Atletico Madrid won the friendly played at the JTC. The main damage was done by a player who knows the Training Centre inside-out, Alvaro Morata, who struck a hat-trick.
TWO DOWN AT THE BREAK
The match started with a shot in the opening minutes from outside the penalty area from Manuel Locatelli, but it was Atletico that took the early advantage. On 10 minutes a cut-back from Joao Felix picked out Alvaro Morata, who placed the ball past Wojciech Szczesny as the keeper tried to close down the angle.
The Bianconeri responded with a free-kick from Angel Di Maria two minutes later the clipped the wall. Atletico came close to a second goal just after the quarter of an hour with Koke's acrobatic effort from the edge of the box. Tek's save was equally as spectacular.
Juve constantly sought to create space especially through Di Maria and Dusan Vlahovic working in tandem, but Atletico's defence was well-organized and kept the Bianconeri attack at a safe distance.
At the other end of the pitch, it was a different story, with Szczesny once again called into action. A handball by Alex Sandro resulted in a penalty, which was taken by Joao Felix. His 40th minute spot kick was struck low and firm into the corner but the Juve number 1 at full stretch kept the effort out.
Tek however was powerless a few minutes later when Morata received possession inside the area, evaded Bremer's challenge before dispatching the ball into the net for the second time. The last action of the first half left Juve trailing by two.
RINGING THE CHANGES AT THE RESTART
As has been habit this pre-season, Juventus started making changes to the line-up immediately for the kick-off of the second half, but it was one of the player's that had played the entire match so far that came close to reducing the arrears when Matias Soulé stung the gloves of Ivo Grbic in the Atletico goal.
With just over an hour on the clock, Morata struck his and his team's third when he deflected Thomas Lemar's free-kick beyond Mattia Perin.
In stoppage time Matheus Cunha added a fourth for Atletico.
JUVENTUS 4-0 ATLETICO MADRID:
Scorers: 10’, 43’, 52' Morata, 90'+1 Cunha.
Juventus: Szczesny (46’ Perin), Danilo (68’ Rugani), Bonucci (46’ Gatti), Bremer, Alex Sandro (46’ De Sciglio); Zakaria (46’ Rabiot, 68’ Barbieri), Locatelli, Fagioli (46’ Miretti); Di Maria (70’ Rovella), Vlahovic, Soulé.
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Cudrig, Da Graca.
Atletico Madrid: Grbic; Savic (68’ Kondogbia), Witsel, Reinildo (73’ Hermoso); Molina (68’ Wass), Llorente (73’ Cunha), Koke (48’ Ojeda), Lemar (68’ Correa), Saul (68’ Lodi); Morata (68’ Carrasco), Joao Felix (68’ Griezmann).
Subs not used: Gomis, Martin.
Capturing the meaning of this day at Villar Perosa is the outpouring of passion from the Juventus fans present. An event that only we have, a moment to charge the batteries with positive vibes, after those from the US Tour, before the last summer trip, in Tel Aviv against Atletico Madrid and, above all, before season 22/23 official starts.
The match used to be called 'Juventus A vs Juventus B' - today it is First Team against Under 23, for a proper friendly, which, as always, lasts a little more than one half.
Given the atmosphere and the setting, the rhythm should be relaxed and appropriate for a "friendly", but far from it. Massimiliano Allegri's team immediately pressed down on the accelerator, and in a quarter of an hour scored twice. The first arrived after not even 120 seconds, with Manuel Locatelli placing his shot into the left-hand bottom corner. The second came on 17 minutes when Leonardo Bonucci met a cross from a Angel Di Maria corner from the left, taking advantage of Dusan Vlahovic's block in the middle of the area to bullet an unstoppable header into the net.
Over the whole of the first half the First Team took the initiative and looked for opportunities - Vlahovic was particularly active, coming close more than once inside the area. The Under 23 set out to hold back their opponents, especially across the defensive line, a tactic that brought the first half to a close with the First Team two goals to the good.
SHORT LIVED RESTART
Only a few seconds after the restart, Nicolò Rovella came close to making it 3-0. The first action of the second period proved to be the last as a few minutes later a certain Villar tradition was hard to break - the peaceful and affectionate pitch invasion, which brought about the final whistle ahead of schedule.
JUVENTUS 2-0 JUVENTUS U23:
Scorers: 2’ Locatelli, 16’ Bonucci.
Juventus: Szczesny (30’ Perin); Danilo (46’ Barbieri), Bonucci (35’ Gatti), Bremer (46’ Rugani), Alex Sandro (43’ Pellegrini); Zakaria (43’ Rovella), Locatelli (46’ Zuelli), Fagioli (35’ Soulé); Di Maria (46’ Cudrig), Vlahovic, Kean (46’ Rabiot).
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Da Graca, Barbieri.
Juventus U23: Garofani (46’ Raina), Leo (46’ Cotter), Riccio (14’ Stramaccioni), Poli (46’ Nzouango), Verduci (46’ Gozzi); Sersanti (46’ Iling Junior), Barrenechea (46’ Rafia), Iocolano (46’ Mulazzi); Sekulov, Pecorino (46’ Bonetti), Lipari.
Subs not used: Turicchia.
The Bianconeri return to Turin with some valuable experience under the belts ahead of the start of the new season after a win, a draw and a defeat on the US Tour after defeat this evening to Real Madrid in front of 92 thousand spectators at the Rose Bowl.
JUVE COME CLOSE, REAL ON TARGET
Juve suffered an early fright in Pasadena when after only a minute Benzema had the ball in the net, but the striker was adjudged to have been offside.
Juventus rolled up their sleeves and took the game to Real, confirming the approach seen so far on this tour - proactive football, favouring technique and quickly breaking from defence, which allows Di Maria to unleash his pace and exploit his vision.
And the results were seen in the twelfth minute when Bonucci hit the crossbar with a free kick. A minute later Vlahovic had a chance in the box but failed to beat Courtois in the Madrid goal.
On 19 ', however, the situation was reversed. Vinicius accelerated and headed into the area where he was upended by Danilo. The resulting penalty was converted by Benzema.
Juve responded and in the 27th minute came close in the Blancos area, when Di Maria tried to take advantage of a misplaced pass for Militao.
The match was not played at an intense pace and chances were few and far between. Each side had an opportunity though before the interval. For Real, Vinicius' effort hit the outside of the net, while at the other end an excellent pass from Fagioli found Vlahovic, who won a corner. As the players jostled for position, Bonucci just missed out on making contact from the cross.
REAL DOUBLE THEIR LEAD
Juve started the second half strongly with Kean sowing panic in the Madrid area but without producing a testing conclusion. Then after 10 minutes, Madrid came to the fore and Mendy stung Perin's gloves with an effort from the left.
Mattia emerged as one of the key players in a second half that saw Real link up well through the middle of the park despite the whirlwind of substitutions from both sides - the Bianconeri swapped almost every player, exactly as they had done in the previous two US Tour matches.
After saving from Mendy, the Juventus goalkeeper denied Carvajal in the 58th minute and Benzema in the 62nd minute.
Six minutes later, however, there was no holding back the Spaniards. Vallejo delivered a cross for Asensio, who finished from close range.
After the second goal from Real, Juve maintained their concentration in the final 20 minutes but with all the movement from the bench failed the threaten the opposition goal.
So, the game and the tour drew to a close. The US was as amazing as always but now back to Turin.
The next appointment is set for Villar Perosa on Thursday 4th August.
REAL MADRID 2–0 JUVENTUS:
Scorers: 19’ Benzema (pen), 68’ Asensio.
Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal (63’ Nacho), Alaba, Militao (46’ Rudiger), Mendy (64’ Lucas Vazquez); Modric (63’ Tchouameni), Casemiro (63’ Camavinga), Kroos (63’ Ceballos); Valverde (63’ Asensio), Benzema, Vinicius (63’ Hazard).
Subs not used: Lunin, Luis Lopez, Canizares, Vallejo, Borja Mayoral, Odriozola, Rodrygo, Mariano, Tobias, Latasa.
Juventus: Perin (70’ Pinsoglio), Danilo (76’ Da Graca), Bonucci (63’ Gatti), Bremer (70’ Rugani), Alex Sandro (70’ Pellegrini); Zakaria, Locatelli (76’ Cudrig), Fagioli (18’ st Rovella); Di Maria (46’ Cuadrado), Vlahovic (63’ Aké, 75’ Soulé), Kean (76’ Barbieri).
Subs not used: Garofani.
Booking: 81’ Asensio (R).
The intense heat did not prevent Barcelona and Juve from putting on a spectacular display in Dallas. Four goals shared equally in the end, leaving the Bianconeri with more than one reason to smile before returning to basecamp in L.A..
BARCA EDGE IN FRONT
Barcelona set off in determined fashion. In the first few minutes, Juve had to remain solid and compact, leaving little space to Barça's intricate play. Attempts from Dembélé from inside the area, then from Lewandowski and Aubameyang from outside the box all finished off target.
Juve responded through the sparkle of Angel Di Maria, who attempted the impossible from a tight angle before shooting from distance two minutes later. Ter Stegen was equal to both efforts.
On 16 minutes, Juve came close. Di Maria accelerated forward and opened up play for Cuadrado down the left. After a give-and-go, El Fideo just failed to make contact with the return pass.
Juve grew in stature as the first half progressed and did more than simply halt Barcelona's match plan. With around half an hour on the clock, Allegri's team created yet another chance when Zakaria worked a good ball towards Di Maria on the right. His low cross was touched away before Kean could arrive.
The opening goal arrived in the 34th minute, immediately after the cooling break. Dembélé set off on a solo run on the right and unleashed a shot beyond Szczesny.
JUVE RESPOND THROUGH KEAN DOUBLE
It took Juve five minutes to reply. Zakaria found Cuadrado, whose low cross was a perfect invitation for Kean. The match didn't stay level for long, however, as Dembélé set off on another solo run, with the same outcome as his previous attempt. 2-1 for Barça at the break.
Juve came out for the restart determined to cancel the deficit. Five minutes into the second half Zakaria's through ball found Locatelli inside the area. His lay-off for Kean allowed the striker to claim his brace. All square once again, although Cuadrado came close to putting Juve in front with an effort from distance.
The game remained entertaining with chances for both sides. In the 68th minute Barça hit the frame of the goal twice in the same attack, first from Raphina's free kick and then Ansu Fati tried to hypnotize Perin from the rebound. Luckily for the Bianconeri without success.
With less than five minutes to play, Perin produced an important stop to deny Depay from close range - a block that ensured a share of the spoils at the Cotton Bowl.
BARCELONA 2-2 JUVENTUS:
Scorers: 34’, 40’ Dembélé (B), 39’, 51’ Kean (J).
Barcelona: Ter Stegen (46’ Pena); Sergi Roberto (32’ Dest, 78' Casado), Christensen (62’ Piqué), Eric Garçia (46’ de Jong), Jordi Alba (62’ Balde); Nico Gonzalez, Busquets (46’ Pjanic), Kessie (62’ Torre); Dembélé (46’ Raphinha, 77’ Abde), Lewandowski (62’ Depay), Aubameyang (46’ Ansu Fati, 77’ Collado).
Subs not used: Tenas, Gavi.
Juventus: Szczesny (46’ Perin); Danilo (60’ Compagnon), Bonucci (46’ Gatti), Bremer (60’ Rugani), Alex Sandro (60’ Pellegrini); Locatelli (60’ Fagioli), Rovella, Zakaria, Di Maria (76’ Soulé), Kean (78’ Cudrig), Cuadrado (78’ Barbieri).
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Garofani, Vlahovic, Aké, Da Graca.
Referee: Elton Garcia.
Bookings: 29’ st Di Maria (J), 78’ Collado (B), 85' Barbieri (J).
Juventus started the Summer Tour 2022 on the right foot with victory over Chivas Guadalajara.
The match played in Las Vegas produced some interesting notes, not only for the debut of the likes of Bremer, Federico Gatti, Angel Di Maria and the second debut for Paul Pogba, but also for the fact that the match was decided by two players from the Under 23, Marco Da Graca and Mattia Compagnon.
The Mexican side, ahead in terms of fitness and cohesion in that the Mexican league is already underway, took the match to Juve from kick-off but failed to seriously test Wojciech Szczesny. Juventus on the other hand looked sharp not only on the pitch in the new Away kit, but also in attack. As early as the 5th minute, Di Maria won back possession in midfield and his pass was inches away from being met by Moise Kean.
On eight minutes, Bianconeri fans witnessed once again the emotion of a Pogba pile-driver, which stung the gloves of José Rangel. Two minutes later, Juventus were in the lead. Gatti met a corner, forcing the goalkeeper into a save with the help of the post. The ball broke for Da Graca, who applied the finish from close range.
On the half hour, Juve again looked dangerous. Kean attempted a spectacular scissors kick but failed to make contact with Di Maria's cross. Two minutes later, seeing Rangel off his line, Nicolò Fagioli almost scored from the half-way line, but his shot dipped just off target
The open encounter continued to produce chances. Angel Zaldivar called Szczesny into action on 35 minutes, as did Carlos Cisneros, who set off on the break and although pushed wide by the Juve defence managed to hit a right foot shot on target, with what was the last action of the first half.
RINGING THE CHANGES
The Juventus line-up underwent a total make-over at the start of the second half, including the introduction of Bremer at the heart of the defence with Daniele Rugani.
Again Cisneros threatened the Juve goal, but his attempt to beat Perin, went narrowly wide of the substitute keeper's left hand post. He then hit a free-kick on 62', powerful but off target as Chivas continued to enjoy the bulk of the second half play. On 70' Perin stretched to thwart at shot from distance.
Juventus gradually rediscovered their shape and held back their opponents, and added a second. In the 79th minute, Compagnon released a sweet right foot shot that nestled into the back of the net, wrapping up a swift counter attack and the scoring.
Juve collected a victory in the first outing on American soil and left Las Vegas for Los Angeles, basecamp for the next few days ahead of the second encounter, in Dallas on Tuesday against Barcelona.
Juventus-Chivas de Guadalajara 2-0:
Scorers: 10’ Da Graca, 80’ Compagnon.
Juventus: Sczcesny (46’ Perin); Cuadrado (46’ Barbieri), Danilo (46’ Rugani), Gatti (46’ Bremer), Alex Sandro (46’ Pellegrini); Fagioli (46’ Aké), Locatelli (46’ Zakaria), Pogba (46’ Rovella); Di Maria (46’ Soulé), Da Graca (46’ Cudrig), Kean (46’ Compagnon).
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Garofani, Bonucci, McKennie, Vlahovic.
Chivas de Guadalajara: Rangel (46’ Jimenez); Sanchez (66’ Mozo), Briseño (74’ Mireles), Mier, Ponce (47’ Olivas); Torres (46’ Yrizar), Garcia (66’ Vega); P. Perez (58’ Beltran), Cisneros (66’ Calderon), S. Perez (66’ Alvarado); Zaldivar (46’ Ormeño).
Subs not used: Sepulveda, Orozco, R. Gonzalez, J. Gonzalez, Brizuela.
Referee: Daneon Parchment.
Bookings: 57’ Cudrig (J).
Juventus wrapped up their season at the Artemio Franchi Stadium in Florence playing their 3000th match since the round-robin format in Serie A was launched in 1929/30, but the fixture had more meaning for Fiorentina as they chased down the last remaining place available for Europe next season, and took the lead through Alfred Duncan in the closing seconds of the first half. The home side doubled their advantage in stoppage time in the second half with a penalty converted by Nico Gonzalez.
GIORGIO'S FINAL 45 MINUTES
Giorgio Chiellini led the team out for the last time at the ground where he first played Serie A football 18 seasons ago. Teaming up with Chiellini at the heart of the defence was Leonardo Bonucci played together for the 200th time for the Bianconeri in Serie A. Matthijs De Ligt completed the three-man backline. In midfield, Fabio Miretti held down his place in the starting XI, while in attack Moise Kean lined up beside Paulo Dybala in the Argentine's final appearance in the black and white stripes.
Having not conceded to the Viola in the three previous meetings this season, the Bianconeri were determined to hold out the home attack once again. A De Ligt block on Giacomo Bonaventura and a deflection by Chiellini on a shot by the same midfielder was the closest either side came to an effort on target inside the opening 45 minutes. However, as the first half ticked into added on time, the Juve rearguard failed to clear their lines for the first time.
The ball broke to Duncan, who drove the ball firmly into the roof of the net, with what was the only shot on target of the opening period. In the challenge that led to the goal, Chiellini clashed heads with Krzysztof Piatek, resulting in Chiello finishing his majestic career with the Bianconeri with an iconic head wound
STOPPAGE TIME WOE
Daniele Rugani replacing Chiellini was not the only change at the restart as Carlo Pinsoglio took over from Mattia Perin in goal, and the third-choice keeper showed his quality with a double save, the first a close-range effort from Bonaventura before he parried away the follow-up. More changes ensued, with the positive news of the return to competitive action of Weston McKennie, ending three months on the sidelines.
However, Juventus were again punished in stoppage time. Fiorentina substitute Lucas Torreira was upended by Bonucci inside the area. Gonzalez dispatched the penalty, sending Pinsoglio the wrong way. Fiorentina's motivation to qualify for the Europa Conference League proved to be the difference between the teams as the curtain came down on the Bianonceri's season.
FIORENTINA 2-0 JUVENTUS (HT: 1-0):
Scorers: 45'+1 Duncan (F), 90'+2 Gonzalez (F).
FIORENTINA: Terracciano; Venuti (62' Odriozola), Milenkovic, Igor, Biraghi; Bonaventura, Amrabat, Duncan (85' Torreira); Gonzalez, Piatek (85' Cabral), Saponara (70' Ikoné).
Subs not used: Rosati, Dragowski, Martinez, Callejon, Terzic, Nastasic, Munteanu, Kokorin.
JUVENTUS: Perin (45' Pinsoglio); de Ligt, Bonucci, Chiellini (45' Rugani); Bernardeschi (60' Aké), Locatelli, Miretti (76' McKennie), Rabiot, Alex Sandro; Dybala, Kean (76' Vlahovic).
Subs not used: Szczęsny, Morata, Cuadrado, Pellegrini, Iling-Junior.
ASSISTANTS: Carbone, Longo.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Giua.
VAR: Guida, Massimi.
BOOKINGS: 45' Igor (F), 45' Kean (J), 56' Venuti (F), 56' Rabiot (J), 70' Amrabat (F), 84' De Ligt (J).
The final home match of season 2021-22 for the fans that had filled the Allianz Stadium was all about a fitting send off for Giorgio Chiellini and Paulo Dybala, not that the match against Lazio was of secondary importance.
GIORGIO AND PAULO FROM KICK OFF
It couldn't have been any other way. Giorgio Chiellini led Juvenuts out for the last time at the Allianz Stadium with the captain's armband proudly on his arm, beside his long-term defensive sidekick for club and country, Leonardo Bonucci. Also, in the starting line-up this season's vice-captain Paulo Dybala, who supported Dusan Vlahovic in attack. And it took only 10 minutes for Vlahovic to leave his mark.
A precisely delivered cross from the left invited the number 7 to peel off his marker and connect with a diving header inside the six-year box, which beat Thomas Strakosha at his near post. The first chance, though, had fallen to the visitors on five minutes, when Danilo Cataldi smashed a shot off the crossbar.
17 MINUTES, ONE FOR EVERY SEASON
On 17 minutes, Giorgio Chiellini walked off the playing surface of the Allianz Stadium for the last time. Before being replaced by Matthijs De Ligt, the captain was embraced by every Juventus player, also those from Lazio stepped forward to congratulate the legend, as he made his way to the touchline and take a lap of honour around the ground as the first half played on.
TWO GOALS UP AT THE BREAK
Just six minutes after Mattia Perin bravely saved at the feet of Felipe Anderson, Juve went two goals up. A flowing attack culminated in Alvaro Morata's finish. Worth a special mention, the backheel volley by Dybala into the path of the galloping Juan Cuadrado, who picked out Morata inside the box. The striker still had plenty of work to do, but worked his way around the Lazio defence to create the angle before firing a curling effort in off the far post.
DYBALA TAKES A BOW
Lazio found themselves back in the contest after the restart from a corner. Patric won a header which was turned into his own net by Alex Sandro. Pedro and Mattia Zacagni came close to equalising before a Francesco Acerbi flick-on was well saved by Perin. On 77 minutes, after seven seasons for the Bianconeri, Paulo Dybala waved the Allianz Stadium goodbye.
As the number 10 was still making his way around the ground with his lap of honour, Lazio found the equaliser they had been pressing for in the second half with the last kick off the game. Sergey Milinkovic-Savic slotted home from close range after Perin had palmed out a drive from the edge of the area.
Attention, however, had already turned to the after-match celebrations, the farewell of Giorgio Chiellini, the captain after 17 seasons, and Paulo Dybala, the vice-captain after seven. Trophies, success and tears shared throughout their time together and their final minutes on the pitch as the fans and teammates gathered at the Allianz Stadium for the final send off.
JUVENTUS 2-2 LAZIO (HT: 2-0):
SCORERS: 10' Vlahovic (J), 36' Morata (J), 51' Alex Sandro (OG), 90'+6 Milinkovic-Savic (L).
JUVENTUS: Perin; Cuadrado, Bonucci, Chiellini (18' de Ligt), Alex Sandro; Miretti, Locatelli (62' Aké); Bernardeschi, Dybala (78' Palumbo), Morata (62' Pellegrini); Vlahovic (62' Kean).
Subs not used: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Rugani, Rabiot.
LAZIO: Strakosha; Lazzari (84' Radu), Patric, Acerbi, Marusic; Milinkovic-Savic, Luis Alberto (76' Basic), Felipe Anderson; Cataldi (77' Lucas Leiva), Cabral (52' Pedro), Zaccagni.
Subs not used: Adamonis, Luiz Felipe, Akpa Akpro, Kamenovic, Romero, Hysaj, Prescoli.
ASSISTANTS: Prenna, Cecconi.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Pezzuto.
VAR: Aureliano, Zufferli.
Bookings: 41' Acerbi (L), 45'+2 Bernardeschi (J), 68' Cuadrado (J), 80' Aké (J), 83' Milinkovic-Savic (L), 89' Patric (L).
Juventus managed to turn the Coppa Italia Final in their favour with two goals at the start of the second half that cancelled out Inter's opener. However, a penalty converted with 10 minutes to play took the match to extra time. In the extra 30 minutes, Inter scored twice, once more from a penalty. A spectacular match entertained fans across the globe but left the Bianconeri empty handed.
FIRST HALF IN CRESCENDO
The 75th Italian Cup Final returned to the familiar setting of the Olympic Stadium in Rome, with Juventus and Inter lining up against each other to decide the fate of the trophy for the third time in the competition's history. The Derby d'Italia was already the tournament's most played fixture, with 33 previous meetings, and with the teams clashing for the fourth time this season, an early surprise seemed unlikely, but that was exactly what happened as the Bianconeri were caught cold.
Nicolò Barella was given too much space to cut in from the left and curl a shot beyond Mattia Perin. The clock had just ticked into the seventh minute and Juve were already chasing the game. Going a goal down, however, saw Juve press higher up the pitch, and it was in winning these second balls that the Bianconeri started creating chances. On 23 minutes, Dybala fired in a low shot, which Samir Handanovic dealt with at his near post.
A minute later, Vlahovic was found in space in the box and unleashed a shot destined for the top corner, until Handanovic with one hand turned the ball out for a corner. Juventus continued to press and retrieve possession. Federico Bernardeschi collected the ball and set off for goal, but his shot was deflected after a late saving lunge from Marcelo Brozovic. The resulting corner saw Matthijs de Ligt power a header goalwards, tipped over by Handanovic. Another corner, another chance, as the ball broke to Dybala, whose half volley spun just wide. Before the interval, Danilo limped off, replaced by Alvaro Morata, who would make an important contribution after the interval.
JUVE TURN IT AROUND
Juventus maintained their momentum at the start of the second half. Dominating possession, they pushed Inter deep inside their own half, and the pressure paid off on 50 minutes. Alex Sandro fired a shot, which Morata ran on to meet - whether the striker made the decisive touch or not as the ball beat Handanovic was not important, what mattered was that Juve were level. Two minutes later, Juventus were ahead.
Bernardeschi surged forward on the counter attack. His pass to Dybala was played first time into the path of Vlahovic, whose first effort was saved by Handanovic, but not the follow up, which Dusan blasted into the net. Half way through the second half, Allegri brought on Leonardo Bonucci and Manuel Locatelli, as the team switched to three at the back.
ALL SQUARE FROM THE SPOT
Bonucci was involved at both ends in quick succession. First, he was inches away from connecting with a header from a promising position. Then inside his own box, both he and De Ligt tangled legs with Lautaro Martinez. After consultation with VAR, the referee confirmed the penalty, which Hakan Calhanoglu dispatched into the top corner, well out of reach of Perin. All square with 10 minutes to play, and with neither side taking any risks, the match went to extra time, just as it had in the Italian Super Cup.
EXTRA TIME DECIDES
Seven minutes into extra time, another penalty, again in favour of Inter. De Ligt clashed with Stefan De Vrij in the area, and although the referee ignored the incident initially, he was called back to study the replay after VAR intervened, and awarded a second spot kick to Inter. Ivan Perisic sent Perin the wrong way for the game's fifth goal as Inter regained the lead.
The match ended as a contest three minutes later when the same player struck an unstoppable shot from the edge of the area. Although Massimiliano Allegri was sent off as tempers flared, Juventus couldn't find a way back into the match, and the trophy won last May in Reggio Emilia was lost 12 months later in Rome.
JUVENTUS 2-4 INTER (AET) (HT: 0-1) (FT: 2-2):
SCORER: 7' Barella (I), 50' Alex Sandro (J), 52' Vlahovic (J), 80' Calhanoglu (I), 99' & 102' Perisic (I).
JUVENTUS: Perin; Danilo (42' Morata), de Ligt, Chiellini (84' Arthur), Alex Sandro (90' Pellegrini); Zakaria 67' Locatelli), Rabiot; Cuadrado, Dybala (100' Kean), Bernardeschi (67' Bonucci); Vlahovic.
Subs not used: Szczęsny, Pinsoglio, Rugani, Aké, Nicolussi, Miretti.
INTER: Handanovic; D'Ambrosio (63' Dimarco, 116' Bastoni), De Vrij, Skriniar; Darmian (63' Dumfries), Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu (90'+1 Vidal), Perisic; Dzeko (63' Correa), Martinez (90'+1 Sanchez).
Subs not used: Cordaz, Radu, Gagliardini, Ranocchia, Gosens, Caicedo.
ASSISTANTS: Giallatini, Preti.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Sozza.
VAR: Abisso, Longo.
BOOKINGS: 55' Brozovic (I), 90'+2 Locatelli (J), 119' Vidal (I).
SENDINGS OFF: 104' Allegri (J).
The deadlock was broken after a goalless first half three minutes into the second period through Paulo Dybala. He then hit the post as Juventus wasted their chances to double the lead, which allowed Genoa to equalise with less than five minutes to play. Six minutes into stoppage time, Juventus fell behind to a penalty from Domenico Criscito.
NO WAY THROUGH
In the red hot atmosphere of the Luigi Ferraris Stadium, Fabio Miretti was given a second consecutive start. The 18-year-old was joined in the midfield by Arthur. Only Leonardo Bonucci and Dusan Vlahovic kept their places in defence and attack respectively as Massimiliano Allegri used the full depth of his squad to freshen the line-up in this Matchday 36 encounter.
One of those players drafted in, Moise Kean had a glorious opportunity to open the scoring in just five minutes. Paulo Dybala swung in a looping cross which Kean attacked inside the six-yard penalty area but his bullet header flew over the crossbar. And while the Bianconeri kept the ball moving, finishing the first half with 60% possession, they couldn't find a way through the hosts' packed defence. In the closing five minutes of the opening period, both goalkeepers were called into action.
First Dybala worked the angle at the edge of the area, but his effort was comfortably controlled by Salvatore Sirigu. At the other end, Manolo Portanova also hit an effort from distance, which Wojciech Szczęsny parried to safety.
ADVANTAGE THEN SPURNED CHANCES
Three minutes after the restart, Juventus edged in front. Kean did the hard work down the flank, finding Dybala, whose shot from the 18-yard line was unstoppable. 20 minutes later, Juventus sensed the moment was ripe to double the advantage. Dybala hit another shot from a similar distance, but this time his effort crashed off the post. In quick succession, Kean's close-range effort forced a spectacular one-handed save from Sirigu. A minute later, the Genoa keeper frustrated Vlahovic after the striker had forced an opening for himself.
