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 bottom post, before Ronaldo’s shot was saved by Consigli.
Despite Sassuolo’s attacking efforts, Juventus would prove to be more ruthless in front of goal and they went two goals clear on the brink of half-time. Ronaldo brilliantly controlled a long ball, beat Marlon with a flick and drilled it past Sassuolo’s stopper to score his 100th strike in the black and white jersey.
SASSUOLO PULL ONE BACK, DYBALA RESPONDS
The second half started with Juventus testing Consigli, but he was equal to Chiesa’s effort. The Neroverdi then pulled one back in the 59th minute when a central pass to Raspadori allowed him to drill a low effort into the bottom corner. Chiesa curled the ball around the back post, before Alex Sandro pulled off an incredible intervention to toe-poke Locatelli’s cross out at the back post.
Juventus’ two-goal lead was restored in the 66th minute when a breakaway saw Kulusevski cross the ball to Dybala, he then burst into the box and chipped the ball into the back of the net to also score his 100th goal for the club. Ronaldo then rattled the upright with a curling effort, as the Bianconeri went on to claim all three points.
Sassuolo: Consigli; Toljan, Marlon, Ferrari, Kyriakopoulos; Obiang, Locatelli; Berardi, Traore, Boga; Raspadori.
Juventus: Buffon; Danilo, De Ligt, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Kulusevski, Arthur (Bentancur 60’), Rabiot, Chiesa (Cuadrado 81’); Dybala (McKennie 81’), Ronaldo.
Subs: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Chiellini, Cuadrado, Demiral, Ramsey, McKennie, Bentancur, Bernardeschi, Morata, Felix Correia.
It wasn’t to be for Juventus as Milan claimed a 3-0 victory at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday evening courtesy of goals from Ibrahim Diaz, Ante Rebic and Fikayo Tomori.
DIAZ CURLER PUTS MILAN IN FRONT
The opening quarter of an hour saw a very calculated play between the two teams, with neither side particularly testing the opposing goalkeeper. Ibrahimovic had his shot closed down by Chiellini, before the visitors strung a series of passes together around the box that resulted in Diaz unleashing an effort just high of the target. Szczesny was called into action in the 21st minute when Diaz fired straight down the middle after an exchange with Theo Hernandez.
A great chance then fell to Juve when Chiellini turned Cuadrado’s corner kick just wide of the back post with his glancing header. De Ligt brought to a halt Milan’s attacking play when he stole the ball off Ibrahimovic’s feet inside the box, before Alex Sandro pulled off an excellent header to turn away Theo’s cross-shot. The half ended with Milan grabbing the lead inside stoppage time: Tek initially beat away Calhanoglu’s free-kick, but Diaz got onto the end of it and he curled the ball into the top far corner.
SZCZESNY SAVES KESSIE PENALTY
Into the second half and Juventus threatened straight away with a Bentancur strike that was punched away by Donnarumma. Milan was then awarded a penalty in the 57th minute after VAR had judged Chiellini to have handled the ball: Kessie stood up to take the kick and he was denied by a brilliant Szczesny!
REBIC & TOMORI WRAP IT UP
Juventus started to apply the pressure on Milan, but their backline was holding tight. Stefano Pioli’s men then went on the breakaway and they doubled the lead in the 78th minute through Rebic, who blasted in from the edge of the D into the back of Szczesny’s net, watching it sail into the top corner. It didn’t end there though for Milan, who added their third and final goal through Tomori, when he turned in Calhanoglu’s free-kick with a header with seven minutes remaining. The Bianconeri attempted to pull their way back, but it wasn’t to be as Milan claimed all three points.
Juventus: Szczesny; Cuadrado, De Ligt, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; McKennie, Bentancur (Kulusevski 66’), Rabiot, Chiesa (Dybala 79’); Morata, Ronaldo.
Subs: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Danilo, Bonucci, Demiral, Arthur, Ramsey, Bernardeschi, Kulusevski, Dybala.
Milan: G Donnarumma; Calabria, Kjaer, Tomori, Theo Hernandez; Kessie, Bennacer; Saelemaekers, Brahim Diaz, Calhanoglu; Ibrahimovic.
Juventus Women set history once again by claiming their fourth consecutive Serie A title after defeating Napoli 2-0 on Saturday afternoon at Campo Ale & Ricky of Vinovo.
The Bianconere came into the game knowing that only one more point in their remaining three more games would be enough to secure the league trophy, and they made their intensions of winning clear from the get-go.
Barbara Bonansea saw her dangerous run on the edge of the box come to a stop when she was brought down. Boattin and Girelli stood over the ball to take the free kick, which saw the latter’s effort sail over the target.
Juventus’ persistence saw them grab the lead in the 19th minute when Maria Alves’ cross met Girelli, her header was saved by Tasselli, but there was nothing the former ex-Bianconere goalkeeper could do when she tapped in the rebound. That brought her tally of goals in Serie A with the club to 50.
Rita Guarino’s girls doubled the lead 10 minutes later when Bonansea, who was left unmarked in the box, turned in Maria Alves’ cross from close range to put one hand on the Scudetto trophy.
Into the second half and Juventus started it by nearly making it 3-0 through Girelli, who rounded the ball just wide of the post. Caruso on her 100th appearance for the club attempted a goal from 20 yards out that sailed high over the crossbar.
A chance then fell to Lundorf just before the hour mark: she controlled the ball in the box and then tried to lob it into the net but it went just over, before Tasselli denied Rosucci in front of goal.
The Bianconere were dominating play and it Bonansea went agonizingly close to getting her second of the day when her curling strike rattled the crossbar with force.
Giuliani was then called into action, which she dealt with with ease, before a breakaway by the hosts saw Girelli's strike from range smack the woodwork.
Juventus Women claimed all three points, and, more importantly, the league title!
Two late goals by Cristiano Ronaldo meant Juventus return to Turin with three crucial points after they claimed a 2-1 victory over Udinese on Sunday evening at the Stadio Friuli.
MOLINA GETS UDINESE OFF THE MARK
Udinese grabbed the lead with just 10 minutes on the clock when they took a free-kick quickly that took the Bianconeri by surprise, Molina worked his way down the right before firing a ferocious effort past Szczesny. Goalscoring occasions weren’t forthcoming, with neither side rarely testing the opposing goalkeepers. The Bianconeri’s first chance of the game came in the 27th minute when Juan Cuadrado floated in a corner into the box, which met the head of McKennie who directed it just wide of the back post. De Ligt then made an attempt to shoot at goal but after it being charged down, he then crossed it into the box to Ronaldo, who directed his header narrowly over the target.
RONALDO TURNS THE GAME AROUND
The second half started Arslan drilling just wide of the target, while Ronaldo’s was easily gathered by Scuffet. Stryger-Larsen then saw his long-range effort go high and wide of goal, before Bonifazi’s attempted overhead kick went out of play. A penalty was awarded to Juve in the 81st minute after De Paul was judged to have handled Ronaldo’s free-kick inside the box. The Portuguese took to the spot and he made no error in slotting it into the back of the net from 11 yards out. That goal spurred Juventus on and the Bianconeri then went on to find the winning goal in the 89th minute through Ronaldo, who headed in Rabiot’s cross at the back post, squeezing the ball between the post and Scuffet.
Udinese: Scuffet; Becao, Nuytinck, Bonifazi; N Molina, De Paul, Walace, Arslan, Stryger-Larsen; Pereyra; Okaka.
Juventus: Szczesny; Danilo, de Ligt, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Cuadrado (Rabiot 84’), Bentancur, McKennie (Felix Correia 84’), Bernardeschi (Kulusevski 59’); Dybala (Morata 66’), Ronaldo.
Subs: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Dragusin, Chiellini, Arthur, Rabiot, Ramsey, Vrioni, Felix Correia, Kulusevski, Morata.
Alvaro Morata scored a wonderful left-footed effort seconds after coming off the bench at half-time to secure a 1-1 draw for Juventus at Fiorentina on Sunday afternoon.
Dusan Vlahovic had given the home side the lead from the penalty spot midway through the first half, with the Bianconeri only threatening through Aaron Ramsey just before the break. Juve came out fighting in the second half and looked the more likely side to take all three points after Morata’s goal, but Fiorentina dug in to deny Andrea Pirlo’s men.
VLAHOVIC SCORES FROM THE SPOT
Both sides set up with 3-5-2 formations, meaning space was at a premium in the middle and down the flanks. Aaron Ramsey and Juan Cuadrado threatened for Juve after Pirlo’s men pounced on errors from Fiorentina in the opening exchanges, while Franck Ribery and Dusan Vlahovic looked lively down the other end for the home side. The first real chance of the game fell to Nikola Milenkovic, who unleashed a piledriver from just outside the box that forced Wojciech Szczesny to concede a corner. Erick Pulgar followed that up with another long-range effort, this time hitting the post. These chances buoyed the Viola, who surged forward in the hope of making their pressure pay. Minutes later, the ball connected with Adrien Rabiot’s arm in the box, with VAR ruling it to be worthy of a penalty kick. Vlahovic made no mistake from the spot to give Fiorentina a 1-0 lead. Juventus looked to rally, focusing on central areas due to the lack of space out wide: Paulo Dybala and Rodrigo Bentancur managed to burst through the lines just before half time, with Aaron Ramsey eventually sent through on goal, but the Welshman failed to hit the target.
MORATA HITS A STUNNING EQUALISER
Pirlo switched to a 4-4-2 for the second half, replacing Leonardo Bonucci and Dybala with Dejan Kulusevski and Alvaro Morata. It took the Spaniard just 30 seconds and two touches to make his mark on the game: he used his first to control Cuadrado’s through ball and cut inside, while his second was a perfect curling left-footer that nestled in at the far post to level the scores at 1-1.
The goal seemed to open the game up, leaving Juve with more room to manoeuvre. Yet Fiorentina remained a threat, with Pulgar testing Szczesny from the edge of the box. Down the other end, Giorgio Chiellini managed to knock down a Cuadrado free-kick into a dangerous area, but there was nobody waiting for the Bianconeri to convert the chance. Cristiano Ronaldo was twice thwarted, first by Milenkovic and then by the Viola keeper. Pirlo sent on Weston McKennie for Ramsey as Juve continued to go in search of the winner, with Cuadrado providing several crosses on top of his defensive duties against Ribery and Gaetano Castrovilli.
Both teams appeared to tire as the match wore on – and both left themselves open to the counter. Yet Juve seemed to be the brighter side and they nearly had their second goal when Kulusevski’s cross came inches from finding its intended recipient at the back post. The Bianconeri kept pushing, but Fiorentina stood firm and batted back everything Juve threw at them until the final whistle blew.
FIORENTINA 1-1 JUVENTUS:
SCORERS: Vlahovic pen. 29, Morata 46.
FIORENTINA: Dragowski; Milenkovic, Pezzella, Caceres; Venuti (M. Quarta HT), Amrabat, Pulgar, Castrovilli (Eysseric 85), Igor (Biraghi 72); Ribery (Kouame 72); Vlahovic.
Subs not used: Terracciano, Malcuit, Barreca, Maxi Olivera, Callejon, Montiel, Rosati.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; de Ligt, Bonucci (Morata HT), Chiellini; Cuadrado, Ramsey (McKennie 69), Bentancur, Rabiot, Alex Sandro; Dybala (Kulusevski HT), Ronaldo.
Subs not used: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Danilo, Frabotta, Arthur, Bernardeschi, Felix Correia.
ASSISTANTS: Meli, Alassio
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Ayroldi
VAR: Giacomelli, Ranghetti
YELLOW CARDS: Igor 40, De Ligt 52, Caceres 61, Biraghi 88.
Alex Sandro struck twice and Matthijs de Ligt got on the scoresheet too as Juventus claimed a 3-1 victory against Parma on Wednesday evening at the Allianz Stadium.
BRUGMAN SCORES UNSTOPPABLE FREE-KICK
Juventus started off the stronger of the two sides, applying the pressure from the get-go. Their pressure on the Parma backline meant that goalkeeper Colombi was kept busy, as he pulled off a series on Cuadrado, Alex Sandro and Cristiano Ronaldo. Pellè created Parma’s first chance of the game when his header went just wide of goal in the 11th minute. The visitors would land up taking the lead in the 25th minute when Brugman’s free-kick flew over the wall and past Buffon in what was an unstoppable set-piece. Dybala nearly grabbed the equalizer minutes later with his strike from distance that sailed narrowly over the goalframe.
ALEX SANDRO RESPONDS WITH A BRACE!
Juve were putting the pressure again on Parma and Bonucci threatened with a glancing header from Alex Sandro’s cross that sailed just wide of the back post. The Bianconeri got their equalizer just minutes before the break when Alex Sandro brilliantly controlled the ball and unleashed an unstoppable left-footed volley into the back of the net. The Brazilian was proving to be in fine form, and he started the second half in the same manner with which he ended the first, with a goal! Cuadrado floated in a cross from the right to Alex Sandro, who was left unmarked at the back post, and he nodded it in from a yard out.
DE LIGT HEADER MAKES IT 3-1
Parma nearly found a second goal themselves in the 64th minute when a dangerous header by Pezzella sailed towards goal, only to be cleared off the line by an Arthur header. Regardless of the visitors’ efforts, Juve were the ones who proved to be stronger on the night and as they grabbed a third goal four minutes later through Cuadrado’s corner kick which was turned in by de Ligt’s header. Colombi’s right foot denied the Bianconeri of a fourth goal when he toe-poked away Dybala’s effort, before Buffon was then called into action when he fingertipped Karamoah’s glancing header over the bar. The remainder of the game would play out with neither side adding a goal to their tally, as Juventus secured the three points.
Juventus: Buffon; Danilo, de Ligt, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Cuadrado (Kulusevski 72’), Arthur (Bernardeschi 86’), Bentancur (Rabiot 72’), McKennie (Ramsey 72’); Dybala (Morata 84’), Ronaldo.
Subs: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Chiellini, Bernardeschi, Frabotta, Rabiot, Ramsey, Kulusevski, Felix Correia, Morata.
Parma: Colombi; Laurini, Bani, Osorio, Pezzella; Grassi, Brugman, Kurtic; Man, Pellè, Gervinho.
A late goal from Ruslan Malinovskiy, whose shot caught a fortunate deflection off Alex Sandro, earned Atalanta a narrow 1-0 win over Juventus in Bergamo. The goal settled an intense contest that never truly sparkled and looked on course for a 0-0 draw that both sides would have considered fair. Instead, the result could be springboard for Atalanta, who go above Juve to take third spot in the table.
PLENTY OF ENDEAVOUR, PRECIOUS FEW CHANCES
Juventus made a strong start to the contest, moving the ball quickly and linking up well as Atalanta pressed high, looking to play their trademark direct football.
The tempo was high in the opening exchanges, but there were no significant chances to speak of until before the 20-minute mark, when Atalanta’s Matteo Pessina played a one-two with Luis Muriel on the edge of the box before rifling towards goal. Matthijs De Ligt was there with an important block to deflect it behind for a corner.
Juve’s first big chance of the game came on 30 minutes. Federico Chiesa did brilliantly to win the ball in the Atalanta box and find Alvaro Morata, who managed to work a yard of space before attempting to lob Pierluigi Gollini, only for Berat Djimsiti to deny him a fine goal.
As the half drew to a close, the Bianconeri began to turn the screw, forcing the home side back into their half. There would be time for two more Juve chances before the end of the first period, but first Chiesa saw his shot blocked in the area and then De Ligt failed hit the target with a header from Juan Cuadrado’s free-kick.
LATE MALINOVSKYI GOAL THE DIFFERENCE
The match continued in a similar vein in the second period, though Andrea Pirlo had to do without Chiesa, who was replaced by Danilo just before the hour mark, while Atalanta were showcasing greater conviction. Luis Muriel's right-footed effort from the edge of the box just cleared the crossbar, as did a Paulo Dybala free-kick.
The Argentine made way for Dejan Kulusevski, while Josip Ilicic came on for Muriel, making an immediate impact with dangerous cross that Zapata put just wide. At the other end, the Swede laid on a good opportunity for Morata, whose volley was diverted by Gollini out for a corner.
Pirlo sent on Arthur in place of Weston McKennie in a bid to bring order to a muddled and disjointed end to the game, with the tired teams committing fouls to break up play.
In a match that falls into such a pattern, individual moments can be decisive. And so it proved when Malinovskyi, who had already tested Wojciech Szczesny with a free-kick from 30 yards, saw a strike from the edge of the area deflect off Alex Sandro and find its way into the Juventus goal.
The strike after 87 minutes was enough to earn the home side all three points, which take Atalanta above Juventus in the league table, making for an increasingly tight race for the Champions League spots.
ATALANTA 1-0 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-0):
Scorers: Malinovsky 87.
ATALANTA: Gollini; Toloi, Palomino, Djimsiti; Maehle (Malinovskyi 72), De Roon, Freuler, Gosens; Pessina (Pasalic 46); Zapata, Muriel (Ilicic 68); Zapata.
Subs not used: Sportiello, F. Rossi, Caldara, Ruggeri, Sutalo, Kovalenko, Miranchuk, Lammers.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Cuadrado, de Ligt, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; McKennie (Arthur 77), Bentancur, Rabiot, Chiesa (Danilo 58); Dybala (Kulusevski 68), Morata.
Subs not used: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Bonucci, Demiral, Frabotta, Ramsey, Felix Correia.
ASSISTANTS: Giallatini, Preti
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Sacchi
VAR: Fabbri, Liberti
BOOKED: Bonucci 73, Gosens 78, Malinovsky 79, Djimsiti 82, Cuadrado 90+3.
Juventus claimed another three points at the Allianz Stadium this week by beating Genoa 3-1 on Sunday afternoon. Kulusevski and Morata opened the scoreline in the first half, before McKennie added a third after he came on as a sub.
KULU & MORATA PUT JUVE AT 2-0
After winning at home in the mid-week against Napoli, the Bianconeri were showing renewed confidence and they put that on display in their patient build-up that saw them grab the lead in the fourth minute. Cuadrado skipped past his marker to burst into the box, he pulled it back to an unmarked Kulusevski, who curled it into the top left-corner. A second goal followed in the 22nd minute when a defensive error by Genoa allowed for Chiesa to break away. He shot at goal but Perin pulled off a great save to palm the ball away, Ronaldo then followed on the rebound and it kissed the crossbar, to bounce in the box as Morata buried the move with ease. Rabiot then attempted an effort which Perin pushed around the pole, before Kulusevski unleashed a low effort that was once again saved.
SCAMACCA STRIKES EARLY
Into the second half and Genoa started it in the same way Juve began the first, with a goal: a corner was bent into the box which saw Scamacca head in past Szczesny. Two more chances fell to the visitors in quick succession: Pjaca had his snapshot beaten away by Szczesny, before then firing again moments later with a dangerous effort in the box that went wide.
