Dejan Kulusevski shone brightly while youngsters Gianluca Frabotta and Nicolo Fagioli impressed as Juventus thrashed SPAL 4-0 in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals.
Despite Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo making a host of changes to the side that defeated Bologna in Serie A at the weekend, the Bianconeri managed to make light work of SPAL as Alvaro Morata opened the scoring for them in the 16th minute from the penalty spot after Adrien Rabiot had been tripped in the box by Francesco Vicari.
Seventeen minutes later, Juventus were 2-0 ahead at the Allianz Stadium courtesy a Gianluca Frabotta strike after some fine work by Dejan Kulusevski. SPAL showed some signs of a fight early in the second period, but not for long as Juventus were all over them and the third goal finally came in the 78th minute through a composed finish from Kulusevski.
Deep into stoppage time, substitute Federico Chiesa heaped more misery on the Serie B outfit, making it 4-0 to set up a mouth-watering semi-final contest against Inter Milan. And, here’s how we rated the performances of Andrea Pirlo’s men on the night.
Gianluigi Buffon: 6/10
Hardly called into action all night long. Apart from a speculative effort from 25 yards out that he stopped comfortably, Buffon was not forced into any saves by SPAL. One of the easiest clean sheets he will have kept in his career.
Radu Dragusin: 6.5/10
The youngster was given another opportunity in the cup tie and he made a solid impression once again. Did not have any problems switching between roles at right-back and centre-back, showing his versatility and was assured in both positions. Aided build-up play from the back. Promising signs.
Merih Demiral: 6/10
Apart from a poor moment in the first period when his mistake allowed Sergio Floccari to run at the goal, the Turkish centre-half enjoyed a rather solid outing. Showed good positioning, but at times came out a bit reckless in his challenges.
Matthijs de Ligt: 6.5/10
A comfortable return to the starting XI for the Dutchman as SPAL hardly carried any sort of threat on the night. Stayed alert to clear off crosses that the visitors hit, winning both his aerial duels while misplacing just ten of his 76 attempted passes.
Gianluca Frabotta: 7.5/10
A first Juventus goal for 21-year-old left-back Gianluca Frabotta ?
Look at that face ? pic.twitter.com/1trkFBl10d
— Goal (@goal) January 27, 2021
One of his finest displays for Juventus as the youngster posed a serious threat on the overlap on the left flank. Made three key passes and came close to scoring early in the game before finding the back of the net with a well-hit strike to make it 2-0. Not tested a whole lot defensively before he made way for the returning Alex Sandro. Will be a huge boost for his confidence.
Federico Bernardeschi: 5/10
One Juventus player who underwhelmed against the lower league opponent. Did not do much of note in the first period before picking up a knee injury which meant he was taken off at half-time by Pirlo.
Adrien Rabiot: 7.5/10
Needed a strong performance considering that he has fallen behind the likes of Arthur, Rodrigo Bentancur and Weston McKennie in the pecking order. And delivered on the night, winning the penalty in the first period from which Morata opened the scoring.
Used the ball well, misplacing just five passes and worked hard off it as well, winning six of his eight ground duels and four in the air. Finished the game with one key pass, two dribbles completed, one interception and three tackles.
Nicolo Fagioli: 7/10
?? Nicolò Fagioli’s (19) @juventusfc debut vs. SPAL:
☑️ 87 minutes
? 2 key passes
⚔️ 4 duels won
? 1/1 dribbles won
✈️ 1 aerial won
↪️ 3 crosses
? 61 touches
? 4-0 win
Nothing earth-shattering but one of Juve’s top prospects earns his first minutes. ? pic.twitter.com/7fv9r3Bfgq
— Football Wonderkids (@fbwonderkids) January 27, 2021
Making his first-team debut for Juventus on the night, the 19-year-old midfielder showed positive signs. Moved the ball well, took up some good positions and did his bit when not in possession. Played two key passes and won four duels before making way for Weston McKennie.
Aaron Ramsey: 6.5/10
Created a chance for Morata early in the game before hitting the side-netting from a decent position. Tried to make things happen with his movement as he made five key passes in the game and did force a save from Etrit Berisha in the second half. Not quite at his best, but still an encouraging display.
Dejan Kulusevski: 8/10
Beat Luca Ranieri all ends up before showing great composure to set Frabotta up for the second goal of the night. Continued to pose a threat all night before getting the goal his performance deserved late in the second half after having been denied by Berisha soon after the restart. Had four shots on target, made one key pass and completed two dribbles.
Kulusevski, Sancho, and Foden are the only 3️⃣ midfielders in Europe’s Top 5 leagues born after 1/1/2000 to have 15+ goals (all comps) in the last two seasons ?⭐️
? stat via Opta pic.twitter.com/7wVrMNAXLj
— Italian Football TV (@IFTVofficial) January 27, 2021
Alvaro Morata: 7/10
Needed to step up in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo and the Spaniard did just that, scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot to put Juventus ahead soon after he was denied by Berisha early in the game. Showed some bright link-up play with Frabotta in the left side channel before making way for Chiesa soon after the hour-mark.
Alessandro Di Pardo: 6/10
Half-time substitute for the injured Bernardeschi. Solid on his first-team debut, the 21-year-old kept it simple, misplacing just one pass and made a couple of interceptions as well.
Federico Chiesa: 7.5/10
Sent on in place of Morata in the 67th minute. In full flow after coming on as he set Kulusevski for the third goal before coming close to scoring himself. Did manage to find the back of the net deep in stoppage time to make it 4-0. Booked.
Alex Sandro: 6/10
Made his first appearance after recovering from Covid-19, replacing Frabotta in the 67th minute. Solid on his return, the Brazilian made two tackles and made a clearance.
Cosimo Da Graca: N/A
Came on for Demiral with less than ten minutes left. Drew a save from Etrit Berisha before assisting Chiesa for the fourth goal.
Weston McKennie: N/A
Replaced Fagioli in the 87th minute.