Alex Sandro nets 7/10 for Juventus after Gonzalo Higuain injury
Alex Sandro scored the only goal of the game in the Derby della Mole as Juventus defeated Torino 1-0 to earn all three points.
While Torino started well, looking to profit from any Juve mistakes, they soon faded. Juventus lost Gonzalo Higuain to injury early in the game and were forced to play without a reference point but soon took control of the game. Their character and ability to control when not pressed and harried allowed them to take the advantage.
Predictable, slow and void of intensity, Torino looked for crumbs and only really elevated their level of the game at the end, but pitted against the Old Lady's winning demeanour, they lost another derby.
Sandro interpreted his new role very well and proved to be one of the best players on the pitch. His performance offers Massimiliano Allegri another solution should the squad suffer more injuries going forward.
The injuries are worrying as Juventus cannot afford to lose Higuain for long considering Paulo Dybala is only just coming back from injury while Federico Bernardeschi may well be out for a while. Considering his good performances today and in recent weeks, his absence will be keenly felt should he miss extended time.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- Forced to deal with several injuries, Allegri had to reshuffle the pack when he lost even more players during the game yet his side continue to win, relying on their experience, strength in character and tactical understanding to exert control and collect points.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK, Wojciech Szczesny 6 -- Called upon only twice in which he responded with care and concentration, otherwise allowed to relax.
DF Mattia De Sciglio, 6 -- Prioritised his defensive work and worked hard to ensure safety at the back. Not much of a presence going forward but rather accurate with his distribution of the ball and with his tackles.
DF Daniele Rugani, 6 -- Again, question marks surrounding the player's ability to play with composure but made some important clearances and halted Andrea Belotti.
DF Giorgio Chiellini, 6 -- As always, Chiellini produced another intense and experienced performance at the back to ensure safety, intimidating the opponent.
DF Kwadwo Asamoah, 6 -- Combined very well with Sandro ahead of him and showed a lot more courage as he pushed forward. Came close to scoring a goal.
MF Sami Khedira, 6 -- Worked hard, ensured support when Juve were out of possession and made vital runs. Most importantly, he was one of the most precise and accurate on the ball.
MF Miralem Pjanic, 7 -- What he was able to provide Juve was the difference between the two sides. His ability to create, to overcome the opponent with technique and to still work and sacrifice for the side by recovering possession is vital for the balance of the team.
MF Stefano Sturaro, 6 -- Compliments to the player who understood his role and provided the defensive assistance required. Off the ball, he was close to perfect, double marking and disrupting Torino's play.
FW Douglas Costa, 6 -- Forced to play as a false No. 9 when Higuain was injured, the player worked hard for the team. Almost impossible to control considering his skill set but he is not as decisive in his play as his teammates were and he must concentrate on improving that.
FW Gonzalo Higuain, NR -- Torino focused all the energy on blocking him, but the striker was sadly injured very early in the game and taken off.
FW Alex Sandro, 7-- Played in a less-than-familiar role, Sandro adapted very well. Making the right runs, spreading play, helping out defensively and scoring the goal. The player's ability to actually create danger and produce decisive action ought to make Allegri think of deploying him in that position again.
FW Federico Bernardeschi, 7 -- Barring Sandro, the best player on the field. Despite battling an injury, the player came on and created danger, showed off his vision to pick out clever passes and worked hard to deliver the assist that resulted in the goal. His injury is a huge disappointment.
FW Paulo Dybala, 6 -- Came off the bench and immediately created problems for Torino, reading the game well. But he is yet to recover his prior condition so couldn't make the most of his chances or attack with genuine precision.
DF Stephan Lichtsteiner, N/A -- Came on only at the very end.
Mina Rzouki covers Juventus and the Italian national team for ESPN FC. Follow her on Twitter: @Minarzouki.