Ronaldo followed up with a chance of his own as he drilled the ball just inches wide of goal. Dybala and McKennie were then introduced into the game, and it was the American who made an immediate impact. Danilo played the ball forward to McKennie, who beat the offside trap, surged towards goal and slotted it past Perin. The former Juve stopper did just enough to turn away Alex Sandro’s effort from going in goal, while Dybala had his effort nodded off the line in the final minutes of stoppage time.
Juventus: Szczesny; Cuadrado (Alex Sandro 46’), de Ligt, Chiellini, Danilo; Chiesa, Bentancur, Rabiot (Ramsey 84’), Kulusevski (McKennie 68’); Morata (Dybala 68’), Ronaldo.
Subs: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Demiral, Alex Sandro, Frabotta, Dragusin, Di Pardo, Arthur, McKennie, Fagioli, Ramsey, Dybala.
Genoa: Perin; Masiello, Radovanovic, Criscito; Biraschi, Rovella, Badelj, Behrami, Zappacosta; Pandev, Scamacca.
Juventus bounced back with a 2-1 victory over Napoli on Wednesday evening at the Allianz Stadium. Cristiano Ronaldo scored the opening goal in the first half, while Dybala added the second after coming on as a substitute.
SIIII! RONALDO SCORES, CHIESA WITH SUBLIME ASSIST
The opening three minutes of the game saw chances arrive on both sides of the field: Danilo sent in a cross to Ronaldo, who just had to nod it into the back of the net, but it glanced just wide of goal. Napoli followed up with an attack of their own, which saw Zielinski blast a good chance over the target. Juventus took the lead in the 13th minute after a superb move by Chiesa, who dribbled past his defenders, crossed low for Ronaldo, who then fired it home from 11 yards! Many chances didn’t follow but the game was equally tightknit: Insigne shot over the bar from range, while Chiesa also directed his effort over the target.
BUFFON SAVES, DYBALA MAKES IT 2-0
Into the second half and it was Napoli who had the first chance at goal when Di Lorenzo found himself in acres of space and he unleashed a powerful effort that Buffon parried away. Cuadrado then struck a good effort wide after Juve burst down the field on a counter, Dybala and McKennie were introduced into the game in place of Morata and Cuadrado in the 68th minute. Buffon pulled off yet another solid save when he denied Fabian Ruiz’ snapshot round the post, as Juventus added a second goal to their tally courtesy of Dybala. Bentancur fed him the ball onto the edge of the box, and he struck a low left-footed curler into the bottom far corner.
INSIGNE SCORES LATE PENALTY
Napoli were handed a penalty in the 89th minute after Chiellini bodychecked Osimhem in the box: Insigne took to the spot and he converted by sending Buffon in the wrong direction. Juventus held on for the four minutes of extra time to claim all three points.
Juventus: Buffon; Danilo, de Ligt, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Cuadrado (McKennie 68’), Bentancur, Rabiot, Chiesa (Arthur 80’); Morata (Dybala 68’), Ronaldo.
Subs: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Demiral, Frabotta, Dragusin, Di Pardo, Arthur, McKennie, Fagioli, Ramsey, Kulusevski, Dybala.
Napoli: Meret; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Koulibaly, Hysaj; Fabian Ruiz, Demme; Lozano, Zielinski, L Insigne; Mertens.
Subs: Contini, Ospina, Bakayoko, Mario Rui, Elmas, Osimhen, Maksimovic, Politano, Petagna, Manolas, Cioffi, Lobotka.
Derby della Mole points were shared as Juventus and Torino played to a 2-2 draw on Saturday evening at the Stadio Olimpico. Chiesa opened the scoring, but Torino responded with two goals from Sanabria, before Cristiano Ronaldo drew level.
CHIESA OPENS THE SCORING
It was almost a dream start for the Bianconeri, who saw Morata’s shot in the second minute of play saved by the feet of Sirigu. A second chance followed shortly after when Ronaldo nodded the ball back to an unmarked Chiesa inside the box and he blazed his volley over the target. Torino’s responded with a chance of their own in the sixth minute when Ansaldi blasted his effort just wide of the back post. Chiesa was arguably the most dangerous player for Juventus, and he made it 1-0 in the 13th minute for the Bianconeri. He was involved in a give-and-go with Morata, who played the ball back to him on the edge of the box, as he burst in and slotted the ball between the legs of Sirigu.
SANABRIA PULLS ONE BACK
It was a thrilling half and Torino pulled one back in the 27th minute: Mandragora unleashed a screamer from distance, which Szczesny beat away with a hand, but Sanabria was there on the last man and he beat Alex Sandro to nod in the rebound from a yard out. Juve then forced a save on Sirigu when Morata’s downwards header from Cuadrado’s cross was blocked by the keeper.
SANABRIA POUNCES AGAIN
Torino started the second half with a goal scored just seconds after kick-off: Sanabria intercepted Kulusevski’s misplaced pass and he burst forward into the box, where he unleashed an unstoppable ball that beat Szczesny. Juventus were pushing for an equalizer and Ronaldo was painstakingly denied by Sirigu after he fingertipped his glancing header over the bar. The Portuguese turned another header over the bar, before Pirlo opted for a double change in bringing on Bernardeschi and Ramsey for Kulusevski and Danilo.
RONALDO MAKES IT 2-2
Ronaldo had the ball in the back of the net in the 80th minute after he headed home Bernardeschi’s cross: the offside flag had originally been raised but VAR deemed it to be onside, putting the scoreline equal. It so nearly became 3-2 in favour of Juve after Betancur’s ferocious shot rattled the post after Sirigu got a touch onto it. Sanabria threatened again with a ferocious header, which Tek brilliantly fingertipped over the bar. The final chance of the game ended with a curling Baselli free-kick that looked destined to go into the top corner, but fortunately Szczesny made a great save to ensure the points were shared.
TORINO: Sirigu; Izzo, Bremer, Buongiorno; Vojvoda, Mandragora, Rincon, Ansaldi; Verdi; Belotti, Sanabria.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Cuadrado, De Ligt, Chiellini, Alex Sandro (Rabiot 87’); Kulusevski (Bernardeschi 71’), Danilo (Ramsey 71’), Bentancur, Chiesa; Morata, Ronaldo.
Subs: Pinsoglio, Israel, Dragusin, De Marino, Frabotta, Di Pardo, Rabiot, Fagioli, Bernardeschi, Ramsey, Felix Correia.
Benevento claimed a 1-0 victory over Juventus at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday afternoon courtesy of Adolfo Gaich’s goal.
GOALLESS FIRST HALF
The first chance of the game fell to Cristiano Ronaldo - who just before kick-off received a jersey from President Andrea Agnelli with the word GOAT and 770 on it to mark his incredible milestone - when he saw his effort drill past the back post. Lapadula took aim from range but his effort was high off the target, while his teammate Tuia nodded a free-kick just wide of Tek’s goal. Morata had a half chance fall to him that was saved by Montipò, before a double chance came in the way of Juve: de Ligt saw his header palmed away by Montipò, before then seeing Morata blast the rebound over as the half ended goalless.
BENEVENTO POUNCE THROUGH GAICH
Chiesa went searching for an early goal in the second half to open the scoring, but after defeating his markers his shot blazed over the woodwork. Benevento risked an own goal in the 68th minute when Barba tried to clear away an effort, but it sailed towards goal, forcing Montipò to fingertip it over the bar. But it was the visitors who took the lead a minute later: Arthur’s back pass across the face of goal wasn’t precise and it was pounced on by Gaich, who fired it into the back of the net.
JUVE GO IN SEARCH OF EQUALISER
Ronaldo came agonisingly close to grabbing an equaliser in the 80th minute when his angled shot from close range was fingertipped over the bar by the keeper. He then attempted a second effort with an acrobatic overhead kick, which whisked past the post. The Bianconeri went in desperate search of a late goal to secure at least a point, and they nearly drew level when Ronaldo was once again denied by Montipò, before Danilo blazed over the rebound from a yard out as Benevento claimed the victory.
Juventus: Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, de Ligt, Bernardeschi; Chiesa, Rabiot (McKennie 72’), Arthur (Bentancur 72’), Kulusevski; Morata, Ronaldo.
Subs: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Chiellini, Dragusin, Di Pardo, Frabotta, McKennie, Bentancur, Fagioli.
Benevento: Montipò; Caldirola, Tuia, Barba; Improta, Hetemaj, Viola, Ionita, Foulon; Gaich, Lapadula.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick as Juventus ran out 3-1 winners over Cagliari on Sunday evening at the Sardegna Arena.
The Bianconeri were looking to bounce back from their elimination from the Champions League, and they responded straightaway by opening the scoring in the 10th minute. Juan Cuadrado delivered in the cross from a corner, and it met Ronaldo who rose above everyone and nodded it into the back of the net. The Portuguese added a second to his tally 15 minutes later from the penalty spot, blasting past Cragno after he was brought down in the box by the goalkeeper. A hat-trick was then completed in the 32nd: Chiesa rolled the ball across the face of goal for an unmarked Ronaldo, who changed feet and blasted it into the top far corner. Alex Sandro had to be replaced by Bernardeschi due to an injury, while Marin saw his long-range free-kick sail into the arms of Szczesny.
CAGLIARI PULL ONE BACK
Into the second half and it was Cagliari who was laying on the early pressure, as both Duncan and Merin forced saves from Tek with their shots from range. The hosts got their goal in the 61st minute when Simeone sliced home from Zappa’s assist. Rabiot blasted over the bar from close range, while Gaston Pereiro saw his angled drive flash past the back post in the 85th minute. The final seconds of the game saw Juventus attempt a fourth goal when he went one-on-one only to be denied by Cragno from close range.
Juventus: Szczesny; Cuadrado (Frabotta 83’), de Ligt, Chiellini (Bonucci 70’), Alex Sandro (Bernardeschi 34’); Kulusevski, Danilo, Rabiot, Chiesa (Arthur 83’); Ronaldo, Morata (McKennie 70’).
Subs: Pinsoglio, Garofani, Di Pardo, Bonucci, Dragusin, Frabotta, Arthur, Fagioli, McKennie, Bernardeschi.
Cagliari: Cragno; Ceppitelli, Godin, Rugani; Nandez, Marin, Duncan, Nainggolan, Zappa; Joao Pedro, Simeone.
Juventus managed to record a 3-2 home win at the Allianz Stadium, but it wasn’t enough to see them through as 10-man Porto progressed to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League due to the away goal rule as the overall fixture ended 4-4 on aggregate.
SERGIO OLIVIERA CONVERTS FROM THE SPOT
The Bianconeri knew they needed to pull out the stops in order to turn their first leg deficit around, and they nearly took the lead in the third minute when Morata’s powerful header off Cuadrado’s cross was met by Marchesin in goal. Porto came equally close minutes later when Taremi turned his header onto the bar. The visitors did find themselves take the lead with 18 minutes on the clock after they were awarded a penalty following Demiral’s foul on Taremi, in which Sergio Oliviera converted from the spot. End-to-end action then followed on either side of the field, in which Morata saw his dangerous shot denied by Marchesin from point blank range, while Szczesny was called in to make a save on a powerful Sergio Oliviera angled drive.
CHIESA PULLS ONE BACK
The second half started with Juventus knowing they needed to find a way back in the game and they made it 1-1 in the 50th minute. Bonucci sent a long ball to Ronaldo inside the box, he knocked it back to Chiesa, who curled it into the top far corner! That goal sparked new life into the hosts, and they drew a save on Marchesin from Ramsey’s corner. The dynamic of the game shifted in the 54th minute when Porto were reduced to 10 men after Mehdi picked up two bookings in the space of three minutes.
CHIESA MAKES THE COMEBACK
Juve went on the attack again, and they were denied by the upright: Chiesa had done all the hard work and just needed to slot it in, but Pepe’s charging run put him off and his effort rattled the foot of the post before being pushed out by the Porto defender. The attacker did eventually get his second goal to put the aggregate at 3-3 when he rose brilliantly to nod home Cuadrado’s incredible cross. Ronaldo saw his headed go wide of goal, while Szczesny beat away Sarr’s ferocious strike from distance. As extra time started approaching, both teams went in search of a late goal to decide the tie: Marega found himself some space in the box after brushing off his markers to turn his effort just wide of goal, while Cuadrado’s striking effort smashed against the crossbar as the game went into extra time.
PORTO WIN IT IN EXTRA TIME
Into extra time and Porto threatened on a short corner in which Corona dribbled past his marker, he then crossed the ball to Marega, whose header was saved by Szczesny. Kulusevski, who was brought on in extra time, made a great run inside the box but saw his shot charged down by Mbemba. Porto then went on the charge through Luis Diaz, but his teammates couldn’t unleash anything threatening. Morata then had his shot from outside the box saved by Marchesin. Two goals on each end of the field quickly followed: Porto made it 2-2 (4-3 on aggregate) through Sergio Oliviera who’s low free-kick sailed under the wall and into the net, despite Szczesny getting a touch. Rabiot, who gave away the free-kick that led to the goal, then put Juve back in front (4-4 on aggregate) after he nodded home a corner kick to give the Bianconeri a glimpse of hope. Despite Juve’s late efforts, they couldn’t find the fifth and final goal to ensure qualification into the next round.
Juventus: Szczesny; Cuadrado, Demiral, Bonucci (de Ligt 75’), Alex Sandro; Ramsey (Mckennie 75’), Arthur (Bernardeschi 101’), Rabiot, Chiesa (Kulusevski 101’); Morata, Ronaldo.
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Buffon, Chiellini, De Ligt, McKennie, Bernardeschi, Di Pardo, Dragusin, Frabotta, Fagioli,, Kulusevski.
Porto: Marchesin; Manafá, Mbemba, Pepe, Zaidu; Corona, Uribe, Sergio Oliveira, Otavio; Marega, Taremi.
Porto bench: Diogo Costa, Diogo Leite, Loum, Luis Diaz, Grujic, Felipe Anderson, Toni Martinez, Evanilson, Nanu, Sarr, Fabio Vieira, Francisco Conceicao.
Juventus came back from a goal behind to claim a 3-1 victory against Lazio at the Allianz Stadium on Saturday evening. Adrien Rabiot scored a rocket, while Alvaro Morata’s two goals in two minutes secured the three points.
Andrea Pirlo was able to welcome the return of Juan Cuadrado, Arthur and Bonucci, but had to make do without Matthijs de Ligt, Chiellini, Dybala, Frabotta and Rodrigo Bentancur, who tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday.
CORREA AND RABIOT MAKE IT EVEN
Lazio were the first to threaten at goal when Fares, who caught Cuadrado off guard, burst forward and blazed his effort over the bar. Milinkovic-Savic was next to threaten at goal when his curling free-kick swooped just wide of the target. Their quick pressing paid off as they took the lead with only 14 minutes on the clock: Correa pounced on Kulusevski’s misplaced past, surged forward and fired into the back of the net. Juve’s first real chance of the half saw Morata flash his header just wide of the post, before Rabiot then found the equaliser in the 39th minute in stunning fashion. He went down the left, saw Reina off his line and blasted a left-footed rocket into the top corner from a tight angle. The half concluded with Fares firing a dangerous effort at goal, but it sailed inches wide.
CHANCES AT BOTH ENDS
Into the second half and it was Juventus who grabbed the first chance of the 45: Chiesa pulled off the most beautiful move by slaloming through the Lazio defence, but the final effort of his twist and turns were palmed away by Reina at the near post. Lazio then came close to scoring not once but twice: Szczesny pulled off a great save to deny Correa, before then seeing Milinkovic-Savic’s header turn onto the bar.
The Bianconeri then turned the game around with two Morata goals in the space of two minutes. The first came when Juventus broke on the counterattack, Chiesa placed the pass perfectly to Morata, who smashed it into the top corner from 12 yards. The Spaniard then grabbed his second goal from the penalty spot after Ramsey was brought down in the box by Milinkovic-Savic, as he sent Reina the wrong way. Lazio went in search of trying to cut the deficit through Correa, who prodded his finish just wide, while Fares blasted a ferocious effort against the side-netting in what was the final chance of the game.
Juventus: Szczesny; Cuadrado (Arthur 69’), Danilo, Demiral, Alex Sandro; Chiesa (Chiesa 82’), Rabiot, Ramsey (McKennie 69’), Bernardeschi; Kulusevski (Di Pardo 92’), Morata (Ronaldo 69’).
Subs: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Bonucci, Dragusin, De Marino, Arthur, McKennie, Di Pardo, Fagioli, Peeters, Ake, Ronaldo.
Lazio: Reina; Marusic, Hoedt, Acerbi; Lulic, Milinkovic-Savic, Leiva, Luis Alberto, Fares; Correa, Immobile.
Alvaro Morata, Federico Chiesa and Cristiano Ronaldo scored second half goals, while Szczesny saved a penalty as Juventus bounced back with a 3-0 victory over Spezia at the Allianz Stadium on Tuesday evening.
SPEZIA FIGHT TOUGH
Matthijs de Ligt was announced in the initial starting XI but after picking up niggle, he was replaced by Frabotta. Spezia started off well and they were the first to threaten at goal when a break on the counter saw Marchizza drill just wide of goal from eight yards out. Federico Chiesa had a goal ruled out for offside in the ninth minute, but it was Spezia who were causing trouble for Juve by allowing little space to create chances.
An interesting moment happened on the half hour mark when Kulusevski found himself in an interesting position in the box, he passed to Ronaldo, but he was surrounded. Spezia managed to break away, as Marchizza’s shot was turned narrowly over the target by Demiral’s header. Provedel made an easy save off Chiesa’s snapshot, before Ronaldo’s powerful angled effort, which had beaten the keeper, bounced off the inside of the far post!
SUPER SUBS BERNA & MORATA
The second half started off with Juventus dominating the proceedings, and they had a few half chances fall their way. As a signal of all out offence, Morata and Bernardeschi were brought on in place of Frabotta and McKennie and both made an immediate impact. Seconds after coming on, Bernardeschi burst down the left, he pulled back by the byline for Morata, who ran onto the ball and tapped it in from close range at the near post.
CHIESA DOUBLES THE LEAD
The Bianconeri were starting to apply the pressure and Kulusevski saw his cross closed down on back-to-back occasions, while Ronaldo had the ball pinched from his feet. The pressure paid off as the scoreline was doubled to 2-0: Bernardeschi worked the ball brilliantly to Chiesa in the box, his first shot was denied by Provedel but he flung himself to acrobatically fire home on the rebound!
RONALDO WRAPS IT UP, TEK SAVES A PENALTY
Provedel denied Ronaldo of a goal when he punched away his free-kick in the 77th minute, but there was nothing the shot-stopper could do about his effort in the 89th minute. Bentancur won the ball back, and broke free on the right flank where he then rolled it across for Ronaldo, who drilled it into the back of the net. That wasn’t to be the final moment of action in the game, as Spezia were handed a penalty in the final minute of stoppage time after Demiral brought down Gyasi. Galabinov stood up to take the spot kick but Szczesny denied him in what proved to be the final kick of the game.