Yet another chance not taken on 77 minutes. Alvaro Morata, who had replaced Vlahovic, cleverly let the ball go beyond him into the path of Kean, who shot over from an excellent position. Another substitute, Marley Aké also got immediately involved in the action, and appeared to have won Juve a penalty. However, after consulting VAR, the referee overturned his decision. This let off kept Genoa in the contest and with four minutes to play, Albert Gudmundsson stroked home the equaliser. With the backing of the home support, the Grifone pushed on and Juve gifted them the chance to take the lead, when Adrien Rabiot gave away possession inside his own penalty area. Somehow, Nadiem Amiri couldn't take advantage.
Even more incredibly, Moise Kean with the goal gaping couldn't divert the ball into the empty net in the 94th minute as Juve struck on the counter attack. Then the last minute drama as Genoa were awarded a penalty. Domenico Criscito made amends for his spot-kick miss in the Derby della Lanterna one week before to score from the spot and give Genoa all three points.
GENOA 2-1 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-0):
Scorers: 48' Dybala (J), 87' Gudmunsson (G), 90'+6 Criscito pen. (G).
GENOA: Sirigu; Hefti, Ostigard, Bani, Criscito; Galdames (45' Frendrup), Badelj; Amiri, Melegoni (59' Ekuban), Portanova (58' Yeboah); Destro (68' Gudmundsson).
Subs not used: Semper, Vodisek, Masiello, Vasquez, Ghiglione, Hernani, Cambiasso, Rovella.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Cuadrado (60' Alex Sandro), Bonucci, Rugani, De Sciglio; Miretti (74' Bernardeschi), Arthur (60' Zakaria), Rabiot; Dybala (80' Aké); Vlahovic (74' Morata), Kean.
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, Chiellini, de Ligt.
ASSISTANTS: Ranghetti, Vivenzi.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Sacchi.
VAR: Abisso, Di Iorio.
BOOKINGS: 29' Dybala, 34' Rugani, 43' Melegoni, 44' Arthur, 78' Badelj.
A second 2-1 win in succession gave Juventus all three points against a battling Venezia side. Leonardo Bonucci made it a birthday to remember with a goal either side of half time. His second restored Juve's lead after the visitors had equalised five minutes before and condemned Venezia to a ninth straight loss in Serie A.
Juventus sought a first win at home in three matches to take another step towards ensuring Champions League football next season. To achieve that goal, Massimiliano Allegri turned to Leonardo Bonucci on his 35th birthday to lead the team, while 17 years his junior, talented midfielder Fabio Miretti made his first Serie A start. The Bianconeri set off with intent. Denis Zakaria flashed a shot just wide off target before Luca Pellegrini crashed an effort from the edge of the penalty box off the crossbar inside the opening four minutes.
The fans, basking in the sun in this lunchtime kick off, did not have long to wait for the game's opening goal. And it was the combination between the youngest and eldest on the pitch that produced the breakthrough. Miretti flighted in a free kick from the left, which was played across the face of goal by Matthijs De Ligt. Pouncing inside the six-yard area with a powerful header was none other than birthday boy Bonucci.
Miretti came close to a dream debut when on 18 minutes he was set up by Dusan Vlahovic. The teenager's effort was deflected wide of the far post as Juventus responded to Venezia's first effort on target. The visitor's had improved as the opening half progressed and a low drive from Mattia Aramu tested Wojciech Szczęsny. After the half-hour mark, Alvaro Morata worked to find space inside the area but his driven cross just evaded Vlahovic, sliding in at the far post. Although ahead, Juventus were aware that another goal was needed to put daylight between themselves and their visitors.
LEO TO THE DOUBLES
So the Bianconeri set about Venezia at the restart with the intent of adding to their single goal advantage. A powerful run and cross from Adrien Rabiot caused panic in the Venezia defence. The ball eventually broke to De Ligt who tried his luck from distance. A counter attack followed, Vlahovic turned on the half way line and set off towards the Venezia goal. Only a desperate sliding recovery challenge from Ethan Ampadu stopped the striker's pass from setting up Morata in front of goal.
Then Juventus took their foot off the accelerator and allowed the Venetians back into the game, and with his third attempt in as many minutes Aramu levelled the score. The Venezia number 10's first effort, from a free kick, called upon an excellent save from Szczesny. From the resulting corner, the ball broke again to Aramu, who controlled with his chest before sending his volley just over the bar. Juventus didn't heed the warning, and one minute later, when the ball bounced kindly for the 26-year-old, he fired a low shot into the bottom corner. Being pegged back produced the expected reaction from the Bianconeri, who required little more than five minutes to restore their advantage, again from a set piece, this time a corner.
Danilo reached the cross first and his header towards goal was tapped in by Bonucci, displaying a striker's instinct once more inside the six-yard box. Leo had done it again! With his second double of the season, Bonucci led Juventus to another three points as they strode to within one point of ensuring a fourth place finish next season, and hot on the heels of Napoli in third.
JUVENTUS 2-1 VENEZIA (HT: 1-0):
SCORERS: 7' & 76' Bonucci (J), 71' Aramu (V).
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, de Ligt, Pellegrini (58' Alex Sandro); Bernardeschi (58' Dybala), Zakaria, Miretti (89' Arthur), Rabiot; Vlahovic (89' Chiellini), Morata (69' Kean)
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, Rugani, Aké.
VENEZIA: Maenpaa; Mateju (86' Okereke), Caldara, Ceccaroni, Haps (86' Ullman); Crngoj (64' Peretz), Vacca (37' Fiordilino), Ampadu; Aramu, Cuisance (46' Kiyne); Henry.
Subs not used: Bertinato, Tessmann, Nsame, Johnsen, Nani, Busio, Svoboda.
ASSISTANTS: Di Iorio, Lombardo.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Marcenaro.
VAR: Mazzoleni, Di Vuolo.
Bookings: 25' Zakaria, 45+1' Pellegrini, 56' Kiyine, 61' Aramu, 64' Alex Sandro, 89' Haps.
Juventus are making it a habit of scoring late. Not only did Paulo Dybala cancel out Sassuolo's advantage in the 45th minute of the first half, Moise Kean struck the winner in the 89th to earn three points which could prove fundamental in the Bianconeri's bid to nail down fourth place. Juventus now hold an eight-point advantage of nearest challengers Roma after a display that was more about grinding out the result than displaying the finer side of the game.
WAKE UP CALL
Juan Cuadrado did not travel to Reggio Emilia because of a thigh strain, and a late call off by Matthijs De Ligt, not 100% fit, reduced the number of players available to Massimiliano Allegri for kick off. Daniele Rugani stepped into the centre of defence, as the Dutchman took his place on the bench. The midfield four that performed so well in midweek in the Cup against Fiorentina were confirmed, while in attack, Paulo Dybala teamed up with Alvaro Morata. It was Dybala that found a late equaliser despite a first half dominated by the home side.
As early as the 10th minute, Giacomo Raspadori signalled his intentions with a shot that curled just wide of Wojciech Szczęsny's far post. The Sassuolo forward did put his name on the scoresheet but not before Szczesny made saves from Davide Frattesi and Gianluca Scamacca. Sassuolo's movement and quick passing paid off on 39', when a flick from Domenico Berardi played through Raspadori, who beat Szczesny with a low drive at the near post. Going behind stung Juventus into life, and the reaction was so strong that the Bianconeri were almost ahead at half time. The equaliser arrived on 45 minutes, when Morata won possession deep in Sassuolo territory.
He found Denis Zakaria inside the penalty area, who with a deft lay off played the ball into the path of Dybala. The number 10 took one touch before slamming the ball high into the net. A minute later, a move again down the right, picked out Morata, but he couldn't keep his header down from a promising position. The second half required more of the same.
Three minutes after the restart, Morata met a corner with another header, which produced a prodigious reflex save from Andrea Consigli. The ball just evaded the onrushing Leonardo Bonucci as he slid for the tap in. 60 seconds later it was Szczesny who was called into action. At full stretch he kept out a rasping effort from Mert Muldur. Juventus left the onus to Sassuolo, but the Bianconeri defence, bolstered by Danilo in the centre, kept Szczesny out of further danger. The nearest the hosts came to worrying the Juve keeper was when Giorgos Kyriakopulos had an effort from the edge of the area, which swerved just wide. Allegri swapped things around, especially in attack, bringing on Vlahovic and Moise Kean, and it was Kean that would prove decisive.
On the pitch just five minutes, Kean put pressure on Vlad Chiriches at the edge of the six yard area, the ball was deflected goalwards, and once again Consigli had to rely on his reflexes. The Sassuolo keeper was beaten for a second time though with only one minute of normal time remaining. Alex Sandro headed the ball towards the edge of the penalty area, where Kean did the rest. Controlling the ball with his back to goal, the striker turned Chiriches and drove his shot low between Consigli's legs. A late equaliser in the first half, a late winner in the second, and three points towards securing fourth place, perhaps even third place, now that only one point separates Juventus from Napoli.
SASSUOLO 1-2 JUVENTUS (HT: 1-1):
Scorers: 39' Raspadori (S), 45' Dybala (J), 89' Kean (J).
SASSUOLO: Consigli; Muldur, Chiriches, Ayhan, Kyriakopoulos; Frattesi (88' M.Henrique), Maxime Lopez; Berardi (79' Defrel), Raspadori, Traoré (79' Duricic); Scamacca.
Subs not used: Satalino, Pegolo, Magnanelli, Rogerio, Ciervo, Peluso, Ceide, Ferrari, Ruan.
JUVENTUS: Szczęsny; De Sciglio, Bonucci, Rugani (54' Chiellini), Alex Sandro; Bernardeschi (88' Miretti), Zakaria, Danilo, Rabiot; Dybala (55' Vlahovic), Morata (67' Kean).
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, de Ligt, Pellegrini, Zuelli.
ASSISTANTS: Liberti, Prenna.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Miele.
VAR: Aureliano, Galetto.
BOOKINGS: 45' Lopez (S), 50' Scamacca (S), 62' De Sciglio (J), 89' Kean (J).
Juve's slender one goal advantage from the semi-final first leg was expertly defended against Fiorentina in the second leg. What's more, the Bianconeri added two goals on the night to win 3-0 on aggregate. Federico Bernardeschi just after 30 minutes in the first half, and Danilo in second half stoppages were the scorers in a match whose outcome was never at risk. The reward? A final against Inter in Rome on May 11th.
Massimiliano Allegri decided on a 4-4-2 formation, with Federico Bernardeschi given a starter's place in midfield alongside Denis Zakaria, Danilo and Adrien Rabiot. Two in attack, Dusan Vlahovic and Alvaro Morata. For their part, Fiorentina fielded three up front from kick off, Arthur Cabral, Joanthan Ikoné and Riccardo Saponara, with Nico Gonzalez willing to push up in support. However, despite all their attacking prowess, the Viola struggled to make inroads against the Juve defence.
The Bianconeri, meanwhile, were keen to hit on the counter attack and take advantage of the visitors' desire to push forward. Vlahovic and Morata were linking up well, but were lacking the timing of the final pass. The Juve front two found themselves one-on-one against Bartłomiej Drągowski, who thwarted first Morata then Vlahovic, before both were eventually flagged for offside. In between these two opportunities, a Vlahovic clever backheel found Morata inside the area, but Martinez Quarta cleared the danger before the Spaniard could shoot. A counter attack did lead to the opening goal, however. On 32 minutes, Rabiot won the ball at the edge of his own penalty area, and allowed Danilo to push forward, assisted by Matthijs De Ligt.
With a numerical advantage, Morata had time to flight in the cross, which was missed by Dragowski. Cristiano Biraghi attempted to head clear but the ball fell to Bernardeschi, who controlled on his chest before dispatching the ball on the volley into the gaping net. With that opportunistic strike, Juve had opened up a two-goal advantage on aggregate. With Leonardo Bonucci leading the defensive line, Juve were running little risk at the back, although Fiorentina did fashion a chance before half time when Cabral created space inside the box, but his close range shot was parried by Mattia Perin.
END OF THE CONTEST
Perin was called into action again at the start of the second half. A corner was met by Martinez Quarta, forcing the Juve keeper into an acrobatic one-handed save. Juventus knew the tie was not over and looked for the killer second goal on the night, which almost arrived on the break through Zakaria, whose shot struck the outside of the upright. On 70 minutes, Juve did have the ball in the back of the net again, and once more it was a midfielder that was the threat. Rabiot was to be denied a rare goal though after VAR adjudged the midfielder to have been in an offside position before he slotted a Bernardeschi pass beyond Drągowski. Both coaches made a flurry of substitutions, and it would be one on the Juve side that would be influential to the match's second goal.
Before the goal that ended Fiorentina's hopes, Perin made two more important blocks from two Viola subs in the 90th minute. The first from a long-range effort from Sofyan Amrabat; the second from a tight angle from Riccardo Sottil. Then in stoppage time, Juan Cuadrado, whose cross had set up the only goal in the first leg, again created confusion in the Fiorentina penalty area. His cut back was swept into the net by Danilo, who was then mobbed by his jubilant teammates as they celebrated yet another Italian Cup final - the 21st in club history. Adding shine to the scoreline was a consecutive clean sheet against Fiorentina, a team that had scored in all of their 15 previous cup ties before running into the black and white wall. A job well done.
JUVENTUS 2-0 FIORENTINA (HT: 1-0) (AGG: 3-0):
SCORERS: 32' Bernardeschi (J), 90+4' Danilo (J).
JUVENTUS: Perin; De Sciglio (79' Cuadrado), Bonucci, De Ligt, Alex Sandro; Bernardeschi (82' Chiellini), Zakaria, Danilo, Rabiot; Vlahovic (82' Kean), Morata (66' Dybala).
Subs not used: Szczęsny, Pinsoglio, Pellegrini, Rugani, Soulé, Moretti.
FIORENTINA: Dragowski; Venuti (69' Callejon), Martinez Quarta, Igor, Biraghi; Duncan (79' Maleh), Torreira (45' Amrabat), Saponara (63' Sottil); Ikone (79' Piatek), Cabral, Gonzalez.
Subs not used: Terracciano, Rosati, Bonaventura, Terzic, Odriozola, Nastasic, Kokorin.
Assistants: Peretti, Bresmes.
Fourth Official: Piccinini.
VAR: Banti, Meli.
BOOKINGS: 45'+2 De Sciglio (J), 72' Martinez Quarta (F).
Juventus shared the points with Bologna in a game that became larger than life in the final 10 minutes of normal time, tension that concluded after eight-plus minutes of time added on. The visitors led through Marko Arnautovic's goal on 52 minutes. Bologna then had Adama Soumaro sent off for a last-man foul on Alvaro Morata on the edge of the penalty area. The defender was followed down the tunnel by teammate Gary Medel for his overzealous reaction to the referee's decision. Five minutes into stoppage time, Dusan Vlahovic headed home the equaliser in an emotional finale.
NEW LOOK JUVE
Juventus took to the field against Bologna wearing the recently unveiled fourth kit. With options limited in midfield, Massimiliano Allegri advanced Danilo into the centre of the park for the third time this season. Returning from a one-match ban, Mattia De Sciglio filled the left back position vacated by the Brazilian, while Alvaro Morata also found a place in the starting line-up after sitting out last week's trip to Cagliari through suspension, and joined Dusan Vlahovic and Paulo Dybala in the three-pronged attack. All three forwards were involved as Juve sought an early goal. However, while Dybala's free kick swerved just wide of the target, Morata delivered two crosses in quick succession, both met by Vlahovic.
The number 7's first header sailed over the bar, the second dipped dangerously onto the roof of the net. Bologna were well organised, and forced the first save of the match on 29 minutes, when Mattias Svanberg tried his luck from distance, but the effort was comfortably dealt with by Wojciech Szczesny.
Danilo came to the fore in the closing 10 minutes of the opening half. First in attack, he pushed forward and unleashed a shot that whistled just wide of Lukasz Skorupski's far post. One minute later, the Brazilian slid in on Svanberg with a crucial recovery challenge just as the Swede was about to bear in on goal. Although not a bad-tempered first half, the referee booked four players. Discipline would be a key element after the break.
BOLOGNA SEE RED
The second half started with a warning shot from Marko Arnautovic, which wasn't heeded by the Juve defence. Although Juventus broke straight up the pitch and Adrien Rabiot had a wonderful chance to open the scoring with a back post volley after Skorupski had failed to make contact on a cross, the next time Bologna attacked they found the net. Arnautovic beat the offside trap and rounded Szczesny before dispatching the ball into the net. Going behind sparked an immediate reaction from the Bianconeri. Mattia De Sciglio saw his deflected shot tipped over by Skorupski.
From the resulting corner, Danilo crashed his header off the inside of the post. Matthijs De Ligt then had a point-blank header blocked by the visiting keeper. Bologna weathered the storm until the 82nd minute when Morata, played in on goal, and was brought down just as he was preparing to shoot. After consulting with VAR, the referee sent off Soumaoro, who had upended the Spanish striker, and before indicating his decision, also sent off Gary Medel for the 34-year-old's reaction.
The decision, only a free-kick at the edge of the area, which Vlahovic fired over, eight minutes after the initial incident. In time added on, Juventus threw everything into attack and their search for the equaliser arrived when Morata's overhead kick was headed home from under the crossbar by Vlahovic.
JUVENTUS 1-1 BOLOGNA (HT: 0-0):
SCORERS: 52' Arnautovic (B), 90'+5 Vlahovic (J).
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; De Sciglio (86' Kean), de Ligt (59' Bonucci), Chiellini (75' Alex Sandro), Pellegrini (60' Zakaria); Danilo, Rabiot; Cuadrado, Dybala (59' Bernardeschi), Morata; Vlahovic.
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, Rugani, Miretti.
BOLOGNA: Skorupski; Soumaoro, Medel, Theate; Dijks, Svanberg (74' Aebischer), Schouten, Soriano (74' Kasius, 87' Dominguez), Hickey; Orsolini (87' Bonifazi), Arnautovic (65' Barrow).
Subs not used: Molla, Bardi, Binks, Viola. Mbaye, De Silvestri, Vignato.
ASSISTANTS: Galetto, Zingarelli.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Cosso.
VAR: Guida, Cecconi.
Bookings: 13' Theate (B), 19' Svanberg (B), 32' Cuadrado (J), 41' Arnautovic (B), 84' Medel (B).
Sendings off: 84' Soumaoro (B), Medel (B).
Dusan Vlahovic struck with 15 minutes remaining to reward Juventus with all three points against Cagliari in a match that saw the home side take an early lead. Matthijs De Ligt on the stroke of half time deservedly made it 1-1 with a well-placed header. In the second half, the Bianconeri maintained their forward momentum, and Vlahovic completed the scoring with an opportunistic goal that stretched Juve's unbeaten away run in Serie A to nine matches.
Paulo Dybala partnered Vlahovic in attack, supported by Juan Cuadrado on the right flank as Juve sought an 11th win from 12 visits to Sardinia. Tactically, Massimiliano Allegri re-embraced a three-man midfield with Denis Zakaria and Adrien Rabiot either side of Arthur.
However, it was the home side with their first attack of the match that opened the scoring. On 10', Razvan Marin dispossessed Dybala on the half way line and charged forward. The midfielder picked out Joao Pedro, who had time to look up and place his shot into the corner.
That was to be Cagliari's only shot in the first half as Juventus set about drawing level. As the pressure mounted, the Islanders' defence struggled to hold back the Bianconeri. First Zakaria reached a Danilo cross from close range, but Alessio Cragno stuck out a forearm to ensure the ball stayed out. Dybala curled an effort over before Luca Pellegrini thought he had found the equaliser when he drilled a shot into the net.
Out of respect for his former club, the defender chose not to celebrate what would have been his first goal in Serie A. The effort was eventually ruled out after VAR judged the deflection off Adrien Rabiot as handball.
Dybala and Cuadrado forced Cragno into important saves, but just as time seemed to be running out for Juve in the first period, Cuadrado picked out Matthijs De Ligt with an inch-perfect cross. The Dutchman coolly placed his header beyond Cragno. Juventus were level with their 14th attempt on the Cagliari goal.
Juventus set about their opponents straight after the restart, and inside the opening minutes of the second half, had the ball in the net again. This time the effort, a tap-in from Giorgio Chiellini, was ruled out for offside.
Two minutes later, Chiellini played through Dybala, who shot over from an excellent position.
The Bianconeri were finding it increasingly difficult to break down the home defence, which often saw striker Joao Pedro track back to help out. But as the game reached the closing 22 minutes, Vlahovic finally showed signs of breaking free of his marker Matteo Lovato's shackles.
A warning shot struck the side netting. However, the number 7 was just finding his range. A second effort forced Cragno into a save, but his eventual celebrations were delayed just 60 seconds. Dybala's through-ball found Vlahovic on the run, and although defender Giorgio Altare was first to the ball, Vlahovic's sheer determination proved decisive as he diverted the ball beyond Cragno into the net.
With a 19th effort on the Cagliari goal, Juventus had turned the match in their favour.
The Bianconeri saw out the closing 15 minutes without running any risks to take three important points back to Turin in their bid to tie down fourth place.
CAGLIARI 1-2 JUVENTUS (HT: 1-1):
Scorers: 10' Joao Pedro (C), 45' De Ligt (J), 75' Vlahovic (J).
CAGLIARI: Cragno; Altare, Lovato, Carboni; Bellanova, Deiola (79' Baldé), Marin, Dalbert (58' Rog), Lykogiannis (79' Obert); Joao Pedro, Pavoletti (67' Pereiro).
Subs not used: Aresti, Radunovic, Baselli, Zappa, Ceter, Walukiewicz.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Danilo, de Ligt, Chiellini, Pellegrini; Cuadrado (85' Bonucci), Zakaria, Arthur, Rabiot (68' Bernardeschi); Dybala (80' Kean), Vlahovic.
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, Alex Sandro, Rugani, Miretti.
ASSISTANTS: Giallatini, Preti.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Santoro.
VAR: Valeri, Bindoni.
BOOKINGS: 53' Lykogiannis (C).
The Derby d'Italia is never a match for the faint hearted and a total of 15 minutes of time added on, a record 10 minutes in the first half, indicates that Juventus and Inter held nothing back in front of a full house inside the Allianz Stadium. Juve trailed at half time despite having the better of the opening half. Hakan Calhanoglu's retaken penalty proved to be the only goal of the game. Denise Zakaria struck the post as the Bianconeri pressed for an equaliser which didn't arrive.
A ROLLER COASTER RIDE
With Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata joined by Juan Cuadrado behind Dusan Vlahovic in the Juventus attack it came as no surprise that it was the Bianconeri that made the running and created the early chances. With less than a minute on the clock, Vlahovic tested Samir Handanovic with a shot low to the goalkeeper's near post.
The next action brought the first stop of the game. Lautaro Martinez caught Manuel Locatelli on the forehead with a raised boot, leading to yellow card for the Inter strike and a bandaged head for the Juve midfielder. Locatelli would eventually leave the pitch on 35 minutes with a muscle injury. Denis Zakaria replaced the number 27.The action never let up.
As soon as play resumed, Morata headed over before a goalmouth scramble almost led to a Juve advantage. Handanovic punched an attempted clearance high into the night sky, and when the ball fell it broke to Giorgio Chiellini, whose touch inside the six yard box somehow bounced back off the crossbar. Dybala had a couple of shots from distance, Morata placed a header tantalisingly across the face of the goal as Juve accumulated 14 attempts on goal in the first half but somehow found themselves trailing at half time.
In stoppages, Denzel Dumfries was tripped inside the penalty area. After consulting the VAR, the referee awarded the Nerazzurri a penalty. Wojciech Szczesny blocked the midfielder's initial effort, before the ball bounced into the net from the rebound. The match official, again after intervention from VAR, indicated that the penalty was to be retaken because of encroachment, principally by Matthijs De Ligt.
At the second time of asking, despite Szczesny guessing correctly, Calhanoglu found the bottom corner.
The first half finished as it had begun, with Vlahovic flashing a shot on the Inter goal.
Vlahovic, also, created the first chance of the second half. A sharp turn inside the penalty area finally saw him shake off his marker, but the striker's shot flashed just wide of the post.
Four minutes later, Morata also had an attempt that went close as Juve dominated possession after the break, but like in the first half, it was the frame of the goal that stood between Juve scoring.
After Chiellini in the first half, it was Zakaria who saw his shot rebound off the woodwork. The midfielder powered past the Inter midfield and unleashed his shot on reaching the penalty area. With Handanovic beaten, the ball cannoned off the post. Juventus continued to press for the equaliser but Inter were throwing bodies behind the ball and blocking attempt after attempt. Despite the pressure, the two attempts off the woodwork, and the chances created, it wasn't to be as Inter held on to their slender advantage to the final whistle.
JUVENTUS 0-1 INTER (HT: 0-1):
SCORER: 45+5' Calhanoglu (I).
JUVENTUS: Szczęsny; Danilo, de Ligt, Chiellini, Alex Sandro (72' De Sciglio); Locatelli (34' Zakaria), Rabiot (83' Arthur); Cuadrado (83' Bernardeschi), Dybala, Morata (72' Kean); Vlahovic.
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, Bonucci, Rugani.
INTER: Handanovic; D'Ambrosio, Skriniar, Bastoni; Dumfries (58' Darmian), Barella, Brozovic (77' Gagliardini), Calhanoglu (77' Vidal), Perisic; Dzeko (90' Gosens), Martinez (58' Correa).
Subs not used: Radu, de Vrij, Sanchez, Vecino, Ranocchia, Dimarco, Caicedo.
ASSISTANTS: Ranghetti, Vivenzi.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Ghersini.
VAR: Mazzoleni, Passeri.
BOOKINGS: 2' Martinez (I), 15' Rabiot (J), 27' Locatelli (J), 4+1' Morata (J), 45+4' Cuadrado (J, )45+4' Skriniar (I), 74' Perisic (I), 75' Calhanoglu (I).
The front pairing of Paulo Dybala and Dusan Vlahovic netted first-half goals to defeat Salernitana as Juventus collected a fourth straight league win to extend the unbeaten run in Serie A to 16 matches. The Bianconeri did the job before the interval against the basement side to close the gap on Inter to one point before the Derby d'Italia after the international break.
DYBALA AND VLAHOVIC ON TARGET
For the visit of Salernitana, the fans were enjoying the early spring sunshine in the expectation of another victory to add to the unbeaten sequence in Serie A that started in the first meeting with the team from Salerno. Massimiliano Allegri made a change in each of the outfield departments from Wednesday's disappointment in Europe. Giorgio Chiellini returned to the line-up for the first time since early February, Danilo was pushed into midfield, and Paulo Dybala reclaimed a starter's jersey to team up with Dusan Vlahovic.
And the front two that did the damage early on. With only five minutes on the clock, Juan Cuadrado found Vlahovic inside the penalty area. The number seven rolled the ball into the path of Dybala, who held off the challenge of Norbert Gyomber before drilling a low shot in off the post.
Salernitana employed their defence high up the field, but their off-side trap was sprung on 13 minutes. Cuadrado played through Dybala, who with only Luigi Sepe to beat, lifted his lob over the goalkeeper and the crossbar.
Sepe was called into action twice in a minute at the midway point of the opening half. Vlahovic latched onto a Dybala pass, but Sepe did well to block the shot at his near post. From the resulting corner, the ball arrived at the feet of Dybala who unleashed a half volley that was instinctively tipped wide by the keeper at full stretch.
The second goal did arrive, however. A cross from Mattia De Sciglio was met on the six-yard line by Vlahovic, whose header nestled beyond Sepe. A two goal cushion inside 30 minutes. Adrien Rabiot came close to adding to the tally before half time with a dipping shot.
SZCZESNY CLEAN SHEET
After the restart, Juve maintained control of the game, keeping the visitors at a safe distance from Wojciech Szczesny's goal.
In fact, it was his opposite number, Sepe, that was again called into action. When the Salernitana defence failed to clear a corner, the ball broke to Matthijs De Ligt, who shot straight at the keeper.
At the midway point of the second half, Szczesny was finally tested. Simone Verdi found space at the edge of the area and his effort was touched wide by the Juve keeper. A minute later, Vlahovic was played through by Danilo.
The striker was denied a second brace this season against the Seahorses by Sepe's outstretched boot.
The visitors continued to seek a way back into the match and Federico Bonazzoli thought he had given his side a lifeline with a quick turn and shot, but again Szczesny frustrated the Salernitana attack. That was the last chance Salernitana managed to create as Juve wound down the clock. In stoppage time, Fabio Miretti was given his first taste of Serie A action after the 18-year-old in midweek had played a fundamental part in the U-19 progressing to the UEFA Youth League final-four.
