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Serie A

Inter player ratings vs Juventus: Bastoni sets the tone but Sanchez steals the show

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Inter player ratings vs Juventus: Bastoni sets the tone but Sanchez steals the show

Inter snatched Supercoppa Italiana glory from Juventus in extra-time at the Stadio San Siro thanks to a strong showing from Alessandro Bastoni and a winning goal from Alexis Sanchez to make it 2-1.

Two first-half goals from Weston McKennie and Lautaro Martinez meant the game was tied at 1-1 and had to go to extra-time.

As the match entered the 120th minute, Sanchez pounced on a loose ball on the box and smashed home the winner with the final kick of the game.

Inter player ratings vs Juventus


Handanovic 6; Bastoni 7.5, De Vrij 6.5, Skriniar 6.5; Perisic 7 (101′ Dimarco 6), Calhanoglu 6, Brozovic 7, Barella 6 (89′ Vidal 6), Dumfries 7 (89′ Darmian 6.5); Dzeko 6 (76′ Correa 5.5), Martinez 6.5 (75′ Sanchez 7).

Player of the match – Alessandro Bastoni

Alessandro Bastoni is fast becoming one of Europe’s leading defenders and beyond being defensively sound all evening, the Italian also showed he is a real asset going forward for Inter. His crossing from the left is dangerous, and he can pick a pass without breaking stride.

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Serie A

Juventus Player Ratings vs AC Milan: Saviour Szczesny

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AC Milan Player Ratings vs Juventus: Lively Leao

AC Milan and Juventus played out a drab 0-0 draw at the Stadio San Siro on Sunday night in Serie A, as both sides fell further behind Inter in the race for the Scudetto.

However, with a point allowing the Bianconeri to edge closer to the Champions League qualification places, they will arguably head home to Turin the happier of the two sides.

Juventus Player Ratings vs AC Milan

Szczesny 6; De Sciglio 5, Rugani 5, Chiellini 5.5, Alex Sandro 5; Cuadrado 5.5 (65’ Bernardeschi 5), Bentancur 5 (90′ Rabiot n/r), Locatelli 5.5 (65’ Arthur 5), McKennie 5; Dybala 5 (90′ Kulusevski n/r), Morata 4.5 (74’ Kean 5)

PLAYER OF THE MATCH – WOJCIECH SZCZESNY

With Juventus seemingly willing to concede possession to their hosts, the Old Lady’s Polish custodian was expected to be called into action and proved a vital last line of defence. Midway through the first half, the ex-Arsenal goalkeeper saved well from Rafael Leao, before denying Theo Hernandez and Olivier Giroud in the second.

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Serie A

AC Milan Player Ratings vs Juventus: Lively Leao

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AC Milan Player Ratings vs Juventus: Lively Leao

Rafael Leao was unable to prevent AC Milan from falling further behind bitter rivals Inter in the Serie A title race, after an uneventful 0-0 draw with Juventus at the Stadio San Siro on Sunday night.

With the Bianconeri defending deep and seemingly happy to leave the San Siro with a point, the Rossoneri failed to capitalise on their dominance and had just four shots on target.

AC Milan Player Ratings vs Juventus


Maignan 5.5; Calabria 5.5 (75’ Florenzi 5), Kalulu 5, Romagnoli 5.5, Hernandez 5.5; Tonali 6, Krunic 5; Messias 5 (60’ Saelemaekers 5), Diaz 5.5 (60’ Bennacer 5.5), Leao 6.5 (75’ Rebic 5); Ibrahimovic 5 (28’ Giroud 5.5)

PLAYER OF THE MATCH – RAFAEL LEAO

With Milan struggling creatively, the Portuguese attacker’s direct running down the channels and willingness to drive inside with the ball at feet almost exposed a determined Juventus defence. However, the closest Leao came to threatening the visitors’ goal himself, was a low drive from the edge of the box on 20 minutes, that was well saved by Wojciech Szczesny

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Serie A

Napoli player ratings vs Salernitana: Mertens leads from the front

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Napoli player ratings vs Salernitana: Mertens leads from the front

Dries Mertens was on song to ensure that Napoli ended the weekend with a comfortable win over Salernitana by 4-1 at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

The home side’s goals were signed by Juan Jesus, Mertens, Amir Rrahmani, and Lorenzo Insigne. On the other hand, Salernitana’s sole goal came from Federico Bonazzoli.

Napoli player ratings vs Salernitana

Meret 6; Di Lorenzo 6.5 ( 76’ Zanoli 6) ; Rrahmani 6.5; Jesus 6.5; Rui 7 (76’ Ghoulam 6); Ruiz 6.5 (64’ Politano 6) ; Lobotka 6.5; Lozano 6 (45’ Insigne 6.5) ; Zielinski 6; Elmas 6.5; Mertens 7 (64’ Osimhen 6)

Player of the match: Dries Mertens

The veteran continues to fill in Victor Osimhen’s boots who has been unable to start matches. As the captain with Insigne’s absence in the XI, Mertens has been leading from the front. Against Salernitana, he did exactly that. A different style when compared to speedy Osimhen, the Belgian opts for a false nine role, working perfectly as he ended his afternoon with a goal and an assist.

