Medhi Benatia excels at the back for Juventus, Juan Cuadrado stumbles
Drawing 0-0 at home to Barcelona on Wednesday, Juventus have yet to qualify to the next round of the Champions League and have left it all to do in Greece, where they face Olympiakos next.
In a tactical match void of any real entertainment, both sides chose to play it safe and provided little by way of decisive attacking threats. With Barcelona leaving Lionel Messi out for the first 55 minutes, Juventus were expected to show the courage to try and win the game to secure qualification, but they could muster only predictable attacking moves before eventually succumbing to a cautious game.
The clean sheet. Gianluigi Buffon wasn't even forced to make a save, with Barcelona managing only to hit the post.
Quite a few. For one thing, Juve have to speed up in the transitions to stop the opponent from having the time to recover their defensive shape. The side's attacking play has become so predictable, especially with neither Juan Cuadrado nor Alex Sandro producing the quality in the wide areas.
Manager rating out of 10
6 -- Juve is still not firing from all cylinders, but at least it's been made clear that they can still defend when the team remains compact and focused throughout the match. However, the side is still too predictable and slow in moving the ball. Once Max Allegri has a little more time to train, he may find the necessary solutions.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Gianluigi Buffon, 6 -- Wasn't asked to produce any saves as Barcelona had only one shot on goal.
DF Andrea Barzagli, 6 -- Alert, experienced and rarely troubled, Barzagli produced the goods.
DF Medhi Benatia, 7 -- Clearance after clearance, interception after interception, this was an excellent performance by the defender who hindered Barca's attack. He anticipated nearly everything and reacted cleverly. He must now play like this at all times.
DF Daniele Rugani, 6 -- Chiellini was injured but Rugani did well in his role and even rescued the side on one occasion. Played with a little more authority, remaining concentrated throughout the match.
DF Alex Sandro, 5 -- Where is the real Alex Sandro? He offered little in attack and suffered against Nelson Semedo. A shadow of the player he once was.
MF Miralem Pjanic, 5 -- Not the performance that is usually expected from the midfielder. Failed to dictate, inspire or provide the mettle required in the centre of the pitch. Was guilty of too many mistakes.
MF Sami Khedira, 5 -- Second match in a row where Khedira has disappointed. He lost his duels, gave possession away cheaply and misjudged plays.
MF Juan Cuadrado, 4 -- His poor judgment was on show again when he headed the ball back to Buffon, creating a chance for Andres Iniesta. Thereafter, he committed mistake after mistake. One good performance has been followed up by too many heinous ones.
MF Paulo Dybala, 6 -- He lacked consistency in the game but showed signs of magic in his dribbles and his work off the ball. Created some inspiration and nearly scored the winner in stoppage time but was denied by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
MF Douglas Costa, 5 -- All we ever get are flashes of brilliance from the Brazilian, nothing that lasts the full game. He dribbled and briefly tried to create, but much more is required at this level.
FW Gonzalo Higuain, 6 -- Well shackled by the Barcelona defence. But the team simply didn't provide him with the service required to score goals.
MF Rodrigo Bentancur, 6 -- Came on to provide some inspiration but not enough to affect the match.
MF Claudio Marchisio, 6 -- Always knows what to provide for the team and ensured protection.
MF Blaise Matuidi, N/A -- Not enough time afforded to him.
Mina Rzouki covers Juventus and the Italian national team for ESPN FC. Follow her on Twitter: @Minarzouki.