After the international break, Inter await, now just one point away.
JUVENTUS 2- SALERNITANA (HT:2-0):
SCORERS: 5' Dybala (J), 29' Vlahovic (J).
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; De Sciglio, De Ligt, Chiellini (46' Rugani), Pellegrini; Cuadrado (91' Miretti), Arthur (70' Bernardeschi), Rabiot; Dybala, (58' Morata), Vlahovic (91' Kean).
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, Soulé.
SALERNITANA: Sepe; Mazzocchi, Gyomber, Fazio, Ruggeri (69' Ribery); Zortea, Radovanovic (78' M.Coulibaly), L Coulibaly (46' Ederson), Perotti (60' Verdi); Bonazzoli (77' Mikael), Djuric.
Subs not used: Belec, Gagliolo, Dragusin, Ranieri, Obi, Bohinen, Kastanos.
REFEREE: Giovanni Ayroldi.
ASSISTANTS: Pasquale De Meo, Gamal Mokhtar.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Matteo Marchetti.
VAR: Rosario Abisso, Stefano Alassio.
Bookings: 24' Coulibaly (S), 40' Pellegrini (J), 68' Verdi(S), 82' Danilo (J), 85' Rabiot (J).
Juventus paid the price for not capitalising on their chances after dominating the first half as Villarreal struck three times in the closing 15 minutes, twice from the penalty spot, to silence the Allianz Stadium and clinically end the Bianconeri's European ambitions this season.
Massimiliano Allegri opted for a 4-4-2 set up with Juan Cuadrado encouraged to push forward on the right and supply the deliveries for the front two of Alvaro Morata and Dusan Vlahovic. A drop of the shoulder from the Colombian on 10 minutes gave him space to deliver an early cross and create the first chance of the game. An unmarked Morata met the delivery but his header was parried by Geronimo Rulli.
10 minutes later, it was Morata's co-striker, Vlahovic who tested the Villarreal goalkeeper with a powerful drive from distance.
On 22', Vlahovic got the better of Rulli as he met a near post cross with his left foot. The speed and timing of the run caught the Villarreal defence off guard, but the shot rebounded off the crossbar. The Spanish side breathed a sigh of relief and on the counter attack created their first chance, when Giovanni Lo Celso curled his effort just wide. But it was Juventus that once again came close in the 36th minute, and again it was Rulli who denied the Bianconeri attack, this time blocking a close-range Vlahovic header. Juventus finished the opening half on top, but were left ruing not having taken advantage of their chances.
Juve continued to take the game to the Spanish side after the restart. An industrious Adrien Rabiot drove into the Villarreal penalty area, but again Rulli parried to safety. A minute later, Rabiot again made a run into the area, but could only win a corner.
With both teams cancelling each other out, it was Unai Emery who made the first substitutions, bringing on experience in attack in the form of Francis Coquelin and Gerard Moreno. And the two subs would be involved in the game's opening goal. Daniele Rugani arrived late on a challenge inside the penalty area on Coquelin. The referee after consulting the VAR awarded a penalty, which was converted by Moreno.
Allegri brought on Paulo Dybala and Federico Bernardeschi but the goal had knocked the wind out of Juve's sails.
On 85' the contest was ended when Pau Torres prodded home a cross from a corner that had evaded the Juventus defence.Salt was rubbed into wounds in stoppage time when Matthijs De Ligt blocked a shot with an arm. The resulting penalty was swept into the net by Arnaut Danjuma. After such an impressive first half, Juventus painfully crashed out of the Champions League as Villarreal celebrated a historic 3-0 win.
JUVENTUS 0-3 VILLARREAL (HT: 0-0):
Scorers: 78' Moreno (V), 85' Torres (V), 90+2' Danjuma (V).
JUVENTUS: Szczęsny; Danilo, de Ligt, Rugani (79' Dybala), De Sciglio; Cuadrado, Locatelli (83' Bernardeschi), Arthur, Rabiot; Vlahovic, Morata (86' Kean).
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, Chiellini, Pellegrini, Miretti.
VILLARREAL: Rulli; Aurier, Albiol, Pau Torres, Estupiñán; Pino (65' Chukwueze), Capoue, Parejo (86' Pedraza), Trigueros (65' Coquelin); Lo Celso (73' Moreno), Danjuma.
Subs not used: Asenjo, Mario, Foyth, Iborra, Rubén Peña, Dia, Mandi, Gómez.
REFEREE: Marciniak (POL).
ASSISTANTS: Sokolnicki, Listkiewicz.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Raczkowski.
VAR: Kwiatkowski, Frankowski.
BOOKINGS: 90' De Ligt.
Juventus won by a two-goal margin at Marassi thanks to a double from Alvaro Morata and a Maya Yoshida own goal. Trailing 2-0 at half time, Samp halved the lead with five minutes to play after having seen an earlier penalty saved by Wojciech Szczęsny, but Morata struck late to restore the two goal advantage as the Bianconeri marched on to a 15th match unbeaten with a third consecutive league win.
MORATA AND KEAN DO THE DAMAGE
Moise Kean was given the task of supporting Alvaro Morata in attack as Dusan Vlahovic settled for a place on the bench, and the front two were involved in the game's opening two goals, both for Juventus.
On 22 minutes, Sampdoria carved open the first shooting chance of the match, when Antonio Candreva struck a dangerous swerving effort. Wojciech Szczęsny palmed the ball to safety, which allowed Juve to hit on the counter attack. Less than a minute later the ball was in the back of the Samp net, after Juan Cuadrado's vicious cross was turned home by Maya Yoshida, left with little option but to intervene as Kean was lurking with intent at the far post.
As expected, Sampdoria, pushed on by their passionate support, responded and once again tested Szczęsny, this time through Stefano Sensi.
The Juve goalkeeper reacted well to the midfielder's low shot at his near post. A couple of minutes later, the Bianconeri struck again. Kean set off on a solo run, twisting and turning, he entered the penalty area. Just as he was about to shoot, he was fouled by Omar Colley. The Samp central defender had no complaints as the referee pointed to the penalty spot.
Morata took the honours from the spot kick and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to double Juve's lead. An advantage that Juventus saw through to the half-time whistle without running any further risks. In fact, the passing game was working well, with Juve looking firmly in control.
TEK TO THE RESCUE
Kean was offered the first chance of the second half when Mauel Locatelli picked out the striker in the opposition's box, but Wladimiro Falcone dashed off his line and at the second attempt thwarted the Bianconeri forward.
Juventus were firmly in control but a Francesco Caputo shot which flashed dangerously close was a warning that the home side were still in contention. And Sampdoria were given the chance to reduce the deficit with 15 minutes remaining. Adrien Rabiot touched the ball with his hand at the edge of the box, and after consulting VAR, the referee pointed to the penalty spot.
Antonio Candreva stepped up for Szczesny to make a wonderful one-handed stop for the third penalty save in a row by the Polish shotstopper.
MORATA SEALS THE WIN
The Blucerchiari did, however, find a lifeline on 84 minutes. Abdelhamid Sabiri hit a free kick from distance which beat Szczęsny after a heavy deflection from Morata.
Juventus displayed the self-belief that has been built over this positive run by keeping their focus, and with two minutes to play, the points were wrapped up. Locatelli crossed from the right and from point-blank range, Morata forced his header past Falcone into the net for his second on the night and the team's third.
A third straight win in Serie A for the first time this season was perfect preparation for the Champions League showdown with Villarreal on Wednesday.
SAMPDORIA 1-3 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-2):
Scorers: 23' Yoshida (OG), 33' & 88' Morata (J), 84' Sabiri (S).
SAMPDORIA: Falcone, Bereszynski, Yoshida, Colley, Augello (83' Conti); Rincon (83' Trimboli), Candreva, Thorsby; Sensi (66' Giovinco); Quagliarella (62' Sabiri), Caputo.
Subs not used: Audero, Ravaglia, Ekdal, Supryaha, Askildsen, Ferrari, Magnani.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Danilo, de Ligt, Rugani, Pellegrini (85' De Sciglio); Cuadrado, Locatelli, Arthur, Rabiot (75' Alex Sandro); Kean (65' Vlahovic), Morata.
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, Stramaccioni, Miretti, Aké.
ASSISTANTS: Di Vuolo, Bottegoni.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Cosso.
VAR: Aureliano, De Meo.
BOOKINGS: 49' Rabiot (J), 82' Pellegrini (J).
Three important points on the back of the second 1-0 victory of the week, this time against Spezia. After the Italian Cup semi-final success, a 14th Serie A match without defeat pushed Juventus strengthened Juve's grip on fourth place, six points ahead of Atalanta and Roma.
MORATA SWEEPS HOME
Juventus were invited to break down a Spezia defence that at times had five players strung along the back. Maintaining patience was key and that is what the Bianconeri did through the midfield three of Arthur, Adrien Rabiot and Manuel Locatelli. The first glimpse on goal came on seven minutes, when Alvaro Morata collected a free-kick from Juan Cuadrado, but his shot hit the side-netting.
10 minutes later, again Cuadrado was involved in the thick of the action, when he dribbled his way into the opposing penalty area. His cut back found Arthur, whose confident shot was blocked by the Spezia defence. However, the lead was only a matter of minutes away. A poor clearance by Spezia goalkeeper Ivan Provedel was quickly fed forward by Daniele Rugani to Dusan Vlahovic, who likewise played a first-time pass to Locatelli. The midfielder roled the ball into the path of Morata, who side-footed his shot beyond Provedel for a deserved lead on 21 minutes. Juventus pushed on for a second goal before the interval, and came close when Cuadrado won back possession.
After exchanging passes with Arthur, he found himself with only the goalkeeper to beat. However, Provedel dived smartly to his left to turn the shot out for a corner.
Juventus started slowly after the restart, and Spezia almost took advantage. A clever backheel by Daniele Verde played in Salva Ferrer. The full-back's cross was met by Emmanuel Gyasi just six yards out. However, Wojciech Szczęsny smothered the header on his goal line. This time it was Juve who were playing the waiting game, and after winning back possession in the centre of the park had the chance to carve open the Spezia defence on the counter attack but the final pass was lacking. Just after the hour mark, Federico Bernardeschi returned to action to a warm reception from the home support.
With Luca Pellegrini off, Danilo switched to the left and Cuadrado stepped back into defence. After Morata had his effort blocked from another promising counter attack, it was Spezia that created another gilt-edged chance with just 10 minutes remaining. Kevin Agudelo was played in behind the Bianconeri defence but was denied but another important save by Szczęsny. In the closing minutes, Juve the chance to wrap up the match. However, neither Cuadrado, with a long-range effort, or Morata, with a tap-in from a Cuadrado cross, could find the net. As it was, the first-half goal from Morata proved to be enough for another three points.
JUVENTUS 1-0 SPEZIA (HT: 1-0):
SCORERS: 21' Morata (J).
JUVENTUS: Juventus: Szczesny; Danilo, Rugani, De Ligt, Pellegrini (63' Bernardeschi); Locatelli, Arthur, Rabiot; Cuadrado, Vlahovic (85' Kean), Morata.
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, Stramaccioni, Miretti, Akè, Soulé.
SPEZIA: Provedel; Ferrer, Erlic, Nikolaou, Reca; Maggiore (76' Bourabia), Bastoni, Agudelo; Gyasi, Manaj (76' Kovalenko), Verde.
Subs not used: Zoet, Zovko, Hristov, Podgoreanu, Antiste, Sher, Nguiamba, Strelec, Bertola.
ASSISTANTS: Cecconi, Rocca.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Miele.
VAR: Mazzoleni, Rossi.
BOOKINGS: 54' Erlic (S), 57' Vlahovic (J), 61' Pellegrini (J), 67' Bernardeschi (J) , 90+3' Bourabi (S).
Massimiliano Allegri fielded the youngest Juventus starting XI since the beginning of the last decade as the coach handed 21-year-old Marley Aké his first start in midfield. Danilo, Matthijs De Ligt and Mattia De Sciglio made up the three-man defence, while Moise Kean partnered Dusan Vlahovic, whose return to the Artemio Franchi was met passionately by the home support.
NO INCH GIVEN
Backed by their vociferous fans, Fiorentina started with intent. As early as the sixth minute, Riccardo Saponara hit a shot from outside the penalty area, which was comfortably taken by Mattia Perin. Perin almost gifted the Viola the opener when in an attempt to play the ball out from the back he found Giacomo Bonaventura on the 18-yard-line. Fortunately for the Juve keeper, the Fiorentina number 5 shot over. Although not creating any chances of their own, Juve were keeping Fiorentina at a safe distance.
Only once did the hosts penetrate the Bianconeri penalty area, and that was when Jonathan Ikoné used his pace to show Mattia De Sciglio a clean pair of heels. The Frenchman dragged his shot just wide. Lucas Torreira had an effort that dipped over the crossbar before he was dispossessed at the point of shooting by Arthur as the first half drew to a close with neither side looking particularly dangerous. Both Kean and Vlahovic were being closely marked by Nikola Milenkovic and Igor.
Both sides made substitutions at the start of the second half. Lorenzo Venuti replaced Alvaro Odriozola for the hosts, while Aké made way for Juan Cuadrado.However, it was Ikoné who would once again be the Fiorentina dangerman, when on 48' he turned inside the box but saw his effort strike the outside of the post.10 minutes into the second half, finally Vlahovic broke free from his marker to latch onto a pass in the penalty area. The striker attempted to lob Pietro Terracciano but the keeper at full stretch managed to deflect the ball out for a corner. Juventus were growing in stature and created two chances between the 74th and 78th minute. First, Danilo glanced a header wide from a corner, before Cuadrado smashed a shot into the side netting from an excellent position.
Fiorentina made four more changes, while Alvaro Morata replaced Moise Kean for the Bianconeri. However, it was the first substitutes that would decide the fate of the match. In stoppage time, Adrien Rabiot supplied Cuadrado, whose dangerous cross from deep inside the penalty area was turned into his own net by Venuti. Heart break for the home-grown full-back, delight for Juventus.
The Bianconeri host Fiorentina in the return-leg in late April with a hard-fought one-goal advantage to defend.
FIORENTINA 0-1 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-0):
SCORER: 90+1' Venuti (OG).
FIORENTINA: Terracciano; Odriozola (46' Venuti), Milenkovic, Igor, Biraghi; Bonaventura, Torreira, Castrovilli (84' Duncan); Ikoné (84' Gonzalez), Piatek (65' Cabral), Saponara (65' Sottil).
Subs not used: Rosati, Dragowski, Callejon, Maleh, Terzic, Egharevba, Amrabat.
JUVENTUS: Perin; Danilo, de Ligt, De Sciglio; Aké (46' Cuadrado), Locatelli, Arthur, Rabiot, Pellegrini; Vlahovic, Kean (59' Morata).
Subs not used: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Bonucci, Soulé, Miretti, Stramaccioni.
Assistants: Carbone, Lo Cicero.
Fourth Official: Marinelli.
VAR: Di Paolo, Ranghetti.
BOOKINGS: 57' Pellegrini (J), 71' Bonaventura (F), 72' Milenkovic (F), 79' De Sciglio (J) , 90' Torreira (F).
Strike partners Moise Kean and Dusan Vlahovic led the line and found the net as Juventus scored three at the Castellani but a sprightly Empoli struck back twice. The Bianconeri held their ground and collected all three points with a first victory in three league matches to hold down fourth place.
VLAHOVIC AND KEAN LEAD THE LINE
Empoli employed a high-pressing game to thwart Juventus from building deep, but when the Bianconeri did manage to break free of the close marking they looked dangerous. Kean and Vlahovic were the outlets in attack and it was the Serb who fed Denis Zakaria on seven minutes. From inside the penalty area, the midfielder's low shot was parried by Guiglielmo Vicario and spun out for a corner.
Again Vlahovic and Kean were at the heart of the Juventus threat when Kean found his strike partner, whose low shot flashed dangerously across the face of the Empoli goal. With just over half an hour on the clock, Juventus took the lead and it was Kean on the end of a flowing move started by Vahovic on the half-way line. As the ball was worked down the left, Adrien Rabiot's cross was headed home by Kean from six yards out.
A few minutes later, the joy of the goal was replaced by injury fears as Denis Zakaria limped off, replaced by Manuel Locatelli. On 40 minutes, the home side found the equaliser. Juventus failed to clear a corner kick and Szymon Zurkowsi reacted quickest to prod the ball into the net from close range.
The first half action wasn't over yet, however. In stoppage time, Arthur intercepted in the centre circle and fed Juan Cuadrado. He was allowed to reach the penalty area where his pass found the feet of Vlahovic, whose initial dummy fooled the Empoli defence, allowing the striker to coolly chip the ball into the empty net.
DUSAN TO THE DOUBLE
Empoli continued to keep the Juventus defence under pressure after the interval, but the Bianconeri were keen to take advantage on the counter-attack, also after Alvaro Morata had replaced Kean in attack. In fact, it was the substitute who set off on the break and rolled the ball into the path of Vlahovic, who lobbed the onrushing Vicario to give Juve a two-goal advantage.
EMPOLI CUT THE DEFICIT
Empoli refused to lie down and a spate of substitutions gave the home side a lease of life. A period of sustained pressure led to the hosts' second goal. Adrien Rabiot's deflected header was heading into his own net before Leonardo Bonucci diverted the ball onto the underside of the crossbar. However, the second wave of the attack led to the ball breaking to Andrea La Mantia, who drove the ball low into the net. Four minutes later, the Empoli substitute almost had a second, but deflected his shot wide of target.
Juventus managed to see out the closing minutes to collect three hard-earned and precious points.
EMPOLI 2-3 JUVENTUS (HT: 1-2):
Scorers: 32' Kean (J), 40' Zurkowski (E), 45+2' & 66' Vlahovic (J), 80' La Mantia (E).
EMPOLI: Vicario; Stojanovic (85' Henderson), Ismajli, Luperto, Cacace (70' Parisi); Zurkowski, Asllani, Bandinelli (70' Benassi); Bajrami (85' Verre), Di Francesco (70' La Mantia); Pinamonti.
Subs not used: Furlan, Ujkani, Romagnoli, Tonelli, Verre, Fiamozzi, Stulac, Cutrone.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, de Ligt, Pellegrini; Cuadrado, Zakaria (37' Locatelli), Arthur, Rabiot; Vlahovic, Kean (62' Morata).
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, De Sciglio, Miretti, Akè, Soulè.
ASSISTANTS: Palermo, Perrotti.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Fourneau.
VAR: Valerio, Muto.
BOOKINGS: 50' Ismajli (E), 73' Parisi (E).
A quick-fire start from Dusan Vlahovic gave Juventus an early advantage on their first ever first to Villarreal but the Spanish side, pushed on by the home support, equalised in the second half through Daniel Parejo.
The 1-1 result means the tie is finely poised for the second leg of the Champions League Round of 16.
With his first touch he set himself up, and with his first shot he scored his first goal in the Champions League. With just 32 seconds on the clock, Dusan Vlahovic's European debut was a dream come true. Villarreal responded and on 12 minutes came close to the equaliser. Full-back Alfonso Pedraza burst into the penalty area and squared the ball to Giovani Lo Celso.
The attacking midfielder hit his shot from the height of the penalty spot but watched as it cannoned off the post for a goal kick. The home team's midfield duo, Etienne Capoue and Daniel Parejo were dictating the play and their link-up in midfield released winger Samu Chukwueze down the right. His low cross reached Arnaut Danjuma, whose audacious back-heel took a deflection off Danilo before Wojciech Szczęsny dealt with the danger.
When Juventus pressed high, putting Villarreal under pressure, momentum swung back in favour of the Bianconeri. Manuel Locatelli was set up at the edge of the penalty area but his shot was off target. Juan Cuadrado and Weston McKennie exchanged passes to free Alvaro Morata, whose shot was powerful but lacked accuracy. As the first half drew to a close, the hosts were being kept at a safe distance and were struggling to create chances in front of the Juve goal.
PAREJO LEVELS THE TIE
Leonardo Bonucci came on immediately after the restart for Alex Sandro. With three central defenders, Juve appeared in control of the game. On 47 minutes, Morata had another chance, but his volley flashed wide of Rulli's post. However, as the second half progressed Juventus found themselves deeper inside their own half, especially as veteran Raul Albiol had taken the measure of Vlahovic. The home team found the equaliser midway through the second period. Capoue fed the ball into the path of Parejo, whose run had gone unchecked by the Bianconeri defence. One on one with Szczesny, the midfielder picked his spot and placed the ball beyond the Juve keeper.
Massimiliano Allgri brought on Arthur and Denis Zakaria for Locatelli and McKennie in search of a second goal. The nearest they came was the second of the chance of the match for Vlahovic, whose low drive on 85 minutes produced a fine one-handed save from Geronimo Rulli. With neither side willing to risk throwing players forward, the match finished 1-1, finely poised for the return leg on 16 March at the Allianz Stadium.
VILLARREAL 1-1 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-1):
Scorers: 1' Vlahovic (J), 66' Parejo (V).
VILLARREAL: Rulli; Foyth, Albiol, Pau Torres, Pedraza (79' Estupiñán); Chukwueze (90' Pino), Capoue, Parejo, A. Moreno (79' Trigueros); Lo Celso, Danjuma (90' Dia).
Subs not used: Asenjo, Jorgensen, Mario, Aurier, Mandi, Iborra, Moi Gómez.
JUVENTUS: Szczęsny; Danilo, de Ligt, Alex Sandro (46' Bonucci), De Sciglio (87' Pellegrini); McKennie (81' Zakaria), Locatelli (71' Arthur), Rabiot; Cuadrado, Vlahovic, Morata.
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, Kean, Soulé.
REFEREE: Siebert (GER).
ASSISTANTS: Seidel, Foltyn.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Jablonski.
VAR: Dankert, Osmers.
BOOKINGS: 73' Rabiot (J), 73' Rulli (V).
The Derby della Mole ended with only the second draw in 10 visits from Torino. Juventus did not capitalise on the early goal from Matthijs De Ligt as Andrea Belotti struck a second-half equaliser for the visitors.
TORINO START STRONGLY
Already without Danilo suspended and Leonardo Bonucci injured, Massimiliano Allegri had to take emergency measures in defence after Daniele Rugani pulled up with an injury during the warm-up. Luca Pellegrini stepped in, with Alex Sandro covering in the centre of defence. In the centre of midfield, Manuel Locatelli teamed up with Denis Zakaria for the first time from kick-off.
Torino fielded an attacking line-up with Andrea Belotti leading the line, supported by Tommaso Pobega and Joisp Brekalo. The Toro set-up created some difficulty for the Juventus backline in the opening 10 minutes. Rolando Mandragora hit a low shot well covered by Wojciech Szczesny at his near post. The Juve keeper then touched the ball away from Belotti, who was poised for the tap-in.
JUVENTUS STRIKE FIRST
Juventus remained compact, and first hit on the counter attack on 11 minutes. A swift passing exchange set Adrien Rabiot racing in on goal. The Frenchman drilled his shot just wide of the far post.
Two minutes later, Juventus took the lead. Juan Cuadrado's deep cross from a corner was met by Matthijs De Ligt, who powered his header home at the far post.
Juventus took confidence from the opening goal and twice tested Vanja Milinkovic Savic. First, Paulo Dybala pounced on a loose ball inside the penalty area and his shot was parried. On the follow up, Morata was also denied by the Toro keeper.
The first half drew to an end with injury worries surrounding Pellegrini. The full-back managed to see out the first 45 minutes but wouldn't reappear after the interval.
TORO DRAW LEVEL
The second half began similarly to the first, with Mandragora testing Szczesny with a shot from inside the penalty area.
On 52 minutes, Dybala hit a powerful shot from distance which curled the wrong side of Milinkovic's post. That was the last involvement for the Juve forward, who indicated he was unable to continue. Another injury, following Pellegrini's, who had been replaced by Mattia De Sciglio at the start of the second half. Weston McKennie came on for Dybala.
Neither team had much chance to express their creative side as tackling dominated the game. That was until 62 minutes, when Brekalo cut back a cross from the bye-line, which was met by Belotti. The Torino captain's shot beat Szczesny to level the score.
Arthur and Moise Kean were thrown on by Allegri as Juventus looked to hit late, as they have often done against their city rivals. There wasn't to be any last-minute drama this time, however, as the match finished 1-1.
JUVENTUS 1-1 TORINO (HT: 1-0):
SCORERS: 13' De Ligt (J)', 62' Belotti (T).
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Cuadrado, De Ligt, Alex Sandro, Pellegrini (46' De Sciglio); Zakaria, Locatelli (74' Arthur), Rabiot; Dybala (54' McKennie), Vlahovic (74' Kean), Morata.
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, Kaio Jorge, Akè.
TORINO: Milinkovic; Djidji, Bremer (89' Buongiorno), Rodriguez; Singo (80' Ansaldi), Lukic, Mandragora, Vojvoda; Pobega, Brekalo (75' Pjaca); Belotti (80' Sanabria).
Subs not used: Berisha, Izzo, Zima, Seck, Ricci, Ola Aina, Pellegri, Linetty.
ASSISTANTS: Alassio, Tolfo.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Ayroldi.
VAR: Mazzoleni, Liberti.
BOOKINGS: 73' Cuadrado (J), 82' Lukic (T), 89' Mandragora (T).
Juventus stretched their unbeaten run to 11 consecutive matches in Serie A but the Bianconeri left it very late after an intense match in Bergamo. Massimiliano Allegri continued with a three-man frontline of Dusan Vlahovic flanked by Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata but it was Atalanta forward Ruslan Malinovskyi who opened the scoring on 76 minutes.
Danilo powered home a stoppage time header for Juventus to claim a point that keeps the Lady's two-point advantage in fourth place.
The first sight of goal for Vlahovic came three minutes into the game. His curler from the edge of the penalty area called on Marco Sportiello to make an acrobatic finger-tip save to stop the ball from flying into the top corner. The centre forward was again in the thick of the action when Weston McKennie crossed after a strong run to the bye-line. The Serbian striker's header drifted wide off target. McKennie was the orchestrator of Juve's next chance. The midfielder found Dybala on the run, who cut in on his left foot but curled his effort narrowly wide of the far post.
Atalanta grew in confidence as the first half progressed. The hosts' first chance fell to Martin De Roon, who scooped a flick-on from a corner over from the six-yard line. The home side again caused the Juventus defence problems. Teun Koopmeiners was played through and when Wojciech Szczęsny came racing off his line, the midfielder's touch fell to Luis Muriel, with the goal gaping. Leonardo Bonucci raced back and slid in to clear to deny the Colombian his first goal against the Bianconeri. Bonucci's central defensive partner, Matthijs De Ligt then twice blocked Jeremie Boga shots in the space of a minute as the first half drew to a close.
Two bookings per side highlighted the intensity of the opening half, which continued after the restart.
MALINOVSKYI STRIKES FIRST
The team from Bergamo started the second half strongly with de Roon testing Szczesny with a low drive. Morata and Dybala linked up to find Vlahovic, whose goal bound effort was spectacularly turned over the crossbar by Sportiello. The Bianconeri were moving the ball around well, and another attack found Adrien Rabiot inside the penalty area, but his shot hit the side-netting.
With the ebb and flow first favouring one side then the other, Atalanta also created chances. Boga's cross was inches away from being tapped in by Koopmeiners. The hosts made the breakthrough on 76 minutes. Substitute Malinovskyi's powerful long-range effort from a free-kick he had earned thundered beyond Szczesny.
DANILO KEEPS IT LATE
Allegri brought on Juan Cuadrado and Moise Kean for Bonucci and McKennie, but Atalanta almost doubled their lead. Malinovskyi flighted in a cross, which was met by Hans Hateboer, who from close range crashed his shot off the crossbar. Arthur and Marely Aké were introduced to add more attacking impetus, and Juventus continued to press despite the deep defence employed by the home team. Cuadrado earned a corner, taken by Dybala. The inswinging cross was met imperiously by Danilo, whose header flew past Sportiello. Juventus had found the equaliser in the 92nd minute - a goal that kept the unbeaten run intact.
ATALANTA 1-1 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-0):
Scorers: Malinovskyi (A) 76', Danilo (J) 90+2'.
ATALANTA: Sportiello; Djmsiti, Demiral, Toloi; Zappacosta (60' Maehle), Freuler, Koopmeiners, de Roon, Hateboer; Boga (90+1' Pasalic), Muriel (60' Malinovskyi).