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Serie A

Serie A: Dybala: ‘La Joya’ shines again

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Serie A: Dybala: 'La Joya' shines again

Paulo Dybala is justifying his nickname of ‘La Joya’ (The Gem) again following Cristiano Ronaldo‘s exit from Juventus which has allowed him to step up.

Injuries have plagued him over the last few years, limiting him to only 20 appearances in Serie A last season, but he’s now back with a bang.

«Only [Lionel] Messi and Cristiano are better than Dybala, he has the quality to win the Ballon d’Or,» Massimiliano Allegri said on his return to Turin.

While Juventus remain off the pace and sit fifth in the table in their worst season since 2010/11, Dybala has scored 11 goals in 22 games, making him top scorer and the third highest assist creator for the Old Lady.

«Dybala scares me,» Olivier Giroud admitted to La Stampa before Sunday’s fixture pits Milan against Juventus.

The Argentine has already surpassed the five goals he scored last season and the 10 he got in 2018/19.

«I’ve seen him grow since he got to Palermo while still a kid,» Allegri reflected.

«He’s an extraordinary footballer, with enormous technical quality. In the first half of the season, we couldn’t enjoy him as much because of injuries, but I expect a lot from him and his value is out of question. He’s a great player.»

Pressure to renew

Dybala could soon become another Ousmane Dembele, given that his contract is up in June and he is yet to renew.

Alessio Tacchinardi, a former Juve player, said that «something has broken» between the two parties.

An offer was made to Dybala‘s representatives in November, worth eight million euros plus two million euros in bonuses, but he wasn’t convinced.

«We’ll meet with the player in February, we’ve taken our time to evaluate,» Maurizio Arrivabene, CEO of Juventus, said.

«Everyone has to earn their place in the team and show that they have the value they decide, we’ll see in the next games. The commitment to the shirt from many players is less than their commitment to their agents.»

Dybala has done his talking on the pitch, scoring three goals in his last four games, with fans chanting for him to stay in the win against Sampdoria.

«He doesn’t have to show anyone anything, he always makes the difference,» former Juve man Antonio Nocerino reflected.

Dybala is now on 111 goals for Juve, only four away from equalling Roberto Baggio and entering the top 10 goalscorers in the club’s history.

«The renewal? There’s been a lot of news, a lot has happened… I prefer not to speak,» Dybala responded when asked about his future.

«The club has decided that we’ll talk in February or March and we’ll do that.»

Inter ponder his signing

If Dybala were to leave for free in June, he’d gather plenty of interest. He’s been linked with Barcelona, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham, but the latest club linked is Inter.

«When a player comes near the end of their contract, it’s normal for top teams to want him,» Inter CEO Beppe Marotta clarified.

«We have a structure which means we’re alert to opportunities in the market… But we respect the attackers we have.»

«Dybala to Inter? Anything is possible,» Andrea Barzagli, who was once Dybala’s teammate, said.

Serie A: Dybala: 'La Joya' shines again

The stats behind Dybala’s form

The best version of Dybala is back, and it’s not just about feelings as the numbers back it up.

This season has seen him have more shots per 90 minutes than ever before in Turin at 5.04, which is more than the 4.35 he registered in 2017/18 when he scored 26 goals.

His worst goalscoring season came in the first season following Cristiano Ronaldo‘s arrival, and he had to adapt his game significantly.

Last season showed that, as his xGBuildUp per 90 was 0.53 and his xGChain was 1.

In his last two seasons alongside Cristiano, Dybala stood out more in key passes, xA, shot creation actions and goal creating actions, as well as possession-related stats.

At the same time, it’s clear that he had more shots and goals before Ronaldo’s arrival following 2017/18.

Serie A: Dybala: 'La Joya' shines again

Looking at the graph, the evolution in terms of finishing performance is clear as he fell away after Ronaldo joined Juventus. Injuries and Covid-19 haven’t helped, though he has had some goalscoring streaks.

What is intriguing is that in the last few weeks, he is scoring more goals, while his xG was higher at the start of the season.

While playing alongside Cristiano, his shots were placed in the same areas, so it isn’t that his game has changed, and he’s still the Serie A player with the most shots from outside the box. His 25 goals outside the box since 2014/15 is the highest figure in Italy’s top flight.

The conclusion is clear that Dybala has returned his focus to scoring, rather than assisting, even if he isn’t quite at the pace of 2017/18.

Juve’s poor season means he hasn’t got all the possible firepower, but without him, the Old Lady would be even worse off.

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