Juventus managed to win the first Derby D’Italia this season as they overcame the tough challenge of Inter and leapfrogged them to the top of the Serie A.
I Bianconeri got off to a fine start when Paulo Dybala opened the scoring in the fourth minute, although they were pegged back when Lautaro Martinez converted from the penalty spot following a Matthijs De Ligt handball.
However, Maurizio Sarri’s side managed to take all three points from the encounter ahead of the upcoming international break when Gonzalo Higuain kept his cool and slotted the ball past Samir Handanovic in the Inter goal, as they took sole control of Serie A (Sky Sports).
Whilst a number of players could have earned justified plaudits for their performance on Sunday evening – the likes of Dybala and Miralem Pjanic are just two individuals that come to mind – there could also be a case for De Ligt to receive some praise.
Admittedly, it was not his best game and his handball was a rather avoidable error, but the Netherlands international had a better game than some gave him credit for; something Juve FC appeared to suggest as well.
Although they only gave him a rating of 6.5/10, they wrote: “Seems harsh to give him a lower score, but he caused the penalty and should have done better. That said, in the second half, he stepped it up a notch, with three clearances and two interceptions. Still needs to work on his focus but it’s another game and another chance to learn for the youngster.”
Indeed, the penalty was certainly a blotch on his match card, but the 20-year-old still managed to make a significant contribution to Sarri’s side throughout the game.
According to data collected by WhoScored, the £67.5m-rated enforcer (as per TransferMarkt) managed to make two tackles, two interceptions and three clearances, and blocked two shots on goal from Inter’s attackers.
The youngster also appeared to try and make things happen whilst in possession of the ball, as he made a total of 35 passes, completing 88.6% of them, with one resulting in a key pass for his team-mates (WhoScored).
Those defensive stats were amongst the best with his team-mates, and whilst there is a suggestion that the former Ajax defender has had a difficult start to life in Italy, De Ligt has been showing that he is improving with each game and getting better with every 90 minutes that pass.
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