Subs not used: Rossi, Dajcar, Scalvini, Pezzella, Pessina, Mihaila.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci (79' Cuadrado), de Ligt, De Sciglio; McKennie (81' Kean), Locatelli, Rabiot (86' Arthur); Dybala, Vlahovic, Morata (86' Aké).
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, Rugani, Alex Sandro, Pellegrini, Zakaria, Kaio Jorge.
ASSISTANTS: Meli, Imperiale.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Volpi.
VAR: Aureliano, De Meo.
BOOKINGS: 35' Djmsiti, 36' Hateboer, 38' Danilo, 42' Vlahovic, De Ligt 75'.
Dusan Vlahovic was brought in to provide a goal threat. Two matches into his Juventus career and the 22-year-old has done just that. A debut goal against Verona at the weekend was followed up this evening with a late winner, thanks to the helping hand of Sassuolo defender Ruan Tressoldi.
Pauolo Dybala had given Juventus the perfect start but the visitors under coach Alessio Dionisi equalised half-way through the first half. Save after save from Gianluca Pegolo thwarted Juventus in the second period until that late, late winner.
DYBALA STRIKES EARLY
On their first concerted attack Juventus found the breakthrough. Alex Sandro found himself in space down the left and his cross was met by Weston McKennie. The midfielder's shot was charged down but the loose ball was lashed into the net by Dybala. Three minutes on the clock and Juventus were already in the lead.
A couple of minutes later Sassuolo cleared their lines as Juventus looked to double their advantage. The visitors regrouped, however, and came back into the match.
Domenico Berardi latched onto a miss-hit pass from Leonardo Bonucci and called Mattia Perin into his first save of the match. Again Sassuolo threatened following a fine run from full-back Georgios Kyriakopoulos, which forced another clever save from Perin. On 24 minutes the Juventus goalkeeper was blameless as Hamed Traore fired a shot from just inside the penalty area into the far corner of the net. Being pegged back jolted Juventus into life and on 37 minutes Vlahovic was set up with his first chance.
Bearing down on Gianluca Pegolo in the Sassuolo goal, the Juventus striker drove his shot into the keeper's legs. Four minutes later in a scramble inside the penalty area, Pegolo at full stretch managed to divert an Alex Sandro effort.
JUVE DOMINATION PAYS OFF
Juventus survived a couple of Gianluca Scamacca headers at the restart before definitively taking control of the match. On 55 minutes Weston McKennie struck the post as Juve pushed forward. Eight minutes later Vlahovic again found Pegolo in his path. Juventus continued to press and a Dybala free-kick was met again by McKennie. From Pegolo's save, Matthijs De Ligt hit the frame of the goal from close range. Inside the 15 minutes, the home pressure didn't let up. Alvaro Morata found himself one-on-one with the Sassuolo goalkeeper but once again the veteran pulled off an outstanding block.
As the match appeared destined to reach extra time, the Juve pressure finally paid off. Vlahovic chased down a through pass from Dybala. The centre forward used his last reserves of strength and determination to take on the Sassuolo defence single handedly. His shot took a deflection off Ruan Tressoldi to wrong foot Pegolo and restore the Bianconeri's advantage.
The late win rewards Juventus with a two-legged semi-final against Fiorentina.
JUVENTUS 2-1 SASSUOLO (HT:1-1):
SCORERS: 3' Dybala (J), 24' Traoré (S), Ruan (OG) 88'.
JUVENTUS: Perin; De Sciglio (61' Morata), de Ligt, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Zakaria (61' Locatelli), Arthur (71' Rabiot), McKennie; Cuadrado, Vlahovic (90' Kaio Jorge), Dybala.
Subs not used: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Danilo, Rugani, Pellegrini, Soule, Aké.
SASSUOLO: Pegolo; Ruan, Ayhan (46' Muldur), Ferrari, Kyriakopoulos; Harroui (73' Frattesi), Lopez; Berardi (59' Defrel), Raspadori, Traoré (60' Henrique) Scamacca.
Subs not used: Satalino, Consigli, Magnanelli, Rogerio, Ciervo, Peluso, Ceide, Chiriches, De Souza.
Assistants: Paganessi, Rocca.
After the January transfer activity, there was an obvious and understandable curiosity to see how the new signings Dusan Vlahovic and Denis Zakaria would perform on their Juventus debut.
Well, the two showed up with a goal each, one in each half, as Juventus collected a 2-0 win over a Verona side that was always held at a safe distance. It was the 4-1 defeat of Parma 4-1 in September 2011 that two Juventus players last found the net on their bows.
THE DV7 ERA BEGINS
All eyes were on Vlahovic, who took little time to endear himself to his new fans. With his first touch, he unleashed a powerful shot that Lorenzo Montipò parried at full stretch. With his second opportunity he gave the Verona goalkeeper no chance.
Paulo Dybala played the ball into space, and using his pace and strength to hold off his marker, Vlahovic lobbed the on-rushing goalkeeper for his debut goal. 13 minutes on the clock and DV7 had already brought the house down.
FRONT THREE ON THE FRONT FOOT
One of the most interesting aspects of the opening half was the link-up play of the Juventus front three. Dybala and Alvaro Morata looked to link up with their co-striker at every given opportunity. With the Argentine dropping deep, his first thought was to play through Vlahovic. Morata was also eager to play off the physical presence of the new Juventus centre forward.
On 37 minutes, the combination between the two almost led to Juventus doubling their lead, but Vlahovic's touch ended just wide. Another positive note was the personality of Zakaria, covering plenty of ground in the centre of the park and keen to push forward, as was proved in the second half.
ZAK TO THE DOUBLE
Verona started the second half with greater conviction and kept the Bianconeri penned in their own field for a quarter of an hour, but on 61 minutes, Zakaria, who had already shown a remarkable personality in the first half, followed Vlahovic with a debut goal. Morata broke over the half-way line and rolled the ball to Zakaria who took the ball in his stride inside the visitors' penalty area. One touch to steady himself, the second to take aim as he drilled a low shot beyond Montipò.
Juve began to play with confidence and Dybala almost found a quick third but was denied by the Verona 'keeper. Again Montipò showed excellent reflexes to keep out Adrien Rabiot.
In the closing 15 minutes, Allegri brought on Daniele Rugani and Juan Cuadrado for Giorgio Chiellini and Dybala, then Zakaria and Morata came off to a standing ovation, replaced by Weston McKennie and Moise Kean.
Vlahovic, McKennie and Kean all tried to add another goal to round off the result but the two goals from the January reinforcements were enough to boost confidence ahead of the busy February schedule.
JUVENTUS 2-0 HELLAS VERONA (HT: 1-0):
SCORERS: Vlahovic 13', Zakaria 61'.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny, Danilo (75' Cuadrado), de Ligt, Chiellini (75' Rugani), De Sciglio; Zakaria( 83' McKennie), Arthur, Rabiot; Dybala, Vlahovic, Morata (83' Kean).
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, Bonucci, Pellegrini, Aké, Kaio Jorge.
VERONA: Montipò; Casale (84' Sutalo), Gunter, Ceccherini (62' Retsos); Depaoli, Ilic (84' Praszelik), Veloso (46' Bessa), Lazovic; Tameze, Barak (62' Kalinic); Lasagna.
Subs not used: Chiesa, Berardi, Coppola, Cancellieri.
ASSISTANTS: Cipressa, Fiore.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Baroni.
VAR: Doveri, Di Vuolo.
BOOKINGS: Depaoli (V) 17', Morata (J) 58'.
A finely-balanced contest from the first minute to the last. Milan and Juve battled out a hard-fought encounter, without finding that touch of class, the flash of skill, to break the deadlock. Both defences never gave an inch, limiting the forwards and their ability to create. The resulting stalemate didn't lack intensity, especially in the centre of the park, but overall there was little emotion over the 90 minutes.
COMBATIVE FIRST HALF
The game kicked off at a frenetic pace. Juventus looked to take advantage of the width at San Siro, Milan aimed to use Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the pivot in their attack.
Juan Cuadrado was buzzing from one flank to the other. From the left, a corner caused panic in the home defence and from the right on 12 minutes, he ran straight at the Rossoneri defence. His shot swerved off target.
Three minutes later, Rafael Leao cut in from the wing and, after a one-two with Ibrahimovic, hit a shot from the edge of the penalty area, which Wolciech Szczensy parried for a corner. On the half hour, the Swedish striker walked off injured, replaced by Olivier Giroud.
Juventus were seldom tested inside their penalty area and held Milan to a couple of long-distance efforts from Davide Calabria
In attack, the final pass was missing to cause the Rossoneri defence any harm.
A tight combative opening 45 minutes with both defences on top.
Alvaro Morata was offered a chance to make the breakthrough but his header from Mattia De Sciglio's cross flashed wide of the target.
Juventus were enjoying plenty of possession but were struggling to unsettle the home defence.
One of the Milan back-four, Theo Hernandez, broke forward and his low drive was well covered by Szczesny.
20 minutes into the second half, it was Milan again that created another chance. Giroud's header was well taken on his line by Szczesny.
At the other end, Weston McKennie tried to test Mike Maignan with a header of his own, but his effort drifted wide.
With the playing surface cutting up, and despite both coaches fielding all five substitutes, neither side could craft an opening as the clock ticked down into stoppage time, when nothing would change.
Juventus collected another clean sheet and stretched their unbeaten run to nine in Serie A with a point, which fails to iprove the situation in the league standings.
MILAN 0-0 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-0):
MILAN: Maignan; Calabria (75' Florenzi), Kalulu, A. Romagnoli, Theo Hernandez; Tonali, Krunic; Messias (61' Bennacer), Brahim Diaz (61' Saelemaekers), Leao (75' Rebic); Ibrahimovic (28' Giroud).
Subs not used: Tatarusanu, Mirante, Stanga, Gabbia, Bakayoko, Maldini.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; De Sciglio, Rugani, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Cuadrado (65' Bernardeschi), Locatelli (65' Arthur), Bentancur (90' Rabiot), McKennie; Dybala (90' Kulusevski), Morata (74' Kean).
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, Danilo, de Ligt, Pellegrini, Kaio Jorge, Aké.
REFEREE: Di Bello.
ASSISTANTS: Costanzo, Passeri.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Marcenaro.
VAR: Di Paolo, Valeriani.
BOOKINGS: Locatelli 9', Leao 12', Messias 42', Kean 89'.
Juventus outplayed Sampdoria from the first minute as they fired four past the visitors in the Italian Cup at the Allianz Stadium. Four goals were perhaps meagre reward for 15 shots on target from a total of 26 efforts on goal as the Bianconeri oozed confidence which bodes well for Sunday’s Serie A encounter with Milan at San Siro.
On his return from injury, Danilo was picked to play alongside Daniele Rugani in the centre of defence, and with Mattia De Sciglio and Alex Sandro covering the full-back positions, Juan Cuadrado was allowed to push forward into an attacking midfield role. It was the Colombian wideman who piled the pressure on Wladimiro Falcone in the Sampdoria goal, first with a swerving corner, which the goalkeeper punched clear form under his crossbar, then a low shot, which Falcone smartly parried for a corner.
Cuadrado wasn’t denied for long, however. A powerful free-kick from the edge of the penalty area gave the keeper no chance and Juve were in front after 25 minutes. One minute later, the Bianconeri had the ball in the net again. Cuadrado set up Alvaro Morata, who swept the ball home, but after consulting VAR, the match official disallowed the goal for a foul in midfield by Adrien Rabiot.
Dejan Kulusevski and Rugani were both denied in quick succession by Falcone as the Samp keeper almost single-handedly held back the Juventus attack, which he did again in first-half stoppage time when he blocked Morata’s low drive.
Juve started the second half on the front foot and quickly found a deserved second goal. Arthur’s corner kick was met majestically by Rugani, whose header looped beyond Falcone.
SAMP STRIKE BACK
Juventus made a double substitution on the hour mark but before either Giorgio Chiellini or Paulo Dybala touched the ball, Sampdoria had found a way back into the game. A cross from Tommaso Augello found Andrea Conti inside the penalty area. The new signing took one touch before rifling his shot in off the post.
Juventus kept their composure and concentration, and five minutes later restored their two-goal advantage. Manuel Locatelli pounced on a loose ball at the edge of penalty area, where Dybala was on hand to drill the ball into the net.
Cuadrado and Arthur took a deserved round of applause from the supporters in the Allianz Stadium, and their substitutes immediately set about making an impact, especially Marley Akè, whose blistering pace proved too much for Augello. The resulting penalty kick was converted by Morata.
The final score read four for Juventus but it could have been more as they progressed to the Italian Cup quarter finals on the back of a confident display.
JUVENTUS 4-1 SAMPDORIA (HT:1-0):
SCORERS: Cuadrado (J) 25', Rugani (J) 52’, Conti (S) 63’, Dybala (J) 67’, Morata (J) 77’.
JUVENTUS: Perin; De Sciglio, Danilo (62' Chiellini), Rugani, Alex Sandro; Locatelli , Arthur (75' Bentancur), Rabiot; Cuadrado (75' Aké), Morata (80' Kaio Jorge), Kulusevski (62' Dybala).
Subs not used: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Pellegrini, De Winter, Mckennie, Miretti, Soulé.
SAMPDORIA: Falcone; Conti (64' Candreva), Magnani, Augello (81' Dragusin), Murru; Thorsby (64' Vieira), Rincon, Askildsen, Bereszynski; Caputo (83' Ciervo), Torregrossa (64' Gabbiadini).
Subs not used: Ravaglia, Saio, Ferrari, Aquino, Yepes, Trimboli.
REFEREE: Francesco Fourneau.
ASSISTANTS: Fabrizio Lombardo, Orlando Pagnotta.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Niccolò Baroni.
A left-footed beauty from Paulo Dybala in the first half and a well-place Weston McKennie header handed the Bianconeri a well-earned 2-0 victory over Udinese in their Serie A clash at the Allianz Stadium on Saturday evening.
It was a slow start to the game, neither side being too adventurous going forward, as the hosts played the waiting game, seeing more of the ball as they looked to launch the perfect attack. Their patience paid off on 19 minutes, Arthur clipping in a ball that Moise Kean headed down, falling favourably to Paulo Dybala who let his left foot do the rest.
The lead allowed the Bianconeri to dictate play, Udinese struggling to fashion any meaningful chances while preventing the hosts from doubling their lead, Dejan Kukusevski's fierce shot ricocheting off a defender while Weston McKennie's header failed to hit the mark after being closely checked in the box.
Wojciech Szczesny's first contribution to the game was a dive low to his right to deny Beto's grasscutter on 36 minutes, while on the other end, Rodrigo Bentancur did well to win the win the ball in middle of the park before carrying it forward and finding Dybala, but the Argentine could only blaze his effort over the bar.
Bringing on Manuel Locatelli and Federico Bernardeschi for the start of the second half, Juventus looked to build on their advantage, yet it was the visitors who had the first look on goal in the second stanza, Gerard Deulofeu's free-kick from just outside the area whizzing over the crossbar.
From a deadball situation of their own, Juve looked to trouble the Udine defense themselves, Juan Cuadrado's free-kick punched clear by Daniele Padelli.
Dominating possession, Juve continued to dictate proceedings, a spell of impressive build-up play leading to a well-struck effort on goal by goalscorer Dybala, whose effort went narrowly wide.
With 15 minutes to go, McKennie again found himself in a central position in the box, but just couldn't quite direct his header on goal.
Five minutes later though, with his third headed attempt of the evening, the American finally found the mark, connecting with a fine Mattia De Sciglio cross to double the Bianconeri's lead.
Juventus were then able to see out the game with ease, the goals in each half securing a well-earned win and a solid three points in their last home league fixture in January.
JUVENTUS 2-0 UDINESE (HT: 1-0):
SCORER: Dybala 19', McKennie 79'
JUVENTUS: Szczesny, Cuadrado, Rugani, De Ligt, Pellegrini (De Sciglio 57'), Bentancur (Rabiot 82'), Arthur (Locatelli 46'), McKennie, Dybala, Kulusevski (Bernardeschi 46'), Kean (Morata 64').
Unused substitutes: Pinsoglio, Perin, Chiellini, Alex Sandro, Kaio Jorge, De Winter.
UDINESE: Padelli, Perez, Nuytinck, Zeegelaar, Soppy (Success 81'), Arslan (Samardzic 85'), Walace (Jajalo 82'), Makengo, Udogie, Deulofeu (Pussetto 65'), Beto.
Unused substitutes: Santurro, Piana, Nestorovski, Ianesi, Castagnaviz, Damiani, Cocetta, Pinzi.
Juve fell to defeat at the hands of Inter right at the end of extra time when a penalty shootout seemed to be on the cards. After Weston McKennie and Lautaro Martinez struck in the first half, the Super Cup winning goal was scored by Alexis Sanchez for an Inter side that did play the better football without truly turning on the style. It wasn’t a classic by any stretch, with little excitement and low levels of intensity, particularly in the second half. It came down to fine margins and Inter deserve credit for going in hunt of a winner until the very end.
MCKENNIE HEADS US IN FRONT
The game took a while to get going with both sides pressing high and forcing the other to make mistakes in building moves. For long spells there was more scrapping for the ball in midfield than quality play. Juve slowly began to find their feet and after two forward runs by Federico Bernardeschi the Bianconeri took the lead.
Alvaro Morata's delivery took a deflection removing Stefan de Vrij from the equation and McKennie was on hand to nod past Samir Handanovic.
LAUTARO LEVELS FROM THE SPOT
Inter looked to respond immediately and after a couple of long-range efforts from Hakan Calhanoglu, the Nerazzurri's pressure was rewarded with a penalty following contact between Mattia De Sciglio and Edin Dzeko. Martinez powered home to make it 1-1, and that was the last action of note before the break.
JUVE SIT BACK AS INTER PLAY PASSING GAME
Adrien Rabiot’s low cross and Bernardeschi’s first-time left-footed effort that went narrowly wide were the highlights at the start of the second half before Inter took control. The Nerazzurri passed the ball around while Juve sat back and tried to close down the space. Denzel Dumfries’s header hit the bar before Mattia Perin was called into action to keep out Lautaro’s effort and an Ivan Perisic strike on the half volley.
The Bianconeri struggled to string together any meaningful attacks, with Massimiliano Allegri responding by sending on Paulo Dybala and Arthur for Dejan Kulusevski and Bernardeschi. Moise Kean also entered the fray late on in place of Morata, as both teams seemed to tire and the game drifted towards extra time without any meaningful incidents in the closing stages.
SANCHEZ WINS IT WITH THE FINAL KICK
Rodrigo Bentancur came on for Manuel Locatelli at the start of the second half, while Sanchez went close to scoring from an Inter corner. Despite the substitutions, there didn’t seem to be enough energy to break the deadlock and as the clock ticked towards the 30-minute mark, nothing but penalties seemed to be on the cards. Sanchez had other ideas, however, as he made the most of uncertainty in the Juve defence to pounce on a loose ball and beat the faultless Perin, clinching the trophy for Inter with the last kick of the game.
INTER 2-1 JUVENTUS (AET):
SCORERS: McKennie 25, Lautaro Martinez 35 (pen), Sanchez 120.
INTER: Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Dumfries (Darmian 89), Barella (Vidal 89), Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Perisic (Dimarco 100); Dzeko (Correa 75), Lautaro Martinez (Sanchez 75).
Subs not used: Radu, D'Ambrosio, Vecino, Ranocchia, Kolarov, Gagliardini, Sensi.
JUVENTUS: Perin; De Sciglio, Rugani, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; McKennie, Locatelli (Bentancur 91), Rabiot, Bernardeschi (Arthur 79); Kulusevski (Dybala 74), Morata (Kean 87).
Subs not used: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Danilo, Bonucci, Pellegrini, De Winter, Ake, Kaio Jorge.
ASSISTANTS: Bindoni, Imperiale.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Fabbri.
VAR: Mazzoleni, Ranghetti.
BOOKED: Bernardeschi 43, Dzeko 60, Bentancur 105, Correa 106, Rugani 109, Vidal 118, Sanchez 120.
Winning away to Roma is always a difficult feat, but to do so in this way is as good as it gets, with the victory providing the squad with the perfect confidence boost in the midst of a tricky run of fixtures.
This was certainly not one for the faint-hearted and there was a period of the game where a comeback was not on the cards, but the team’s incredible resolve and belief will ensure this success is worth more than just three points in the long run.
The second half at the Stadio Olimpico was particularly frantic and at times the contest resembled a boxing match based on the speed with which the two sides kept striking each other down and getting back up.
After Tammy Abraham and Paulo Dybala got on the scoresheet in the first half, Roma raced into a 3-1 lead within five minutes of the restart through goals by Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Lorenzo Pellegrini, only for Juve to respond in style with Manuel Locatelli, Dejan Kulusevski and Mattia De Sciglio bagging a trio of goals in just seven second-half minutes. That was not the end of the drama, however, as Wojciech Szczesny turned hero late on by saving a penalty to secure all three points.
ABRAHAM GIVES ROMA THE LEAD
With Massimiliano Allegri watching on from the stands due to suspension, Marco Landucci was entrusted with taking the reins in the dugout. Juve lined up with Paulo Dybala and Moise Kean in attack, with Federico Chiesa breaking forward from his starting position down the left wing. Jose Mourinho’s side started with real tempo and threatened early on when Abraham’s header was saved by Szczesny.
The hosts racked up a string of four corners, the last of which proved decisive in the 11th minute when Jordan Veretout’s in-swinger was headed home by the former Chelsea forward.
DYBALA CURLS JUVE LEVEL
The opener only spurred the hosts on, as Roma ramped up the pressure, pinning the Bianconeri back and forcing Szczesny into a fine save to keep out Bryan Cristante’s low shot. The Argentine magician had other ideas, however, when he picked up Chiesa’s precise pass, took aim and sumptuously curled the ball into the far corner from the edge of the box to equalise.
CHIESA FORCED OFF
The plot took another twist in a game of real intensity when the battles in midfield led to Chiesa pulling up with a knee injury on the half-hour mark. Kulusevski replaced him on the right wing, while Weston McKennie shifted to the left.
Dybala often dropped deep to help his team-mates defensively and to start moves off, but Kean found himself isolated up front and Juve struggled to build meaningful attacks. The visitors’ rearguard held firm and ensured the Giallorossi had little space to exploit, but they did carve out a chance to restore their lead in first-half stoppage time when Chris Smalling headed the ball goalwards and Abraham was only able to divert it over the bar.
ROMA STRIKE TWICE
The second half couldn't have started in a worse way for Juve. In Roma's first attack, Lorenzo Pellegrini picked out Mkhitaryan in the centre and the Armenian let fly from the edge of the box: it took a nasty deflection off De Sciglio and looped over Szczesny into the goal. Before Juve could muster a reaction, the hosts had added another as Pellegrini powered a superb free kick past the wall and into the top corner.
JUVE STRIKE THRICE
A double blow like that would have killed off most teams, but this Juve side is made of sterner stuff. Landucci replaced Bentancur and Kean with Arthur and Morata, and the Spaniard wasted little time in making his mark, laying on an inch-perfect ball for Locatelli to head in and reduce the deficit. Two minutes later (four in real time, including the VAR check), the Bianconeri were level. Morata's effort from Juan Cuadrado's cross was saved but Kulusevski pounced and struck the leveller.
A topsy-turvy game might have ended there but there was more to come. Another three minutes passed and De Sciglio's pressing paid dividends as he latched onto a poor header by Smalling and fired home at the near post to make it 4-3.
TEK'S HANDS SAVE THE DAY
It still wasn't over. Roma piled forward seeking an equaliser. Juve withstood the pressure but when an Abraham shot in the area came off Matthijs de Ligt's arm, the ref checked with VAR before awarding a penalty and showing the Dutchman a second yellow, followed by a red.
Giorgio Chiellini came on for Dybala and Pellegrini stepped up to take the spot kick. Szczesny's cue. Having denied Veretout from 12 yards in the reverse fixture, the Pole repeated the trick against the Italy midfielder to maintain the lead – a lead Juve continued to defend with grit, courage and focus with ten men against Roma's late onslaught. The comeback was complete!
ROMA 3-4 JUVENTUS (HT 1-1):
SCORERS: Abraham 11, Dybala 18, Mkhitaryan 48, Lo. Pellegrini 53, Locatelli 70, Kulusevski 74, De Sciglio 87.
ROMA: Rui Patricio; Ibanez, Cristante, Smalling; Maitland-Niles, Lo. Pellegrini (Borja Mayoral 87), Veretout (Carles Perez 78), Mkhitaryan, Vina; Felix (Shomurodov 71), Abraham.
Subs not used: Boer, Mastrantonio, Kumbulla, Reynolds, Calafiori, Villar, Bove, Zalewski.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Cuadrado, de Ligt, Rugani, De Sciglio; McKennie, Locatelli, Bentancur (Arthur 64), Chiesa (Kulusevsky 32); Dybala (Chiellini 82), Kean (Morata 64).
Subs not used: Perin, Senko, L. Pellegrini, Rabiot, AkE, Bernardeschi, Kaio Jorge.
ASSISTANTS: Carbone and Peretti.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Giua.
VAR: Di Paolo, De Meo.
BOOKED: Cuadrado 45+3, Veretout 50, Ibanez 51, De Ligt 52, Locatelli 65, Cristante 76, De Ligt 81.
SENT OFF: De Ligt 81.
Juventus kicked off 2022 with a point against Napoli but probably should have taken all three, despite having to come from behind following Dries Mertens' first-half strike against the run of play.
Bolstered by the return of some key players, the Bianconeri looked in good shape and had the lion's share of the chances. Federico Chiesa restored parity but Juve weren't able to get another and close the gap in the table with the visitors.
JUVE'S BRIGHT START
Massimiliano Allegri recalled Chiesa from the outset and the Italy player was presented with an inviting opportunity following high team pressing but his shot was deflected behind. The chance that followed from the resulting corner was even more inviting with Weston McKennie getting away to head across missing by just a whisker.
Juventus pushed on with energy going forward and a solid defensive line giving Napoli only two hopeful long-distance opportunities in the first twenty minutes for Lorenzo Insigne.
MERTENS PUTS NAPOLI AHEAD
It was Napoli’s first true chance with which they took the lead. Insigne put Matteo Politano into the area, he held the ball up and knocked it back to Mertens, whose right-footed shot along the ground went through a sea of legs. Wojciech Szczesny got a touch but not enough to get it away from goal and enough to put it away from Matthijs de Ligt on the line giving the visitors the lead.
The Bianconeri tried to hit back but couldn’t do themselves justice. There was a shot from Juan Cuadrado who cut across goal but their play became a tad frenetic and Napoli were able to hold on. Shortly before half time Piotr Zielinski’s shot from outside the area had Szczesny stretching to tip the ball over the bar followed by a free kick from Mertens which missed the target by very little.
Juve started brightly after the restart and link-up play between Chiesa and Alvaro Morata put the Spaniard in only for him to miss hit it. The Bianconeri were immediately back in play and when Cuadrado dummied the ball to McKennie, the equaliser came. The American controlled the ball and played a cross to Morata which was met by the head of Amir Rrahmani but his clearance fell to the feet of Chiesa, who didn’t think twice before hitting the ball, with his shot taking a deflection to take it past David Ospina despite his efforts to stop it.
JUVE PUSH AND NAPOLI DEFEND
Juve were now on the charge searching for the lead. Chiesa’s right-footed shot forced Ospina to punch away and the follow-up from McKennie missed by a whisker. Napoli responded with an effort from Mertens which was pushed away by Szczesny.
Massimiliano Allegri made replacements in the 65th minute with Rodrigo Bentancur and Paulo Dybala coming on for Adrien Rabiot and Federico Bernardeschi and it was the Argentine who shortly after coming on won the ball in the attacking third and let fly with a shot from 25 metres which Ospina was able to manage.
Ten minutes later Mattia De Sciglio replaced Alex Sandro and Moise Kean was on for Morata while for the last ten minutes of the game Dejan Kulusevski was called on to replace Chiesa.
Juve were a team with a newfound energy but the game kept being halted and any attempt to get near Ospina’s goal was pushed back by Napoli, who relied on their experience to hold out for a draw and the point which saw no changes in the standings even if it doesn’t do justice to the way the Bianconeri played.
JUVENTUS 1-1 NAPOLI (HT 0-1):
SCORERS: Mertens 23, Chiesa 54.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Cuadrado, Rugani, De Ligt, Alex Sandro (De Sciglio 75); McKennie, Locatelli, Rabiot (Bentancur 66); Chiesa (Kulusevski 81), Morata (Kean 75), Bernardeschi (Dybala 65).
Subs not used: Perin, Senko, Arthur.
