Italians in Serie A: Leonardo Bonucci stands out on matchday 13The Juventus centre-back is the standout Italian performer in the last round of Serie A according to the Opta Index
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
Solid, ice-cold, decisive. The best Italian on Serie A matchday 13, according to Opta data, couldn’t be anyone other than Leonardo Bonucci. Against Maurizio Sarri’s Lazio, as well as scoring a brace from the penalty spot that handed the victory to Juventus, he became the most prolific defender of the last decade. It was a dazzling display from the Bianconeri’s stalwart, who twice stepped up to the penalty spot and twice stuck it past Pepe Reina to hand the Old Lady their sixth league win of the season.
This was the first time a defender had scored two penalties in the same Serie A match since Maurizio Domizzi for Napoli in 2007. This brace took him to 27 league goals, more than any other Serie A centre-back since the start of the last decade. These are numbers only very few players can achieve, which are bolstered by a driven character that has seen him become a leader for a group often on the hunt for a point of reference.
Against Lazio, Leonardo Bonucci deployed all his vast array of qualities. He was omnipresent in his team’s efforts going forward - and even went close to scoring from open play just after the break - and was flawless at the back. He was precise in the build-up (completing 93.2% of his passes) and, most importantly, was ice-cold from the penalty spot. It would be impossible not to award him for his performance at the Olimpico and also we have to mention that he become the only defender in Europe’s Top-5 leagues to have scored at least two goals in each of the last nine seasons. In summation, he is deserving of the crown of the MVP on matchday 19 and maybe even more.
His stats from the game against Lazio:
90 minutes played
55 passes completed
93.2% pass accuracy