Blaise Matuidi, Juan Cuadrado lead from the midfield for Juventus
Defeating Fiorentina 1-0 on Wednesday, Juventus stand alongside Napoli as the only sides to have maintained a 100 percent record after five Serie A rounds.
Thus far this season, Juventus have proved efficient offensively and deficient defensively. However, against Fiorentina, neither Paulo Dybala nor Gonzalo Higuain made an impact, while the defence avoided any disasters and maintained a clean sheet.
With Juan Cuadrado finally playing to his potential, Rodrigo Bentancur showing off his quality and Kwadwo Asamoah making it hard to ever forget him, the Bianconeri proved they don't rely on any one player for the victory. They have enough in the squad to keep earning their three points.
The fact Juventus beat Fiorentina 1-0 with two new midfielders in the centre of the field is a great sign. Blaise Matuidi has integrated himself into the team perfectly, while Bentancur looks to be a star in the making. The youngster's elegant touch and contribution to both phases of the game have ensured success despite the many injuries and absences.
Higuain's performance is worrying and he doesn't look to be in the best physical condition. The player is short of confidence, missing his cues and struggling to strike a clean effort. Looking completely unhappy and frustrated by his own errors, Higuain has to believe in his ability to overcome this bad moment and continue to work hard.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- Despite the many injuries and absences and a completely new midfield, Massimiliano Allegri's side continue to prove to be a hard nut to crack. Defensively they held up well, while they created several chances even if the side proved inefficient on the night.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Wojciech Szczesny, 6 -- Confident and alert, he anticipated the opponent well and restored calm at the back.
DF Stefano Sturaro, 5 -- He's forced to play out of position and thus is lacking polish. Offered a healthy dose of energy and used his physicality to good effect.
DF Daniele Rugani, 5 -- His error cost Andrea Barzagli a yellow card, but he settled in. Still doesn't look confident at the back.
DF Andrea Barzagli, 6 -- An authoritative performance from the defender who knows exactly how to use his experience to ensure safety.
DF Kwadwo Asamoah, 6 -- A very good performance from the player who proved reliable on the ball and off it. Didn't penetrate as well as he can, but excellent at recovering possession and reading danger.
MF Rodrigo Bentancur, 7 -- It took time for him to settle in, but the player was majestic in the second half. Won his duels, recovered possession, constructed play and proved elegant on the ball. A fine touch.
MF Blaise Matuidi, 7 -- Anywhere and everywhere, Matuidi is proving to be a force in midfield. His splendid running got Milan Badelj sent off, while his pressing and exploitation of space is valuable.
MF Juan Cuadrado, 8 -- Excellent on the night. Finally playing a game worthy of his skills, Cuadrado crossed to perfection, read the action well, delivered beautiful passes and crosses and ran himself to the ground for the team. Sensational.
MF Paulo Dybala, 5 -- By his own standards, this wasn't the very best performance this season. Tried to force the issue at times and was well thwarted by the defence.
MF Mario Mandzukic, 7 -- A great goal and excellent runs from the player who worked well with Cuadrado and proved he still has a striker's instinct. Made himself known in all areas of the pitch.
FW Gonzalo Higuain, 5 -- Another torrid night for the player who missed his cues, struggled with his shooting and mistimed his runs, but he did contribute to Mandzukic's goal.
MF Miralem Pjanic, N/A -- Recorded 16 touches of the ball yet produced two shots and ensured control until the final whistle.
MF Federico Bernardeschi, N/A -- Got himself out of tricky situations well with his ability on the ball, but not granted enough time to make an impact.
DF Stephan Lichtsteiner, N/A -- Only on for a few minutes.
Mina Rzouki covers Juventus and the Italian national team for ESPN FC. Follow her on Twitter: @Minarzouki.