NAPOLI: Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Rrhamani, Juan Jesus, Ghoulam; Demme, Lobotka (Zanoli 90+2); Politano (Elmas 76), Zielinski, Insigne; Mertens (Petagna 89).
Subs not used: Marfella, Idasiak, Spedalieri, Costanzo, Vergara.
ASSISTANTS: Giallatini, Preti.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Marcenaro.
VAR: Irrati, Meli.
Juve got themselves three points for Christmas with victory over Cagliari in their final game of 2021. The 2-0 success marked further progress for the Bianconeri following their win against Bologna at the weekend – another careful, determined display with some nice flowing football to boot.
Federico Bernardeschi set up the opener for Moise Kean then bagged the second himself with a fine finish late on, while Wojciech Szczesny and the backline earned themselves another clean sheet, underlining the team's defensive solidity.
KEAN BREAKS THE DEADLOCK
A headed pass by Matthijs de Ligt to Kean for a headed effort sent shivers down the spine of the Cagliari defence after just a few minutes. Another huge chance came soon after following pressure from Juventus: Juan Cuadrado swung the ball in from the right and Kean rose with magnificent timing to power a header towards goal, only for it to strike the post.
Walter Mazzarri’s team set up with a 4-5-1 to put up a wall, which over time looked stronger and was able to limit the Bianconeri, who were no longer able to play the passing game with which they started the match. However, the crosses kept raining into the area and one of these - sent in by Federico Bernardeschi – was met by the head of Kean, who put the ball into the corner of the net for a more than deserved advantage.
BERNARDESCHI SEALS IT
Juve continued attacking after the break and almost got their second with an Alex Sandro header set up by Juan Cuadrado. The energy of Weston McKennie, who came on to replace Adrien Rabiot, and the speed of Kean and Alvaro Morata kept the visitors under pressure and they seemed less compact in defence compared to the first half of the game.
However, they were also more dangerous: first came Dalbert, skimming the post after shooting too far right from a good position, then Joao Pedro, whose header forced Szczesny to push the ball over the bar with an outstretched save.
Allegri brought off Kean and Arthur replacing them with Dejan Kulusevski and Manuel Locatelli and it was the Swede who started a counter-attack on the right before switching the ball to Federico Bernardeschi. The Italy man took the ball down and hit a powerful, accurate left-footed shot across goal leaving Alessio Cragno with no chance.
Bernardeschi was applauded off the field when substituted, as were the rest of the team at the final whistle, to say goodbye to 2021 in the best possible way.
JUVENTUS 2-0 CAGLIARI (HT 1-0):
SCORERS: Kean 40, Bernardeschi 83.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, De Ligt, Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Arthur (Locatelli 83), Rabiot (McKennie 46); Bernardeschi (De Sciglio 89), Morata (Kaio Jorge 89), Kean (Kulusevski 72).
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, Rugani, Pellegrini, De Winter, Locatelli, Soule.
CAGLIARI: Cragno; Zappa, Ceppo, Carboni, Lykogiannis; Bellanova, Deiola (Oliva 71), Grassi, Dalbert (Keita 84); Joao Pedro, Pereiro (Pavoletti 64).
Subs not used: Aresti, Radunovic, Altare, Faragò, Obert, Ceter.
ASSISTANTS: Rossi, Scarpa.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Colombo.
VAR: Orsato, Carbone.
BOOKED: Carboni 24, Dalbert 35, Pavoletti 85.
Juventus produced a confident, mature performance to secure a deserved 2-0 victory at Bologna, with Alvaro Morata and Juan Cuadrado on the score sheet. The Bianconeri started strong and aggressive but knew when to slow down the tempo and bide their time too. They were rarely threatened and ran out throughly deserved winners.
BERNARDESCHI INVENTS, MORATA SCORES
The fog covering the Dall’Ara didn’t manage to dampen the teams’ spirits as they started the game. Juventus got going at a lightning pace, pressing constantly, which after just six minutes gave McKennie and Arthur the chance to pick up the ball in midfield and send Morata away on the break. The Spaniard spread the ball to Bernadeschi, who played a brilliant return pass and Morata fired home from close range.
Bologna tried to react and get back into the match but when Morata managed to get away at speed towards the box he regularly put the Bologna defence under pressure. Another burst on the quarter-hour mark saw him he set up Rabiot, who hit a low angled effort which was blocked by Skorupski.
It was a wonderful open game, especially as the hosts were not put off by going behind and managed to give Arnautovic a chance with a header which was stopped by Szczesny, and Svanberg with a spectacular overhead kick which missed by a whisker.
Juventus picked up on the danger from their opponents and tried to maintain control of the game by winning the ball back high and keeping possession, often with one touch play, but the tempo eventually slowed as the minutes ticked by and the defences were able to limit opportunities.
Bologna came out after the restart with the bit between their teeth and Juve dropped off, keeping things tight at the back. On the hour mark Allegri brought on Alex Sandro and Locatelli for Pellegrini and Arthur, but the hosts kept probing for an equaliser – Szczesny was well placed at the near post to save Dominguez's effort.
The Bianconeri maintained the calm Allegri has so often called for and allowed Bologna to let off some steam, patiently waiting for the right moment to strike. They weren't always able to engineer effective counter-attacks but when they did they got their reward.
Rabiot and Morata linked up well to play in Cuadrado on the edge of the box, the Colombian sold his man a dummy to buy himself the space for the shot: it came off Hickey and ended up beneath the bar beyond Skorupski's reach.
JUVE SEE IT OUT
Bentancur and Kulusevski took over from McKennie and Kean as Juve set about controlling the game. Bologna's play was more frantic by this point, leaving themselves open on the counter. Cuadrado exploited that space to run the length of the pitch and tee up Bernardeschi on the edge of the area but Skorupski was equal to his effort. The keeper was then called into action once more to keep out Rabiot's header.
Juve battened down the hatches and refused to offer Bologna a glimpse of goal. Cuadrado and Kulusevski had chances to make it three but in the end it was only the three points that really mattered.
BOLOGNA 0-2 JUVENTUS (HT 0-1):
SCORERS: Morata 6, Cuadrado 69.
BOLOGNA: Skorupski; Soumaoro, Medel, Theate; De Silvestri (Skov Olsen 46), Soriano (Santander 85), Dominguez, Svanberg (Vignato 80), Hickey (Viola 85); Arnautovic, Barrow (Sansone 79) Van Hooijdonk.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Cuadrado, De Ligt, Bonucci, Pellegrini (Alex Sandro 61); McKennie (Bentancur 72), Arthur (Locatelli 61), Rabiot; Bernardeschi, Morata (Kaio Jorge 85), Kean (Kulusevski 71).
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, De Sciglio, Rugani, De Winter, Soule.
ASSISTANTS: Valeriani, Bresmes.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Marini.
VAR: Banti, Di Iorio.
BOOKED: Dominguez 29, McKennie 29.
Alvaro Morata’s first-half strike gave the Bianconeri the lead, but Mattia Aramu’s leveller ensured the points were shared as Venezia and Juventus played out a 1-1 draw in their Serie A encounter on Saturday evening.
It took Juventus a few minutes to get going in the compact but picturesque Stadio Pier Luigi Penzo, Venezia packing numbers behind the ball to block a number of early Bianconeri efforts on goal.
Massimiliano Allegri was forced to shuffle the pack as early as the 12th minute as captain on the night, Paulo Dybala, limped off with an injury, young Kaio Jorge introduced into the action early on. The Brazilian had an almost-immediate impact, Matthijs De Ligt heading a corner down to the young forward who stuck out a boot, as the ball ballooned over the bar.
Juan Cuadrado watched his shot from outside the box whizz wide moments later. While on the opposite flank, Luca Pellegrini was growing into the game, advancing into threatening positions down the left as he fed in Alvaro Morata, who from a tight angle got his shot away to force Romero into a sharp save at his near post.
The very same combination would link up with success in the 32nd minute, Morata getting in front of his man to connect with Pellegrini’s cross and steer the ball in at the near post, his second consecutive away goal giving the visitors the lead.
The Spaniard had a shot saved moments later, firing a grass-cutter straight at Romero who gratefully collected the arrowed strike.
Venezia’s attempts were few and far between, Thomas Henry, Domen Crnigoj and Marco Modolo all letting fly from range, but failing to threaten Wojciech Szczesny in the Juve goal, with Bianconeri doing well to contain Venezia’s advancements in the closing stages of the half.
In first-half additional time, the Bianconeri almost doubled their lead through Cuadrado, who found space to drive towards goal, lashing his effort across the face of goal and narrowly wide.
Venezia began the second stanza on the front foot, Gianluca Busio warming the hands of Szczesny six minutes in as I Lagurani continued to probe, their efforts paying off on 55 minutes as Ridgeciano Haps found teammate Mattia Aramu on the edge of the box, his first-time shot squeezing past Tek to bring the hosts level.
With their tails up, the Bianconeri backline was put under further pressure, Henry dragging his shot wide on 61 minutes as Venezia ventured forward I search of a second.
Juve were denied a golden chance to take the lead on 65 minutes, the ball falling kindly to Federico Bernardeschi in the box, his fierce volley from close range bringing out a fine reflexive save from Romero. Intelligent play from Morata saw the Spaniard intercept a poor clearance from Romero soon after as he put in a low cross which the Venezia defence hastily took off Kaio Jorge.
A triple substitution with 15 minutes to go saw Rodrigo Bentancur, Alex Sandro and Moise Kean enter the fray, the fresh legs adding impetus to the Juve attack who, try as they might, could not break down the resilient Venezia rearguard.
Youngster Matias Soulé joined the mix in the closing stages, the Argentine hitting his free-kick straight into the wall before blasting a long range strike wide as the clock ran down.
In the end, neither side could find a winner, the final score reading 1-1 as the two teams shared a point apiece.
VENEZIA 1-1 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-1):
SCORERS: Morata 32’; Aramu 55’.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny, De Sciglio, de Ligt, Pellegrini (Alex Sandro 76’) Bonucci, Cuadrado, Bernardeschi (Bentancur 76’), Rabiot, Locatelli (Soulé 87’), Morata, Dybala (Kaio Jorge 12’, Kean 76’).
Unused substitutes: Perin, Pinsoglio, Chiellini, Rugani, De Winter, Miretti.
VENEZIA: Romero, Ebuehi (Mazzocchi 79’), Modolo, Caldara, Haps, Crnigoj (Peretz 80’) , Ampadu (Tessmann 64’), Busio, Aramu, Henry (Forte 79’), Johnsen (Kiyine 57’).
Unused substitutes: Lezzerini, Svoboda, Molinaro, Schnegg, Heymans, Bjarkason, Sigurðsson.
An early Moise Kean header was enough for Juventus to defeat Malmo 1-0 and secure top spot in Group H, after Chelsea drew with Zenit in Saint Petersburg.
The victory was just what Massimiliano Allegri had ordered, making it three wins on the bounce in all competitions and five in six Champions League outings.
There were plenty more positives to take, starting with a third clean sheet in a week – this time with Mattia Perin in goal.
Koni De Winter made his full debut for the senior side, becoming the youngest Juve player to start a Champions League match (19 years, 179 days), while Kean's strike makes him the second-youngest Italian to score for the Bianconeri in the Champions League (21 years, 283 days), after a certain Alessandro Del Piero.
Allegri brought a number of fresh faces into the starting line-up – Perin in goal, Daniele Rugani in defence, De Winter and Arthur in midfield – and had Weston McKennie and Mattia De Sciglio available again on the bench.
Juve started strong and dominated the opening exchanges (73% possession). It wasn't long before the pressure saw the Bianconeri break the deadlock, courtesy of another Federico Bernardeschi assist – his third in as many games and fourth for the season. In the 18th minute, the Italy man clipped an inch-perfect cross towards Kean, who duly obliged by heading home.
If anyone was expecting a reaction from Malmo, none was forthcoming. The Swedes managed zero shots on target in the first half as Juve comfortably controlled proceedings and had the chance to double their lead shortly before the break, but Arthur's finish was wayward.
Allegri rested Paulo Dybala for the second half, with Alvaro Morata replacing him, as Juve came out after the restart clearly intent on putting the game to bed.
The Bianconeri fashioned three decent chances in the opening quarter of an hour – two for Adrien Rabiot and a shot by Rodrigo Bentancur – but were unable to double their advantage.
Malmo then finally ventured into Juve territory and threatened twice in a matter of minutes through Antonio Colak and Sergio Pena.
That prompted Juve to seek the second goal with more resolve and Kean might have made it a brace midway through the half but Ismael Diawara was equal to it.
The Bianconeri kept pushing but, despite the best efforts of Rabiot, Kean, Alex Sandro and Juan Cuadrado on break with five minutes remaining, just couldn't kill off the contest.
Allianz Stadium had to settle for a single goal, yet there was still time for a roar at the end as news filtered through from Russia that Zenit had equalised in stoppage time – leaving Juve to celebrate qualifying for the knockout stage as group winners.
JUVENTUS 1-0 MALMO (HT 1-0):
Scorer: Kean 18.
Juventus: Perin; de Winter (De Sciglio 71), Rugani, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Bernardeschi (Cuadrado 82), Bentancur (Miretti 90+1), Arthur, Rabiot; Kean (Da Graca 90), Dybala (Morata 46).
Subs not used: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Chiellini, De Ligt, Locatelli.
Malmo: Diawara; Moisender, Ahmedhodzic, Nielsen, Olsson; Berget, Christiansen, Innocent (Nalic 89), Rakip (Pena 30); Birmancevic, Colak (Abubakari 78).
Subs not used: Brorsson, Dahlon, Ellborg, Gwargis, Larsson, Nalic, Nanasi.
Referee: Irfan Peljto.
Booked: Colak 49, Innocent 69, Pena 80, Rabiot 90.
Juve made light work of Genoa by scoring a goal in each half thanks to Juan Cuadrado and Paulo Dybala, while the visitors were unable to muster a shot on target in the entire game. The hosts had 70% possession, just under 30 efforts on goal and completed 723 passes (Genoa’s tally stood at 295).
The figures clearly demonstrate how much Max Allegri’s side dominated the proceedings on a night where the two-goal winning margin flattered the visitors.
CUADRADO OPENS THE SCORING FROM CORNER
Max Allegri set Juve up in a 4-2-3-1 system in a bid to ensure the team would cement themselves in opposition territory. La Joya dictated the play throughout and looking dangerous whenever on the ball, particularly when floating out to the right to link up with Dejan Kulusevski and Juan Cuadrado.
Juve’s opener arrived with nine minutes on the clock when the Colombian headed over to the opposite side of the pitch to take a stunning in-swinging corner that eluded everyone, leaving Salvatore Sirigu helpless as the ball nestled in the far corner. It’s not the sort of goal you see every day, apart from this weekend in Serie A!
Genoa were unable to respond and the Bianconeri stayed on top despite not playing at a particularly fast tempo. Dybala and Federico Bernardeschi had efforts on goal as the half wore on, but accuracy was lacking. On the stroke of half time, Matthijs de Ligt’s header from point-blank range was somehow kept out before Alvaro Morata failed to bundle the rebound home.
The Bianconeri registered no fewer than 14 efforts on goal in the first period, six of which were on target, while Wojciech Szczesny watched on passively without being called into action. The trend continued in the second half, as Dybala’s curler flew just inches over the bar in the 51st minute. Moments later, Morata charged into the box after winning the ball back down the left channel, but Sirigu made a fine save to palm his shot away. Kulusevski broke down the right after a sumptuous pass from Manuel Locatelli, but when the winger cut in to shoot on his left, his effort was blocked.
Bernardeschi showed his nifty footwork to get away from two Genoa players before his effort from long range was deflected behind just after the hour mark as Juve continued to press. Morata then set up Dybala inside the box only for Sirigu to pull off yet another stunning save. Seconds later, Cuadrado was picked out at the back post and volleyed the ball goalward, but the shotstopper got down low to save.
LA JOYA DOUBLES JUVE’S LEAD
Just as a feeling of doubt started to creep in with the clock running down and only a one-goal lead to show for all the domination, the second Juve goal finally arrived when Bernardeschi teed up Dybala, who took one touch on his left before rifling a powerful low drive into the far corner to make sure of all three points for the hosts.
The win takes Juve up to fifth in the table, with a Champions League clash to negotiate in midweek at home to Malmo before Serie A action resumes next weekend away to Venezia.
JUVENTUS 2-0 GENOA (HT: 1-0):
SCORERS: Cuadrado 9, Dybala 82.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Cuadrado, de Ligt, Chiellini, Pellegrini (Alex Sandro 46); Bentancur, Locatelli, Kulusevski, Bernardeschi (Rabiot 83); Dybala (Kaio Jorge 89), Morata (Kean 72).
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Raina, Rugani, Bonucci, De Winter, Arthur, Soule.
GENOA: Sirigu; Biraschi, Bani (Vanheusden 73), Vasquez; Ghiglione, Behrami (Galdames 59), Hernani, Toure (Portanova 59), Cambiaso (Melegoni 85); Bianchi (Pandev 59), Ekuban.
Subs not used: Semper, Marchetti, Sabelli, Serpe, Masiello, Buksa.
ASSISTANTS: Ranghetti, Colarossi.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Santoro.
VAR: Valeri, Preti.
BOOKED: Pellegrini 34, Cambiaso 49, Morata 72, Kean 74.
Juventus recorded a well-earned 2-0 victory over Salernitana on Tuesday night, a goal in each half from Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata securing maximum points in Salerno.
Juventus asserted their authority on the game from the start, fashioning three decent chances in the opening ten minutes, a dangerous-looking Paulo Dybala forcing two saves from opposition goalkeeper Vid Belec while Dejan Kulusevski’s early strike flew just wide of the mark.
Salernitana found it difficult to keep hold of the ball, but did send out a warning signal as Simy Nkwankwo rose highest, but headed the ball wide a quarter of an hour in.
The Bianconeri attack, much-changed with Moise Kean leading the line with Federico Bernardeschi and Kulusevski in support, were fluid in their movements, pressing the opposition as they fought for each ball.
Their early efforts paid dividends in the 21st minute:
superb interplay among the Juve frontline saw Dybala play a neat one-two with Kulusevski before firing in a left-footed beauty to open the scoring, his fourth Serie A goal of the season giving the Bianconeri a deserved lead.
The visitors thought they had another just past the half-hour mark, Juan Cuadrado’s free-kick rattling the post with Giorgio Chiellini on hand to smash the loose ball home, yet VAR intervened, ruling out the goal for a Kean offside in the build-up.
The tempo of the game slowed down thereafter, the only other notable effort of the first half coming from Rodrigo Bentancur, the Uruguayan’s tenacity resulting in a strong forward run and a fierce strike on goal that blazed over the bar.
Long-range strikes from Dybala and Cuadrado would fail to trouble the Salernitana goalkeeper in the opening stages of the second stanza, but it was the hosts, determined to get themselves back in the game, who would come closest to finding the game’s next goal: after the Bianconeri backline failed to clear a hopeful ball into the box, an unmarked Luca Ranieri fired in an effort at the back post, with the woodwork coming to the rescue to deny the hosts a leveller.
Having come on as a substitute midway through the half, Alvaro Morata made an immediate impact just three minutes later, Bernardeschi playing in a low cross from the left with the Spaniard’s deft touch at the near post beating Belec to double the Bianconeri’s lead.
The final minutes would see Juventus create several opportunities, Dybala spurning a one-on-one chance, with Belec equal to the task, while Morata’s header wide and Dybala’s strike off-target giving clear indications of the visitor’s intent to increase their lead.
By the time Juventus won an injury-time penalty after a foul on Morata, the result had already been secured, Dybala unable to add the third as he slipped while taking the spot-kick, skying his effort over the bar.
Nonetheless, the well-earned three points were already in the bag, a much needed 2-0 victory giving the team a necessary boost ahead of December’s busy schedule.
SALERNITANA 0-2 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-1):
SCORER: Dybala 21’, Morata 70’.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny, Chiellini, de Ligt, Cuadrado, Pellegrini (Alex Sandro 67’), Bernardeschi (Rabiot 71’), Locatelli, Bentancur, Kulusevski, (Soule 90+4’), Dybala, Kean (Morata 67’).
Unused substitutes: Perin, Pinsoglio, Bonucci, Rugani, De Winter, Arthur, Kaio Jorge.
SALERNITANA: Belec, Veseli, Gyomber, Gagliolo, Zortea, Coulibaly, Capezzi (Di Tacchio 50’), Kechrida (Schiavone 50’), Ranieri (Jaroszynski 82’), Bonazzoli (Vergani 82’), Simy (Djuric 64’).
Unused substitutes: Fiorillo, Guerrieri, Kastanos, Bogdan, Delli Carri.
Duvan Zapata’s first-half strike proved the difference as Atalanta left the Allianz Stadium with maximum points following a 1-0 victory over Juventus on Saturday evening.
Atalanta had their foot on the accelerator from the start, firing in several early shots which the Bianconeri backline did well to block, putting their bodies on the line to deny both Ruslan Malinovsky and Remo Freuler in the opening quarter.
Settling into their stride, Juve were then able to see more of the ball and fashion a number of chances of their own. Impressive work from Paulo Dybala down the right-hand channel saw the Bianconeri captain on the night worm his way through the Atalanta defense before attempting a left-foot curler towards the far post, which Atalanta shot-stopper Juan Musso was able to gather.
Forward Alvaro Morata was next to get into a decent goalscoring position, the Spaniard doing well to keep a hold of the ball in the final third, playing it back in-field before failing to connect cleanly with a Juan Cuadrado cross.
Juve continued their advances, the best chance of the half falling to Federico Chiesa: a long ball played in behind the defense was chased down by the Italian who sped towards goal, only for Rafael Toloi to close him down just as he lined up his shot.
Minutes later, Juventus lost possession in midfield, Berat Djimsiti’s first-time ball putting Duvan Zapata through on goal, the Colombian’s shot ricocheting in off the crossbar to give the visitors the lead.
The Bianconeri continued to search for a way through, Dybala’s free-kick slightly over-hit as a rising Leonardo Bonucci failed to meet it with his head, while the Argentine’s side-footed effort moments later whizzed just wide.
An injury to Federico Chiesa saw him replaced by Federico Bernardeschi at the break, the substitute attempting Juve’s first opportunity of the second stanza, his drive from range lacking the accuracy as it flew past the left-hand upright.
The Bianconeri had a double chance on goal on the hour mark, Weston McKennie’s run forcing Musso to block a shot off his own defender, Juve maintaining possession before Dybala struck a fierce effort over the bar.
With their tails up and the Turin crowd urging them on, Juventus continued to turn the screw as another shot was fired on goal, this time from Adrein Rabiot, his left-footed strike forcing a fingertip save from Musso.
Both Juve’s centre-backs then had chances to find the leveller, Leonardo Bonucci heading a Dybala free-kick wide while Matthijs de Ligt’s ferocious strike from a corner was closed down by the La Dea defense.
Atalanta adopted a physical approach in the final stages, doing their best to thwart each Bianconero attack while earning several cautions in the process. The final foul of the evening was awarded just outside the Juve box in the 95th minute, Dybala watching in agony as his effort clipped the crossbar on its way out.
At the final whistle, it was the visiting side who held on to their 1-0 advantage, the Bianconeri unable to bring themselves back into the game as Atalanta earned all three points at the Allianz.
JUVENTUS 0-1 ATALANTA (HT 0-1):
SCORER: Zapata 28’ (A).
JUVENTUS: Szczesny, de Ligt, Cuadrado, Alex Sandro, Bonucci, Mckennie (Kean 64’), Chiesa (Bernardeschi 46’), Rabiot, Locatelli, Morata (Kaio Jorge 85’), Dybala.
Unused substitutes: Perin, Pinsoglio, Chiellini, Pellegrini, Rugani, De Winter, Arthur, Bentancur, Kulusevski.
ATALANTA: Musso, Toloi, Demiral, Djimsiti, Zappacosta (Palomino 71’), De Roon, Freuler, Maehle, Pessina (Pasalic 59’), Zapata, Malinovskyi (Koopmeiners 87’).
Unused substitutes: Rossi, Sportiello, Muriel, Pezzella, Hateboer, Scalvini, Miranchuk, Ilicic, Piccoli.
Premier League leaders Chelsea earned a 4-0 home victory over Juventus in their penultimate UEFA Champions League Group Stage encounter played at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening, with both sides heading into Matchday 6 on level points atop the group.
The hosts were up for the challenge from the first whistle, dictating play and seeing more of the ball as they looked to apply early pressure on the Bianconeri backline.
The first real attempt came just inside ten minutes from a Chelsea corner, Reece James whipping in a dangerous ball which Trevoh Chalobah headed wide.
After winning a free-kick just outside the box down the left-hand side, James was once again involved in the action, but instead of the expected cross, he went straight for the near post, Wojciech Szczesny diving to his right to deny the England international.
Two minutes later the Blues took the lead from another set piece, this time a corner which bounced favourably off Antonio Rudiger for Chalobah to blast home from close range.
The Bianconeri almost hit back straight away, Alvaro Morata cleverly lobbing Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, only for Thiago silva to slide in with a goal line clearance to deny the Spaniard.
Chelsea kept up their high-tempo game, taking the ball upfield at pace when regaining possession. James continued to cause problems for the Juve defense as he chested the ball down and fired in a fierce shot on the half-volley to force Szczesny into another fine save.
The Bianconeri ended the first half in a flurry and almost snuck in a leveller just before the break, the visitors keeping possession after a miscued Weston McKennie shot, recycling the ball for Rodrigo Bentancur to line up a strike from distance which narrowly whizzed over the bar.
Chelsea built on their advantage at the start of the second half, doubling their lead ten minutes in as an unmarked James controlled a loose ball with his chest before driving in a powerful shot from the right to make it 2-0.
The Blues then added a third two minutes later, patient build-up play seeing them retain the ball before neatly playing it into the box, Ruben Loftus-Cheek dribbling his way through before finding Hudson-Odoi who side-footed home.
Despite a number of fresh legs brought on, including young junior talent Koni De Winter for his first team debut, Juventus were unable to break down a resilient Chelsea defense, who were able to control the latter stages of the game to see out the 90 minutes.
Chelsea still looked a threat when going forward, and almost added a fourth late-on, substitute Timo Werner playing in Hakim Ziyech who was through on goal, but Szczesny was equal to the task, getting low to block to the goalbound effort. The duo would reverse roles in injury time, Ziyech crossing in for Werner to poke home a fourth in the final minute of added time.
At the final whistle, the scoreboard read 4-0 to the home side, who draw level with Juventus at the top of Group H with 12 points, with one fixture remaining in the Group Stage.
CHELSEA 4–0 JUVENTUS (HT 1-0):
SCORERS: Chalobah 25’, James 56’, Hudson-Odoi 58’, Werner 90+5’ (C).
JUVENTUS: Szczesny, de Ligt, Cuadrado (De Winter 81’), Alex Sandro, Bonucci, McKennie, Rabiot, Locatelli (Arthur 67’), Bentancur (Dybala 59’), Morata (Kean 67’), Chiesa (Kulusevski 80’).
Substitutes not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, Rugani.
CHELSEA: Mendy, Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Rudiger, James, Kante (Loftus-Cheek 37’), Jorginho (Saul Niguez 76’), Chilwell (Azpilicueta 71’), Ziyech, Pulisic (Werner 72’), Hudson-Odoi (Mount 76’).
Substitutes not used: Kepa, Bettinelli, Alonso, Christensen, Lukaku, Barkley, Sarr.
Leo Bonucci's calm finishing from 12 yards combined with a solid defensive display saw Juventus overcome Lazio 2-0 at the Stadio Olimpico.
It was workmanlike performance by the Bianconeri, who kept things tight and limited the hosts to sterile possession with virtually no threat, while the defender got himself a brace with a spot-kick in each half.
BONUCCI'S PERFECT PENALTY
Lazio started strong with a high pressing game looking win the ball back quickly and initially succeeded in pegging the Bianconeri back in their own half.
Juve had the odd opportunity to counter but one of these forays forward led to Danilo picking up an injury in a collision with Elseid Hysaj. Dejan Kulusevski replaced the Brazilian with just 15 minutes on the clock and Juan Cuadrado slotted back into defence.
The tempo dropped a touch and Juve pushed forward. Luca Pellegrini picked out Alvaro Morata in the box and the Spaniard was floored by Danilo Cataldi. The referee let play continue but after a VAR check there could only be one outcome: penalty. Bonucci stepped up and coolly placed it inside the post to give us the lead.
LAZIO HAVE THE BALL, JUVE THE CHANCES
Lazio started to boss possession again, albeit with less intensity than in the opening stages, channelling most of their play down the right, but Juve managed to quell the threat thanks to the sterling work done by Federico Chiesa and Adrien Rabiot in tracking back.
