankly, have stolen a point, but one he should nevertheless have scored. As always, his defensive work was first-class, hopefully the rest of the back line will catch up soon. Player of the Day
Paolo De Ceglie: 4.5
A poor showing in defence which almost any right-sided midfielder apart from Alvarez (and maybe Pepe!) would have seen him punished more severely for. Much work to be done if he is to retain his place in the starting 11.
Milos Krasic: 5
A brilliant start, but faded extremely quickly. His name on the team-sheet was a surprise and on this display concerns over his match sharpness are fully justified. Needs time to settle and to regain fitness, but looks a great prospect once that happens.
Felipe Melo: 6
The same Melo we saw in Turin on Thursday, let down today by those around him. Still a long way to go before he is forgiven for his actions and words last season, but he has at least made a start.
Claudio Marchisio: 4
And it really could have been less. The situation over his contract needs to be resolved the minute the transfer window closes and Marotta has time to focus on it. The distraction clearly affected his performance and the only constant positive of last season besides Chiellini was taken away. Totally to blame for the goal and a shadow of his usual self.
Simone Pepe: 4.5
Ineffective to the point where the injured Martinez offered just as much threat when barely able to walk. His crossing is poor, his passing equally so and he offered very little protection to the overworked De Ceglie. Much more expected from a veteran Serie A performer.
Alessandro Del Piero: 5
The captain sprinkled the Sturm Graz tie with a piece of magic but never looked like doing the same here. Sucked too deep by the ineffective midfield he was not really a factor in this match. Delneri's lack of options in attack meant he was forced to use Del Piero twice in three days, hopefully a rarity this year if both the team and its leader are to be effective.
Fabio Quagliarella: 5.5
Making your debut two days after a difficult transfer can never be easy and when compounded by being part of such an untested team that struggle is magnified. Much like Del Piero he seemed to miss playing with a real striker.
Jorge Martinez: 5.5
Made some positive contributions before injured curtailed his movement, rendering him unable to even run.
Momo Sissoko: 5.5
Came on for Melo, changed nothing.
Davide Lanzafame: 6
Should have started as he has been the best of the new wide players, and was so here again.
Read full match review at iltifosi.tumblr.com
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