Juventus: Szczesny; Danilo, Demiral, Frabotta (Bernardeschi 61’), Alex Sandro; Chiesa (Ramsey 72’), Bentancur, Rabiot, McKennie (Morata 61’); Kulusevski (Di Pardo 88’), Ronaldo.
Subs: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Di Pardo, Dragusin, de Ligt, Ramsey, Bernardeschi, Fagioli, Ake, Peeters, Morata.
Spezia: Provedel; Vignali, Erlic, Terzi, Marchizza; Estevez, Sena, Maggiore; Farias, Nzola, Gyasi.
Subs: Zoet, Acampora, Ricci, Galabinov, Agoume, S Bastoni, Salva Ferrer, Chabot, Ismajli, Agudelo, Piccoli.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal wasn’t enough to bring home all three points from Verona as Juventus drew 1-1 against Hellas Verona on Saturday evening at the Stadio Bentegodi. After a goalless first half, Barak’s headed goal cancelled out Ronaldo’s second-half strike.
END-TO-END OPENING HALF
Andrea Pirlo didn’t have many options coming into the game as Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Juan Cuadrado, Arthur and Paulo Dybala are all injured, while Alvaro Morata is still recovering from his viral infection, and Danilo is suspended. Despite this, Juve were the first team to threaten at goal when Ramsey smashed his effort into the side netting.
Szczesny was then called into action moments later when a Zaccagni cross met Faraoni’s header and it thumped the outside the near post after Tek’s initial save. Chiesa, who was bursting with tireless energy, made a good move in the box before unleashing at goal, only to see it denied by Silvestri. By the half an hour mark of the half, the tempo had slowed down and neither side created any threatening chances, seeing them go into the break goalless.
RONALDO OPENS THE SCORING
However, that scoreline didn’t stay intact for very long as Ronaldo broke the scoreline just three minutes into the second half when he got onto the end of Chiesa’s perfect rolled pass to fire it home from 12 yards! It so nearly became 2-0 in the 59th minute: Kulusevski made an excellent run in the box, pulled back from the byline for Ramsey, whose shot was charged down.
Weston McKennie was then introduced into the game in place of Ramsey, while Szczesny had to rush off his line to push the ball off the head of Faraoni. Verona started to pile on the pressure and their persistence paid off when they grabbed an equaliser in the 77th minute through Barak, who directed his headed ball into the top corner. The hosts nearly turned the result in their favour when Lazovic’s ferocious effort clipped the crossbar, while Veloso’s curling effort from the D went wide. One of Juve’s final attempts saw Ronaldo’s free-kick from 15 yards out strike the wall, as the points were shared in Verona.
Verona: Silvestri; Magnani, Gunter, Lovato; Faraoni, Sturaro, Ilic, Dimarco; Barak, Zaccagni; Lasagna.
Juventus: Szczesny; Demiral, De Ligt, Alex Sandro; Chiesa (Di Pardo 87’), Bentancur, Rabiot, Bernardeschi; Ramsey (McKennie 67’); Kulusevski, Ronaldo.
Subs: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Di Pardo, Dragusin, Frabotta, Capellini, McKennie, Fagioli, Peeters, Rafia, Marques, Ake.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s first-half brace and Weston McKennie’s second half strike ensured Juventus bounced back with three points after defeating Crotone 3-0 on Monday evening at the Allianz Stadium.
RONALDO HEADERS SENDS JUVE FLYING
Crotone were the first to threaten at goal through Reca: he got onto the end of a chipped cross, Danilo slipped in front of him and he attempted to side foot it at the near post, but it went wide of goal. The game had a good ebb and flow to it, with the ball moving across the field with pace. The Bianconeri then won a free-kick inside the D, which saw Ronaldo blast it straight into McKennie, it then resulted in Crotone going on the counter, as they forced a save from Buffon. De Ligt then had a shot whisk just wide of goal, before Ramsey turned Chiesa’s cross onto the crossbar with his head.
Juventus did eventually take the lead in the 39th minute when Alex Sandro floated in a cross into the box, it met Ronaldo who did what he does best, and he nodded it into the back of the net! A second goal was turned six minutes later by Ronaldo when he got onto the end of Ramsey’s cross to leap up into the air and turn it in for a second header.
The Bianconeri started the second half looking to build onto their two-goal advantage: Danilo blazed his effort over the bar, while Ronaldo’s effort was denied by the foot of Cordaz. Juve did eventually make it 3-0 in the 66th minute when De Ligt’s header falls into the path of McKennie: he let it bounce before then smashing it home from close range. Messias let rip from range but it failed to test Buffon, while Ronaldo directed his free-kick over the target as Juventus took all three points.
Juventus: Buffon; Danilo, De Ligt, Demiral, Alex Sandro (Frabotta 86’); Chiesa (Di Pardo 86’), Bentancur (Fagioli 70’), Ramsey (Bernardeschi 75’), McKennie; Kulusevski (Morata 75’), Ronaldo.
Bench: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Dragusin, Frabotta, Bernardeschi, Di Pardo, Fagioli, Peeters, Morata.
Crotone: Cordaz; Pedro Pereira, Magallan, Golemic, Luperto; Messias, Molina, Vulic, Reca; Ounas, Di Carmine.
Hosts Porto scored two early goals at the beginning of each half to claim a 2-1 victory at the Estádio do Dragão on Wednesday evening in the UEFA Champions League. Teremi and Marega both got on the scoresheet at the Estádio do Dragão, while Federico Chiesa managed to pull one back to secure a precious away goal.
TEREMI GRABS THE LEAD STRAIGHTAWAY
The Bianconeri were left stunned after 70 seconds on the clock when Porto grabbed an early lead through Taremi. Szczesny passed the ball to Bentancur, who played the ball back to Tek, but didn’t realise Taremi was there, as he pounced and prodded it over the line. A second goal almost fell into Porto’s lap once again when Szczesny’s clearance landed at the feet of Oliveira, whose shot at goal took a deflection and sailed out of play. Juve then lost the services of Chiellini in the 34th minute due to injury, resulting in Demiral being brought on. The Bianconeri’s first chance of the game arrived in the 41st minute which saw Rabiot’s overhead kick palmed away by Marchesin, but it didn’t count for much as the offside flag was raised.
MAREGA DOUBLES EARLY ON
Just like the start of the first half, Porto got on the scoresheet just seconds after kick-off – this time through Marega. Manafà ran past the Bianconeri defenders and pulled back for Marega inside the box, who was left unmarked, and he made no mistake in making it 2-0. Kulusevski then saw his effort blocked by Uribe, before Szczesny was called into action moments later to deny Oliviera with a one-handed parry.
CHIESA PULLS ONE BACK
Morata was then introduced into the game in place of McKennie, while Bentancur’s long-range effort sailed over the crossbar. Both sides had promising chances flagged for offside, before Juve’s pressing resulted in them pulling one back in the 82nd minute through Chiesa. Rabiot pulled one back from the left flank, it reached Chiesa, who then side-footed it in from 12 yards for a great finish! Despite the Bianconeri’s late attempts, they couldn’t find an equaliser, but they return back to Turin with an important away goal.
Porto: Marchesin; Manafá, Pepe, Mbemba, Zaidu; Corona, Otavio, Sergio Oliveira, Uribe; Marega, Taremi.
Bench: Diogo Costa, Loum, Luis Diaz, Grujic, Romario Baro, Joao Mario, Felipe Anderson, Toni Martinez, Evanilson, Nanu, Sarr, Francisco Conceicao.
Juventus: Szczesny; Danilo, De Ligt, Chiellini (Demiral 34’), Alex Sandro; Chiesa, Bentancur, Rabiot, McKennie (Morata 63’); Kulusevski (Ramsey 77’), Ronaldo.
Bench: Pinsoglio, Buffon, Ramsey, Morata, Dybala, Bonucci, Demiral, Bernardeschi, Di Pardo, Frabotta, Fagioli.
Lorenzo Insigne’s penalty proved decisive as Napoli claimed a 1-0 victory over Juventus at the Stadio Maradona on Saturday evening.
INSIGNE PENALTY PUTS NAPOLI IN FRONT
Both teams started the game looking to press the other and figure out the opposition’s tactics, and it resulted in a rather even opening 25 minutes with few chances. Napoli were then awarded a penalty, upon consulting VAR, on the half hour after Chiellini’s hand struck Rrahmani's face. Lorenzo Insigne hit home from nine yards out, sending the penalty into the roof of the net. The Italian then raced into the box, leaving de Ligt in his tracks but Chiellini was there for support and brilliantly charged down his effort. Chiesa saw his effort curl over the bar, while the half ended with Ronaldo’s free-kick smacking the wall.
MERET DECISIVE FOR NAPOLI
The start of the second half saw Alex Sandro was brought on in place of Juan Cuadrado. Juventus went on the attack from the get-go: Ronaldo flashed an effort wide of goal, before then seeing his shot from point-blank range saved by Meret. The Napoli goalkeeper repeated the feat by pulling off yet another strong save on Chiesa’s blazing strike, which he palmed over the bar. Morata had a goal ruled out for offside in the 63rd minute, due to Chiellini being in an offside position when making the assist.
McKennie was then introduced into the game in place of Bernardeschi, as Ronaldo saw his effort at the near post denied by Meret. Juve were piling on the pressure in the final minutes of the game, and Chiesa saw another one of his effort sail narrowly wide of the post, before Meret pulled off yet another terrific save to deny Morata with his feet. Despite their late efforts, Juventus couldn’t find the equaliser as Napoli took home the points.
Napoli: Meret; Di Lorenzo, Maksimovic, Rrahmani, Mario Rui; Bakayoko, Zielinski; Politano, L Insigne, Lozano; Osimhen.
Napoli bench: Contini, Zedadka, Elmas, Fabian Ruiz, Petagna, Costanzo, Cioffi, Lobotka.
Juventus: Szczesny; Cuadrado (Alex Sandro 46’), De Ligt, Chiellini, Danilo; Chiesa, Bentancur (Kulusevski 72’), Rabiot, Bernardeschi (McKennie 64’); Morata, Ronaldo.
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Buffon, Alex Sandro, McKennie, Bonucci, Demiral, Di Pardo, Frabotta, Fagioli, Kulusevski, Peeters.
Juventus booked their spot in the Coppa Italia final after their goalless draw against Inter at the Allianz Stadium on Tuesday evening, winning 2-1 on aggregate after the victory at the San Siro in the first leg.
GOALLESS FIRST HALF
With the Bianconeri having ran out 2-1 winners in the first leg, Inter were always going to come out looking to snatch an early lead and the fiery atmosphere emanating from the field meant that tensions were high. The visitors went on a dangerous attack in the 10th minute when Hakimi burst down the flank and pulled back for Lautaro Martinez in the box, but as he went for the ball, he connected with Bernardeschi’s leg and went tumbling down. A chance fell to Inter in the 24th minute when an Eriksen free-kick struck the stomach of Lukaku and sailed out by inches.
Brozovic fired straight into the arms of Buffon, while the half came to a conclusion with Ronaldo having had his shot charged down by De Vrij and an effort blocked by Handanovic’s feet.
BIANCONERI DO ENOUGH
Into the second half and Juventus came out more compact and looking to break away on the counter. Hakimi saw his effort curled narrowly over the bar, while McKennie replaced Bernardeschi in the 62nd minute. The Texan almost made an immediate impact when he fed the ball through to Ronaldo in the box, who saw his shot blocked by Handanovic. The shot-stopper denied CR7 again when he pulled off an excellent move of step overs and slaloms that resulted in him letting rip at goal, only to see it saved by the Slovenian. With neither side finding a break-through, Pirlo opted to go for a five-man defence by introducing Chiellini in place of Cuadrado with 10 minutes to spare. Inter increased the pressure in the final minutes through a series of corners, but the Bianconeri backline held out strong to ensure that the goalless draw was enough to book their spot in the Coppa Italia final.
Juventus (4-4-2): Buffon; Danilo, Demiral, De Ligt, Alex Sandro; Cuadrado (Chiellini 81’), Bentancur, Rabiot, Bernardeschi (McKennie 62’); Kulusevski (Chiesa 87’), Ronaldo.
Juventus bench: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Dragusin, Chiellini, Frabotta, Di Pardo, McKennie, Peeters, Chiesa, Morata.
Inter (3-5-2): Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Hakimi, Barella, Brozovic, Eriksen, Darmian; Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez.
Inter bench: Padelli, Radu, Gagliardini, Vecino, Kolarov, Sensi, Ranocchia, Perisic, Young, D’Ambrosio, Pinamonti.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s first half strike and Roger Ibanez’ own goal ensured a 2-0 victory for Juventus over Roma on Saturday evening at the Allianz Stadium!
RONALDO’S PERFECT PLACEMENT
Roma started off as the team causing trouble through the likes of Mkhitaryan and Veretout, but it was Juventus who took the lead in the 12th minute. Alex Sandro did well to keep the ball on the left, before playing it to Morata inside the box, the Spaniard then teed up Ronaldo up for the shot by playing it back, as the ball sailed perfectly into the bottom corner of the net.
The Giallorossi were determined to find an immediate equalizer, and they nearly did so through Cristante’s blazing shot from inside the D that grazed just over the top corner. Ronaldo followed with a firing effort of his own, that rattled the crossbar and bounced to the underside of the bar before going out of play. The rhythm of the game drifted off in the latter stages of the half, but Ronaldo did get manage to get a dangerous shot away at goal, which saw Pau Lopez at full stretch to palm it away.
BIANCONERI 2-0, IBANEZ OG
The second half started off with an equally tame pace to it, Cuadrado and Kulusevski were brought on in place of Morata and McKennie. Szczesny was called into action in the 67th minute when Carles Perez let rip on the volley towards goal, which saw Szczesny smother. Juventus went 2-0 up moments later after a great attacking move saw Kulusevski pull back for Ronaldo inside the box, Roger Ibanez slid in to try and stop it, but in turn, pushed it into the back of his own net. Roma was the team dominating the possession, and they saw Spinazzola scuff his shot just wide, before another dangerous cross saw the ball narrowly graze over Dzeko’s head and sail past everyone at the back post. The final moments saw Juve ensure that nothing got past them, as they claimed a 2-0 home win.
Juventus: Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci (de Ligt 84’), Chiellini, Alex Sandro (Demiral 84’); McKennie (Cuadrado 65’), Arthur, Rabiot, Chiesa (Bernardeschi 82’); Morata (Kulusevski 65’), Ronaldo.
Subs: Buffon, Pinsoglio, de Ligt, Cuadrado, Demiral, Di Pardo, Dragusin, Frabotta, Bernardeschi, Kulusevski, Peeters.
Roma: Pau Lopez; Mancini, Ibanez, Kumbulla; Karsdorp, Villar, Cristante, Veretout, Spinazzola; Mkhitaryan, Borja Mayoral.
Juventus sealed first-leg advantage in the Coppa Italia semi-finals after defeating Inter 2-1 at the San Siro on Wednesday evening. Lautaro Martinez opened the scoring in the first half, but a Cristiano Ronaldo brace ensured that the Bianconeri would return to Turin with an advantage
LAUTARO OPENS THE SCORING
The two teams met just weeks after the league encounter at the San Siro, which saw the Nerazzuri run out 2-0 winners. Antonio Conte’s side wasted no time in stunning Juventus with an early lead, as they made it 1-0 in the ninth minute of play. Alexis Sanchez won the ball in midfield and laid it off to Barella, who ran up the right flank and squared it for Lautaro Martinez, who had beaten de Ligt and shot it under Buffon into goal.
The Bianconeri equalised in the 25th minute when the referee, upon consulting with VAR, judged the pull on Cuadrado in the box by Young to be a penalty. Ronaldo stood up and converted with ease, sending Handanovic the wrong way. Confidence was instilling itself with each Juventus pass and it was Ronaldo who turned the scoreline on its head, making it 2-1 in favour of Juventus. Inter played the ball back, Handanovic was way off his line, Ronaldo stole the ball from Bastoni and he sent it towards goal, seeing it bounce off the upright and into the net.
INTER DOMINATE BUT NO GOAL
Into the second half and it was Inter who dominated from start to finish. First blood was nearly drawn when they were brilliantly denied by Demiral off the line after Alexis Sanchez took aim after spotting Buffon off his line. The hosts kept going in search for an equalizer, but they had to battle with Buffon, who was called into making a big save from close range, denying Darmian inside the box with a one-handed save. Barella then saw his acrobatic attempt sail just wide of goal, but despite all their attempts, it was Pirlo and his players who were left smiling.
Inter: Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Darmian, Barella, Brozovic, Vidal, Young; Lautaro Martinez, Alexis Sanchez.
Subs: Padelli, Radu, Gagliardini, Vecino, Kolarov, Sensi, Ranocchia, Perisic, Eriksen, D’Ambrosio, Pinamonti.
Juventus: Buffon; Cuadrado, de Ligt, Demiral, Alex Sandro; Bernardeschi (Danilo 76’), Bentancur (Athur 76’), Rabiot, McKennie (Chiellini 89’); Kulusevski (Chiesa 89’), Ronaldo (Morata 76’).
Subs: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Danilo, Chiellini, Bonucci, Dragusin, Frabotta, Arthur, Peeters, Fagioli, Chiesa, Morata.
A solid, convincing performance with goals by Federico Chiesa and Aaron Ramsey was enough for Juve to overcome Sampdoria. Wojciech Szczesny was rarely threatened and the Bianconeri manoeuvred the ball with finesse – an excellent sign, besides the all-important three points.
CHIESA BREAKS THE DEADLOCK
The Bianconeri's high pressing and rapid ball circulation had the home side pegged back in their own half and while Samp tried to keep things tight and tidy Juve's precision passing was clearly going to cause them problems. So it proved with 20 minutes on the clock when Cristiano Ronaldo spread play out wide for Alvaro Morata, whose low delivery found Chiesa in space at the back stick: 1-0 to Juve.
QUALITY AND CHARACTER
The Bianconeri had quality in abundance and plenty of character too. As the minutes passed they increasingly seized control of the game, stifling anything Samp could muster and carving out a string of chances. Ronaldo fizzed an effort over from the edge of the box, fired wide after going past Emil Audero, then saw Maya Yoshida steal the ball off him just as he was about to pull the trigger in the area.
JUVE IN CONTROL
The incessant, driving rain hardly facilitated flowing football yet Juve appeared unaffected by it as they zipped the ball around with ease after the restart. It wasn't easy to create openings for the shot, though, with Samp defending well. Two rare forays forward for the hosts saw Fabio Quagliarella denied first by Giorgio Chiellini and then by Szczesny. However, even as the tempo began to drop, the Bianconeri always remained in complete control.
