Serie A

Serie A Top Five, Round 16: Ronaldo double, and goalkeeper greatness

The Portuguese superstar scored two for Juventus as they defeated Udinese.

 
9:00am on Tuesday 17th December 2019
By
Martin Macdonald
Gianluca Pegolo
GK - Sassuolo - 38 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
9.5
Dec 15, 2019

Milan were left frustrated to a 0-0 draw at home to Sassuolo at the weekend, largely due to the performance of Gianluca Pegolo, who was superb in goal for the visitors, making eight saves, six ball recoveries, and three clearances. For the most part, you would expect him to make the saves which he did, but did pull off a magnificent double stop in the second half to deny Hakan Calhanoglu and the subsequent follow-up from Giacomo Bonaventura.

Cristiano Ronaldo
F (C), W (L) - Juventus - 34 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
9.2
Dec 15, 2019

Juventus bounced back from their surprising defeat to Lazio last weekend with a comfortable victory at home to Udinese, with Cristiano Ronaldo back to his lethal best with two goals within the first half. His first was slightly unconventional as he latches on to a loose ball inside the box to poke a strong finish into the bottom corner while slightly off-balance. There was nothing rare about his second finish, though, as he darts in behind the Udinese defence at pace following the pass from Gonzalo Higuain to whip a perfect left-footed finish into the left corner. He sent 26 passes into the final third, and misplaced just five passes.

Cristian Ansaldi
M, DM (L) - Torino - 33 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
8.6
Dec 15, 2019

For the second week in a row, Cristian Ansaldi makes our top five after another superb outing for Torino. This time, he scored two and was unlucky not to be on a winning side as the Turin club drew 3-3 with Verona. After initially having a cracking strike ruled out due to VAR, he eventually found the back of the net twice - first with a lashed finish into the roof of the net from near the line and then a bouncing half-volley into the bottom left corner following a cleared corner-kick.

Gianluigi Donnarumma
GK - Milan - 20 yrs
90'
8.5
Dec 15, 2019

Back to goalkeepers now, and while Pegolo kept Sassuolo in the game against with Milan with eight saves, Gianluigi Donnarumma was forced into action with six saves for the Rossoneri in order to keep their share of the points, too. His best came in the second half when, after a counter from the visitors, he was forced to stretch out his arms to emphatically beat away a fizzing long-range strike from Hamed Traore.

Merih Demiral
D (CR) - Juventus - 21 yrs
90'
8.3
Dec 15, 2019

Merih Demiral recorded an assist for Leonardo Bonucci for Juventus' third goal against Udinese, but it was his performance at the back which left the biggest impression. He won 7/8 duels, 5/6 aerial duels, and made four ball recoveries, two interceptions, and seven clearance as Juve minimised the amount of Udinese chances. Playing out of defence, he completed an impressive 87/92 attempted passes, too.

HONOURABLE MENTION

Leonardo Bonucci (8.2) scored the clinching third goal for Juventus in the victory at the Allianz Stadium, but was typically solid in defence, too, even if the hosts did concede once.

ROUND TO FORGET

Paolo Ghiglione (4.6) had a torrid time as Genoa lost the Derby della Lanterna to Sampdoria at the weekend, making the mistake which led to the only goal of the game as well as losing possession a whopping 31 times.

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