While the hosts were seeing more of the ball, it was the Bianconeri who went closest to scoring. Cuadrado stood up a cross for Morata, who rose well to connect with it but could only send his finish over.
Soon after, Kulusevski saw a low drive blocked by Francesco Acerbi just yards from goal.
BONUCCI DOES IT AGAIN
Soon after the restart, the Swede had another chance to double our lead but Pepe Reina saved with his feet at the near post. The keeper then thwarted Bonucci from the resulting corner.
After 20 minutes of playing at a frenetic pace, Lazio had to ease off and Juve seized the opportunity to take control of the game. Allegri brought on Moise Kean for Morata looking to make the most of some fresh legs on the break.
Lazio almost threatened when Sergey Milinkovic-Savic played in Vedat Muriqi but Wojciech Szczesny was able to gather.
Juve meanwhile set about calmly and effectively building their own moves. With ten minutes remaining Kulusevksi hit a long pass forward for Chiesa, the Italy man skipped past Reina and Manuel Lazzari and was about to fire into the open net when he was brought down in a desperate attempt by the keeper to win the ball.
Bonucci stepped up once again and produced another ice-cold conversion to seal three thoroughly deserved points from what was possibly Juve's best performance of the season.
LAZIO 0-2 JUVENTUS (HT 0-1):
SCORERS: Bonucci 23 (pen), 83 (pen).
LAZIO: Reina; Lazzari, Luiz Felipe, Acerbi, Hysaj; Milinkovic, Cataldi, Luis Alberto; Felipe Anderson (Raul Moro 75), Zaccagni (Muriqi 65), Pedro.
Subs not used: Strakosha, Adamonis, Patric, Radu, Vavro, Akpa Akpro, Escalante, Leiva, Basic, Romero.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Danilo (Kulusevski 15), Bonucci, De Ligt, Pellegrini; Cuadrado, McKennie, Locatelli (Bentancur 89), Rabiot; Chiesa, Morata (Kean 74).
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, Rugani, Alex Sandro, Arthur, Kaio Jorge.
REFEREE: Di Bello.
ASSISTANTS: Bercigli, Berti.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Paterna.
VAR: Banti, Bindoni.
BOOKED: Cuadrado 28, Hysaj 43, Reina 79, Luis Alberto 80, Allegri 90+2, Sarri 90+2.
Substitute Juan Cuadrado’s goal from an acute angle in injury time earned Juventus maximum points as they overcame Fiorentina 1-0 in front of a sold-out crowd at Allianz Stadium on Saturday evening.
The visitors were out the blocks quickest after kick-off, danger man Dusan Vlahovic nodding an early header on target which was easily swallowed by Mattia Perin.
The Bianconeri fashioned their first big chance on 10 minutes, Alvaro Morata charging down a loose ball before laying it off smartly to Paulo Dybala who skied his effort over the bar.
La Viola looked the more adventurous of the two sides, pegging the Bianconeri back, with frequent challenges disrupting the flow of the game which denied the hosts the chance to get into their rhythm.
Riccardo Saponara spurned a guilt-edged chance to put Fiorentina in front after 30 minutes, volleying an effort off target after being left open in the box, before Jose Callejon pulled his strike from distance wide of the mark. Vlahovic went closest next, jumping between two defenders to nod his header wide as the Bianconeri defense continued to come under threat.
Matthijs de Ligt’s header off a Weston Mckennie long throw was the Bianconeri’s last half-chance of the first stanza as the two sides headed into the break all square.
The Bianconeri started the second half on the front foot, Morata showing brilliant skill as he neatly controlled a bouncing ball on his chest, swiveled and a volleyed an effort towards goal that arrowed narrowly wide.
On 55 minutes Adrien Rabiot charged goalwards, his deflected effort clipping a defender as it blazed just past the upright.
Fiorentina continued their aggressive approach in trying to stop any Juventus attack, their physicality resulting in their downfall as Nikola Milenkovic received his marching orders after taking down Federico Chiesa.
Minutes later Chiesa smashed his fierce effort against the crossbar, as Morata tucked the ball into the back of the net soon after, only to be ruled offside as the hosts look to continue their search and make the most of their one-man advantage.
Chiesa continued to look dangerous, forcing a save from Pietro Terracciano after latching onto a Juan Cuadrado cross. Yet it would be the Colombian super sub that proved to be the difference in the end: with the clock reading 90 minutes on the scoreboard, the wingback ran at the Fiorentina defense, out-muscling his marker before unleashing a fierce shot from an impossible angle to bulge the back of the net, sending the expectant home crowd into delirium.
Chiesa forced Pietro Terracciano into another sprawling save in the dying seconds, moments before the referee blew the final whistle indicating a 1-0 victory for the home side, who enter November’s international break with all three points in the bag.
JUVENTUS 1-0 FIORENTINA (HT 0-0):
SCORERS: CUADRADO 90+1’.
JUVENTUS: Perin, Rugani, de Ligt, Danilo, Alex Sandro (Pellegrini 46’), McKennie, Chiesa, Rabiot (Cuadrado 79’), Locatelli, Morata (Kaio Jorge 88’), Dybala (Bentancur 90+2’).
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Israel, Bonucci, Arthur, Ramsey, Bernardeschi, Kulusevski.
FIORENTINA: Terracciano, Odriozola, Milenkovic, Martinez Quarta, Biraghi, Bonaventura (Duncan 78’), Torreira (Amrabat 64’), Castrovilli (Nastasic 79’), Callejon (Igor 75’), Vlahovic, Saponara (Sottil 75’).
Subs not used: Rosati, Cerofolini, Maleh, Terzic, Egharevba, Venuti, Benassi.
An accomplished Juventus display at the Allianz Stadium on Wednesday night saw the Bianconeri overcome Zenit St Petersburg 4-2 in their Champions League Group Stage encounter to secure qualification into the next round of the competition with two matches to spare.
Juventus showed attacking intent shown from the get-go, eager to set out off the blocks early and stamp their authority on the game. The highly-charged hosts fashioned a number of chances in the opening minutes, Federico Bernardeshi striking his effort straight at Zenit goalkeeper Stanislav Kritsyuk before Paulo Dybala’s shot from range bounced back off the post.
The Bianconeri’s relentless pressure paid dividends as after back-to-back corners, Zenit failed to clear their lines and dangerman Dybala was on hand to stroke home the game’s opener.
Juve kept their foot on the gas, goalscorer Dybala finding an unmarked Alvaro Morata in the box, the Spaniard lifting his attempt over the crossbar as Zenit survived another Bianconeri attack.
Reduced to shots from range, Zenit were gifted an equaliser after Leonardo Bonucci attempted to head away a harmless cross which looped over a helpless Wojciech Szczesny and into the back of the net.
Undeterred, the home side continued their attacking play, Manuel Locatelli’s well-placed cross finding Federico Chiesa who couldn’t place his header past a diving Kritsyuk.
Chances continued to be created, Morata finding the back of the net before being adjudged to be offside, following which a barrage of attempts from Locatelli, Weston McKennie and Bernardeschi in quick succession failed to get past the Zenit goalkeeper as the two sides headed into the tunnel on level terms.
The Bianconeri started the second stanza with a flurry of opportunities, Dybala’s left-footed shot whizzing inches past the post, before his well-struck volley minutes later was frenetically cleared away by the Zenit rearguard.
In the 58th minute, Chiesa’s meaningful run towards goal was illegally stopped as Juventus were awarded a penalty. Dybala stepped up to the spot, missing his first attempt but making no mistake at the second time of asking after the referee ordered a re-take.
With their tails up, Juventus continued carving out more chances, Chiesa failing to keep his shot down as he blazed over the bar, before Mckennie smashed his effort against the crossbar after an impressive run from the halfway line.
A Szczesny double save kept the Zenit attack at bay, but Juve would soon have a third, breaking on the counter as a fine Chiesa finish gave the hosts a two-goal cushion. The advantage would be extended as Morata raced onto a through-ball, netting a fourth to put the Bianconeri firmly in control.
By the time Sardar Azmoun slotted home an injury time consolation, the result was all but assured as Juventus made it four wins from four, maintaining their 100 per cent record in the Champions League to advance to the next round with two matches still left to play in the group.
JUVENTUS 4-2 ZENIT ST PETERSBURG (HT 1-1):
SCORERS: DYBALA 11’, 58’, CHIESA 74’, MORATA 82’; BONUCCI 26’ (OG), AZMOUN 90+2’.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny, de Ligt, Danilo, Alex Sandro, Bonucci (Rugani 85’), McKennie, Bernardeschi (Rabiot 80’), Chiesa, Locatelli (Arthur 79’), Morata, Dybala (Kulusevski 86’).
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, Chiellini, Cuadrado, Bentancur.
ZENIT: Kritsyuk, Chistiakov, Lovren, Rakitskyy (Dzyba 75’), Sutormin, Barrios, Wendel (Kuznetsov 88’), Karavaev (Malcom 59’), Mostovoy (Krugovoi 59’) Claudinho (Erokhin 75’), Azmoun.
Subs not used: M Kerzhakov, Byazrov, Krugovoi, Kravstov, Khotulev.
Giovanni Simeone won the game for Hellas Verona with two goals inside the first quarter of an hour – an easy tap-in and a wonder strike which proved too much for Juve to come back from.
The hosts produced an outstanding performance, playing with grit and determination to defend their lead. Paulo Dybala hit the bar before the interval and the Bianconeri gave it everything in the second half, pulling one back through Weston McKennie ten minutes from time, but couldn't find a second despite a late onslaught.
SIMEONE'S FAMOUS 15 MINUTES
With both teams pressing high, it made for a chaotic start to the game. Indeed the first two chances came from balls won in the opposition half, one for each side. First Wojciech Szczesny was alert to Darko Lazovic's near-post effort then Dybala's low cross into the six-yard box generated panic among the Verona rearguard, but the ball was nicked away from Alvaro Morata at the last minute.
The hosts cranked up the pressure and when Arthur mishit a poor backpass Antonin Barak latched onto it and fired across goal; Szczesny saved but it fell for Simeone, who was left with the simple task of turning into an empty net.
The goal only made El Cholito hungry for more and three minutes later he collected the ball on the edge of the box and unleashed an unstoppable drive into the top corner. Less than 15 minutes on the clock and Verona were already two up.
DYBALA HITS THE BAR
Juve tried to fight back and within minutes Dybala had an opportunity but couldn't get his effort on target.
Verona continued to play at a high tempo, staying compact when not in possession and constantly harrying the Juve ball carrier, making it hard for the Bianconeri to string moves together
Juve did manage to threaten when Dybala and Morata were able to link up and one such exchange led to a fierce shot from the Argentine that came to nothing.
The problem was the Bianconeri forwards were often receiving the ball back to goal, making it difficult to get away from their marker and find space.
Massimiliano Allegri tried switching to a three-man backline, pushing Alex Sandro forward to exploit the width better and it almost reaped dividends on the stroke of half time when Dybala collected Morata's pass – only to see his finish come off the bar.
La Joya tried again soon after the restart but this time was off target. The game was now being played at a slightly slower pace and Juve were able to hold a higher line, partly thanks to better off-the-ball movement.
Allegri replaced Rodrigo Bentancur and Adrien Rabiot with Manuel Locatelli and McKennie and the American's first touch was a close-range effort brilliantly saved by Lorenzo Montipo.
Verona battened down the hatches and played on the counter, while Juve threw on Dejan Kulusevski and Federico Bernardeschi for Juan Cuadrado and Arthur.
Then, just when when Gialloblu seemed to be in the ascendancy again, Juve got the goal they were after. Danilo picked out McKennie and the American smashed home beneath the bar.
LATE ONSLAUGHT NOT ENOUGH
Allegri made his final change, bringing on Luca Pellegrini for Alex Sandro, while Verona goalscorer Simeone made way for Nikola Kalinic, who very nearly made it 3-1 with a low shot that ran just wide.
Juve moved into top gear for the final minutes and pegged the hosts back into their area. Dybala drew another fabulous save out of Montipo
but that proved to be the final chance as Verona held on to claim the three points.
Juve return to Turin empty-handed after a second defeat in a matter of days and will now turn their attentions to next Tuesday's Champions League clash with Zenit.
VERONA 2-1 JUVENTUS (HT 2-0):
SCORERS: Simeone 11, 14, McKennie 80.
VERONA: Montipo; Dawidowicz, Gunter, Casale (Ceccherini 67); Faraoni, Tameze (Bessa 75), Veloso, Lazovic (Sutalo 67); Barak, Caprari; Simeone (Kalinic 83).
Subs not used: Pandur, Berardi, Cetin, Magnani, Cancellieri, Ruegg, Hongla, Lasagna.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro (Pellegrini 82); Cuadrado (Kulusevski 69), Bentancur (McKennie 58), Arthur (Bernardeschi 69), Rabiot (Locatelli 57); Dybala, Morata.
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, De Ligt, Kaio Jorge.
ASSISTANTS: Margani, Scatragli.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Cosso.
VAR: Valeri, Valeriani.
BOOKED: Lazovic 26, Danilo 29, Casale 57, Faraoni 61, Arthur 61, Gunter 76, Morata 76.
A well-organised, motivated and mature Sassuolo side overcame Juve at Allianz Stadium on Wednesday by taking advantage of the space left by the hosts in the closing stages. The result did not flatter the visitors, who performed with character throughout and were not fazed by Weston McKennie’s equaliser with 75 minutes on the clock.
Juve may have deserved a point given the team’s endeavour in the central channel in the second half, but the desperate hunt for a winner proved costly for Max Allegri’s side.
FRATTESI’S OPENER FOR SASSUOLO
The Bianconeri did make a decent start to the game and showed aggression, with Leonardo Bonucci and Alvaro Morata getting into good positions, only to be thwarted by the offside flag. Allegri was forced into an early change when Mattia De Sciglio suffered an injury and was replaced by Alex Sandro. Domenico Berardi showed his intent in the first half by unleashing a powerful strike on his left foot that Mattia Perin did well to push around the post. Adrien Rabiot’s header went straight at the goalkeeper, but the flag was up for offside.
The ball dropped to Federico Chiesa in the box in the 40th minute, but the Italian failed to connect well and his shot flew over the bar. Davide Frattesi fired Sassuolo into the lead just moments later with a low right-footed shot after Gregoire Drefel slotted him in on the stroke of half time.
Juve piled on the pressure in the second half after sending Juan Cuadrado on in place of Rabiot and shifting Chiesa to the left. The Colombian went close to an equaliser when his shot beat Andrea Consigli, but Kaan Ayhan was in the right place on the line to clear. The lively Kaio Jorge was sent on for Morata in the 63rd minute and showed his spark without any clear-cut chances coming his way. Sassuolo passed the ball around well and went close to doubling their advantage when Gianluca Scamacca’s shot nearly beat Perin. The hosts’ efforts to draw level were eventually rewarded when McKennie popped up in the 76th minute to head home a pinpoint Paulo Dybala free kick.
LOPEZ STRIKES LATE
Dejan Kulusevski and Arthur were introduced for the final ten minutes in place of Danilo and Manuel Locatelli in a bid to add attacking impetus to Juve’s attack, but it did not go to plan. Sassuolo defended resolutely, remained organised and were able to put together a lethal counter-attack in the final seconds with practically the last play of the game. Berardi played a crossfield pass to pick out Lopez, who burst into the box at pace and lifted the ball over the onrushing Perin to ensure the Neroverdi left Allianz Stadium with all three points.
JUVENTUS 1-2 SASSUOLO:
SCORERS: Frattesi 44, McKennie 76, Lopez 90+5.
JUVENTUS: Perin; Danilo (Kulusevski 80), Bonucci, De Ligt, De Sciglio (Alex Sandro 58); Rabiot (Cuadrado 46), Locatelli (Arthur 80), McKennie, Chiesa; Dybala, Morata (Kaio Jorge 63).
Subs not used: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Chiellini, Pellegrini, Rugani, Ramsey, Bentancur.
SASSUOLO: Consigli; Muldur (Henrique 86), Ayhan, Ferrari, Rogerio; Frattesi (Toljan 72), Lopez; Berardi, Raspadori (Scamacca 62), Traore (Chiriches 86); Defrel (Harroui 72).
Subs not used: Satalino, Pegolo, Goldaniga, Magnanelli, Peluso, Toljan, Samele.
ASSISTANTS: Bottegoni, Rossi.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Marcenaro.
VAR: Ghersini, Giua.
BOOKED: Defrel 30, Berardi 58, Rogerio 61, Cuadrado 63, Traore 72, Muldur 86.
A hard-fought encounter at the San Siro saw both teams leave with a point following a 1-1 draw between Inter Milan and Juventus in their Serie A match-up on Sunday evening.
Backed by a vocal San Siro crowd, the early exchanges went the way of Inter with Edin Dzeko making his presence felt up top for the hosts. Yet it was his opposite number Alvaro Morata who would force the first save of the game, stinging the palms of Samir Handanovic as a loose ball from a Juventus free-kick fell at the Spaniard’s feet.
An unfortunate shoulder injury to Federico Bernardeschi saw the Italian require treatment on the sidelines, during which the hosts broke the deadlock: Hakan Calhanoglu tried his luck from range, his deflected effort hitting the crossbar as the ball ricocheted back kindly to Dzeko, who tucked it home to give the hosts an early lead.
With Bernardeschi unable to continue, coach Massimiliano Allegri had to re-shuffle his pack, bringing on Rodrigo Bentancur after less than 20 minutes played.
Forced into action after going a goal down, Juve upped the tempo, pressing high as they went in search of a leveller. Juan Cuadrado, in search of his sixth goals against the Nerazzurri, struck a powerful effort from range, the ball skidding narrowly wide of the host’s upright.
Riding the wave of Juve’s threat, Inter then asserted themselves once more, fashioning several half-chances to keep the Bianconeri backline in check. Yet the visitors would end the first stanza with the best chance, a Cuadrado free-kick finding Alex Sandro whose blocked effort found Leonardo Bonucci lurking, but his snapshot at goal sailed wide of the mark.
A cagey second stanza saw few goalmouth opportunities fall for either side, Dzeko’s glanced header failing to trouble Wojciech Szczesny, while Morata couldn’t head a floated ball on the bounce goalwards at the other end of the pitch.
With 25 minutes to go, Mister Allegri made a double change, bringing on attacking talents Paulo Dybala and Federico Chiesa to help pry open the Inter defense. The duo immediately added a spark into the Bianconeri attack, their quick passing and nippy runs giving a new dimension to the Juve frontline. A Dybala free-kick soon brought Handanovic into action, while Chiesa’s industrious play from the flanks posed a constant threat.
With three minutes left on the clock, a VAR check ruled in favour of the Bianconeri after Denzil Dumfries’ challenge on Alex Sandro resulted in the visitors being awarded a spot-kick. Substitute Dybala stepped up, sending Handanovic the wrong way to bring the Bianconeri level after 89 minutes played.
And 1-1 it would end, the Derby d’Italia ending all square at the San Siro with a hard-fought point earned to keep the Bianconeri’s steady rise up the Serie A standings on track.
INTER MILAN 1-1 JUVENTUS (HT 1-0):
SCORERS: Dzeko 17’; Dybala 89’.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny, Chiellini, Danilo, Alex Sandro, Bonucci, Cuadrado (Dybala 65’), McKennie (Arthur 83’), Bernardeschi (Bentancur 18’), Locatelli (Kaio Jorge 83’), Morata, Kulusevski (Chiesa 65’).
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, De Sciglio, de Ligt, Pellegrini, Rugani, Ramsey.
INTER: Handanovic, Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni, Darmian, Barella (Vecino 90’), Brozovic, Calhanoglu (Gagliardini 61’), Perisic (Dumfries 72’), Dzeko, Lautaro Martinez (Sanchez 72’).
Subs not used: Cordaz, Radu, Kolarov, Sensi, Ranocchia, Dimarco, D'Ambrosio, Satriano.
Juventus continued their perfect run in Europe, this time defeating their UEFA Champions League Group Stage opponents Zenit St Petersburg 1-0 away from home to take command of the group and make it three wins from three.
NO WAY THROUGH
It was a tight contest from the onset, Zenit pressing high up the pitch to keep the visitors on their toes, yet the Juventus players were able to maintain possession in their half and fend off their aggressive counterparts.
Both sides refused to give an inch, keeping compact and playing a patient game. It took until the 18th minute for the first real chance of the game to be created: a Federico Bernardeschi slip gave possession back to the hosts, as Claudinho unleashed a swerving shot that Wojciech Szczesny had to be alert to, with Matthijs De Ligt on hand to clear the parried ball away.
Birthday boy Mattia De Sciglio, with a consecutive start on the right, was again impressing, keeping calm under pressure and making vital interceptions in the defensive half while also getting involved on the opposite end of the field, his teasing ball punched clear as the Bianconeri searched for a way to break down the Zenit wall.
CHIESA GETS CLOSE
Dangerman Federico Chiesa was being kept under close watch, the home side's defense not allowing the Italian livewire any space. When he did manage to wriggle past a handful of defenders, another was waiting to block his attempt on goal. He then tried his luck from range, without reward, yet moments later, after finding space on the left, he could only watch in anguish as his curled effort sailed wide.
Szczesny was on hand to quell any potential danger from a late first-half Zenit corner, while at the other end of the pitch, the Juventus players were still unable to truly test opposition keeper Stanislav Kritsyuk, who was kept well-protected by his defense.
In the 50th minute, a golden opportunity for the Bianconeri went begging as Alvaro Morata's inch-perfect pass split the Zenit defense to pick out an onrushing Weston McKennie, yet the American unable to get his effort past an outstretched Stanislav Kritsyuk.
The Juventus backline were then given another Claudinho scare, the Brazilian slipping his way through before firing a shot narrowly wide.
A triple change on the hour mark saw Arthur, Juan Cuadrado and Dejan Kulusevski brought on to add fresh legs, the Brazilian's searching ball finding his fellow Colombian substitute whose side-footed effort couldn't find a teammate as the danger was averted.
A flurry of Zenit attacks then arrived, yet the Bianconeri backline stood firm, resisting each wave to preserve the clean sheet, but never backing down in their own attempts to find a match-winner.
Morata's deft touch allowed him to strike from distance, yet his rifled effort flew over the cross bar, before McKennie again came close to finding the opener, his glancing header from De Sciglio's cross drifting just wide.
In the end, it was the Swedish substitute who would have the desired impact: patient Bianconeri build-up play resulted in a raking cross-field ball from Leonardo Bonucci who found De Sciglio down the left, his perfect ball into the box met by Kulusevski who nodded the ball home to give the visitors the advantage with just four minutes to go.
In the ascendency, the Bianconeri looked to close the game on a high, Chiesa still doing his utmost to bundle his way through, the Zenit defense forcing him to strike wide from a difficult angle.
Buoyed on by the home crowd, Zenit tried their best to find a leveller in the closing stages, yet the Bianconeri hung on to claim a hard-fought 1-0 and, more importantly, three valuable points, putting them firmly in command of the group and a step closer to the next round of the competition.
ZENIT ST PETERSBURG 0–1 JUVENTUS (HT 0-0):
SCORER: 86 Kulusevski.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny, De Sciglio, de Ligt, Alex Sandro (Cuadrado 58'), Bonucci, McKennie, Bernardeschi (Kulusevski 58'), Locatelli (Arthur 58'), Bentancur (Ramsey 84'), Chiesa, Morata (Kean 76').
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, Chiellini, Danilo, Rugani.
ZENIT: Kritsyuk, Lovren, Chsitiakov, Rakitskyy, Douglas Santos, Karavaev (Azmoun 61'), Barrios, Wendel, Malcom (Kuzyaev, 69'), Dzubya (Sutormin 61'), Claudinho.
Subs not used: Kerzhakov, Byazrov, Krugovoi, Azmoun, Mostovoy, Erokhin, Kravtsov, Kuznetsov, Khotulev.
Juventus continued their upward trajectory with three hard-fought points against Roma, the 1-0 win at home in the Allianz Stadium setting a unique record against their Roman rivals.
It was a match of the highest order. Entering the encounter on the back of three straight Serie A victories, the Bianconeri were looking to continue their decent run of form and build on the momentum created before the two-week international break.
Roma would have the first foray on goal of the match, Gianluca Mancini’s header warming the hands of Wojciech Szczesny early on, before the Pole watched Lorenzo Pellegrini’s deflected shot whistle over his crossbar.
After biding their time, Juventus would light up the Allianz a quarter of an hour in as Rodrigo Bentancur met Mattia De Sciglio’s curling ball from the left flank, the ball deflecting off Moise Kean to put the Bianconeri a goal to the good.
The early opener allowed the home side to settle into their stride, controlling the pace of the game and keeping their shape as their opponents looked for a way through, but with no reward, Tammy Abraham’s looping header plucked out of the air by an alert Szczesny as the first half wound down.
With five minutes to go in the half, the referee awarded a penalty to the visitors, and after a long VAR check, Jordan Veretout stepped up, only to be denied by a superb Szczesny save to his left, the Bianconeri celebrating with their fans as parity was prevented.
The second stanza began with a flurry as an acrobatic Federico Bernardeschi overhead kick was parried by Rui Patricio, Kean blasting the follow-up over the target as the hosts almost doubled their lead.
De Sciglio was next to send out a warning shot, superbly controlling the ball with his chest before firing from an acute angle into the side-netting, following which Bernardeschi lined up a shot from range, firing narrowly wide as the hosts continued to show attacking intent.
Roma burst into life midway through the second half, Veretout’s curling effort whistling past the post as the capital club upped the intensity in search of a leveller, Matias Vina then slipping his way through the Bianconeri backline before watching his deflected effort blaze wide.
Fresh legs were brought on by coach Massimiliano Allegri, Arthur receiving a warm applause by the Juventus supporters as he ran on for his first minutes of the season, the Brazilian adding steel to the Bianconeri midfield for the closing stages of the game.
The Giallorossi continued to search for a way through, but found no way past Leonardo Bonucci who put his body on the line, deflecting Bryan Cristante’s pile-driver out for a corner.
Challenges were flying in as the clock ticked towards the game’s completion, yet the Bianconeri resistance withstood the Roman onslaught to ensure the scoreboard remained 1-0 in their favour at full-time, maximum points ensuring the steady climb up the standings continued.
The result also set a unique record as Roma became the first side Juventus have managed to beat on ten occasions in the league since the opening of the Allianz Stadium in 2011, adding to the team’s impressive run against the Giallorossi in Turin.
JUVENTUS 1–0 ROMA (HT 1-0):
SCORER: Kean 16’.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny, De Sciglio (Alex Sandro 88’), Chiellini, Danilo, Bonucci, Cuadrado, Bernardeschi (Arthur 75’), Locatelli, Bentancur, Kean (Morata 71’), Chiesa (Kulusevski 71’).
Substitutes: Perin, Pinsoglio, Pellegrini, Rugani, Arthur, Ramsey, McKennie, Kaio Jorge.
ROMA: Rui Patricio, Karsdorp, Mancini, Ibanez, Vina, Cristante, Veretout (Shomurodov 81’), Zaniolo (El Shaarawy 26’), Pellegrini, Mkhitaryan, Abraham.
Substitutes: Fuzato, Boer, Villar, Reynolds, Calafiori, Kumbulla, Diawara, Darboe, Perez, Borja Mayoral.
A victory of monumental proportions, for so many reasons. A crucial step in the title fight, a huge confidence boost to the squad, and another clean sheet. Not to mention there’s nothing like beating your local rivals on their turf, and especially after how Juventus reacted to a disappointing first half to perform so well after the break. Manuel Locatelli claimed the deserved winner fewer than five minutes from time for a team which is clicking into place and finding what it takes to win these kinds of games.
FEISTY TORINO REACT TO JUVE CHANCES
It was Moise Kean who struck the first blow. After Matthijs de Ligt won the ball he played in the forward who took off, running 50 yards and cutting in, but his shot skewed wide. Adrien Rabiot was responsible for conjuring the second attempt with his pass to Weston McKennie in the centre of the area, but the American's first-time shot failed to hit the target.
Following the Bianconeri’s encouraging start the hosts then sprang into action, testing Wojciech Szczesny through Rolando Mandragora’s effort from outside the area. Juve allowed Torino to take the initiative, sitting back and waiting for the right moment to strike. The visitors struggled, though, as Moise Kean was frequently left isolated up front. Yet when Federico Chiesa found his feet in the game Juve prospered on the counter-attack. Shortly before half time, Manuel Locatelli had an excellent opportunity, but his right-footed strike was deflected out for a corner.