RAMSEY WRAPS IT UP
Andrea Pirlo brought on Adrien Rabiot and Federico Bernardeschi for Rodrigo Bentancur and Morata in the final 15 minutes, followed by Alex Sandro and Ramsey for Chiesa and Arthur shortly afterwards. In the meantime Samp had sparked into life as they sought a late equaliser but were unable to trouble Szczesny and inevitably left themselves open at the back. Juventus punished them for it in added time as Ronaldo hit a long ball up for Juan Cuadrado and the Colombian set up Ramsey for the simplest of finishes, wrapping up three thoroughly deserved points.
SAMPDORIA 0-2 JUVENTUS (HT 0-1).
SCORERS: Chiesa 20, Ramsey 90+1.
SAMPDORIA: Audero; Bereszynski, Yoshida, Colley, Augello; Candreva (Jankto 81), Silva (Damsgaard 63), Ekdal, Thorsby; Keita (Torregrossa 68), Quagliarella (Ramirez 68).
Subs not used: Letica, Tonelli, Regini, Ferrari, Leris, Jankto, Askildsen, Verre, La Gumina.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, Chiellini, Danilo; Chiesa (Alex Sandro 84), Arthur (Ramsey 84), Bentancur (Rabiot 75), McKennie; Morata (Bernardeschi 78), Ronaldo.
Subs not used: Buffon, Pinsoglio, de Ligt, Demiral, Dragusin, Frabotta, Fagioli.
ASSISTANTS: Alassio, Tolfo.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Maresca.
VAR: Valeri, Tegoni.
BOOKED: Thorsby 24, Ekdal 30, Bentancur 37, Damsgaard 87, Bernardeschi 89.
Juventus booked their spot into the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia after defeating Spal 4-0 at the Allianz Stadium on Wednesday evening. Alvaro Morata opened the scoring from the penalty spot, while Frabotta, Kulusevski and Chiesa got onto the scoresheet too. Juventus will meet Inter next in the tournament.
MORATA AND FRABOTTA SECURE FIRST HALF LEAD
Andrea Pirlo gave starting berths to Dragusin and Fagioli, while he also welcomed back Alex Sandro for the first time on the bench after he was cleared of Covid-19. The Bianconeri started the game looking for an early goal, and it was Morata who forced a save from Berisha with his ferocious shot in the eighth minute. They only needed a further eight minutes before finding the back of the net after Rabiot, who was initially booked for simulation in the box, but had it overturned by VAR, won a penalty.
Alvaro Morata stood up to convert the ball, and he did so with absolute ease. A second goal was added in the 33rd minute when Kulusevski, who dribbled Ranieri twice, pulled back to the edge of the area where Frabotta ran onto the end of it and blazed it into the back of the net. One of Spal’s only chances of the half saw Floccari fire wide of goal, as the Bianconeri carried a 2-0 lead into the break.
KULUGOAL & CHIESA STRIKE!
Di Pardo came on in place of Bernardeschi at the start of the half, as it kicked off to a slower rhythm than that of the first half. Spal started to gain confidence with each passing minute and they pressed around the box, seeing Valoti’s shot sail into the arms of Buffon. But it was Andrea Pirlo’s men who would land up getting their name on the scoresheet in the second half after Kulusevski got onto the end of Chiesa’s ball to slot it past Berisha 12 minutes from time. Not much goalmouth action followed in the remaining minutes, but Chiesa did manage to get a fourth and final goal with his effort in the 94th minute which saw him literally walk the ball into the back of the net after the Spal backline seemingly gave up on their duties.
Juventus: Buffon; Demiral (Da Graca 83’), De Ligt, Dragusin, Frabotta; Bernardeschi (Di Pardo 46’), Rabiot, Fagioli (McKennie 86’), Ramsey; Kulusevski, Morata.
Subs: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Cuadrado, Bonucci, Chiellini, Danilo, Alex Sandro, Di Pardo, Arthur, McKennie, Chiesa, Da Graca.
Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus side scored once in each half to see off a spirited Bologna performance at Allianz Stadium on Sunday lunchtime.
Arthur set Juve on their way with a deflected goal after 15 minutes, but Bologna came back strongly and ensured the home side had to wait until halfway through the second half for their second goal, scored by the excellent Weston McKennie.
Pirlo’s men could well have been out of side long before that, but what they lacked in front of goal they more than made up for in terms of freshness and fitness, with the entire side working tirelessly from start to finish.
ARTHUR PUTS US AHEAD
Juve started the game well, moving the ball around the pitch with ease as Bologna hunkered down in their own half, showing plenty of physicality in the tackle. Dejan Kulusevski twice found Weston McKennie in the area in the opening stages, but the American was unable to find the target on either occasion. Bologna’s gameplan was clearly to play on the break, taking advantage of the pace of Musa Barrow, who was always ready and willing to attack the space. The visitors created one good chance through Roberto Soriano just before the 15-minute mark, but Emanual Vignato failed to capitalise on the former’s ball into the box.
That proved to be a costly error, as seconds later Juventus were ahead. Arthur picked up the ball around 20 yards out, took aim and unleashed an effort towards goal – it took a wicked deflection off Jerdy Scouten, leaving Lukasz Skorupski with no chance as it found the corner of the net for 1-0.
JUVE COME CLOSE TO A SECOND
The opener meant Bologna had to come out and attack the Bianconeri. There were a few bright moments from Riccardo Orsolini, but it was Juventus who always looked the most likely to score the second of the day. Cristiano Ronaldo worked a yard of space on the edge of the box and fired for goal, though Skorupski showed good reactions by saving first the Portuguese’s effort and then the follow-up from Federico Bernardeschi. The Juve No.33 had another shot from distance shortly afterwards, but again the Polish keeper in the Bologna goal showed safe hands.
Pirlo’s men continued to push forward as Arthur produced a fine ball to release Juan Cuadrado on the break, with the Colombian driving over 50 yards only to fire over from inside the box. To their credit, Bologna looked to create chances of their own, with Soriano flashing a shot just wide of the post from the edge of the box, but the Bianconeri were by far the most dangerous side – yet they were thwarted again by Skorupski as the Pole got a touch on Cuadrado’s low cross, diverting it away from the waiting McKennie. The half-time whistle came soon after, with Bologna still in the game at 1-0 down despite a dominant first-half performance from Juventus.
MCKENNIE MAKES IT TWO
The second half started with a scare for Juve as Wojciech Szczesny saved Cuadrado from the ignominy of scoring an own-goal – the Colombian had got his head on a cross from Schouten only to send the ball flying towards his own net, and he had Szczesny to thank for tipping it over the bar. There was more work to come for the Polish keeper in the shape of a low Barrow shot and a curling effort from Orsolini. It was an open game – perhaps too stretched at times – but that resulted in an entertaining spectacle with chances at both ends. Nicola Sansone fired wide for the visitors after a quick move, but minutes later it was Juve on the attack as Skorupski tipped Cuadrado’s shot behind for a corner.
Pirlo shuffled his pack halfway through the second half, sending on Alvaro Morata for Bernardeschi and moving Kulusevski out wide. The Spaniard was involved seconds after coming on, linking up with Cuadrado before getting a shot away from inside the box, but Skorupski’s save meant he had to settle for a corner. Cuadrado sent in a perfect cross into the centre of the area, where McKennie was waiting to head the ball into the corner to score his third league goal of the season and his fourth in all competitions.
JUVE IN CONTROL
McKennie nearly had a second when he got onto the end of a Cristiano Ronaldo cross minutes later, but once again Skorupski made the save. Pirlo brought on Matthijs De Ligt, Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey for the final stages, with Leonardo Bonucci, Arthur and Kulusevski making way. The fresh legs allowed Juve to manage the game comfortably and play on the break, with Ronaldo and Rabiot both having chances to add a third for the Bianconeri. Ronaldo would have one last opportunity to get onto the scoresheet as the minutes ticked away, but Skorupski made yet another stop to deny him. The final whistle confirmed a 2-0 victory for Juventus, who follow up their Italian Super Cup triumph with a return to winning ways in Serie A. This was a convincing and at times thrilling performance – just what we needed.
JUVENTUS 2-0 BOLOGNA (HT: 1-0).
SCORERS: Arthur 15, McKennie 71.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, (de Ligt 78) Chiellini, Danilo; Bernardeschi (Morata 68), Arthur (Rabiot 78), Bentancur, McKennie (Demiral 90+2); Kulusevski (Ramsey 78), Ronaldo.
Subs not used: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Frabotta, Dragusin, Di Pardo, Fagioli, Chiesa.
BOLOGNA: Skorupski; De Silvestri (Soumaoro HT), Danilo L., Tomiyasu, Dijks (Palacio 76); Schouten, Svanberg (Dominguez 64); Orsolini (Skov Olsen 76), Soriano, Vignato (Sansone HT); Barrow.
Subs not used: Da Costa, Breza, Hickey, Soumaoro, Paz, Baldursson, Poli.
Assistants: Vivenzi, Prenna.
Fourth official: Ghersini.
VAR: Calvarese, De Meo.
Yellow cards: Vignato 14, Kulusevski 21, Chiellini 47, Arthur 52,
Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata’s goals lead Juventus to their ninth Italian Super Cup trophy on Wednesday evening, as they defeated Napoli at the Mapei Stadium. It was a game of few chances, but one in which the Bianconeri seized their moment and brought home the silverware.
GOALLESS AT THE BREAK
Andrea Pirlo was able to welcome the return of Juan Cuadrado into the starting XI after testing negative to Covid-19. The opening 25 minutes saw both teams taking the approach of studying their adversaries, with few goalscoring chances presenting itself. The first real chance of the game came in the 28th minute when Mario Rui crossed the ball into the box for Lozano, who struck a dangerous header that saw Szczesny make an incredible reflex save to push it out. As the half progressed, the Bianconeri started pushing for an opening goal, as they saw Ronaldo blaze his effort over the bar five minutes from the break.
RONALDO OPENS THE SCORING
The second half saw Bernardeschi come on in place of Chiesa, and he nearly grabbed an immediate lead when he got onto the end of McKennie’s cross, which was saved by Ospina on the line. Manolas nearly scored an own goal off Ronaldo’s cross, before the Portuguese eventually grabbed the lead in the 64th minute when he sliced home the ball from six yards out, capitalising from a Napoli defensive error.
NAPOLI MISS PENALTY
Napoli were awarded a penalty in the 78th minute when Var judged McKennie to have made contact inside the box with Mertens. Insigne stood up to take the spot kick and he blasted wide of goal to keep the scoreline in favour of Juventus. With seven minutes to spare, Rabiot and Morata were brought on in place of Bentancur and Kulusevski, as Napoli continued to seek an equalizer to send the game into extra time.
MORATA WRAPS UP THE VICTORY
It nearly happened when Szczesny pulled off an excellent save to deny Napoli with his leg, that then resulted in a Bianconeri breakaway and they doubled the lead through Morata: Juan Cuadrado delivered the cross and the Spaniard slotted it home into the back of an empty net.
Juventus: Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, Chiellini, Danilo; McKennie, Bentancur (Rabiot 83’), Arthur, Chiesa (Bernardeschi 46’); Kulusevski (Morata 83’), Ronaldo.
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Buffon, Ramsey, Morata, Rabiot, Bernardeschi, Di Pardo, Dragusin, Frabotta, Fagioli, F Ranocchia.
Napoli: Ospina; Di Lorenzo; Manolas, Koulibaly, Mario Rui; Bakayoko, Demme; Lozano, Zielinski, Insigne; Petagna.
Napoli bench: Meret, Contini, Elmas, Mertens, Llorente, Maksimovic, Politano, Hysaj, Ghoulam, Rrahmani, Cioffi, Lobotka.
Goals from Arturo Vidal and Nicolò Barella ensured Inter claimed a 2-0 victory over Juventus in the Derby d’Italia on Sunday evening at the San Siro Stadium.
VIDAL HANDS INTER FIRST HALF LEAD
Typical to Derby d’Italia fashion, the opening 15 minutes saw many interesting moments of play: first Ronaldo had a goal disallowed for offside after Chiesa was offside on Rabiot’s threatening shot, before Inter snatched the lead. It was Juventus’ former midfielder Arturo Vidal who rattled the back of the net with a glancing header from Barella’s cross.
Inter threatened once again in the 24th minute with a double chance: Lukaku whacked a ferocious effort towards goal that Szczesny parried away as far as Lautaro, who connected onto it and blasted it high of the target. Ronaldo saw his shot sail into the arms of Handanovic, while Lukaku saw his effort snatched up by Szczesny. The Polish shot-stopped then made a double save within seconds, when he initially punched away Bastoni’s cross heading to Lukaku, before then getting on the end of Barella’s scuffed rebounded shot.
BARELLA MAKES IT 2-0
Inter doubled the lead in the 52nd through Barella, who ran onto the end of Bastoni’s defence-splitting long-ball and blasted it into the roof of the net. Pirlo then opted to make a trio of changes, taking off Frabotta, Ramsey, and Rabiot for Bernardeschi, Kulusevski, and McKennie. Brozovic fired just wide of goal, while Lautaro saw his effort curl out at the far post. The tempo of the game suffered a decline, and neither team really threatened much in the remaining quarter of an hour, except for a great Chiesa strike from the edge of the area that saw Handanovic pull off a quick save.
Inter: Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Hakimi, Barella, Brozovic, Vidal, Young; R Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez.
Inter bench: Padelli, Radu, Gagliardini, Alexis Sanchez, Kolarov, Sensi, A Ranocchia, Perisic, Eriksen, Darmian, Pinamonti.
Juventus: Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Frabotta (Bernardeschi 58’); Chiesa, Rabiot (McKennie 68’), Bentancur, Ramsey (Kulusevski 58’); Morata, Ronaldo.
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Garofani, Buffon, Arthur, McKennie, Demiral, Bernardeschi, Di Pardo, Dragusin, Fagioli, Kulusevski, F Ranocchia.
Juventus had to wait until the 105th minute to secure a 3-2 victory over Genoa in the Italian Cup and qualify for the quarterfinals of the tournament, following a draw at full time at the Allianz Stadium on Wednesday evening, after Czyborra and Melegoni cancelled out the Bianconeri’s two-goal lead courtesy of goals from Kulusevski and Morata.
KULU & MORATA STRIKE
Coach Pirlo opted for a never-before-seen line-up, as he made nine changes to the starting XI that took on Sassuolo. The formation seemingly caught Genoa unaware, and Juventus took the lead as early as the second minute of play through Kulusevski, who fired home from Chiellini’s excellently placed pass. It was one-way traffic for the Bianconeri, whose main point of threat was Kulusevski, and he quickly turned assist provider when he fed a great ball to Morata, who fired it past the goalkeeper.
GENOA PULL ONE BACK
Genoa did pull one back in the 28th minute when Czyborra found space in the box and turned home a diving header from Goldaniga’s cross. The game had an exciting ebb and flow to it, and Arthur saw his goal ruled out after Morata, who had fired in from Kulusevski’s rebounded shot, was deemed to be offside at the start of the movement. A second offside goal was ruled out on the brink of half time after Portanova sliced an angled ball into the net, but the flag was raised.
MELEGONI SENDS GAME INTO EXTRA TIME
Rabiot was brought on for Bentancur at the start of the half, while Morata had his dangerous effort beaten away at the near post by Paleari. Pjaca was then denied by the crossbar after he saw his ferocious strike rattle the woodwork, while Bonucci and Danilo replaced Chiellini and Demiral respectively. Genoa drew level at 2-2 through a stunning goal by Melegoni, who received the ball on the edge of the box and curled it past Buffon.
RAFIA WINS IT IN EXTRA TIME
With extra-time seemingly imminent, Ronaldo was introduced into the game in the 87th minute, but he couldn’t change the outcome before the full-time whistle blew. Morata came agonizingly close to putting the Bianconeri back in front when his shot at the near post was saved, while Rabiot saw his glancing header saved on the line by Paleari. It was all Juventus in the opening half of extra time and they retook the lead in the 105th minute, when Morata teed up Rafia, whose shot took a deflection and bounced into the back of the net. Genoa’s best chance to send the game to penalties came when Radovanovic had his glancing header brilliantly cleared off the line by Arthur, while Kulusevski saw his ferocious effort palmed over the bar by Paleari.
Juventus: Buffon; Demiral (Danilo 64’), Dragusin, Chiellini (Bonucci 64’), Bernardeschi; Wesley, Arthur, Bentancur (Rabiot 46’) Portanova (Rafia 77’); Kulusevski, Morata.
Subs: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Danilo, Bonucci, Frabotta, Capellini, Ramsey, Rabiot, Ranocchia, Ronaldo, Rafia, Felix Correia.
Genoa: Paleari; Goldaniga, Bani, Dumbravanu; Ghiglione, Lerager, Rovella, Melegoni, Czyborra; Pjaca, Scamacca.
Juventus picked up three crucial points on Sunday evening against a Sassuolo side who, despite playing half the game with only 10 men after Pedro Obiang’s red card, made the match a competitive encounter. After a tight first 45 minutes, the game sprung into life after the interval. Danilo’s stunning opener was cancelled out by Gregoire Defrel, before Aaron Ramsey and Cristiano Ronaldo struck in the final stages to earn the Bianconeri a 3-1 win.
SASSUOLO DOWN TO TEN MEN
Juventus took their time to get going, though Cristiano Ronaldo and Gianluca Frabotta both went close in the early going. The former headed over the crossbar, while the latter fired just off target with his left-foot after a delightful, heeled lay-off by Weston McKennie. The American was one of two Bianconeri players to be forced off in the first period due to injury.
McKennie gave way to Aaron Ramsey just before the 20-minute mark and Paulo Dybala was replaced by Dejan Kulusevski in the final minutes of the first period. Sassuolo meanwhile found themselves down to 10 men just before the break, after Pedro Obiang was red-carded for a tough challenge on Federico Chiesa. Juventus almost broke the deadlock before the break through Merih Demiral, who was thwarted by Andrea Consigli, while Kulusevski fired just over after some good link-up play with Ramsey.
DANILO FIRES JUVE IN FRONT
At the start of the second period, Andrea Pirlo sent Adrien Rabiot on in place of Rodrigo Bentancur and his team looked to make their numerical superiority count. Five minutes into the half, Danilo broke the deadlock in emphatic fashion. After a short clearance from the Neroverdi defence, the Brazilian ran onto the loose ball, catching it first-time with the sweetest of strikes, sending the ball like an arrow past Consigli into the corner.
With the game having settled into a calmer rhythm, the away side gradually ventured out of their own half and hauled themselves level with a splendid goal. Gregoire Defrel received the ball in the penalty box from Hamed Traore and produced a killer first touch to leave himself with only Wojciech Szczesny to beat, which he did with aplomb to draw the Neroverdi level.
Juventus went close on several occasions as they looked to get their noses back in front. Played in by Ramsey, Ronaldo looked to round Consigli before being brought down, however the referee waved play on. Chiesa saw an effort hit the outside of the post and subsequently laid on a chance for Rabiot from a corner, which the Frenchman headed over the crossbar.
