Juventus fell to a humiliating 1-0 defeat at home to Benevento on Sunday afternoon, putting a major dent in the Old Lady’s title hopes.
I Bianconeri had the better chances in the first half and thought they’d been awarded a penalty just after the half-hour mark when the referee adjudged Daam Foulon to have handled in the box. The official overturned his decision after jogging to the VAR monitor, realising that the defender had guided the ball out of play with his chest.
Cristiano Ronaldo then had a nice first-time finish ruled out for offside and Alvaro Morata blazed a great chance over the crossbar from eight yards out.
Juve struggled to create any sort of opportunities in the second half and were punished in shocking fashion on 69 minutes when Arthur Melo’s sloppy pass across his own box was intercepted and Adolfo Gaich superbly held off Danilo and fired beyond Wojciech Szczesny
I Bianconeri felt they should have been awarded a penalty immediately after as Federico Chiesa was felled by Foulon, but the referee allowed play to continue and Benevento survived. Juve missed several more chances, with Ronaldo firing an overhead kick wide of the mark, and the Sorcerers held on to spring the shock result of the season on the defending champions.
Right, let’s get on with the player ratings.
Wojciech Szczesny (GK) – 5/10 – Very little to do in the first half, but answered any questions that were posed to him. Left exposed for the opener, but may have been a touch out of position to stop the shot.
Danilo (RB) – 5/10 – Didn’t offer that same energy or attacking threat as Juan Cuadrado, and played a much more reserved role. Looked terrified to put a challenge in on Gaich, and allowed the forward to waltz onto the ball and tuck it away. Skied a great late chance from a Ronaldo strike.
Matthijs de Ligt (CB) – 7/10 – Stung Montipo’s palms with a strong header which almost turned into an assist for Morata. Defended well throughout the game.
Leonardo Bonucci (CB) – 5/10 – A little bit all over the place at times. Somehow couldn’t live with Gianluca Lapadula’s movement. Another below par performance.
Federico Bernardeschi (LB) – 5/10 – Benevento found a lot of joy down Bernardeschi’s flank, as he was slow to close down and stop crosses. Picked up an early booking which put him under pressure for the rest of the game. Lost possession so many times.
Dejan Kulusevski (RM) – 6/10 – Dinked a beautiful pass into the path of Ronaldo, but the Portuguese forward was offside when receiving the ball. Other than that, he couldn’t find his teammates and ran into several blind allies.
Arthur Melo (CM) – 4/10 – Wafted a simply dire pass across his own box to no one in particular, handing Benevento their winning goal. So costly. Not what you’d expect from a former Barcelona man.
Adrien Rabiot (CM) – 5/10 – Answers on a postcard what Rabiot actually does for 90 minutes, other than join the action half a second behind everyone else and mope a bit. Mamma mia.
Federico Chiesa (LM) – 6/10 – Produced a disappointing first half, unable to beat his man or deliver the final ball. A far cry from his recent heroics. Probably should have been handed a penalty when fouled by Foulon. Not to be.
Alvaro Morata (ST) – 5/10 – Did well to dodge a couple of tackles and get a shot away at goal, but couldn’t beat Montipo. Should have done better when the ball dropped eight yards out. Not much else to shout about.
Cristiano Ronaldo (ST) – 5/10 – Hit the net just before half-time, but was stood offside. Struck one from distance, but couldn’t beat the keeper. Continued taking free-kicks and smashing the wall. Not cupping his ears on this occasion.
Weston McKennie (CM) – 5/10
Rodrigo Bentancur (CM) – 6/10