More of this, Mattia!
“Encore, Mattia!” — this was the general feeling around the Allianz Stadium after Juventus broke the deadlock from an unprecedented move. In our pre-match piece, we were vocal about Mattia De Sciglio’s stubbornness as a defender and critical of his ineptitude as an offensive full-back. Well, the player proved us wrong with that one delivery.
Alex Sandro, who had been with Brazil for his international duties before returning to Juventus late, was dropped by Allegri. In his place, De Sciglio, as previously anticipated, started the high-octane fixture against AS Roma.
From the showing of the first few minutes, it was noticeable that the former AC Milan prodigy was brimming with confidence. He seemed prepared to make his mark both offensively and defensively.
In the 15th minute of the game, De Sciglio found himself in some free space on the left flank. A delivery into the box with the instep of his right boot was all that was needed to find Rodrigo Bentancur at the far post.
The Uruguayan headed the ball onto Kean’s head and it, taking a wicked deflection, went past Rui Patricio to give Juventus the lead. Had Alex Sandro been playing in Mattia’s place, we would not have seen that inswinging cross in the box. And perhaps like us, Roma flankers would not have anticipated the chance of a pin-point Mattia De Sciglio cross, giving him acres of space to deliver the ball into the dangerous position.
After pocketing the assist, De Sciglio was active in both halves throughout the game, with stats from Whoscored.com showing that the full-back completed three key passes, two clearances, and four tackles in what was a gigantic defensive effort from Juventus to keep Roma away from Szczesny’s goal.