The Bianconeri pushed forward unremittingly while the visiting side kept on playing their football despite the numerical disadvantage, making for an entertaining contest. It was with less than 10 minutes to play however that the home team scored their second. Frabotta fired in a teasing low cross from the left, which no Sassuolo defender dealt with, leaving the on-rushing Ramsey with the simplest of tasks. The Welshman finished clinically from close range to give Juventus a vital late advantage.
RONALDO PUTS THE GAME TO BED
In stoppage time, with Sassuolo throwing caution to the wind in search of a leveller, Ronaldo pounced onto a long ball from Danilo, strode in the box and sent a low, powerful drive past Consigli to put the result beyond any doubt and secure all three points for Pirlo’s side.
JUVENTUS 3-1 SASSUOLO (HT: 0-0).
Scorers: Danilo 50, Defrel 58, Ramsey 82, Ronaldo 90+2.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, Demiral, Frabotta; Chiesa (Morata 86), Bentancur (Rabiot 46), Arthur, McKennie (Ramsey 19, Bernardeschi 86); Dybala (Kulusevski 43), Ronaldo.
Subs not used: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Di Pardo, Chiellini, Dragusin, Portanova, Fagioli, Bernardeschi, Morata.
SASSUOLO: Consigli; Muldur (Oddei 73), Chiriches (Ayhan 86), Ferrari, Kyriakopoulos; Locatelli, Obiang; Defrel (Boga 67), Djuricic (Maxime Lopez 46), Traore; Caputo (Toljan 46).
Subs not used: Pegolo, Marlon, Peluso, Rogerio, Magnanelli, Raspadori, Schiappacasse.
Coach: De Zerbi.
REFEREE: Massa (Imperia).
ASSISTANTS: Imperiale, Colarossi.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Abisso.
VAR: Chiffi, Di Iorio.
YELLOW CARDS: Bonucci 13, Ferrari 17, Bentancur 34, Frabotta 71, Kulusevski 79.
RED CARD: Obiang 45+1.
Fresh off an important victory against Milan, Juventus will be back in action tomorrow evening against Sassuolo at Allianz Stadium. In light of the fixture, Coach Andrea Pirlo chatted the media in a virtual press conference, where he covered an array of topics.
Here’s what he had to say:
Sassuolo is an excellent team, they've been playing together for a while. The coach is very good at constructing the game. It will be a difficult match, we can't let them go without pressure from us. I have a good relationship with De Zerbi, he is from Brescia, like me. He has had a good journey; we talk often about football. There are young and good coaches also abroad, everyone follows his own path."
THOUGHT ON THE TEAM
We take our responsibilities: we have been winning for nine years, it is normal that there is pressure on us. I've asked the team to improve their concentration and mental strength, especially when we take the lead: that is a very important phase. We must have the same desire to achieve a result - whoever the opponent is - and then we will see where we are in April.
The positive cases affect us, as they affect anyone. But let's think about moving forward, there are other problems. I have four defenders, in addition to Di Pardo who can play on the flank. I will choose between them, because we are "in the bubble" and we cannot summon other players.
Both Chiellini and Merih Demiral are fine. Tomorrow, Merih could start from the beginning. Kulusevski is fine, last night I congratulated him on how he came on in the match. Tomorrow, we will see if he will start from the beginning. Morata is better, tomorrow morning we will consider whether to call him up or not. The other day Chiesa had a hip problem and asked to be subbed, but he has recovered.
Arthur took a bad knock before Christmas and had a longer break. But now he has recovered and has regained his condition, he can play with anyone, he knows football. I'm sorry I didn't let Bernardeschi play with great continuity, but he trains well and gives 100% in games. He is important and reliable; he will have chances."
WIN OVER MILAN
It was an important victory in Milan, at an important moment too, but if we don't win tomorrow, it will be of little use. However, I still consider Milan the team to beat, because they are at the top of the table.
I'm not surprised by Chiesa: I knew his qualities and I wanted him. He can still improve a lot, he is young, he is a "prototype" of a great champion. He has to improve himself match after match. The San Siro must be a starting point.
Juventus reduced the gap on leaders Milan by claiming a 3-1 win over AC Milan at the San Siro on Wednesday evening. Federico Chiesa scored a brace and Weston McKennie came off the bench to rattle the back of the net, as Juventus claimed their third consecutive victory in Serie A.
Andrea Pirlo was without the services of Juan Cuadrado and Alex Sandro after they tested positive for Coronavirus. Juventus needed just two minutes to force a save on Donnarumma, when Frabotta skipped past Dalot to pull back for Dybala who fired in at the near post. Milan responded with two chances of their own: Leao fires wide and Castillejo forced a save on Szczesny, before Frabotta then fired high of goal, wrapping up an exciting opening 10 minutes.
DYBALA – CHIESA PAIR UP FOR FAB GOAL
Donnarumma was beaten in the 15th minute but had the crossbar to thank for keeping it level when Chiesa fired in a powerful effort that smacked the upright! Juve’s pressure did result in the Bianconeri taking the lead in the 18th minute in spectacular fashion: Dybala teed up Chiesa perfectly with a fantastic backheel before Chiesa stroked into the far bottom corner.
CALABRIA PULLS BACK
The game was thrilling in every aspect, and Milan attempted to pull one back when Leao turned on the ball and fired in at the near post, forcing a brilliant save from Szczesny. Milan found the equalizer minutes before the break when they broke through on the counter and had Leao tee up Calabria who fired it into the roof of the net.
CHIESA GRABS THE LEAD
The second half started with Szczesny being called into action, as he palmed away Dalot’s powerful strike on the edge of the box. Juventus snatched the lead, in the 62nd minute, once again through a Dybala-Chiesa combo: the Argentine changed play and crossed the ball to Chiesa, who fired in an angled drive into the bottom far corner. Chiesa needed to be replaced immediately after due to injury, seeing him replaced by Kulusevski.
MCKENNIE WRAPS IT UP
Seconds after coming on McKennie forced an excellent save from Donnarumma at the near post, before then turning the scoreline to 3-1. Kulusevski went on a great run to the byline and pulled back for the American, who fired in from point-blank range to secure all three points!
Milan: G Donnarumma; Dalot, Kjaer, Romagnoli, Theo Hernandez; Calabria, Kessie; Castillejo, Calhanoglu, Hauge, Leao.
Juventus: Szczesny; Danilo, De Ligt, Bonucci, Frabotta (Demiral 87’); Chiesa (Kulusevski 63’), Bentancur (Arthur 74’), Rabiot, Ramsey (Bernardeschi 74’); Dybala (McKennie 63’), Ronaldo.
Subs: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Demiral, Chiellini, Arthur, McKennie, Di Pardo, Portanova, Fagioli, Kulusevski, Bernardeschi, Da Graca.
Juventus kick started the new year in fine fashion when they claimed a 4-1 win over Udinese at Allianz Stadium on Sunday evening. Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace, while Chiesa and Dybala also got on the scoresheet in a win which saw the Bianconeri dominate.
DE PAUL GOAL RULED OUT
With the first game of the New Year underway, the Bianconeri came out looking to make an immediate impression and they nearly grabbed the lead in the seventh minute: Chiesa crossed the ball towards Ramsey at the near post, and as he tried to put it in, Musso pushed it out. Udinese then thought they had taken the lead in the 10th minute when Lasagna pulled the ball back from the byline to De Paul, who finished from close range, but it was ruled out by VAR due to a hand ball in the build-up.
RONALDO PUTS JUVE IN THE LEAD
Juventus were dominating possession, and they did grab the lead through Ronaldo on the half hour when he flashed a powerful effort past Musso. Udinese nearly equalised immediately after, when they went on the counter, Walace had his shot charged down before seeing Lasagna shoot straight at Szczesny. Ramsey had his powerful chance palmed away, as the half ended 1-0 in favour of Juventus.
CHIESA STRIKES, RAMSEY GOAL DISALLOWED
Juventus started the second innings started in a brilliant manner: Ronaldo sent the ball forward towards Chiesa, who brilliantly controlled it, sprinted into the box and fired a left-footed finish into the net in the 49th minute. Three minutes later, Ramsey thought he had added a third goal when he burst into the box and fired towards goal, Musso made the initial save but he got back up and fired it in. However, upon checking with VAR, it was ruled out for a handball on the Welshman. Udinese saw Stryger-Larsen’s header rattled the woodwork, as Ronaldo went on to make it 3-0.
Samir’s pass was intercepted in midfield, Bentancur threaded it through to Ronaldo, who burst up field and into the box before putting it past Musso – he never misses those! Pirlo then opted for a double change by bringing on Bernardeschi and Kulusevski in place of Chiesa and Ramsey, while Udinese rattled the woodwork once again through Walace.
TWO LATE GOALS: ZEEGELAAR & DYBALA
That wouldn’t be the final goal of the game, as two more arrived: one for each side. The visitors did manage to get on the scoresheet in the 90th minute, however, as Zeegelaar pounced on an initial save made by Szczesny. Dybala would then have the final celebration of the match when he chipped a through ball over the on rushing Musso to make it 4-1 and seal the win!
Juventus: Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci (Chiellini 82’), De Ligt, Alex Sandro (Frabotta 82’); Chiesa (Bernardeschi 74’), Bentancur, McKennie (Arthur 64’), Ramsey (Kulusevski 74’); Dybala, Ronaldo.
Subs: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Chiellini, Demiral, Frabotta, Di Pardo, Fagioli, Arthur, Bernardeschi, Portanova, Kulusevski, Da Graca.
Udinese: Musso; Bonifazi, De Maio, Samir; Stryger-Larsen, De Paul, Walace, Pereyra, Zeegelaar; Lasagna, Pussetto.
Fiorentina claimed a 3-0 away win over 10-man Juventus at Allianz Stadium on Tuesday evening in what was the final game of 2020. Vlahovic opened the scoring with just three minutes on the clock, while an own goal by Alex Sandro and a strike from Caceres meant the game went in favour of the visitors.
FIORENTINA LEAD 10-MAN JUVE
Fiorentina stunned the Allianz by taking an early lead with just three minutes on the clock: Ribery played the ball to Vlahovic, who burst through down the middle and into the box, before chipping the ball over the onrushing Tek into the back of the net. Juventus were then reduced to 10 men in the 16th minute after Cuadrado was shown a red card – following a consultation with VAR – for a dangerous challenge on Castrovilli. As such, Ramsey was forfeited from the game and Danilo was brought on.
The visitors nearly doubled the lead: they wasted a few chances, but the real test came when Castrovilli fired at goal but Szczesny did brilliantly to fingertip the ball out at the near bottom corner. Ronaldo attempted to pull a goal back, but he struck the side netting, while Dragowski beat away his blasting effort from distance minutes later.
VIOLA ADD ANOTHER TWO
Bernardeschi was introduced straight away at the start of the second half in place of Morata. Ronaldo had a goal ruled out for offside in the 57th minute when he nodded in McKennie’s floating cross, while Danilo’s shot from range missed the target. Dragowski palmed away Chiesa’s effort, while Kulusevski was brought on for McKennie in the 72nd minute. Viola doubled the lead in the 75th minute in the most unfortunate of circumstances: Biraghi whipped in a cross, Bonucci didn’t get to it and it bounced off Alex Sandro into goal. A third and final goal was added to the scoreline five minutes later when Caceres turned in Biraghi’s cross from close range.
Juventus: Szczesny; Cuadrado, De Ligt (Frabotta 87’), Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Chiesa, McKennie (Kulusevski 73’), Bentancur, Ramsey (Danilo 20’); Morata (Bernardeschi 46’), Ronaldo.
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Buffon, Dybala, Danilo, Bernardeschi, Da Graca, Dragusin, Frabotta, Portanova, Kulusevski.
Fiorentina: Dragowski; Caceres, Milenkovic, Pezzella, Igor, Biraghi; Amrabat, Borja Valero, Castrovilli; Ribery, Vlahovic.
Fiorentina bench: Terracciano, Martinez Quarta, Bonaventura, Duncan, Kouame, Saponara, Lirola, Venuti, Barreca, Callejon, Pulgar, Eysseric.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s brace and goals from Kulusevski and Morata saw Juventus fire four past Parma at the Ennio Tardini Stadium on Saturday evening as they claimed a 4-0 win.
KULUSEVSKI AND RONALDO PUT JUVE IN FRONT
The first chance fell to Juve in the 12th minute when McKennie delivered a divine chip into the box for Ramsey, who tried to acrobatic chip it but landed up scuffing it instead and Sepe gathered. Buffon then made a crucial save three minutes later when Parma’s counter saw the ball rolled across to Kucka, who fired at the near post only to see his shot blocked by Gigi’s body.
Juventus then opened the floodgates and scored two goals in the space of three minutes: the first game from Kulusevski when he turned in Alex Sandro’s cross, before then seeing Ronaldo score off his trademark fleeting header from Morata’s floating ball. Morata had a shot charged down in the box, while McKennie’s flick-on off a corner hit Bonucci and it went out from three yards.
RONALDO & MORATA WRAP IT UP
Juventus started the second half in excellent fashion, as they nabbed a third goal through Ronaldo: Ramsey played the ball to him on the left of the box, and he fired in an angled drive into the bottom far corner. Parma nearly responded with an effort of their own, as they had a Kucka effort cleared off the line by Buffon. De Ligt had the ball in the back of the net in the 55th minute after Sepe made a save on McKennie's shot, but it was ruled out as the corner went out of play.
Bentancur saw his shot from the edge of the D go wide of the target, while Buffon made a save on Bruno Alves’ strike. Gagliolo then saw his effort skim past the far post, while Sepe punched away Portanova’s fired effort. Alvaro Morata wrapped up the win with his headed goal in the 85th minute, when he turned in Bernardeschi’s cross to put the score at 4-0.
Parma: Sepe; Iacoponi, Alves, Osorio, Gagliolo; Kucka, Hernani, Kurtic; Sohm, Cornelius, Gervinho.
Juventus: Buffon; Danilo, Bonucci (Cuadrado 76’), De Ligt, Alex Sandro; Kulusevski, McKennie (Portanova 76’), Bentancur, Ramsey (Bernardeschi 68’); Morata, Cristiano Ronaldo (Chiesa 82’).
Subs: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Cuadrado, Frabotta, Dragusin, Portanova, Bernardeschi, Rabiot, Chiesa, Da Graca.
Juventus and Atalanta shared the spoils as they played to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday evening at Allianz Stadium. Federico Chiesa struck first with a stunning curling effort, before Frueler’s rocket and Ronaldo’s saved penalty in the second half meant that the points were shared.
CHIESA CURLS INTO TOP BIN
Atalanta were pressing high from the get-go and they forced a save from Szczesny in the fourth minute with a Pessina half-volley that was smothered. That was then followed by a defensive misunderstanding from the Bergamaschi side, which resulted in Morata pouncing on a back pass that went unnoticed by Romero, he pulled back to Ronaldo, who fired over the goal. The Bianconeri rued the chance they didn’t capitalise on in the 11th minute: Morata beat the offside trap and played it across to Ronaldo in a 2 vs 1 situation. Ronaldo's shot was blocked, but the ball was still clear for Morata, who back heeled it towards goal only to see it go wide of an open goal. De Ligt then charged down Duvan Zapata’s shot, while Arthur had to be substituted by Rabiot due to an injury.
Juventus claimed a 1-0 lead just before the half hour through a stunning strike by Federico Chiesa: Bentancur fed him the ball, he shimmied away from his marker and curled in a swerving strike into the top corner of the net. Szczesny was called into action moments later and he pulled off an excellent save on a one-on-one situation to deny Zapata.
FRUELER EQUALISES, GOLLINI DENIES JUVE
The start second half saw saw Juve come very close to doubling the lead when a Morata-McKennie give and go saw the Spaniard fire at goal, only have Gollini rush off his line and block the ball with his face. Atalanta drew level in the 57th minute through a rocket by Freuler that flew in the underside of the bar. Juve went on the hunt to regain their lead and they had two opportunities to make it 2-1 but were denied by Gollini: the first was a save on Ronaldo’s penalty after Chiesa went down in the box, and the second was a cat-like reflex save to deny Morata. Next up was Szczesny’s turn to make a save, and he went into full flight to palm away Romero’s header. Gollini denied Danilo’s angled drive with his foot, while Tek palmed away Papu Gomez’s effort, as the game ended 1-1.
Juventus: Szczesny; Cuadrado, De Ligt, Bonucci, Danilo; McKennie, Arthur (Rabiot 26’), Bentancur, Chiesa (Alex Sandro 75’); Morata (Dybala 84’), Ronaldo.
Juventus bench: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Alex Sandro, Dragusin, Frabotta, Ramsey, Rabiot, Bernardeschi, Portanova, Kulusevski, Dybala, Da Graca.
Atalanta: Gollini; Palomino, Romero, Djimsiti; Hateboer, De Roon, Freuler, Gosens; Malinovskyi, Pessina; Duvan Zapata.
Atalanta bench: Rossi, Sportiello, Sutalo, Lammers, Muriel, Gomez, Mojica, Depaoli, Gyabuaa, Miranchuk, Amad Diallo.
A second half brace by Cristiano Ronaldo and goal from Paulo Dybala saw Juventus claim a 3-1 victory over Genoa at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Sunday evening. After a frustrating first half, the Bianconeri finally broke the deadlock through La Joya, before Ronaldo’s two penalties meant the team return to Turin with three points.
GOALLESS FIRST HALF
It was almost the perfect start for the Bianconeri after they thought they had grabbed an early lead with just two minutes on the block: a free-kick was floated into the box, Bonucci flicked it back for Rabiot, who turned it into the back of the net with a subsequent touch of his hand. The goal was subsequently ruled out and he was booked. Perin kept the scorelines level when he palmed away McKennie’s glancing header, while Bentancur blasted an effort wide of goal. The Bianconeri were the ones who were working their way around the box more than their counterparts, but they couldn’t find a breakthrough in the opening 45.
DYBALA OPENS THE SCORING
The first chance after the break saw Ronaldo, who was making his 100th appearance for Juventus, blast wide of goal. The goal did eventually arrive in the 57th minute when McKennie flicked the ball back for Dybala, who cut inside and fired the ball into the back of the net with his left foot. A second Juve goal was then ruled out when Ronaldo played the ball to Chiesa, who placed in a good finish only for the offside flag to be raised.
Genoa weren’t giving up and they found the equaliser just five minutes later in the 62’ minute through Sturaro. Pellegrini played in a cross towards the back post, and he connected onto it to fire in an angled drive on the volley. Minutes later Dybala had his acrobatic goal denied for offside, while Szczesny made a solid save to deny Rovella’s snapshot. Perin denied Ronaldo on the line from point-blank range, but he couldn’t do anything to deny the Portuguese from the spot.