With 80 minutes gone and the deadlock still yet to be broken, Max Allegri replaced Federico Bernardeschi with Dejan Kulusevski. The Swede had an immediate impact, playing in Rabiot who stormed into the box and whipped in a low ball to Chiesa, but the 23-year-old was unable to tap in before Cristian Ansaldi cleared.
The clock ticked down but Juve showed no signs of letting up, seemingly immune to fatigue. Their persistance was rewarded four minutes from time when Locatelli struck the winner, with the ever-influential Chiesa crossing in to his international team-mate before beating Vanja Milinkovic at his near post. It was then just a matter of holding on.
Kaio Jorge made his maiden Juventus appearence in place of Chiesa and the away side remained unbowed in defence, managing to keep possession while sitting comfortably in Torino’s half. The Bianconeri also came close to doubling their advantage through Kulusevski, who hit the post with a fantastic individual effort. It’s not like Juve needed to convince their doubters after beating Chelsea in the Champions League, but this vindicating win helped. What’s more, it was just as vital as beating the European champions, if not more.
TORINO 0–1 JUVENTUS (HT 0-0):
SCORER: 86 Locatelli.
TORINO: Milinkovic; Zima, Bremer, Rodriguez; Singo, Pobega, Mandragora, Aina (65 Ansaldi); Lukic (66 Linetty), Brekalo (84 Rincon); Sanabria (77 Baselli).
Unused substitutes: Berisha, Gemello, Buongiorno, Izzo, Vojvoda, Verdi, Kone, Warming.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Danilo, de Ligt, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Bernardeschi (80 Kulusevski), Locatelli, McKennie, Rabiot; Chiesa (89 Kaio Jorge); Kean (45 Kean).
Unused substitutes: Perin, Pinsoglio, Bonucci, Rugani, De Sciglio, Pellegrini, Bentancur, Arthur.
ASSISTANT REFEREES: Giallatini, Galetto.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Baroni.
BOOKED: 57 Sanabria, 62 Lukic, 65 Mandragora, 82 Chiellini.
"The Derby will be a good match. There is a positive energy right that we must make the most of. We have the opportunity to improve our position in the table a bit. Torino are a team that runs and presses, Ivan Juric is doing an excellent job: he is a coach who has transmitted to the team the concept of playing games in a certain way, which very much embodies the Granata spirit.
For us it will be a complicated match: we will have to be patient and fight back blow by blow. Up to now Torino are the team that has allowed teams the fewest chances and the fewest shots on goal. We will have to stay switched on for 95 minutes with great clarity, there will be spaces also because our opponents play man to man across the whole field. For them it will be the match of their life."
THE MATCH AGAINST CHELSEA
"The game on Wednesday filled me with joy. I was very happy for the atmosphere, for the team and for the fans who supported us with great enthusiasm and passion, this is a good sign. Federico Bernardeschi played a very important physical match and within the good performance he put an extraordinary play on the goal."
"Arthur took part in his second training session with the team yesterday, it may be that tomorrow both he and Kaio Jorge will be on the bench. Arthur is a technical player who can also dribble that raises the level of the team's quality. I've known Alex Sandro for 5 years, he is a player of absolute value and you can tell that as he's the current first choice full-back of the Brazilian national team.
Both Rodrigo Bentancur and Manuel Locatelli had never managed the midfield by themselves before. Rodrigo needs someone by his side to organise the game, whilst Locatelli put in an excellent performance against Chelsea, he closed the trajectories of passing towards Romelu Lukaku and played an "ugly" game from a physical point of view."
"Wojciech Szczesny and Giorgio Chiellini will both start tomorrow. As for the others I still have to evaluate them, depending on the accumulated fatigue. I'll see tomorrow morning: whoever has the most energy will take to the field."
Federico Chiesa’s brilliant strike endured defeat upon the defending champions Chelsea on Wednesday evening as Juventus secured their second batch of three points with a 1-0 win at the Allianz Stadium.
After an opening 3-0 win against Malmö, the Bianconeri were looking to build on from their win by stunning the defending Champions. It was an energetic start to the game, where both teams were moving the ball with pace.
The first half-chance fell to Rabiot when he brilliantly intercepted Chelsea’s play and broke away on the counter, but his final cross was long, and it failed to meet a teammate. The first real chance came in the 20th minute when a moment of Chiesa magic saw him intercept play and burst up field before unleashing an angled drive that skimmed past the back post.
Chelsea then saw the first dangerous play brought to an abrupt halt when Bentancur’s perfectly timed sliding tackle on Havertz saw him win the ball back.
Juventus were doing most of the attacking and growing in confidence with each passing minute. A lovely piece of interplay between Bernardeschi and Chiesa saw the latter try to direct his shot on goal, but Chelsea’s pressure saw the effort sail wide. Rabiot was next to impress, as he unleashed a flying effort that narrowly sailed over the target. Despite their late efforts the two teams went into the half goalless.
Into the second half and Chelsea barely had a chance to breathe before the Juventus found themselves a goal up courtesy of Chiesa: he got onto the end of Berna’s through ball and fired it into the roof of the net straight from kick-off! The perfect chance to make it 2-0 came in the 64th minute following a wonderful move conducted between Cuadrado and Chiesa: the ball then rolled across to Bernardeschi who just needed it tap it in, however, he tumbled and couldn’t get the shot.
Kean and McKennie were introduced into the game in the 76th minute, as they continued to go in search of a second goal. Kean saw his shot inside the box charged down by Barkley, while Lukaku’s effort sailed just over the corner of the goal frame. An intense few moments saw out the remaining minutes of the game as Juventus went on to claim a second dose of three points in the group stages.
Juventus: Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, De Ligt, Alex Sandro; Bentancur (Chiellini 84'), Locatelli, Rabiot (McKennie 76'); Cuadrado, Bernardeschi (Kulusevski 65'), Chiesa (Kean 76').
Subs: Pinsoglio, Perin, De Sciglio, Chiellini, McKennie, Kean, Rugani, Kulusevski.
Chelsea: Mendy; Christensen, Thiago Silva, Rudiger; Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Ziyech, Havertz; Lukaku.
After the victory over Malmö on the first day of the Champions League, Juventus host holders, Chelsea at Allianz Stadium. Coach, Massimiliano Allegri and captain, Giorgio Chiellini, presented the fixture by answering questions from journalists at today's press conference.
Here's what was said to the media:
"I want to see a technically 'clean' game tomorrow night. We will have to have patience but also the pleasure of playing these types of matches. We need to pressure Chelsea, but in the right way and then the key will be to play well whilst in possession, because you can't press a team for 90+ minutes. Chelsea are both physically solid and organised and we need to play a good technical match.
"Tomorrow morning I will decide on the line-up. We had a good training session and apart from Aaron Ramsey everyone is available. Wojciech Szczesny, Manuel Locatelli, Alex Sandro and Danilo will all start. If a player is at Juventus then they are there because they have the mental qualities, availability, the desire to improve and the right determination. These seem like small details, but they are not.
"The only centre-forward is Moise Kean. I'll put two or three forwards out on the pitch depending on the characteristics. Kean knows how to score goals, he attacks deep and closes down well. He needs to improve in the team play and with his individual technique, but he already has good experience.
"Federico Bernardeschi has great potential, he must play substantial matches like with Sampdoria. Everything starts from the head.
"I expect that Federico Chiesa keeps doing as he is doing and even continues to improve. The Euros put him in a position where everyone now expects more and his margin of error has decreased. It will be an important and very difficult season for him.
"Arthur Melo is behind with regards to physical progress. We will play two friendlies during the international break that will help him to improve his condition. Rodrigo Bentancur has improved a lot, but in my opinion he can't dictate the game by himself. He needs support and Locatelli can be the right partner to help with that.
"I have the ambition to win the Champions League. It is a desire, a passion and an emotion that leads to doing extraordinary things. I don't know if we'll get there, but the goal is there and we have to go and get it. This makes the difference."
"Tomorrow will be a match as beautiful as it is difficult, but these kind of matches are also the simplest challenges to prepare for and we can't wait. We will have to be patient and compact, paying attention to counter-attacks, as Chelsea play as a team. Playing against the best allows you to give your best. You can only grow by playing certain matches.
"We need to create situations that they don't like and not allow great players like Romelu Lukaku to express themselves. But it's not only him that they have.
"Paolo Dybala is essential for us, but we have the characteristics to cope without him. One of Allegri's strengths is always looking for new solutions.
"We have to think about the present, improve and work hard, aware of the road ahead but also of our qualities: perspective and awareness. In the Champions League our goal now is to qualify for the next round and then we'll see.
"A win would help us grow further and it would be very important for the standings, but we must never lose our balance, both when things are going well and not going well.
"We need to rediscover the common thread that brought us solidity and consequently the self-esteem which made us stay at the highest levels for years."
Juve wrapped up a second 3-2 league win this week to build on the success away to Spezia on Wednesday, but it was far from plain sailing against Sampdoria.
Captain Paulo Dybala was clearly intent on running the show and started the game with real drive. His efforts were rewarded with ten minutes on the clock after Manuel Locatelli’s shot was blocked and the midfielder laid the rebound off to the Argentine, who steered a delicious low left-footed effort into the corner from the edge of the box.
The hosts looked to extend their lead and had two glorious chances to do so within three minutes of going ahead, with Federico Chiesa firing wide from the right and Alvaro Morata unable to score a one-on-one as Emil Audero rushed out of his goal to deny him.With 20 minutes on the clock, Dybala was visibly distressed as he was forced off with an injury, and Dejan Kulusevski replaced him to join Alvaro Morata in attack.
BONUCCI AND YOSHIDA TRADE BLOWS
Samp worked hard, but did not threaten to grab an equaliser, with Juve going close to scoring the next goal when Kulusevski’s header went off target. Chiesa then sent a ball into the box that struck Nicola Murru on the arm and a penalty was given. Up stepped Leonardo Bonucci to convert and seemingly send Juve in at the break two goals to the good. The visitors did respond this time, however, with Mattia Perin getting down low to deny Fabio Quagliarella before Maya Yoshida got on the end of Antonio Candreva’s cross from the left to halve the deficit.
LOCATELLI’S FIRST JUVE GOAL
As the rain got heavier, Juve found it harder to play their usual passing game, but made up for it with increased aggression, resulting in Kulusevski dispossessing Omar Colley in the box, reaching the byline and setting up Locatelli for his maiden goal for the club just before the hour-mark.
Allegri made changes in terms of personnel and formation in the last 20 minutes, sending on Giorgio Chiellini and Aaron Ramsey for Chiesa and Federico Bernardeschi, to see out the game with a back three. Rodrigo Bentancur went close to a fourth, but Audero turned the shot behind for a corner.
CANDREVA CUTS THE ARREARS, JUVE HOLD FIRM
Samp did not give up the ghost and got back into the contest when Adrien Silva broke down the left and set up Antonio Candreva for a first-time shot with seven minutes of regulation time left. There were four minutes added on, in which Chiellini showcased his vast experience to ensure stoppage time was relatively painless and the visitors were not allowed to carve out any opportunities to potentially equalise.
Allegri’s charges had to dig in to hold on to what could well prove to be three key points come the end of the season.
JUVENTUS 3-2 SAMPDORIA (HT: 2-1):
Scorers: Dybala 10, Bonucci 43, Yoshida 44, Locatelli 57, Candreva 83.
JUVENTUS: Perin; Cuadrado, Bonucci, De Ligt, Alex Sandro; Chiesa (Chiellini 70), Bentancur (MckKennie 82), Locatelli, Bernardeschi (Ramsey 70); Dybala (Kulusevski 67), Morata (Kean 82).
Subs not used: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, De Sciglio, Danilo, Rugani, Pellegrini.
SAMPDORIA: Audero; Bereszynski; Yoshida, Colley, Murru (Augello 59); Depaoli (Damsgaard 59), Thorsby (Askildsen 87), Ekdal (Silva 59), Candreva; Caputo (Torregrossa 70), Quagliarella.
Subs not used: Ravagli, Falcone, Chabot, Ciervo, Dragusin, Ferrari, Trimboli.
Assistants: Di Vuolo, Lombardi.
Fourth official: Camplone.
VAR: Orsato, Tegoni.
Booked: Thorsby 28, Murro 41, Ekdal 45+2, Bentancur 53, Cuadrado 66, Bonucci 84, Kean 86.
Second-half goals from Federico Chiesa and Matthijs de Ligt saw Juventus come back against Spezia to secure a 3-2 victory at the Stadio Alberto Picco on Wednesday evening. Moise Kean had opened the scoring in the first half, but goals from Emanuel Gyasi and Antiste saw Spezia go in front.
With no win in four of their previous Serie A games, Juventus knew that anything short of three points would be unacceptable. As such, they started the game full of energy and they nearly grabbed an early opener in the seventh minute when Chiesa's pulled back ball met Kean, who drilled it just wide. De Ligt threatened on Dybala's corner when he blazed his effort over the target after striking on the half volley.
Juve's breakthrough did come in the 27th minute when a Bonucci long-ball up field was knocked on from Rabiot to Kean, who got onto the end of it and blasted it home! Unfortunately, the lead only lasted five minutes when Spezia continued the move off Szczesny's initial save, which saw Emanuel Gyasi strike a curling effort into the top corner. The half ended with a ferocious effort from Dybala, whose blaster was palmed over the cross bar by Zoet.
Massimiliano Allegri introduced Alex Sandro and Locatelli on at the start of the second half, however, it was Spezia who started off on the strong foot when an over-the-top ball to Antiste saw him go on a great run, he turned Bonucci in the box and fired home in the 49th minute to make it 2-1 to the hosts. Kean nearly grabbed an equaliser five minutes later with a glancing header that was tipped over by Zoet, while Morata came on in place of Kean.
The Spezia stopper was having a strong game and he once again found himself pulling off a save, this time denying Dybala. The goalkeeper couldn't do much with Chiesa's effort, as the Italian striker brilliantly worked his way through the defenders before sliding onto the ball as it rolled over the line.
Juventus turned the scoreline in their favour in the 72nd minute when de Ligt pounced onto the end of a corner kick, that bounced around in the box, and turned it home to make it 3-2. Szczesny pulled off a great save to deny Maggiore in the final moments of the game, as the Bianconeri claimed their first victory of the season.
Juventus: Szczesny, De Sciglio (Alex Sandro 46'), de Ligt, Danilo, Bonucci, McKennie, Chiesa (Kulusevski 84'), Rabiot (Bernardeschi 67'), Bentancur (Locatelli 46'), Dybala, Kean (Morata 59').
Subs: Perin, Pinsoglio, Alex Sandro, Pellegrini, Rugani, Ramsey, Cuadrado, Bernardeschi, Locatelli, Morata, Kulusevski.
Juventus and Milan played to a 1-1 draw on Sunday evening at the Allianz Stadium after Ante Rebic's equaliser cancelled out Alvaro Morata's opener.
The game was nothing short of interesting from the get-go when Milan tested Szczesny with just three minutes on the clock: Leao recovered the ball, Brahim moved it up field and Tonali fired at goal only to see his effort tipped over the bar. Juventus then pounced on a poor Theo Hernandez clearance, which saw Morata go one-on-one with Maignan as he poked it into the back of the net.
Milan were always looking to slow the pace of the game down when on the ball, while Juve would do the opposite when winning it back. Both Dybala and Morata forced saves out of Maignan with low shots into the bottom, which he parried away for a corner. Bonucci had a glancing header sail over the cross bar, while Milan's attempts weren't enough to truly test Szczesny.
Juventus started the second half nearly adding a second to the lit when an over-the-top ball from Bonucci met Rabiot, who was bursting into the box, the Frenchman connected onto the end of it, and it narrowly missed the goal post.
Kean was brought on in place of Morata in the 65th minute of play, while Leao's shot narrowly skimmed over the bar. Chiesa was then introduced into the game in the 72nd minute in place of Cuadrado, as Danilo saw his effort blocked by the French goalkeeper.
Milan were pushing for an equalizing goal and they got theirs in the 76th minute when Tonali's corner kick met the head of Rebic, who nodded it in. Brahim played the ball long and across field seven minutes from time to Rebic, who blazed his effort wide of the target. Szczesny pulled off a great save to deny Kalulu at the near post in the final moments of the game, as the game ended in a draw.
Juventus got their Champions League Group Stage off to a good start when they defeated Malmö 3-0 at the Eleda Stadion on Tuesday evening. Alex Sandro opened the scoring, before two late first half goals by Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata wrapped up the victory.
The game was a chance for the Bianconeri to secure their first victory of the season, and they were the ones who created the first chance at goal when a Morata chipped ball to Dybala left him clean on goal, only to see him sky his effort.
The hosts then had a chance of their own in the 17th minute when a cross by Berget met Rieks, who volley it just over the target. Juventus did grab the lead five minutes later through Alex Sandro who turned in Cuadrado’s cross with a diving header from 10 yards out! The Brazilian nearly added a second goal to his name when he got onto the end of a Bonucci long-ball, he brilliantly controlled it before whipping his effort narrowly out at the far post.
Birmancevic and Locatelli saw their respective efforts go wide of the target, as Juventus went on to add two quick goals before the break. The first came courtesy of a Dybala penalty after Morata was brought down in the box by Nielsen. The second, which occurred in first half stoppages, saw Morata put away Dybala’s assist in a move which started with Szczesny’s long ball up the field for Rabiot who knocked it on.
Into the second half and Juventus nearly added their fourth goal just after the hour mark when a beautiful attacking move saw Dybala tee up Morata with a great backheel touch, only to see the Spanish striker’s shot palmed away by Diawara. Kean thought he had bagged a goal of his own just minutes after coming on, but the offside flag ruled it out. The rest of the half played out in a quiet manner, as the Bianconeri claimed three points in their opening match of the UEFA Champions League.
Malmo: Diawara; Berget, Ahmedodzic, L Nielsen, Brorsson, Rieks; Innocent, Christiansen, Rakip; Colak, Birmancevic.
Malmo bench: Ellborg, Dahlin, Larsson, Olsson, Bejimo, Abubakari, Gwargis, Nalic, Eile, Bjorkqvist, Nanasi.
Juventus: Szczesny; Danilo, De Ligt (Rugani 87’), Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Cuadrado (Kulusevski 82), Bentancur (McKennie 68’), Locatelli, Rabiot; Dybala (Ramsey 82’), Morata (Kean 68’).
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Perin, De Sciglio, Chiellini, Ramsey, McKennie, Kean, Rugani, Kulusevski.
Kalidou Koulibaly's late goal handed Napoli a 2-1 victory on Saturday evening at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, despite Alvaro Morata striking first early on.
It was a game Massimiliano Allegri knew would be a must-win having come into the game off the back of a draw and a loss in the opening two Serie A match days. Napoli were eager to rock the Bianconeri boat with their chance in the opening 30 seconds of the game which saw Politano narrowly nod over Osimhen's cross over the target.
The Bianconeri stunned the home crowd in the 11th minute when a defensive error was capitalized on by Morata, who then turned towards goal and fired it past Ospina. McKennie had a shot denied by the Colombian goalkeeper, along with Kulusevski's before the flag was raised. Few to no chances followed for the remainder of the half, as the Bianconeri went into the break in the lead.
Into the second half, and Napoli were the side who was applying the most pressure, and it paid off in their favour when they scored the equaliser in the 57th minute. Insigne initially fired in a curling effort that was palmed down by Szczesny, but the ball fell to the path of Politano who tapped it home.
McKennie immediately tried to restore Juve's lead with a shot that skimmed narrowly wide of the target. Mario Rui also struck wide of goal, while Osimhen's effort was curled over. Napoli continued to be a thorn in Juve's side and they forced Szczesny to make a save when he punched away a free-kick, the ball fell to the feet of Fabian Ruiz who blasted it narrowly over with Tek getting the slightest of touches.
Kean was then introduced into the game in the 82nd minute in place of Morata, but it wasn't the second debut he would have hoped for. A Napoli corner kick was floated into the box, Kean nodded it down towards goal, Tek got the slightest of touches but couldn't get a proper grip and Koulibaly tapped it in from a yard out with just five minutes remaining on the clock.
Napoli: Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Koulibaly, Mario Rui; Fabian Ruiz, Anguissa; Politano, Elmas, Insigne; Osimhen.
Juventus: Szczesny; De Sciglio, Bonucci, Chiellini, Pellegrini (De Ligt 57'); McKennie (Ramsey 73'), Locatelli, Rabiot; Bernardeschi, Morata (Kean 82'), Kulusevski.
Subs: Pinsoglio, Perin, de Ligt, Rugani, De Winter, Ramsey, Miretti, Kean, Soule.
Juventus welcomed the fans back to Allianz Stadium but were unable to send them home happy as a stubborn, well-drilled Empoli side claimed all three points. Leonardo Mancuso's first-half finish put the visitors in front then they shut up shop after the interval to record a first-ever win away to Juve.
CHIESA DENIED BY VICARIO
Juve started strong and within minutes of kick-off Guglielmo Vicario had to make his first save of the evening when Alex Sandro played in Federico Chiesa behind the back line.
The Bianconeri were zipping the ball around at pace and Juan Cuadrado – nominally starting in the right-back position – was proving to be a real thorn in Empoli's side with his frequent forays forward.
Meanwhile Chiesa looked almost unplayable at times, like when he set off from midfield with the ball at his feet, skipped past two blue shirts and angled a shot towards the corner, forcing Vicario into another save.
MANCUSO GIVES EMPOLI THE LEAD
Empoli, however, were not content to settle for a bit-part role and sought to exploit the spaces Juve inevitably left them, playing at such a high tempo. Midway through the half Nedim Bajrami spread play out to Filippo Bandinelli, collected the return pass in the box and pulled the trigger; the ball found its way to Mancuso, who was left with the simple task of finishing from a few yards out.
Juve looked to respond instantly but Chiesa was thwarted by Vicario for a third time. Empoli then grew in stature and Patrick Cutrone lashed a fierce effort just wide.
The Bianconeri kept the tempo high but their play began to lack precision and Empoli weren't unduly threatened again before the interval.
JUVE ATTACK, EMPOLI HOLD ON
Juve came out for the restart with Alvaro Morata in place of Weston McKennie but the first chance fell to Empoli, when Nicolas Haas' effort was saved by Wojciech Szczesny.
Paulo Dybala then fired off a low drive from outside the box that Vicario had covered.
The play shifted from one end to the other with Empoli moving the ball around well as Bajrami drew another save out of Szczesny.
Massimilano Allegri rang the changes with Federico Bernardeschi replacing Adrien Rabiot, then Manuel Locatelli and Dejan Kulusevski taking over from Rodrigo Bentancur and Federico Chiesa.
The two newcomers soon fashioned a decent chance for an equaliser, the Swede's cross sent just wide by the former Sassuolo man, but Juve struggled to create much more of note.
Mattia De Sciglio came on for Cuadrado but Empoli kept their heads and Juve at bay, defending resolutely.
The last chance was an angled effort by Locatelli which ended wide – and with it Juve's hopes of salvaging something from the game.
JUVENTUS 0-1 EMPOLI (HT 0-1):
Goal: Mancuso 21.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Cuadrado (De Sciglio 82), de Ligt, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Bentancur (Locatelli 66), Danilo, Rabiot (Bernardeschi 66); McKennie (Morata 46); Dybala, Chiesa (Kulusevski 66).
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, Chiellini, Pellegrini, Rugani, Fagioli, Ranocchia.
EMPOLI: Vicario; Stojanovic, Ismajli, Luperto, Marchizza; Haas, Ricci, Bandinelli (Zurkowski 80); Bajrami (Stulac 70); Mancuso (Pinamonti 72), Cutrone (Henderson 80).
Subs not used: Brignoli, Furlan, Romagnoli, Lamntia, Fiamozzi, Tonelli, Viti, Parisi.
ASSISTANTS: De Meo, Rocca.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Marcenaro.
VAR: Guida, Ranghetti.
BOOKED: Mancuso 32, Cutrone 44, Ismajli 56, Bernardeschi 81, Danilo 89.
Ahead of the first league match at home tomorrow evening (kick-off at 20:45 CEST), Coach Massimiliano Allegri spoke to the media today about the team, Cristiano Ronaldo and tomorrow’s match.
Here’s what he had to say:
ON CRISTIANO RONALDO
Yesterday, Cristiano told me that he no longer has any intention to play for Juventus. For this reason he will not be called up for tomorrow's game. Things change, it's a law of life. Juventus remains, which is the most important thing. Cristiano gave his contribution, he made himself available, now he leaves, and life goes on. He is to be thanked for what he has done, also as an example amongst the youngsters. But as I said, we must go on…
TOMORROW’S OPPONENT: EMPOLI
Empoli play good football. We are working well, and we are very disappointed for not having won in Udine. Unforeseen events happened in that game that must not happen again. We are improving. Tomorrow there will be a good atmosphere, we will finally have our fans back and we will have to be ready. We have to be very angry about the points we left in Udine when we face Empoli tomorrow. I'm intrigued to see the team play tomorrow night and eager to hit our seasonal goals, improving as individuals and as a collective. There are no excuses and extenuating circumstances, those are for losers and those who are weak.
In the last two matches, including the friendly against Atalanta we scored five goals, but we conceded three. It means that we have the goals in our locker but we have to concede less because the championships are won with the goal difference. The squad is excellent, I am satisfied with the players we have available. They all have the potential to have a great season. The lads need to improve, one step at a time and victories are the best way to do it. In Udine I was happy with the performance but sorry for the management
ON WESTON MCKENNIE
Mckennie shouldn't leave, he's an attacking midfielder, and has got goals in his legs.
Morata is fine & I consider Chiesa a forward, but I'll decide the line-up tomorrow. Without Cristiano there are many players who can score goals, they will be distributed across the team, with serenity and desire & the aim of winning.
The Bianconeri started the 2021/22 Serie A campaign with a draw after letting a 2-0 lead slip in the second half away in Udine.
Juventus made a fantastic start, as Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado both found the net to give the team a healthy lead after just 23 minutes but, as the past has shown, things are never so easy here in Friuli. After the half-time interval, Roberto Pereyra scored from the penalty spot and Gerard Deulofeu struck in the final stages of the game to draw the home side level.
Cristiano Ronaldo thought he had grabbed all three points for Juve after heading home deep in stoppage time, but the goal was chalked off for offside. After a promising start, Massimiliano Allegri’s side return to Turin with a single point.
DYBALA AND CUADRADO GET THE BALL ROLLING
After little more than two minutes into Juventus’ opening game of the Serie A season, Cuadrado found Rodrigo Bentancur in the box, and he laid on an assist for Dybala to send a left-footed volley past Marco Silvestri. Udinese however took the early blow in their stride and threatened Wojciech Szczesny’s goal through Pussetto's right-footed shot, which was blocked by the Juve keeper.
Nonetheless the home side’s forays forward left them exposed at the back and Juventus pounced to great effect. With just over 20 minutes played, Dybala unleashed a 40-yard pass to Cuadrado, who controlled the ball, outwitted Bram Nuytinck and fired into the far corner to double our lead and send the Bianconeri into the break with a two-goal advantage.
PEREYRA HALVES THE DEFICIT FROM THE SPOT
The game was by no means over, however, as Szczesny gave away a penalty a few minutes into the second half by fouling Tolgay Arslan. After Pereyra slotted home from the penalty spot, Juve reacted with fervour and Alvaro Morata's headed against the post from Alex Sandro's cross. Allegri made a triple substitution and switched to a three-man defence, sending on Giorgio Chiellini, Dejan Kulusevski and Ronaldo for Aaron Ramsey, Federico Bernardeschi and Morata. Ronaldo threatened straight away with a header, narrowly missing the target after Dybala's free kick. He then served up Bentancur on the edge of the box, only to see the Uruguayan hit the post to Silvestri's left.
Around 30 minutes into the second period it was time for Federico Chiesa to replace Cuadrado, but Udinese continued to probe at the other end. With just over five minutes to go they found the equaliser, when Szczesny loitered on the ball close to his goal and lost it to Stefano Okaka. The ball ended up at the feet of Deulofeu, who had the simple task of slotting into the unguarded goal.
VAR DENIES RONALDO
In the final stages, Allegri sent on Manuel Locatelli to replace Bentancur. Udinese almost found a late winning goal through Mato Jajalo, who fired Okaka’s ball over the bar. At the other end Dybala produced splendid chest control before firing on goal, only to see Silvestri parry the ball out for a corner. Juventus continued to push for a winner and thought they found one when Ronaldo rose to send a bullet header into the net from Chiesa’s cross. However, the goal was ruled out for offside after a VAR check and both sides settled for a point.
