Spezia 1-4 Juventus: Player Ratings as Cristiano Ronaldo Makes an Instant Impact on Return

Ronaldo bagged a brace on his return to action
Ronaldo bagged a brace on his return to action / Danilo Di Giovanni/Getty Images

Juventus' substitutes saved the day against Spezia after a late goalscoring flurry in a 4-1 win stopped the minnows from gaining an unlikely point against the champions on their 123rd birthday.

The narrative of this match was already set in stone from the moment that Cristiano Ronaldo was cleared to play, having tested negative for coronavirus after a mammoth 19-day wait, and he didn't leave it long to make his mark on the match.

With Juventus and Spezia deadlocked at 1-1 after Tommaso Pobega cancelled out Alvaro Morata's early goal, the evergreen Ronaldo latched on to a through ball from Morata and finished expertly.

With the game opened up, Juventus were free to blow their newly-promoted counterparts away - Adrien Rabiot came off the bench to bag a smart strike before Ronaldo pulled out a classic party trick of his, scoring a delightful panenka from the spot after Federico Chiesa was fouled in the box.

Here are the player ratings to digest after a routine, but occasionally chaotic, win for Juventus...

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Demiral justified his burgeoning reputation in this match
Demiral justified his burgeoning reputation in this match / Danilo Di Giovanni/Getty Images

Gianlugi Buffon (GK) - 6/10 - Didn't have an awful lot to do, although there were a couple of shaky moments coming off his line and distributing the ball.

Merih Demiral (CB) - 7/10 - Impressive for the most part against the lively M'Bala Nzola. A solid afternoon for the promising centre-back.

Leonardo Bonucci (CB) - 6/10 - Some nice passes and some scarier ones in what was an unremarkable afternoon for the veteran. Substituted for Gianluca Frabotta.

Danilo (CB) - 6/10 - Quite a lot of action went down the side of the former Manchester City man, whose positional sense and one v one ability was occasionally found lacking.

2. Midfielders

McKennie had an outstanding afternoon for Juventus
McKennie had an outstanding afternoon for Juventus / Danilo Di Giovanni/Getty Images

Juan Cuadrado (RWB) - 5/10 - Far from perfect in this game - played Spezia onside for Pobega's equaliser and almost had a hand in conceding a late goal after mistakenly choosing to let the ball run across the box.

Weston McKennie (CM) - 9/10 - An excellent game from a man who is beginning to grow into life at Juventus. Drew fouls, got to the byline, flexed a fantastic passing range and found Morata with an unselfish assist. His tricky movement deserved a goal but it wasn't to be as he was substituted for Aaron Ramsey.

Arthur (CM) - 6/10 - Played some nice passes as Juve initially pushed for a goal, but was guilty of disappearing a bit when Spezia got a foothold in the match.

Rodrigo Bentancur (CM) - 7/10 - The Uruguayan found Weston McKennie for the goal with an excellent through-ball and was dominant when Juve were on the front foot. Faded as the game went on and was substituted for Rabiot.

Federico Chiesa (LWB) - 8/10 - It initially looked as if a left wing-back role was slightly unfair on the Italian, but he found a way to influence the game as it opened up, playing a gorgeous pass to Rabiot to seal the win before winning a penalty with his direct running.

3. Forwards

A disappointing game for Dybala as rumours about his future continue
A disappointing game for Dybala as rumours about his future continue / Danilo Di Giovanni/Getty Images

Paolo Dybala (ST) - 6/10 - The quintessential Dybala game in many ways - for every ingenious touch or crafty flick there was a turnover or poor decision in transition. Beautifully inefficient.

Alvaro Morata (ST) - 9/10 - The Spaniard will have been having nightmares about offside flags after Juve's midweek loss to Barcelona, and it looked like more of the same after he had a goal ruled out early doors. It was, however, the catalyst for a sensational performance, with Morata playing like the exact number 9 that La Vecchia Signora need at the moment, bagging a simple goal and an instinctive assist for Ronaldo.

4. Substitutes

Why always him?
Why always him? / Danilo Di Giovanni/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo - 8/10 - Instant. Impact. Who the hell writes this man's scripts? Didn't really do much other than score a great goal and an outrageous penalty, but it was enough to hand Juventus the win.

Aaron Ramsey - 6/10

Adrien Rabiot - 7/10 - A lovely goal from the Timothee Chalamet lookalike to make sure of a win for Juventus, although he was guilty of being slightly sloppy in possession.

Dejan Kulusevski - N/A

Gianluca Frabotta - N/A