RONALDO CONVERTS FROM THE SPOT (X2)
Cuadrado was pulled down inside in the box by Rovello in the 77th minute, and it resulted in a penalty in favour of Juventus. Ronaldo stood up to take the effort, and he made no mistake in blasting it down the middle. A second penalty was awarded to Juve in the 87th minute when Perin brought down Morata: Ronaldo stood up to take it and he blasted it into the roof of the net to put the result beyond a doubt.
Genoa (4-4-2): Perin; Goldaniga, Bani, Masiello, Pellegrini; Radovanovic, Sturaro, Rovella, Lerager; Pjaca, Scamacca.
Genoa bench: Paleari, Zima, Behrami, Zajc, Ghiglione, Pandev, Destro, Melegoni, Caso, Shomurodov, Dumbravanu, Czyborra.
Juventus (4-4-2): Szczesny; De Ligt, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Cuadrado, McKennie, Rabiot (Morata 67’), Bentancur, Chiesa (Kulusevski 83’); Ronaldo, Dybala (Bernardeschi 83’).
Juve bench: Israel, Buffon, Arthur, Ramsey, Morata, Danilo, Bernardeschi, Da Graca, Dragusin, Frabotta, Portanova, Kulusevski.
Juve finished their Champions League group in style on a truly unforgettable European night with a remarkable 3-0 win at the Camp Nou. Barcelona had not lost on home soil in Europe’s elite competition since 2013, but Cristiano came out on top of Lionel Messi in the latest instalment of their seemingly never-ending battle for footballing supremacy. The result clinches first place and avenges the 2-0 loss at Allianz Stadium when the two sides met in October. Such a dominant performance brimming with bravery, determination, technical quality and intelligence could well be a crucial turning point in the season.
CR7 EARLY DOORS
Juve made an aggressive start to the contest at the Camp Nou and were immediately on the front foot. Cristiano had the first chance of the game when he received the ball just inside the box from Weston McKennie, but his weak shot was straight at Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Just moments later, the Portuguese laid the ball off to Danilo, whose powerful effort fizzed just wide. In the 13th minute, Aaron Ramsey got away from two Barcelona players in his own half and released Juan Cuadrado. The Colombian picked out Ronaldo who drove into the box and was fouled by Ronald Araujo. The striker picked himself straight back up and made no mistake, as he drilled the ball down the middle for our opener.
WHAT A GOAL BY MCKENNIE
Taking the lead did not alter the visitors’ approach, as Juve continued to push forward, pass the ball around confidently and close Barcelona down brilliantly. Aaron Ramsey, Cuadrado and McKennie conjured up a delightful move that the hosts’ defence simply had no answer to. The Welshman broke inside from the left and passed to the American on the edge of the box. He picked out the wing-back down the right, whose first-time cross was perfectly volleyed home by McKennie.
BARCA RESPOND BUT JUVE HOLD FIRM
The visitors did have more opportunities to extend their lead as the half wore on, but also had to withstand some pressure. Gianluigi Buffon was called into action to deny Lionel Messi on a couple of occasions, including a low deflected shot from outside the area that the 42-year-old pushed behind for a corner. Alvaro Morata also went close to getting on the scoresheet when his header from a pinpoint Alex Sandro cross looped just over the bar as Juve looked to get a third goal. Andrea Pirlo’s troops went in 2-0 up at half-time, knowing that they needed just one more goal without reply to finish top of the group.
Ramsey thought he had added a third when he bent a left-footed shot towards the far corner only for it to be turned behind by the goalkeeper. Juve were swiftly awarded a penalty for a handball by Clement Lenglet in the 52nd minute after a VAR check. Ronaldo stepped up to double his tally and put the Bianconeri top of the group with his fourth goal of the current Champions League campaign.
There was non-stop action in the second half, but there would prove to be no more goals, despite the hosts rallying, with Antoine Griezmann seeing his header come off the bar. Barca thought they had been awarded a penalty only for the linesman to raise his flag for an offside decision against the French forward. Leonardo Bonucci wheeled away to celebrate what he thought was the fourth goal of the night, but it was correctly ruled out for offside by VAR in the 75th minute. The Bianconeri saw out the result professionally and clinched first place in Group G in style. The Champions League draw for the round of 16 is set to take place on Monday 14 December in Nyon.
BARCELONA 0-3 JUVENTUS:
SCORERS: Ronaldo (p) 13, McKennie 21, Ronaldo (p) 52.
Ter Stegen; Dest, Araujo (Migueza 83), Lenglet (Umtiti 55), Jordi Alba (Junior 55); Pjanic, de Jong; Pedri (Puig 66), Messi, Trincao (Braithwaite 46); Griezmann.
Subs not used: Neto, Pena, Alena, Busquets, Matheus, Konrad, Coutinho.
Buffon; Danilo, de Ligt, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Cuadrado (Bernardeschi 85), McKennie, Arthur (Bentancur 71), Ramsey (Rabiot 71); Morata (Dybala 85), Ronaldo (Chiesa 90+1).
Subs not used: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Dragusin, Frabotta, Portanova, Kulusevski, Da Graca.
REFEREE: Stieler (GER)
ASSISTANTS: Pickel (GER), Gittelman (GER)
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Gozubuyuk (NED)
VAR: Dankert (GER), Rohde (GER)
BOOKED: Jordi Alba 27, Ramsey 29, Lenglet 31, Morata 53, Umtiti 60, Danilo 69, Junior 78.
Just over 24 hours remains until the Bianconeri take to the field of the Camp Nou against Barcelona. Ahead of the encounter, Coach Pirlo and Leonardo Bonucci spoke to the media in a press conference.
Here’s what they had to say:
Buffon is fine and could play, he deserves this kind of stage. I don't believe in the 'crisis' of Barcelona. They are a great team. We know we will have to suffer, but we are calm and aware of our mistakes in the first game.
This match is especially important for our growth and self-esteem. Coming first is important, but what we put in on the pitch is even more important. Compared to the first game, we need to improve the non-possession phase and be closer to the midfield and defensive lines. In the derby we had a completely different attitude between the first and second half, winning all the duels. This is the attitude that is part of Juve's DNA and must never be missing.
Ramsey is better.
He is an even smarter player than I thought and he can certainly be useful. I'm very satisfied with Rabiot. He has grown a lot and is a good guy, as well as a hard worker. You must bear in mind that he is only at 70% of his potential.
Koeman is right: it would be wrong to say who is better between Messi and Cristiano. They are two phenomenons that put-on spectacles for millions of fans. We just have to thank them. It's a period where many great players struggle, it's normal. The great players have had little time to rest and were immediately busy with their national teams. Everything will be more normal after Christmas. If Cristiano is in good form it means that he is in the right place at the right time and we are good at giving him the ball.
We must have the same attitude as in the second half of the derby: aggression and desire to win. It could be the beginning of a new path. The Champions League is a competition of the biggest clubs. It will be a tough game, but we know that with our qualities and our values we can hurt Barcelona. The first leg was a question of centimetres. Tomorrow evening there are all the ingredients for a great match. A positive result would greatly help the team's growth. Two of the best players in the history of football will meet.
It's very nice to be part of it. How do we stop Messi? With great teamwork. We want to enhance the qualities of our alien, Cristiano. Against Torino, in the second half, the same things that made the difference at Juventus over the years were seen.
Our goal is always to win by playing well. We intend to finish first in the group, we have a good advantage and good chances. We've made many mistakes that have cost us points, we need to keep a better balance and improve our effectiveness. I know de Ligt very well. He's a great player in spite of his young age and he is one of the best in his role. We aren't just thinking about Cristiano, who is nevertheless a great champion, who always battles and scores. We’re thinking about tomorrow's great match: we'll have to defend well and keep possession of the ball. It will be fantastic to see two great champions like Messi and Cristiano, the best of the last 15 years. It's not nice to say who is the best, I admire both, because they are incredible and have given us great evenings.
Tomorrow will be a great match, it's important for us to win to finish first in the group.
Second half goals by Weston McKennie and Leonardo Bonucci meant Juventus claimed bragging rights after they defeated Torino 2-1 at Allianz Stadium on Saturday evening. Nkoulou struck early for the visitors, but a resilient display saw the Bianconeri turn the score around to claim three points!
NKOULOU HANDS TORO FIRST HALF LEAD
After having drawn to Benevento last weekend, the Bianconeri were looking to bounce back with a win. However, they found themselves experience an unwelcome start to the game when Torino grabbed an early opening goal. Meite flicked on a corner and it fell to an unmarked Nkoulou, who reacted quickly and fired in from six yards. The Granata then nearly doubled their lead minutes later when Zaza skipped the offside trap and went one-on-one with Szczesny, which saw the Polish stopper pull off a great save to deny his effort. Lyanco saw his effort from range flash wide, while the half ended with a curling Dybala effort that sailed into Sirigu’s arms and an acrobatic kick by Bellotti that sailed over the bar.
MCKENNIE DRAWS LEVEL, BONUCCI WINS IT
Torino started the second half as strong as they did the first, winning a series of free-kicks around the box which the Bianconeri fought off. The Bianconeri thought they had found the equaliser in the 56th minute when Juan Cuadrado fired home on the edge of the D, but after consulation with VAR the referee ruled it out for Bonucci’s block on Lyanco. The Bianconeri started to apply the pressure the Granata, as Chiesa forced a save from Sirigu. There was nothing the Italian shot-stopped could do in the 77th minute when the Bianconeri drew level through McKennie’s glancing header off a Cuadrado assist. Andrea Pirlo’s men were not giving up, and they found the match winner through Leonardo Bonucci, who scored an almost identical goal to McKennie’s when he turned in Juan Cuadrado’s floated cross to make it 2-1 in the 89th minute.
Juventus: Szczesny; Cuadrado, De Ligt, Bonucci, Danilo (Alex Sandro 71’); Kulusevski (Ramsey 56’), Bentancur, Rabiot (McKennie 76’), Chiesa; Dybala, Ronaldo.
Subs: Pinsoglio, Israel, Frabotta, Alex Sandro, Dragusin, Arthur, Ramsey, Portanova, McKennie, Bernardeschi, Da Graca.
Torino: Sirigu; Lyanco, Nkoulou, Rodriguez; Singo, Meité, Rincon, Linetty, Ansaldi; Zaza, Belotti.
Juventus proved dominant against Dynamo Kyiv as they claimed a 3-0 win at the Allianz Stadium in their penultimate Champions League group stage fixture. Federico Chiesa opened the scoring in the first half, before goals from Ronaldo and Morata put the result beyond a doubt.
CHIESA OPENS THE SCORING
Juventus dominated the opening proceedings of the match with their pressing play. McKennie was the first to force a save out of Bushchan, with his downward header that was turned around the post in the 17th minute. The Bianconeri got their breakthrough just four minutes late after a great move: Alex Sandro delivered in a cross into the box which Chiesa met, and he directed it into the bottom of the net with his head.
The Brazilian nearly added a second assist to his name when he fed the ball to Ronaldo: the Portuguese struck a powerful effort that rattled off the crossbar. Dynamo’s first threat came five minutes from the break when Tsygankov was passed the ball and fired towards goal, but it was brilliantly saved by Szczesny, who did well to come off his line and make the save.
The rhythm of the game had slowed down in the second half, and it took until the 54th minute for Juve to force a save from Bushchan, after he fingertipped Ronaldo’s effort over the bar. Juventus did get their second goal of the game though, when Ronaldo converted from close range to score his 750th goal: Chiesa crossed in the ball, Bushchan made the initial save, which rebounded off Morata’s shin and allowed for the Portuguese to tap in over the line.
MORATA ADDS A THIRD
There was never any doubt about the Bianconeri’s dominance in the match, and they nabbed a third goal through Morata. The Spaniard scored in the calmest of manners: he took three touches, let the defenders slip past him as he fired into the back of the net. The final chance of the game fell to Dynamo, when Lednev’s shot was brilliantly denied by Szczesny.
Juventus: Szczesny; Demiral (Dragusin 68’), Bonucci (Danilo 62’), De Ligt, Alex Sandro; Chiesa (Kulusevski 75’), Bentancur, McKennie, Ramsey (Bernardeschi 62’); Morata, Ronaldo.
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Arthur, Dybala, Danilo, Cuadrado, Rabiot, Bernardeschi, Da Graca, Dragusin, Frabotta, Portanova, Kulusevski.
Dynamo Kiev: Bushchan; Kedziora, Popov, Zabarnyi, Mykolenko; Shepeliev, Sydorchuk, Shaparenko; Tsygankov, Verbic, Rodrigues.
Dynamo Kiev bench: Neshcheret, Boyko, Baluta, Shabanov, De Pena, Lednev, Andriyevskiy, Garmash, Karavaev, Clayton, Syrota, Supryaha.
Ahead of tomorrow’s home fixture against Dynamo Kyiv, Coach Andrea Pirlo and Alex Sandro spoke to the media. They discussed the team’s current form, the mental state going into tomorrow’s game and what can be expected of tomorrow’s opponents.
Here are their thoughts:
After Benevento, I said that we need more concentration and desire to bring home the points, even when we are ahead in the games. We've spoken about it and we are all aware of it. I'm absolutely not worried. In Benevento it was our game to win but we weren't good at closing it out and then they managed to do that well, this can happen. We've analysed the match and we will try to improve.
Kulusevski has always played in the same position, starting from the final third. All the young players who joined Juventus followed the same path and I'm happy with what he's bringing. Dybala often drops deep to play more balls and have a little more space. We always work together on the spaces that he must occupy, he must play easy and be in a position to be active in the attacking phase. I have to say that Ramsey was a great find for me, and he can still improve. For me and for the team he is very important. I don't think we'll see a trident attack tomorrow: Alvaro Morata will probably play, whilst Dybala will prepare for the Turin Derby on Saturday.
We must face all the matches in the same way, both in Europe and in Italy. I would have preferred a little more consistency, but it's normal that it takes a little more time to achieve it. The players know what they must and want to do. When you win everything is fine, when you don't, problems arise that may not even exist. We are working well to improve.
Only the results are missing. We are working well, and we are improving. When you don't win at Juve, it's a problem, but we're aware of that. We are on the right path; we know where we need to improve. I'm getting better and I'm available. Our mentality, as well as mine is the same, many players have understood well what the Coach wants, and we are aware of needing to improve.
Tomorrow, I'd like to see a good game, great concentration, possession but also moving well without the ball. It was a long injury that I had, and it was difficult. I feel good and we've worked well, I know I still have to recover even more but I'm ready for it. Every match is difficult in the Champions League and you must always be careful.
We are sure that it will be a difficult match. It's important for the group to have experienced players.
I hope to be able to help my teammates, but everyone wants to show their worth. Juve always wants to reach the final of every competition and try to win every game. We know that the road is long, and we must be prepared.
I expect a great match, we're playing against the best. We remember the first match, Juve are an excellent team. We've worked on our mistakes, let's see how it will go tomorrow.
Juventus are a great team, they can field two different equally strong teams. They have changed some things and they are perfecting some others, but I'm sure that it will enhance the talent of their players. I think that Juve can win the Champions League, they have great players. Certainly the absence of the fans also makes everything more difficult for everyone.
Cristiano has charisma, he brings the whole team to life, he is one of those players who can make a difference. He is important for what he does on the pitch and for the confidence he gives to everyone. Italian football is and will continue to be one of the most important in the world.
Juventus and Benevento played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday evening at the Ciro Vigorito Stadium. Alvaro Morata opened the scoring in the 21st minute, but a first half stoppage time effort by Letizia meant the points were shared.
MORATA OPENS THE SCORING
Benevento started off the better of the two sides: Szczesny made a save on Barba at the near post, before Lapadula threatened with a glancing header that sailed narrowly over the bar soon after the minutes silence that took place in honour of Diego Maradona in the 10th minute. But with all the host’s pressing, they couldn’t prevent Juventus from taking the lead in the 21st minute, following a sublime effort from Morata. Chiesa played a terrific ball forward ball cross the field to Morata, who was on the left side of the box, he swivels and turns his defender to fire it into the back of the net. Dybala nearly doubled the lead minutes later when he was involved in a give-and-go with Morata on the edge of the box, only to curl his effort past the goal frame.
LETIZIA NABS STOPPAGE TIME EQUALISER
Benevento went in pursuit of a late equalizer just before the break, by putting pressure on the Bianconeri backline. Szczesny did well to pull off two saves in quick succession, but he couldn’t do anything about the final action of the half when Letizia fired in a diagonal effort on the volley into the bottom far corner.
NO SECOND HALF BREAKTHROUGH
Filippo Inzaghi’s side came out strong at the start of the second half, and they threatened through Improta’s angled drive that flashed past Szczesny at the far post. Morata rued the chance he missed when he flashed his header from Chiesa’s cross wide from two yards, before then trying from range with an effort that sailed wide. Kulusevski, Bentancur, Bernardeschi where introduced into the match in place of Ramsey, Arthur, and Chiesa, while Dybala was denied by Montipò in the 86th minute with a finger tipped save. Both teams went in search of a stoppage time winner, but neither side could break the deadlock.
Benevento: Montipò; Letizia, Glik, Caldirola, Barba; Hetemaj, Schiattarella, Improta; Ionita, Caprari, Lapadula.
Bench: Manfredini, Lucatelli, Abdallah, Andres Tello, Maggio, Tuia, R insigne, Di Serio, Moncini, Sau, Masella, Pastina.
Juventus: Szczęsny; Cuadrado, Danilo, De Ligt, Frabotta; Chiesa (Bernardeschi 68’), Arthur (Bentancur 62’), Rabiot, Ramsey (Kulusevski 62’); Dybala, Morata.
Subs: Pinsoglio, Garofani, Bonucci, Dragusin, Alex Sandro, Portanova, McKennie, Bentancur, Kulusevski, Bernardeschi.
Alvaro Morata’s stoppage time goal meant Juventus claimed a 2-1 victory over Ferencvaros at the Allianz Stadium on Tuesday evening, as they ensured qualification to the Round of 16 in the Champions League.
UZUNI & RONALDO MAKE IT 1-1
The visitors came out looking determined and they took the lead in the 18th minute when Tokmac beat the offside trap and fed the ball through to Uzuni, who knocked it into the back of the net. That goal sparked the Bianconeri into action and they started to put pressure on the Hungarians: Danilo saw his header sails into the arms of Dibusz, while Cristiano Ronaldo had a goal ruled out for offside.
The Portuguese did manage to draw level minutes later though, when he received a ball from Cuadrado: he cut inside and fired an unstoppable effort from outside the box.
The start of the second half saw the Bianconeri come out eager to take an early lead, with Bernardeschi having his shot charged down by Frimpong, while Ronaldo’s free-kick struck the wall. Bernardeschi then had his volley from the inside of the D finger-tipped onto the woodwork by the opposition keeper. With the game deadlocked, Pirlo opted to make a triple change, introducing Dybala, Bernardeschi and McKennie in place of Morata, Chiesa and Kulusevski respectively.
