Juventus vs. Cagliari Player Ratings: Cristiano Ronaldo a distance above the rest

Juventus put together their most complete performance since Matchday 1, taking down Cagliari at home 2-0.

For the full 90 minutes at the Allianz Stadium, Juventus were never really troubled by Cagliari, as they won 2-0 behind two great first-half goals within a couple of minutes of each other from Cristiano Ronaldo.

But while the team’s overall performance was strong, there are still some elements missing in the attack around Ronaldo.

Here are the player ratings for the starters from the clean sheet.

GK Gianluigi Buffon

Another game in which a Juventus goalkeeper had nothing to do. Gianluigi Buffon commanded his defense well and was a safe pair of hands when needed, though he was rarely needed.

Rating: 6.0 out of 10

LB Danilo

Danilo almost plays as a third center back since Juve play with an asymmetrical setup, where Juan Cuadrado pushes high up the pitch and Merih Demiral essentially covers for him by shifting over. This honestly wasn’t Danilo’s best game, as he’s better in a straight-up back three. He was lucky when he gave away a pass in the middle of the pitch.

Rating: 6.0 out of 10

CB Matthijs de Ligt

This was a good first performance back from injury for Matthijs de Ligt, who has earned his reputation as one of Serie A’s top center backs. He was tough in the tackle and rarely troubled defensively.

Rating: 7.0 out of 10

CB Merih Demiral

For my money, Merih Demiral was the best player on the pitch after Cristiano Ronaldo, and he should be starting every game for Juventus. Demiral is already clear of Leonardo Bonucci as a center back, and he showed it today. The Turkish international completed about 99 percent of his passes, per WhoScored.com, pushing higher up the pitch behind Cuadrado when necessary and giving Cuadrado defensive cover. He marked Joao Pedro out of the match and was sensational.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

RB Juan Cuadrado

The captain with both Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini injured, Cuadrado put in another quality performance for the Bianconeri. He is one of the most consistent players on the team alongside Ronaldo and picked up three tackles with three interceptions. His six key passes were twice as many as the next-best players on the team. I think Cuadrado’s final delivery still could have been sharper, but you can’t argue with how active he is on the right side and how much he leads the attack. He is an important creative influence.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

LM Federico Bernardeschi

Federico Bernardeschi started for Andrea Pirlo after a wonderful international break, and he would have scored if it weren’t for Alvaro Morata’s foot being offside again. The former Fiorentina man had a couple of more bright moments, and this was genuinely one of his best performances of 2020 in a Juventus shirt.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10

CM Adrien Rabiot

With five tackles to lead the team, Adrien Rabiot put in some more dirty work for Juventus, though his attacking influence on the match was next to nothing. Pirlo needs to find a way to get more incisive passing from his midfielders, as Rabiot had no key passes and one dribble completed. Another thing with Rabiot: he has to cut down on his silly tackles, as he picked up another yellow card vs. Cagliari.

Rating: 6.0 out of 10

CM Arthur Melo

The better of the two center midfielders, Arthur Melo is one of the most composed players at the position in Serie A. He’s quietly proven to be a serious upgrade over Miralem Pjanic. Arthur led the team with 102 passes, completing 94 percent of them. He is a very intelligent player in the middle of the pitch and almost never makes a poor pass or decision. Don’t underrate him.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

RM Dejan Kulusevski

To be honest, I was very disappointed with Dejan Kulusevski, and he deserved to get chewed out by Danilo for a very selfish decision. Kulusevski needs to improve his passing and the way he connects with his teammates, since he takes too many poor shots and makes some ill-advised dribbles. That said, Kulusevsi works hard and is a good young player. He just needs to play smarter when he is a right midfielder and not a right winger.

Rating: 5.0 out of 10

FW Cristiano Ronaldo

The best player on the pitch, no doubt. Both of Cristiano Ronaldo’s goals were the result of sheer individual brilliance, as he scored the first by finding the gap in the defense when cutting inside and delivering an inch-perfect shot into the far corner. His second came on a corner kick in which he reacted well to put the ball in the back of the net with one touch, even though the ball was trailing behind him. You shudder to think where Juventus would be in the table without Ronaldo.

Rating: 9.0 out of 10

FW Alvaro Morata

Although Alvaro Morata has the hot hand – aside from Ronaldo, of course – with eight goal contributions this season, this wasn’t one of his better performances. He really does need to have better awareness of where his body is in relation to the defense, as his offside cost Bernardeschi a goal. Morata lost the ball far too easily, looked weak in his hold-up play, and did not carry any real goal threat to Cagliari.

Rating: 5.0 out of 10