Juventus flattered to deceive on Sunday evening as they edged past Spezia 1-0 at the Allianz Stadium.
The Bianconeri started the contest brilliantly and deservedly went ahead through Alvaro Morata in transition. They were utterly dominant in the opening 45 minutes as Spezia could barely lay a glove on them.
However, a free-spirited Juve evolved into a side seemingly overcome by fear in the second period. In typical Max Allegri fashion, he seemed intent on preserving the slender advantage as opposed to adding to it. As a result, Spezia grew into the contest and they had two great chances to equalise but were denied by the once anonymous Wojciech Szczesny.
Juve held out for all three points, but many will be concerned by the second-half display.
Here are our Juventus player ratings from the victory.
Goalkeeper & Defenders
Wojciech Szczesny (GK) – 6.5/10 – After coasting through the opening period, Spezia forced Szczesny into action after the restart as Juve’s number one made two pivotal saves to preserve his side’s slender lead.
Danilo (RB) – 6.5/10 – As reliable and versatile as ever.
Matthijs de Ligt (CB) – 6.5/10 – In the first half, De Ligt’s aggression and knack of dispossessing opponents from behind prevented the Spezia forwards from retaining possession and, thus, allowed Juve to sustain pressure. However, the Dutchman did have a couple of poor moments in the second half.
Daniele Rugani (CB) – 7/10 – On his return to action, Rugani kick-started the move that culminated in Morata’s winner and looked assured alongside De Ligt. There were little to fault defensively.
Luca Pellegrini (LB) – 5/10 – Pellegrini got forward well but was pretty loose in all phases. He was booked in the second half before rightly being brought off by Allegri.