Morata pulled off a brilliant move (a tunnel and a nutmeg) to play the ball to Ronaldo inside the box, he tried to flick it over the goalkeeper, but Dibusz stood his ground to keep it at 1-1. It was Bianconeri domination in the final 15 minutes, as they created a number of chances: the Spaniard came agonisingly close to making it 2-1 when his effort was denied by the post, while Bentancur saw his volley from range finger-tipped over the bar.
MORATA SCORES DECISIVE GOAL
Ferencvaros finally caved under the pressure and Juventus got the lead they were so desperately in search of: Danilo sent Cuadrado down the right flank, the Colombian delivered a great cross into the box and it feel for Morata who nodded it in from six yards out. The victory meant that Juventus guaranteed their place in the Last 16 of the Champions League with two group matches remaining.
Juventus: Szczęsny; Cuadrado, Danilo, De Ligt, Alex Sandro; McKennie (Kulusevski 62’), Bentancur (Ramsey 83’), Arthur (Rabiot 83’), Bernardeschi (Chiesa 62’); Dybala (Morata 62’), Ronaldo.
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Israel, Buffon, Ramsey, Morata, Chiesa, Rabiot, Dragusin, Frabotta, Portanova, Kulusevski.
Ferencvaros: Dibusz; G Lovrencsics, Blazic, Frimpong, Dvali, Heister; Siger, Somalia; Zubkov, Uzuni, Nguen.
Ferencvaros bench: Szecsi, Ori, Kharatin, Kovacevic, Mak, Botka, Baturina, Csontos, Boli, Isael, Laidouni.
Objective: seal qualification. This was the underlying message in today’s press conference between Coach Pirlo and Szczesny, who both spoke to the media about tomorrow’s Champions League clash at Allianz Stadium.
Here’s what they had to say:
We have to approach the match in the best way possible. Losses of concentration are not allowed. We want to secure qualification as soon as we can. We have some absences in defence. The others are available and those in the best shape will be on the field. Dybala is finding his form, it takes time.
Tomorrow, we'll see whether or not he plays from the first minute. Tomorrow will be a decisive match. The away game was good, but tomorrow only the present will count. We are thinking about different solutions in the attack. We will try to play Dybala, Cristiano and Alvaro Morata all together, but it takes time.
Sealing qualification tomorrow would be very important, because it would allow breathing space to those who have played the most at the start of the season. Bernardeschi did well on Saturday. He needs to find continuity and a feeling with the pitch.
We play for Juventus: it won't be difficult to find the motivation for tomorrow's match. I don't expect us to have any drops in energy. We expect a difficult match against a tough opponent. We will do everything to bring home the three points. I think our opponents are very fast and technical. We will do our best to limit them. The Coach has created a good relationship with the team. His idea of football is modern, and we really like this philosophy.
I have good feelings, this is a fantastic stadium and it's nice to be here. Juve have many champions and they are a great team, we will be playing against strong players.
Juve are a team with a great name, but we are here to play football and to do our best to represent our fans and the nation of Hungary. There is a bit of fear, but we will do our best. Juve don't just have Cristiano but also many top players. Despite their injuries, a team like Juve has substitutes at the level of the starters. We will have to believe in ourselves.
Cristiano Ronaldo struck twice as Juve brushed aside Cagliari 2-0 with a thoroughly convincing display to build on their solid showing against Lazio before the international break.
The Bianconeri played with purpose and pace from the off and Ronaldo's five-minute double gave them a two-goal lead they fully deserved heading into the break. The fact they were unable to add a third in the second period takes no shine off what was an utterly dominant performance.
JUVE START KNOCKING
Despite moving the ball around quickly and cleverly, steered by an excellent Arthur, Andrea Pirlo’s side struggled to find a way through Cagliari’s 5-4-1 formation initially as the Sardinians repeatedly cleared crosses or intercepted the final pass. The Bianconeri did manage to break through the visitors’ lines 10 minutes into the game when Federico Bernardeschi finished off Alvaro Morata’s pass but it was ruled out for a marginal offside call.
Juve kept on pushing, with Adrien Rabiot, Bernardeschi and Ronaldo all taking aim and Cagliari pegged back in their own half. The Bianconeri’s high pressing was working a treat and the chances kept on coming. Dejan Kuluveski was presented with a great opportunity and tried to place his shot but instead sent it just wide. Bernardeschi’s low drive from the edge of the box was then saved by Alessio Cragno.
All that pressure was bound to pay off sooner or later and it finally did in the 38th minute. A fine flowing move ended with Morata playing in Ronaldo, who skipped past two defenders before finishing into the corner for a fully deserved opener.
Juve were in no mood for sitting on their lead and Ronaldo in particular appeared especially hungry for more. Barely a minute after teeing up Kulusevski – whose shot flew wide – the Portuguese star was in the right place at the right time to turn Merih Demiral’s header into the net and give Juve a 2-0 lead at the break.
DEMIRAL HITS THE BAR
Cagliari needed to shake things up and the introduction of Ruccardo Sottil during the interval gave them a bit more spark.
However, it was Juve very nearly made it three when Demiral rose to meet Juan Cuadrado's corner, his header thundering off the bar.
Shortly afterwards, Bernardeschi latched onto the ball after Ronaldo's dummy only to find Cragno equal to his effort.
JUVE IN CRUISE CONTROL
The Bianconeri were in complete control by now and could afford to sit back and wait for Cagliari before looking to exploit the space on the break.
It seemed only a matter of time before they scored a third but a lack of precision was letting them down. Bernardeschi darted off down the left and picked out Morata in the box but the Spaniard's first-time effort flew just wide.
Pirlo made a string of changes towards the end – bringing on Weston McKennie and Paulo Dybala, then Rodrigo Bentancur, Federico Chiesa and Alex Sandro – and La Joya wasted little time in producing his trickery only to lift his finish over from a decent position.
There was to be no third goal but Juve ended the game in complete control. Gianluigi Buffon's jersey barely had a speck of dirt on it come the final whistle – demonstration of an impeccable displayed by the Old Lady.
Juventus were made to settle for a point at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Sunday lunchtime after a late Felipe Caicedo goal for Lazio cancelled out Cristiano Ronaldo’s first-half opener to ensure the spoils were shared.
It was perhaps the best performance of the season from Andrea Pirlo’s men, who looked to be assured of all three points having led since the 15th minute, when Ronaldo struck to put them in front. But there was a late sting in the tale for the Bianconeri, as Caicedo found the net in the fourth minute of stoppage time to snatch a point for Lazio.
CUADRADO AND RONALDO COMBINE TO PUT JUVE AHEAD
Juve moved the ball well in the early stages, waiting for the right time to attack. Gianluca Frabotta looked dangerous down the left, bursting forward and firing in a low cross that just eluded Alvaro Morata. The Bianconeri were pressing their opponents high up the pitch, yet they also showed intelligence in dropping back and playing on the break at times. Adrien Rabiot was the driving force behind one promising counter, leading to a decent shot from Cristiano Ronaldo, but there was even better to come.
Juan Cuadrado started the move, beating two men to get the Bianconeri on their way. After exchanging a couple of passes on the edge of the box, Cuadrado received the ball back from Rodrigo Bentancur, reached the byline and found Ronaldo in the six-yard box. The Portuguese duly applied the finish, beating Pepe Reina in the Lazio goal to score his 27th goal of 2020. Nobody in Europe’s top five leagues has scored more.
CR7 DENIED BY THE WOODWORK
Lazio’s response came in the form of a Joaquin Correa shot, sent high over the bar, and a dangerous move which saw Sergej Milinkovic-Savic head Stefan Radu’s cross down for Vedat Muriqi, who was unable to convert with the goal gaping. Correa popped up again with a low shot from the edge of the area which Wojciech Szczesny dealt with comfortably, while Ronaldo reminded Lazio of Juve’s threat on the break with a shot that fizzed just past the post. Though Lazio continued to push for an equaliser, with Muriqi finding the side-netting with their next foray forward, Juve kept their composure and always looked like scoring whenever they broke forward. And the Bianconeri almost grabbed a second towards the end of the first half, only for Ronaldo to be denied by the angle of the goal after a fine curling effort, while a free-kick from the Portuguese drew an impressive save from Reina to bring the half to a close.
MORATA LEADS FROM THE FRONT
Juventus began the second half with an intense high press, with Ronaldo winning the ball back in Lazio’s half and teeing up Bentancur, whose shot from distance was wide of the target. Lazio threatened through Adam Marusic, who fired just over, but the home side always had to contend with the speed of Morata, seemingly auditioning for the role of constant thorn in Lazio’s side. It was from one of the Spaniard’s bursts of pace that Rabiot found himself with a sight of goal – a diving save was required from Reina to keep the deficit to one goal. Correa remained the most dangerous man in Lazio colours and almost created a promising chance down the left soon afterwards, but Leonardo Bonucci – making his 400th start for Juventus – gave the umpteenth demonstration of his impeccable timing by shutting the attack down.
CAICEDO’S LAST-MINUTE EQUALISER
Pirlo range the changes on the 75-minute mark, replacing Ronaldo and Dejan Kulusevski with Paulo Dybala and Weston McKennie, as Lazio continued to throw everything into finding an equaliser. Marusic had a golden opportunity when he found himself unmarked in the six-yard box, but the Montenegrin could only head straight at Szczesny, who gratefully gathered the ball. Federico Bernardeschi was the next to join the fray three minutes before the 90, replacing Morata, as Pirlo looked to see the game out. Lazio and Caicedo, however, had other ideas. With the seconds ticking away, Correa showed good feet to get himself into a dangerous position down the left before playing the ball into the box to the waiting Caicedo, who spun around and let fly with a snap shot that flew past Szczesny and into the back of the net. It was a bitter pill to swallow for Pirlo and his players, who had to settle for one point when three seemed almost in the bag.
LAZIO 1-1 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-1).
SCORERS: Ronaldo 15, Caicedo 90+4.
Reina; Luiz Felipe, Radu (Hoedt 53), Acerbi; Marusic, Cataldi (Pereira 76), Luis Alberto (Akpa-Akpro 76), Milinkovic-Savic, Fares (Lazzari 53); Muriqi (Caicedo 53), Correa.
Subs not used: Furlanetto, Alia, Patric, Anderson, Armini, Parolo, Moro.
Coach: S. Inzaghi.
Szczęsny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, Demiral, Danilo; Kulusevski (McKennie 75), Rabiot, Bentancur, Frabotta; Morata (Bernardeschi 87), Ronaldo (Dybala 75).
Subs not used: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Dragusin, Arthur, Portanova.
A brace from Alvaro Morata, a goal from Dybala and an own goal by Ferencvaros saw Juventus claim a 4-1 away at Puskas Arena on Wednesday evening in Budapest. The Bianconeri dominated from start to finish, as their points tally in the Champions League group stage moved to six.
MORATA GRABS EARLY LEAD
Juventus needed just seven minutes on the clock to take the lead when Cuadrado received a great through ball on the byline, he plays it across goal, and it sails to the feet of Morata at the back post who tapped it in from close range. Ferencvaros were doing well to work the spaces and stretch Juve, but they couldn’t muster many opportunities at goal, with Somalia and Takmac shooting high and wide respectively. Ronaldo then had a shot closed down by the host’s defenders, while Cuadrado ballooned over his chance. Zubkov, who was unmarked in the box, blasted his shot off target in the 25th minute. Chiesa and Ronaldo were involved in an interesting exchange, which saw the No.22’s effort blocked by Dibusz. Juve were creating more chances than their opponents and Morata rolled the ball across the box to Ronaldo, for him to walk it into the net, however, he was denied after Blazic made a last-ditch tackle to stop play.
MORATA WITH A STUNNER
Andrea Pirlo made an immediate change at the start of the half, by bringing on Bentancur in place of Arthur, while Ramsey had to be replaced by McKennie in the 53rd minute due to injury. The first chance of the second half fell to Ronaldo when he broke through on goal and fired an angled effort at goal, only to see it drill wide at the far post. Morata doubled the lead on the mark when Ronaldo crossed the ball into the center of the field, McKennie steps over it and he curled it into the back of the net.
DYBALA WRAPS IT UP!
Paulo Dybala was introduced into the 68th minute of action and he immediately had an impact on the game. He first saw an ambitious effort go wide of goal, before then capitalising on a badly placed back pass by Blazic to snatch it away and put it into the back of an empty net. Ferencvaros seemed to have lost the composure they displayed in the first half and they made another mistake which lead to Juve claiming a 4-0 away win. Dibusz misplaced his pass: Dybala was there again to intercept it and his effort took a deflection off Dvali and went into the back of the net. Ferencvaros got a consolation goal in the 90th minute when Boli saw his initial shot saved by Szczesny, but he knocked in the rebound as the game came to an end.
Ferencvaros: Dibusz; G Lovrencsics, Blazic, Dvali, Botka; Kharatin, Siger, Somalia; Zubkov, Isael, Nguen.
Juventus: Szczęsny; Cuadrado (Frabotta 76’), Bonucci, Chiellini, Danilo; Ramsey (McKennie 53’), Arthur (Bentancur 46’), Rabiot, Chiesa (Bernardeschi 76’); Morata (Dybala 68’), Ronaldo.
Juve subs: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Frabotta, McKennie, Bentancur, Bernardeschi, Portanova, Riccio, Dybala, Kulusevski.
With just over 24 hours to go until Juventus take on Ferencvaros at the Puskas Arena tomorrow evening, Coach Andrea Pirlo and Juan Cuadrado spoke to the media about the forthcoming fixture.
"Budapest is a beautiful city but we are here to play football, to have a great match and to win. The match against Barcelona made us understand that we need to improve. Facing a great team so early on may have also done us good. We have studied Ferencvaros. They are a quality team and they have had two good games in the Champions League, in which they deserved more. They have a good game plan and excellent attacking players. Having fans here tomorrow will also be a positive factor for us, because it helps us to raise our focus.”
“This is a splendid stadium in a beautiful city and it certainly makes us want to do well. Against Spezia we were good at being compact, playing short and moving the ball. We have the players to play great football and slowly we will succeed."
Cristiano Ronaldo came off the bench to score a brace as Juventus swept aside Spezia 4-1 at Dino Manuzzi Stadium in Cesena on Sunday afternoon. Alvaro Morata opened the scoring in the first half, by Ronaldo and Rabiot put the result beyond a doubt.
Having not won a game since Matchday Two, the Bianconeri knew they had to return to Turin with three points, and they did that! Andrea Pirlo welcomed the return of Cristiano Ronaldo, after a 19-day absence due to Covid-19, and he started from the bench while Morata and Dybala lead the attacking line.
MORATA OPENS ACCOUNT
Juventus were the first to threaten the opposition’s goal when Morata struck an angled drive that smacked the side netting, while Dybala saw his curling left-footed effort sail around the post by inches. The Spaniard striker did make it 1-0 in the 15th minute when Danilo fed McKennie into the box, the American unselfishly played the ball across the face goal to an open Morata who tapped it into the back of the net. Chiesa nearly doubled the lead seconds later with a strike that sailed just past the bottom of the upright.
Morata had the ball in the back of the net again, but it was flagged for offside. Spezia found themselves equal at 1-1 in the 32nd minute when a quick counterattack saw Pobega’s shot take a deflection and go into the back of the net. The half wrapped up with an excellent chance to Juventus when Morata received a looping ball: he ran up field and into the box, and played the ball across goal to McKennie – looking to return the favour from before – but Chabot slid across goal and pushed it out the far post just as Weston was approaching.
RONALDO COMES ON & SCORES
Ronaldo came on in the 56th minute of play and needed just three minutes to have an impact on the game. Morata played the ball to him between two defenders, he rounded it past the onrushing Provedel and blasted it into the back of the net to hand the Bianconeri the lead. Spezia had a goal of their disallowed for offside: Buffon pulled off a great save to deny Chabot’s header, but the rebound fell to Agudelo who fired it over the line only for the flag to be raised.
RABIOT SCORES, RONALDO CONVERTS A PENALTY
Pirlo then introduced Ramsey and Rabiot just after the hour mark, and the Frenchman was the second substitute to change the face of the game when he blasted the ball past the Spezia goalkeeper after having rounded his marker. Juventus were then awarded a penalty in the 75th minute after Chiesa was brought down in the box. Cristiano Ronaldo stood up to take the spot kick and he converted with a cheeky chip over the goalkeeper to make it 4-1. That wrapped up the match in Cesena, with the Bianconeri claiming all three points.
Spezia: Provedel; Ferrer, Chabot, Terzi, S Bastoni; Bartolomei, Ricci, Pobega; Verde, Nzola, Farias.
Juventus: Buffon; Demiral, Bonucci (Kulusevski 78’), Danilo; Cuadrado (Frabotta 78’), Bentancur (Rabiot 62’), Arthur, McKennie (Ramsey 62’), Chiesa; Morata, Dybala (Ronaldo 56’).
Subs: Szczęsny, Pinsoglio, Frabotta, Ramsey, Rabiot, Bernardeschi, Portanova, Ronaldo, Kulusevski.
For the very first time in Serie A, Juventus will face Spezia tomorrow in Cesena. This afternoon, Andrea Pirlo, from the press room of the Allianz Stadium, answered the questions of the journalists invited to the classic meeting on the eve of the match.
"Tomorrow is a game we must win. It will be difficult, as it was in Crotone, Spezia are a newly promoted side who are doing well. I know their coach (Vincenzo Italiano) well, we were on the same coaching course together. We will have to have a good match and take home an important three points for the continuation of our path."
"The negative result of the second swab has also arrived, so today Cristiano Ronaldo will be called up to the team. He is fine and has been training individually this morning. I don't think he will start from the beginning, we will see how it goes tomorrow."
"For Matthijs de Ligt, we have to wait another week, as said by the orthopedist. Leonardo Bonucci trained separately yesterday, but today with the team. He will be available against Spezia, whilst Giorgio Chiellini will not be called up in order to continue his recovery work. He is better, but not yet available."
THE BIANCONERI'S PLAY
"At this moment there is still a lack of reactivity in recovering the ball. In the defensive phase we are one of the teams that has conceded the fewest goals. We want to impose an offensive game, it's normal that there may be a few more opportunities in the game for the others. In midfield we need an amalgamation between players who have played little together up to now, it takes time to understand each other in the movements on the pitch, we are working on the re-aggression phase, it must be more immediate.
I'm not surprised about the pressure, I've always been in the spotlight and I'm used to having responsibilities. In the attack, Paulo Dybala is still not 100%, he needs to train and find the pace. Aaron Ramsey is also not at his best but we will take him to Cesena, one of our forwards should rest but now they have to play."
Alvaro Morata had three goals ruled out for offside, as Ousmane Dembélé’s first half goal and Lionel Messi’s second half penalty meant they secured a 0-2 away victory over 10-man Juventus at the Allianz Stadium on Wednesday evening in the UEFA Champions League.