UDINESE 2-2 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-2):
Scorers: Dybala 3, Cuadrado 23, Pereyra 51 (pen), Deulofeu 83.
UDINESE: Silvestri; Becao, Nuytinck, Samir (Zeegelaar 90+4); Molina, Pereyra, Walace, Makengo (Stryger Larsen 57), Udogie (Deulofeu 57); Arslan (Jajalo 81), Pussetto (Okaka 81).
Subs not used: Padelli, Scuffet, De Maio, Palumbo, Samardzic, Cristo Gonzalez, Ianesi.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Danilo, De Ligt, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Cuadrado (Chiesa 74), Bentancur (Locatelli 90), Ramsey (Chiellini 60), Bernardeschi (Kulusevski 60); Morata (Ronaldo 60), Dybala.
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, De Sciglio, Pellegrini, Rugani, Ranocchia, Kaio Jorge.
ASSISTANTS: Paganessi, Longo.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Prontera.
VAR: Mariani, Carbone.
BOOKED: Szczesny 50, Walace 77, Kulusevski 89, Ronaldo 90+5.
Massimiliano Allegri has spoken of the difficulties his side can expect when they kick off their Serie A campaign against Udinese – and stressed the need for consistency if they are to reclaim the Scudetto.
The boss was speaking to the media the day before Sunday's 18:30 CEST kick-off at Dacia Arena.
“The first game is always difficult,” he began. “Udinese are a strong, powerful team and they had one of the best defensive records last season in terms of chances conceded. They didn't concede from corners and they're dangerous on the counter with fast, skilful players.
“We must play very carefully tomorrow. If we want to come away with all three points, we must be solid defensively and technically and bide our time.”
RONALDO & DYBALA
“[Cristiano] Ronaldo didn't play in our friendly on Thursday because I gave him half a day off to recover after a week of intensive training. He's available for tomorrow. He gives us an extra gear and means guaranteed goals. We must work as a team to get the most out of him.
“[Paulo] Dybala turned up for pre-season looking like it was his first year at the club. He's working with desire and intensity every day. Paulo hasn't lived up to his potential in the last two seasons and he knows that.”
RAMSEY, LOCATELLI & BERNARDESCHI
“[Aaron] Ramsey has improved a lot in the holding role since the first few games, but he still tends to get sucked into the action and needs to run a bit less.
“As for [Manuel] Locatelli, I'm very happy he's joined us. He's come on in leaps and bounds in recent years and grown into a great player. He''s not in peak condition yet because he hasn't trained much. He'll need a bit longer. He'll come with us to Udine and could play 15 or 20 minutes if we need him. He'll be in good shape after the international break.
“[Federico] Bernardeschi is an excellent player with great ability – as they all are at Juventus.”
SERIE A 2021/2022
“Serie A will be a very balanced league this season. To win it you need to go like a cruise ship – no fits and starts, just a good steady pace. The title favourites are normally the team that won it last but we're one of the six or seven contenders.
“If you want to come out on top, you need to work on fitness, technique and mentality every day. Football is about balance and solidity: if you don't get that right quickly, it becomes a roller-coaster ride, and you can't challenge for the title like that. I'm working to achieve results, to get to the finish line first and win it.”
Massimiliano Allegri's Juventus beat their U23 counterparts 3-0 in their final dress rehearsal before Sunday's Serie A curtain-raiser against Udinese.
Paulo Dybala, Alvaro Morata and Aaron Ramsey were the names on the score sheet but there were plenty more positives to take from an enjoyable match played at a decent tempo.
With Cristiano Ronaldo, Juan Cuadrado, Kaio Jorge and new signing Manuel Locatelli all training separately, Allegri started with three at the back and opted for a three-pronged attack of Dybala, Morata and Dejan Kulusevski. And it was two of these who combined for the opener just seven minutes in when the Swede teed up the Argentine, who fired home an unstoppable angled effort.
Allegri's side were holding a high line and a high tempo while closing down all the spaces and it wasn't long before another chance came their way. Kulusevski was again involved, serving as the foil for Federico Chiesa to play a delightful one-two – only for the Italian to be denied by the woodwork.
Further chances came and went for Chiesa, Ramsey, Rodrigo Bentancur and Kulusevski before the Bianconeri finally got the second goal – and what a beauty it was. Morata played in Chiesa, who in turn laid off for the onrushing Danilo to send in a cross. Morata met it and cleverly diverted the ball into the net with the back of his heel.
RAMSEY ADDS THE THIRD
The U23s showed their character and looked to respond to the set-back through Fabio Miretti, whose shot crashed off the angle of the goal, before Dybala almost secured his brace with a curling right-footed effort that missed the target by inches. It was then Dybala who provided Aaron Ramsey with assist for the first team’s third goal, with the Welshman duly obliging in the form of a dinked finish over the keeper. Franco Israel did his bit to keep the half-time scoreline down, saving from Dejan Kulusevski and Dybala, while a curling strike from Morata went narrowly wide in between the two.
EVEN SECOND HALF
Both teams made 11 changes at half time, with the first team switching to a back four. The tempo remained high, however, and Filippo Ranocchia was the next to threaten as he headed Weston McKennie’s cross onto the crossbar. After around ten minutes, Allegri moved Federico Bernardeschi into the trequartista role behind Matias Soulé and Alejandro Marques, but it was Ranocchia that came close again with a right-footed effort from the edge of the box. The U23s responded with a left footer from Luca Clemenza, who saw his effort tipped over the bar by Carlo Pinsoglio, before Bernardeschi skimmed the woodwork from a free-kick with the final chance of the game.
The fans present at the JTC applauded the Bianconeri at the final whistle, with just two weeks to go now until they will be able to watch them at Allianz Stadium against Empoli.
For now, attention turns to trip to Udinese on Sunday, when the real football begins.
Juve returned to Allianz Stadium on Saturday evening and with them the fans, finally able to take their seats and enjoy the Bianconeri in action. Massimiliano Allegri's men didn't disappoint, as Paulo Dybala, Federico Bernardeschi and Alvaro Morata ensured victory in the final pre-season friendly before the league begins.
PAULO OFF THE MARK
The first goal came just eight minutes in as Cristiano Ronaldo and Federico Chiesa orchestrated a counter-attack and Dybala – named captain for the occasion – finished off the job, sliding in to send the ball into the net via the post. Allegri's attacking trio were looking the part.
MURIEL FROM THE SPOT
Atalanta were the usual tireless runners but Juve's ability to break at pace caused them no end of problems, and another jet-heeled foray forward by Chiesa ended with his shot fizzing just over.
A few minutes later the visitors found an equaliser, Luis Muriel converting from 12 yards after Leo Bonucci had fouled Remo Freuler in the box.
Muriel almost added a second immediately after the restart but was denied by Wojciech Szczesny.
On the half-hour mark the Colombian had another opportunity but failed to find the target, then Szczesny was called into action once more to deny Josip Ilicic.
Juve were putting together some fine moves themselves and five minutes before the interval one of these presented Bernardeschi with a shooting opportunity from 20 yards out. The Italian didn't need asking twice and he unleashed an unstoppable strike to restore Juve's lead heading into the break.
MORATA WRAPS IT UP
Atalanta came out fired up after the interval and before long Matteo Pessina's cross-shot caused a bit of a panic in Bianconeri box.
Juve were soon cutting through Atalanta on the counter-attack again though, as Ronaldo saw an effort saved by Juan Musso.
Dybala and Chiesa were applauded off as Morata and Dejan Kulusevski came on to replace them, followed by Mattia De Sciglio and Weston McKennie, with Bernardeschi and Ronaldo making way.
Atalanta made plenty of changes of their own and the pace inevitably dropped.
Ilicic played in Pessina with a clever ball but Szczesny darted off his line to cut down the angle.
Giorgio Chiellini, 37 today, then replaced Bonucci while Carlo Pinsoglio took Szczesny's place between the sticks.
The third goal came courtesy of Kulusevski and Morata in stoppage time when the Swede set up the Spaniard for the easiest of finishes.
Next week it's the real thing as we start our Serie A campaign with a trip to Udine.
JUVENTUS 3-1 ATALANTA (HT 2-1):
SCORERS: Dybala 8, Muriel 18 (pen), Bernardeschi 39, Morata 90+3.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny (Pinsoglio 83); Cuadrado, Bonucci (Chiellini 70), De Ligt (Rugani 71), Alex Sandrro (Pellegrini 70); Bentancur (Ranocchia 83), Ramsey (Fagioli 79), Bernardeschi (De Sciglio 62); Chiesa (Kulusevski 54), Dybala (Morata 54), Ronaldo (McKennie 62).
Subs not used: Perin, Danilo, De Winter.
ATALANTA: Musso (Sportiello 84); Palomino (t Scalvini 84), Demiral (Lovato 84), Djimsiti (Toloi 59); Maehle (Sutalo 71), Pessina (Da Riva 84), Freuler (De Roon 59), Gosens (Pezzella 71); Pasalic (Del Prato 84); Ilicic (Piccoli 71), Muriel (Malinovskyi 59).
Sub not used: Rossi.
ASSISTANTS: Imperiale, Rossi.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Bitonti.
BOOKED: Djimsiti 57.
Barcelona ran out Gamper Trophy winners on Sunday evening after beating Juventus 3- 0 at the Estadi Johan Cruyff courtesy of goals from Memphis Depay, Martin Braithwaite, and Riqui Puig.
It wasn’t the start the team would have hoped for as they found themselves a goal down inside the third minute of action: Memphis Depay found himself unmarked and with tons of space around him, he burst down the middle in full speed and slotted the ball past Szczesny.
Cristiano Ronaldo came close to pulling one back when he forced a save from Neto at the near post with an angled drive, following a great pass from Alvaro Morata. Barca had the ball in the back of the net in the 21st minute, but it didn’t stand due to an offside on Griezmann. Szczesny made a great reflex save with his foot to deny Demir.
The opening half was a bit of a cagey affair between the two teams, with both sides putting upping their physical play. De Ligt and Morata both forced great saves from Neto in the 38th minute, while the half ended with a ferocious Morata shot from Cuadrado’s cross that was parried away.
Into the second half and it was Juve who were the first to threaten, through Chiesa’s shot that forced Neto to push it out wide. However, it was the hosts that landed up rattling the back of the net first when Braithwaite got onto the end of a corner kick and nodded it home. Griezmann saw his free-kick smack Bonucci in the face with the rebounded ball into the path of Depay, who blasted it wide of goal. The rhythm of the game drifted off somewhat, but it was the home side that would snatch the final goal, two minutes in stoppage time, with a stunning strike on the edge of the box by Puig, who curled the ball into the top corner of Perin’s goal to see the game end 3-0.
Juventus: Szczesny; De Sciglio, de Ligt, Rugani, Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Ramsey, Bernardeschi; Cuadrado, Morata, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Subs: Pinsoglio, Perin, Chiellini, Danilo, Pellegrini, Bonucci, De Winter, McKennie, Chiesa, Ranocchia, Kulusevski, Marques.
Juventus' second pre-season outing ended with a 2-1 victory over Monza in the 25th edition of the Luigi Berlusconi Trophy.
Massimiliano Allegri had far more first-team regulars to call upon than he did against Cesena just seven days earlier and had no hesitation in naming recent arrivals Wojciech Szczesny, Matthijs de Ligt, Aaron Ramsey, Adrien Rabiot and Dejan Kulusevski in his starting line-up.
The back four had Mattia De Sciglio and Luca Pellegrini on the flanks, with Merih Demiral partnering the Dutchman in the centre.
Filippo Ranocchia joined Ramsey and Rabiot in midfield while the youthful attacking trio was formed by Matias Soule, Andrea Brighenti and Kulusevski.
The first chance fell to the hosts just a few seconds in and Szczesny had to be on his toes to thwart Marco Brescianini.
The Bianconeri slowly grew into the game despite understandably being short of fitness at this early stage.
It was two youth players who combined for the excellent opening goal in the 12th minute, with Ranocchia applying a brilliant curling finish after some sterling work by Soule.
Monza, however, were determined to play their part and made a real game of it, very nearly finding an equaliser first through Brescianini (32) and then Antonino Barilla two minutes before the interval.
Allegri's men came out firing after the restart with Rabiot in particular using his pace to good effect on the left.
The second goal came eight minutes into the half when Kulusevski pounced on a defensive mess-up and made no mistake one on one against Michele Di Gregorio.
The usual raft of changes followed and the second period was inevitably played at a slower pace than the first.
One of the few chances was a fine Rabiot shot that forced Di Gregorio into an equally good save to keep the scores at 2-0.
Marco D’Alessandro halved the arrears with a few minutes remaining when he beat everyone to the ball in the box, but that proved to be the last action of note as Juve took home the Luigi Berlusconi Trophy.
The coming week will see the return of the remaining internationals as thoughts now turn to next Sunday's visit to Barcelona.
It’s a new era with a familiar face in the crowd: Massimiliano Allegri.
Today he was officially presented as the Club’s new head, and alongside him during his presentation was President Andrea Agnelli who also shared his thoughts on the appointment and the forthcoming season.
Here’s what was said:
I want to congratulate, first of all, the Federation and the Italian National Team for the great victory at the European Championships, a triumph for a great group.
I won't dwell on Max's presentation. We took a potential risk together, but every expectation contains a prejudice, which takes for granted the results obtained. Anyone who thinks that the trophies of recent years are less appreciated are wrong, because behind them, there is always sacrifice and the desire to obtain them. No victory is ever taken for granted, winning costs effort and work. As Max says, 'winning is not for everyone'.
The objectives are the same as always: to be competitive in our objectives. We got back together not out of friendship, but because Allegri has the credibility to write a new chapter, and he believes in the new management team. I don't want to talk about the past anymore, but only about the future. His contract is for four years, because it is a sign of trust, and also because there is a medium-term plan at the base.
I really want to lead Juventus, both on and off the pitch. There is great concentration.
For me it's a new first time, I'm excited. I've started again with lots of emotion and fun, like when I first started coaching. I am with a group of good and quality young people, who are joining the first team. It's a new cycle here, let's think about the future.
There are many youngsters here, they will be an added value and the future of the Club. Then there are the more experienced, like Chiellini, Bonucci and Ronaldo, who will be examples for the youngsters.
A new cycle of work begins what has been done belongs to history. There are new goals to hit. I am proud that Juve called me back and that the fans showed affection. But from 22 August, it will be necessary to score points. Juve have a DNA made up of daily work. I join a team that has won three trophies in the last two years - a good job has been done.
Cristiano is a great champion and an intelligent guy. Yesterday I spoke to him - as I did with everyone else - I told him that this is an important year and he has a greater responsibility, because the team is young. I can only imagine how difficult it was to work during the Covid emergency. We will have to manage everyone well, it will be an important year also for Dybala, who has presented himself very well, both physically and mentally: he is very motivated.
I found a lot of enthusiasm and a great desire to work: these are the conditions for a great season. Players who intrigue me? Rabiot has important qualities, McKennie has the instinct for goals. I'm lucky: many players have goals in their legs.
There are many great potentials, on which we will work every day. I chose Juventus, and for me it is a great responsibility. I am very grateful for the Club, which has given me the opportunity to return to coaching and to win.
Dybala arrived when he was a kid. Now he is a man who realises that this is an important year for him. He has extraordinary plays, I expect a lot from him.
I needed to switch off, then I started watching many games again. The next championship will be very balanced, in addition to Inter and ourselves, there are Milan, Napoli, Roma and Lazio. The important thing will be continuity in the results.
Kulusevski is an excellent player, with an important engine, who needs to improve in the execution phase. For me, one goal will be to create value and improvement on all players in the squad, and that's one of the reasons why I was called.
In Serie A there are many good coaches, Inter are the favorites because they are reigning champions. We must build a path that will lead us to win the championship. The Champions League must be everyone's desire. In the meantime, we must pass the first round. The best defence won this year too, so it's important to concede fewer goals than the others. The feeling is that the Scudetto odds are 87/88 points, then we'll see. The calendar fixture? We play when they tell us to play, no problem.
From next Tuesday I will have the whole team available. Then, from that point on, I'll have to find the balance between playing well and getting results, in the various phases of the season.
Juventus kick-started their preseason fixtures in a convincing manner by defeating Cesena 3-1 at home at the Juventus Training Center on Saturday evening. De Winter, McKennie and Soule all got on the scoresheet for the Bianconeri.
The fixture officially marked the return of Massimiliano Allegri on the Juve bench for his second tenure, and he couldn’t have asked for the more perfect start. It took just five minutes for the Bianconeri to get on the scoreline when Koni De Winter blasted home with force. The proceedings were dominated by Bianconero possession, and they made it 2-0 in the 34th minute through Weston McKennie who beautifully controlled the ball before striking it into the bottom right corner. Cesena didn’t waste any time in responding with a goal of their own, as they halved the deficit two minutes later though Shpendi who fired home on the rebound after Perin made a great initial save.
Into the second half, and a bunch of changes was made by Allegri. It didn’t impact the performance of the team, as they continued to dominate. Matias Soule’ added a third goal to Juve’s tally with a great shot that took a deflection and sailed into the back of the net, leaving the goalkeeper stranded on the spot. Rafia threatened to help make it 4-1: after a series of feints, he crossed the ball to the back post for Clemenza, who just missed connecting onto it by a split second with ten minutes to go. The tempo of the game drifted off towards the end as Juventus eased to a solid win.
Here we are: Juventus' 2020/2021 season has officially begun.
After yesterday’s medicals took place, the group, which will gradually begin to grow with the arrivals of the players involved in the summer with their national teams, found themselves for the first time under the orders of Coach Allegri at Continassa.
Two training sessions were on the menu today: the players first focused on a series of technique exercises, and then dedicated themselves to a subsequent phase of athletic work.
In the afternoon, after a well-deserved rest at the J | Hotel, the group took part in a second session, this time in the gym.
Tomorrow, of course, the lads will return to the field for another double session.
Massimiliano Allegri is the Juventus manager once more.
Allegri finds a bench that he knows very well, a club that he loves and that loves him back, as today a new journey begins together, towards new goals.
What he achieved in his first adventure at Juventus are engraved in the club’s history: five Scudetti, to the four-consecutive doubles, coupled with the Coppa Italia and to the two Super Cups, reaching two Champions League finals in just three seasons, in what were epic feats both in Italy and in Europe.
We said goodbye two years ago with the message, “History Alone”, the message on the back of the shirt given to Massimiliano Allegri by President Andrea Agnelli with an embrace and a shirt, on which in just two words encapsulated Allegri's experience at Juve.
The beauty of the story, however, is that it never stops. And in football, this means a concept that we have ingrained in our DNA: the best victory is the next one. Always.
And now we are ready to begin again with Allegri, to build our future together; with his enormous professionalism, his moral strength, with the brilliant ideas of a coach capable of shuffling the cards, both on and off the pitch. With his smile, a sort of "signature". With his way of understanding football and life with simplicity, with his desire to play things down and with the commitment to enjoy every beautiful moment that being at Juventus can give and will give.
Let's start again together.
Let’s start again with Max.
Welcome home, coach!
Thank you, Andrea.
These are the first words that all of us need to say at the end of this special experience together.
A few months ago, Andrea Pirlo, an icon of world football, began his new adventure, his first as a coach.
To do this, first of all, it takes courage, as well as awareness of one's own means, especially in a period marked by thousands of difficulties, with the world forced by the pandemic to reinvent its own rules day after day.
Pirlo has just begun the first steps of what will no doubt become a brilliant career as a coach. An adventure of transformation, seeking, and often managing, to bring his ideas and his experience as a champion on the pitch from the “other side” of the fence.
And since in football, what counts are the victories, let's remember them: in the space of a few short months Pirlo's Juve has raised two trophies: The Italian Supercup and the Coppa Italia. And he, as coach, brought home brilliant victories on the most prestigious of fields, from San Siro to Camp Nou.
For all this, for the courage, the dedication, the passion with which he demonstrated every day, our heartfelt thanks go out to Andrea, as well as our good luck for the future that will surely be a wonderful one.
Juventus qualified for the Champions League next season after defeating Bologna 4-1 at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara on Sunday evening, following Napoli’s draw to Verona. Chiesa opened the scoring for the Bianconeri, before a brace from Morata and Rabiot sealed the three points in the season finale.
BIANCONERI DOMINATE FIRST HALF
Buoyed by their victory in the Coppa Italia final on Wednesday, the Bianconeri were eager to finish off the season with a win. They started off in the right manner when they took the lead in the fifth minute: Kulusevski rolled the ball across goal, it found Rabiot whose shot rattled the crossbar, before the rebound landed in front of Chiesa and he sliced it home. Neither goalkeeper was put to the test until the 29th minute when the Bianconeri made it 2-0: Dybala did all the hard work by dribbling past his opponents, before chipping it over Skorupski where Morata nodded it in from a yard out. A third and final goal of the half was added on the stroke of half time when Rabiot slotted the ball into the back of the net from Kulusesvki’s assist.
MORATA WRAPS IT UP
The opening seconds of the second half were action packed: Bologna thought they had pulled a goal back when Palacio slotted the ball past Szczesny straight from kick-off, only to have it ruled off for offside. From that goalkeeper, the Polish goalkeeper hoofed the ball up field and it fell to Morata, who made no mistake in grabbing his second of the game. It was so nearly a hat-trick for the Spaniard when he blasted Cuadrado’s cross into the side-netting from point-blank range, while Pirlo opted for a string of changes which included Pinsoglio coming on in place of Tek for his first appearance of the season. Arthur saw his shot charged down, before Kulusevski saw his goal ruled out for offside in the 80th minute of play. Bologna’s consolation goal would land up being the final goal of the game when Orsolini sliced home an angled drive to see the game end 4-1 in favour of Juventus as they finished in fourth place.
Bologna: Skorupski; Tomiyasu, Medel, Soumaoro, De Silvestri; Schouten, Svanberg; Skov Olsen, Vignato, Barrow; Palacio.
Juventus: Szczesny (Pinsoglio 67’); Cuadrado, de Ligt (Bonucci 46’), Chiellini (McKennie 58’), Alex Sandro; Kulusevski, Danilo (Bernardeschi 67’), Rabiot, Chiesa (Arthur 58’); Dybala, Morata.
Subs: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Bonucci, Demiral, Frabotta, Arthur, McKennie, Bernardeschi, Fagioli, Cristiano Ronaldo, Felix Correia.
Juventus claimed their 14th Italian Cup victory on Wednesday evening after defeating Atalanta 2-1 courtesy of goals from Dejan Kulusevski and Federico Chiesa.
END-TO-END FIRST HALF
Atalanta started off the brighter of the two teams, and they showed their determination from the very first touch of the ball, which resulted in Buffon having to deny Palomino with just three minutes on the clock, before Zapata drilled just wide. The Bianconeri goalkeeper then made a crucial intervention when he was forced to rush off his line after a de Ligt back-header didn’t go as he’d liked, and Buffon brilliantly palmed it away before Zapata could get a touch. It was proving to be an end-to-end game and Freuler fired his across the face of goal, before Juventus then took the lead in the 31st minute with their first chance on goal.
Cuadrado’s tackle sparked a counterattack, Ronaldo ran into a crowd of Atalanta defenders on the edge of the box, but McKennie was there, and he poked the ball across to Kulusevski, who beautifully curled it into the back of the net. Atalanta went on the attack and they responded with a goal of their own 10 minutes later, through Malinovskyi’s sliced left-footed strike that cut down the centre of the goal to make it 1-1.
CHIESA WINS IT FOR JUVE
Into the second half and Atalanta grabbed the first chance of the half when a dangerous free-kick was bravely blocked by de Ligt, before seeing Gollini pull off a save to deny Kulusevski following Chiesa’s promising move on the opposite end of the field. Juventus then went agonizingly close to taking the lead again when Ronaldo’s back heel found Chiesa, who ferociously fired at goal only to see the ball rattle the post! The scoreline did change 2-1 in favour of Juventus in the 73rd minute: Chiesa did brilliantly well to cut inside from the left, pass it to Kulusevski, who then returned the layoff to him, as he swept it past Gollini from inside the small box. Dybala came on for the goalscorer, while Bonucci replaced Kulusevski as Juventus went on to hold out for a 14th Italian Cup victory.
Atalanta: Gollini; Toloi, Romero, Palomino; Hateboer, De Roon, Freuler, Gosens; Pessina; Malinovskyi, Duvan Zapata.
Subs: Rossi, Sportiello, Maehle, Sutalo, Lammers, Muriel, Caldara, Djimsiti, Ruggeri, Miranchuk, Ilicic, Pasalic.
Juventus: Buffon; Cuadrado, De Ligt, Chiellini, Danilo; McKennie, Bentancur, Rabiot, Chiesa (Dybala 74’); Kulusevski (Bonucci 82’), Ronaldo.
Juventus took an important step forward to keeping their aspirations of qualifying for the Champions League alive by defeating Inter 3-2 in the Derby d’Italia at the Allianz Stadium on Saturday evening, despite ending the game with 10-men. Ronaldo opened the scoring while Juan Cuadrado grabbed a brace to help the Bianconeri secure all three points.
RONALDO SCORES AFTER SAVED PENALTY
The first chance of the game fell to Juventus when Chiesa headed back Danilo’s cross into the centre of the box, Kulusevski struck it first time towards goal but it was headed away by Skriniar, who was positioned just in front of the goalline. It was the Bianconeri who were doing the majority of the attacking and they were awarded a penalty in the 23rd minute after VAR judged Darmian to have brought down Chiellini in the box. Ronaldo stood up to take the kick, and despite Handanovic having saved the penalty, the Portuguese fired in on the rebound to make it 1-0.
LUKAKU COVERTS FROM THE SPOT
Ten minutes later and Inter were then awarded a penalty after VAR judged de Ligt to have clipped Lautaro’s heel inside the box. Lukaku stood up to the spot and converted by sending Szczesny the wrong way. Danilo and Kulusevski combined inside the box, only to see the Brazilian prod wide, while Chiesa saw his ferocious shot headed out by Skriniar.
A JUANDERFUL GOAL
Andrea Pirlo’s men weren’t relenting inside stoppage time and Rabiot saw his header denied by Handanovic. Their persistence paid off after they grabbed the lead through Juan Cuadrado, who struck a stunning strike on the edge of the box that looped over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
BIANCONERI DOWN TO 10-MEN
Into the second half and it was Inter who threatened first, with Lautaro blasting the ball narrowly over the target. The hosts were then reduced to 10 men when Bentancur was shown a second yellow card of the game. De Ligt made a great clearance to beat away Hakimi’s cross that was sailing towards Lautaro at the back post, before Szczesny pulled off a great save to palm away Vecino’s glancing header from point blank range.
CUADRADO SECURES VICTORY
Dramatic moments then ensued on either end of the field: Inter drew level through an own goal by Chiellini that was originally ruled out before VAR intervened. Seconds later, Juventus were awarded a second penalty in the 88th minute when Cuadrado was brought down by Perisic. The Colombian took to the penalty spot and fired home with ease to ensure the Bianconeri claimed a 3-2 victory.
Juventus: Szczesny; Danilo, de Ligt, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Cuadrado, Bentancur, Rabiot, Chiesa (Demiral 69’); Kulusevski (McKennie 57’), Ronaldo (Morata 69’).
Subs: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Bonucci, Demiral, Arthur, Ramsey, McKennie, Bernardeschi, Morata, Dybala, Felix Correia.
Inter: Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, A Bastoni; Hakimi, Barella, Brozovic, Eriksen, Perisic; Lautaro Martinez, Lukaku.
Juventus bounced back with a victory after they defeated Sassuolo 3-1 on Wednesday evening courtesy of goals from Adrien Rabiot, Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala, while Gianluigi Buffon denied Domenico Berardi from the penalty spot.
BUFFON SAVES PENALTY
After suffering a defeat to Milan on the weekend, Andrea Pirlo was looking to bounce back with a victory against Sassuolo. However, it was the hosts who were the first to threaten at goal, when they saw chances from Traore and Berardi both blazed narrowly over the target. The Neroverdi were awarded a penalty in the 15th minute when Bonucci brought down Raspadori inside the box. It was Berardi who took to the spot, and he was brilliantly denied by Buffon who palmed away his penalty to keep the scoreline goalless.
RABIOT OPENS THE SCORING
Kulusevski saw his angled shot parried away by Consigli, before the Bianconeri grabbed the lead in the 28th minute courtesy of Rabiot: he cut inside and drilled a left-footed effort through the legs of keeper. Buffon pulled off another spectacular save to deny Sassuolo, when he pushed away Obiang’s curling effort at the