Matthijs de Ligt endures disappointing Serie A debut as Juventus edge Napoli

Sooraj Kamath - Writer 09:45 01/09/2019
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Matthijs de Ligt suffered a harsh welcome to life in Serie A after his lapses in concentration cost Juventus two goals in their thrilling 4-3 victory over Napoli.

With Giorgio Chiellini sidelined due to an ACL injury, the Dutchman is set to start every game alongside Leonardo Bonucci until the Italian returns to action.

The 20-year-old debuted in the high-voltage fixture and did not display the usual solidity he promised while at Ajax.

Here, we take a deeper look at his performance.


Minutes: 90

Passes (success rate): 46 (96%)

Goals conceded: 3

Aerials won: 1

Tackles: 1

Clearances: 5

Interceptions: 0

30-second summary

De Ligt was hardly tested in the first half and did well to prevent Napoli from creating any real chances. But a combination of nervousness and complacency in the second period converted what could have been a dream start for the Serie A champions into a nightmare.

The 20-year-old was solely responsible for errors that led to two quick Napoli goals in the space of two minutes and partly responsible for the third that arrived in the 81st minute.

He did not react well to the adversity that ensued after his first mistake and walked away with the largest chunk of the blame as Juve dropped their points of the new season.

Got wrong – Lapses in concentration

All goals scored by Napoli were products of lapses in the concentration of the Juventus defence and that of De Ligt in particular. The Dutchman allowed Kostas Manolas to run free and head home Mario Rui’s cross for the visitors’ first goal.

And, just two minutes later, the former Ajax man let Hirving Lozano through on goal after he failed to get anywhere close to intercepting Piotr Zielinski’s cut-back. Following the counter, he looked lost, allowed Lozano slip past him and ran aimlessly into no-man’s-land to watch the Mexican make short work of Wojciech Szczesny.


It would be harsh to point all fingers at De Ligt for a defensive debacle when the entire Juventus back-line was sub-par. This performance from De Ligt goes to show that Maurizio Sarri was right in resigning the former Ajax defender to the bench, despite his solid showings for his former club.

A disastrous performance from the youngster does not warrant a complete U-turn on the hype surrounding him. De Ligt needs time to settle into his new team and adapt to the new league, despite the high level of maturity he has shown already in recent years.

The team missed Chiellini against Napoli and this directly indicates that the Dutchman was very poor. Lapses in concentration are usually a product of nervousness and complacency and he needs to work on getting both over the coming weeks.

Rating: 4/10

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