After having both won in their opening group stage matches, the sides were looking to go in search of top spot by securing a win in this fixture. The Bianconeri were, of course, without Cristiano Ronaldo, Giorgio Chiellini and de Ligt, while Bonucci managed to return in time after picking up a knock on the weekend.
DEMBELE STRIKES FIRST
Barcelona took the lead in the 14th minute when Messi played the ball across field to Dembele on the opposite flank. He ran towards the box, fired at goal, which took a deflection, and it sailed into the back of the net.
MORATA’S OFFSIDE HAT-TRICK
Juve nearly responded almost immediately when Morata burst into the box and tapped home his initial rebounded save across the line, only for VAR to rule it offside. Morata had a second goal ruled out for offside on the stroke of the half hour mark, when he turned in Cuadrado’s cross. Szczesny then came to the rescue when he pulled off a double save to deny Messi first and then Dembele, while Griezmann fumbled his shot to allow for the Juve backline to clear. The Bianconeri went full attacking mode in the 55th minute and the Spanish striker found the back of the net for a third time after he converted Cuadrado’s cross, however to his dismay, it was ruled out for offside once again.
MESSI FROM THE SPOT
Pirlo’s men started to apply the pressure and they saw an effort by Rabiot flash wide of goal, before Danilo was called into action to make a decisive tackle to deny Messi from eight yards out. The game started to open up and Griezmann flashed his snapshot wide and out across the goal, while McKennie, Arthur and Bernardeschi came on for Kulusevski, Bentancur and Rabiot respectively. The Bianconeri were then reduced to 10 men after Demiral was shown a second yellow card with five minutes remaining. It would be Barca who wrapped up the victory with a late Messi penalty. Bernardeschi collided with Ansu Fati in the box to hand the Catalans a penalty in the 90th minute: the Argentine converted from the spot to secure a 2-0 away win.
Juventus: Szczęsny; Cuadrado, Demiral, Bonucci, Danilo; Kulusevski (McKennie 75’), Bentancur (83’), Rabiot (Bernardeschi 83’), Chiesa; Dybala, Morata.
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Buffon, Arthur, Ramsey, McKennie, Bernardeschi, De Winter, Frabotta, Portanova, Riccio.
Barcelona: Neto; Sergi Roberto, Araujo, Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Pjanic, De Jong; Pedri, Messi, Dembelé; Griezmann.
Barcelona bench: Inaki Pena, Tenas, Dest, Busquets, Alena, Braithwaite, Ricard Puig, Trincao, Ansu Fati, Junior Firpo.
Just over 24 hours remains until Juventus return to hosting duties at the Allianz Stadium in the UEFA Champions League, and up next, they will take on Barcelona. And previewing the match, Coach Andrea Pirlo and Danilo addressed invited media to discuss the forthcoming fixture.
Here’s what they had to say:
This evening we will have the definitive result from Cristiano's swab test. Chiellini and de Ligt are definitely out of tomorrow's game, however we'll evaluate Bonucci’s condition. Dybala is a bit tired, but that's normal after his first match as a starter, but he still has some time to recover.
Tomorrow, we'll see the players that we have available, Barcelona will force us to play a great match. McKennie is recovering but I don't think he will play in defence tomorrow. I hope that we will soon have the whole squad available to find the right set-up. We have a great opportunity to take on a top club. We'll face the match with the respect that it deserves, even if it won't be decisive. We really want to test our and their strength.
There are great players in Barça, despite some absences. The keys for us will be desire and determination. It will be difficult, but beautiful. For 15 years, Messi and Cristiano have done great things. For the first time, I'll be taking on Messi as a coach, I'll treat him with the enormous respect that he deserves.
Kulusevski and Fati are two players with great prospects, they play with the greatest players of their time and can learn a lot. They are however different in their characteristics. We'll play with four in defence, it's the only viable solution at this time. In midfield it will be a challenge between two very technical departments.
Koeman and I hit free-kicks very differently: he had a powerful shot, whereas I kicked balls in another way.
I feel good playing in this formation, we often have possession of the ball. I'm ready to give my best tomorrow and help the team win! We have to move fast and be focused. We are on the right track and we really want to learn and improve.
These are the best games to play in, we want to win and do well. It would have been better with the fans there, but we must be equally focused. Logically, not having Cristiano would be a blow to any team, but we have great confidence in ourselves, in our work and in our desire to play a great game.
Dejan Kulusevski’s goal wasn’t enough to secure a victory in Serie A for Juventus against Hellas Verona, as they played to a 1-1 draw at Allianz Stadium on Sunday evening. Both teams had goals ruled out, but at the end of the evening, nothing could separate them.
COLLEY GOAL DISALLOWED
Verona were the team doing most of the attacking play in the opening quarter of an hour. After winning two consecutive free-kicks, Ceccherini forced a save from Tek from a shot from range, before then seeing Colley slot the ball into the back of the net in what he thought was the opening goal. However, it was ruled out for offside.
JUAN CROSSBAR & MORATA CHIP RULED OUT
Juventus’ first chance of the match saw Bernardeschi’s effort turned around the post by Silvestri, while Ramsey’s cross into the box went beyond both Berna and Morata at the far post. The half wrapped up with two close calls for the hosts: Cuadrado came agonizingly close when he connected to a rolling ball in the box and fired it towards goal only to see his effort rattle off the crossbar. Alvaro Morata then thought he had handed the Bianconeri the lead on the stroke of half time when he chipped a delightful ball over the onrushing goalkeeper into the net only to see it ruled out for offside by VAR.
FAVILLI HANDS VERONA THE LEAD
The visitors proved very aggressive when going on the attack, and they threatened in the 55th minute with a snapshot from Zaccagni, who saw his save palmed over the goal frame by Szczesny. The Scaligeri grabbed a 1-0 lead on the stroke of the hour mark when substitute Favilli, who would then go off due to injury minutes later after having come on as a sub, got onto the end of Zaccagni’s pass and fired a ferocious left-footed ball past Szczesny. Pirlo lost Bonucci to injury in the 74th minute of action, seeing Frabotta come on in place of the center-back.
SOLO KULU EFFORT MAKES IT 1-1
The Bianconeri were getting closer and closer to an equalising goal and they were once again denied by the woodwork when Dybala’s effort, which took a deflection, turned into the inside of the crossbar. But they did get their goal when Kulusevski, who came on in the 60th minute, went on an excellent solo run that saw him cut into the box, pull off a series of stepovers and feints before firing an angled effort into the back of the net. The final minutes of the match saw Juventus laying on the pressure, and they forced Silvestri into making saves on Dybala, Morata and Cuadrado, but they couldn’t find that late match win.
Juventus: Szczęsny; Danilo, Bonucci (Frabotta 74’), Demiral; Cuadrado, Arthur, Rabiot, Bernardeschi (Kulusevski 60’); Ramsey (Vrioni 89’); Dybala, Morata.
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Buffon, McKennie, Bentancur, Frabotta, Portanova, Vrioni, Kulusevski, Rafia, Peeters.
Verona: Silvestri; Lovato, Ceccherini, Empereur; Faraoni, Vieira, Tameze, Lazovic; Colley, Zaccagni; Kalinic.
Verona bench: Berardi, Pandur, Dimarco, Barak, Favilli, Ilić, Terracciano, Cancellieri, Rüegg, Magnani, Dawidowicz, Amione.
The Bianconeri will be back on the field tomorrow evening, where they will play host to Hellas Verona. Ahead of the encounter, as per usual, Andrea Pirlo spoke to the media where he provided an update on his players, that Dybala will start tomorrow, and how it was to play in front of the fans again.
Here’s what he had to say:
We are well. Apart from Chiellini, all the players are available. We still await Cristiano's swab test results. For now, there's no news. Alex Sandro is recovering; he is working calmly. Physically and mentally de Ligt is ready to play. We are only waiting for the ok from the orthopedist. Bernardeschi is also recovering from an injury: my idea is to have him on the wing. He will be a good resource. Today, we are waiting for the eligibility of McKennie, so that he can be with us tomorrow.
DYBALA & MORATA
Tomorrow, Paulo Dybala will play. He didn't need to be prodded, he just had to recover and train. He will play from the start. I expected Alvaro Morata to have this impact, he knows Paulo well, together they can coexist and do great things. I'm asking Morata to play less on the counterattack but to be available for the play, to understand where the pressure comes from and maybe free the man for one on one.
PLAYING IN FRONT OF THE FANS
It's a surreal situation. On Tuesday, we played in front of 20 000 people and it felt like another world. Playing like this is not easy for anyone; however, having not done a pre-season camp, the quarantine is a great opportunity to be together.
We have many offensive solutions available: Dybala is fine, but we have many multipurpose players who can fill more positions. In midfield, all four players are compatible and interchangeable: they will rotate.
Alvaro Morata scored a brace against Dynamo Kiev to seal a 2-0 victory in the opening match of the UEFA Champions League group stage against Dynamo Kyiv. After a goalless first half, the Spanish striker scored on either end of the second half to stun the Ukrainians at the NSC Olimpiyskiy stadium.
FEW FIRST HALF CHANCES
The first chance of the game fell to the Bianconeri in the 12th minute, when Chiesa lead an attack down the left-hand side. He burst into the box, did a step over and fired towards goal, only to see Bushchan parry it away. Minutes later, a good chance fell to Chiellini at the near post when he headed a corner kick just wide of the target. That would be the last of the Skipper’s contribution as he had to be replaced by Demiral due to an injury. Cuadrado forced a save from the Dynamo goalkeeper, while a Ramsey-Kulusevski combination saw the Swede flick a backheel towards goal only for it to be pushed around the post.
MORATA BREAKS THE DEADLOCK
Juventus needed just 50 seconds into the second half to find the opening goal. Chiesa cut back, Ramsey backheeled to Kulusevski who was on the edge of the box. It was parried by Bushchan, but only as far as Morata who was poking around in front of goal and he directed the ball across the line.
Paulo Dybala made his first appearance of the season when he came on for Kulusevski in the 55th minute, but the game fell subject once again to a quiet rhythm with neither side creating chances. Sydorchuk’s effort from distance in the 75th minute sailed into the arms of Szczesny, while Arthur and Bernardeschi were introduced into the match with 11 minutes remaining. Four minutes later, Juventus wrapped up the victory after a swift attack down the right-hand side. Juan Cuadrado crossed in an excellent effort into the box, which met the onrushing Morata who made no mistake in nodding it into the back of the net.
Dynamo Kiev: Bushchan; Kedziora, Zabarnyi, Karavaev, Mykolenko; Sydorchuk, Shaparenko; Tsygankov, Buyalskiy, De Pena; Supryaha.
Juventus: Szczęsny; Danilo, Bonucci, Chiellini (Demiral 18’); Chiesa, Bentancur (Arthur 79’), Rabiot, Cuadrado; Ramsey (Bernardeschi 79’); Kulusevski (Dybala 55’), Morata.
Coach Andrea Pirlo and Captain Giorgio Chiellini took to the stage this evening in Kiev, where they discussed tomorrow’s Champions League opener against Dynamo Kiev.
Here is what they had to say!
Lucescu was my first coach, he put me in the first team at the age of 15. I have a wonderful memory of him, I will forever be thankful to him. It will be a good challenge between us tomorrow. He is an experienced coach. I know him well. Each of us will look to play our cards in the best way.
We don't have Cristiano available to us, but we have other players who can play in his position, as Alvaro Morata did in Crotone. We will decide the rest of the attack tomorrow. I am calm and serene. I'm looking forward to my first match as a coach in the Champions League. In this competition it is essential to start with a win, and we know what we have to do.
Dybala is coming back from 10 days of inactivity with Argentina. I took him to Crotone for him to get some minutes in his legs but then we went down to 10 men. I spoke to him and he is available. He is a fundamental player for us, but unfortunately, he wasn't physically fit. I'll have no problems choosing tomorrow's line-up, as we have the players suitable to play in a big match.
Ramsey has been training the last couple of days. We hope to have him available for the match. Playing a midfield with two holding midfielders is the best solution for our four midfielders, who can express themselves very well.
We haven't had the chance to work well together yet. The important thing is to keep improving, adapting to each other and winning. Tomorrow evening will already be very important. We begin every season trying to win. There is a great will and conviction that we can aspire to great goals.
Juve came away with just a point from a clash with a brave and determined Crotone side, but there was a feeling of regret after getting back into the game and not clinching all three points. Federico Chiesa was harshly sent off and the visitors spurned at least two fine chances to get the win. Alvaro Morata was denied by the post and then by VAR, with the 1-1 scoreline rewarding the hosts for their endeavour, but it is arguably less than the Bianconeri deserved on the night.
SIMY GIVES CROTONE THE LEAD FROM THE SPOT
In terms of team news, Chiesa made his debut for the Bianconeri, Manolo Portanova and Gianluca Frabotta lined up down the left, and Arthur and Rodrigo Bentancur started together for the first time. Andrea Pirlo’s selection for the clash at the Stadio Ezio Scida was certainly interesting, but there was little chance to analyse it before the hosts got on the front foot and Simy’s effort went just wide. With ten minutes on the clock, the newly promoted side was awarded a penalty when Arkadiusz Reca was brought down in the box by Leonardo Bonucci. Simy sent Gianluigi Buffon the wrong way to score his second goal against Juventus.
CHIESA AND MORATA LINK UP TO RESPOND IMMEDIATELY
Juve managed to keep their shape and although Crotone did generate some openings on the counter, the visitors got into their groove and upped the pace as the half wore on. Chiesa was instrumental in the equaliser after running on to a pinpoint through ball by Dejan Kulusevski that he was able to lay off for Morata, who diverted it into the gaping net for the equaliser.
CORDAZ AND BUFFON CALLED INTO ACTION
With the scoreline level, the Bianconeri looked to push on and build on their equaliser, but Crotone’s commitment and bravery made it a challenging contest. Chiesa and Morata caused the Rossoblu problems and just a few minutes before the break, the Spaniard released Portanova, but Cordaz was equal to his effort. Reca’s pace down the left wing was a constant threat, with the Pole whipping in a fine cross that Pedro Pereira met, but his shot was parried by Buffon.
JUVE DOWN TO TEN MEN
Crotone came out aggressively at the start of the second half, pinning Juve back and going close to a second goal when Luca Cigarini took aim from just inside the box, but his effort flew off target. Pirlo responded by bringing on Juan Cuadrado for Portanova, but just five minutes later, Chiesa fouled Cigarini in the middle of the park. While it didn’t seem to be a particularly dangerous challenge, referee Francesco Fourneau deemed it worthy of a red card, leaving the Bianconeri down to ten men.
MORATA DENIED BY POST AND VAR
Having ended up a man light away to Roma before the international break, it was a similar story here as the team managed to play on the front foot despite the numerical disadvantage. Morata’s fine header from Kulusevski’s free-kick hit the inside of the post and a relieved Cordaz was able to gather the ball on the goal-line just after Chiesa’s dismissal. Pirlo then brought on Adrien Rabiot and Federico Bernardeschi for Arthur and Kulusevski in search of the winner, with the Uruguayan picking out Cuadrado in space down the right wing just moments after coming on.
The Colombian dribbled into the area and crossed the ball towards Morata, who managed to direct it into the goal, but after a long VAR check, it was chalked off because the Spaniard’s foot was in an offside position. Just a matter of centimetres cost Juventus all three points and although the visitors continued to press for a winner during the seven minutes of stoppage time, in the end the spoils were shared in Calabria.
CROTONE 1-1 JUVENTUS
SCORERS: Simy (pen) 12, Morata 21.
Cordaz; Pedro Pereira (Rispoli 28), Magallan, Marrone, Luperto, Reca; Molina (Petriccione 87), Cigarini, Vulic (Siligardi 73); Messias, Simy.
Subs not used: Festa, Crespi, Cuomo, Golemic, Crociata, Rojas, Eduardo.
Buffon; Danilo, Bonucci, Demiral; Chiesa, Arthur (Rabiot 69), Bentancur, Frabotta; Kulusevski (Bernardeschi 69), Portanova (Cuadrado 56); Morata.
Subs not used: Szczęsny, Pinsoglio, Chiellini, Peeters, Dybala, Vrioni, Rafia.
ASSISTANTS: Lo Cicero, Cecconi.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Pezzuto.
VAR: Abisso, Longo.
BOOKED: Bonucci 11, Cigarini 14, Portanova 37, Kulusevski 45, Rezza 66, Magallan 83.
SENT OFF: Chiesa 60.
At the end of September, the Juventus Museum launched a path dedicated to those hard of hearing: an initiative that saw Juventus closely collaborate with the Italian National Deaf Organisation - Piedmont Regional Committee and the "Segni di Integrazione" cooperative, to translate the content of the museum into Italian Sign Language.
Thanks to the involvement of some deaf university students, 11 QR-Codes were produced positioned along the walls of the museum, which accompany visitors throughout the visit with videos made in Sign Language, visible using a smartphone.
Today, the visit took place at Juventus Museum and throughout the day, numerous groups of those hard of hearing trialled the new path, making Juventus Museum unique in both Italy and in Europe, for having such an initiative. In the morning, the President of the Juventus Museum, Paolo Garimberti received the ENS National President, Giuseppe Petrucci, and the President of the ENS Piedmont Regional Committee Antonio Iozzo.
"Visiting the Juventus Museum and knowing that I can do it using my language makes me feel at home: today I am in a place where I feel free and autonomous in communication, where everything is also made to measure for those hard of hearing - said Petrucci - I am very satisfied with the work that has been done here. the shirt I received as a gift has a value that goes beyond the sporting symbol. Having received it today, on the occasion of this great event of breaking down the barriers to communication, makes me very happy and proud.
This is the only sports museum in Italy and Europe to have a path of this type and here Football will also speak the Italian Sign Language: it is called linguistic accessibility and I can firmly declare that this initiative is exactly what is foreseen by the UN Convention: of a person's right to use their mother tongue, the language they love and identify with. The language of football and sports has in general, always united all languages; this project was created from a national initiative, known as: Accessible Museums for Deaf People. I thank the Juventus Museum for having accepted the challenge and for having given the opportunity to a team of hard of hearing youngsters to be its protagonists.
The development of those that are young and hard of hearing, their preparation and their experiences are a guarantee for our future and this is a great opportunity."
As per usual on the eve of a match, Andrea Pirlo took to the stage in the Allianz Stadium media room, where he spoke about tomorrow night’s outing and chatted about his players.
Here is what he had to say:
I don't think there are any problems with regards to playing tomorrow. We will be ready as always. We tried one type of game against Roma and maybe we'll try another one tomorrow against Napoli. There is a possibility that Arthur will play from the beginning. Cuadrado and Frabotta are potential starters. Napoli has shown a change of mentality, with the arrival of Gattuso. They are a strong and cohesive team. We know what we have to do.
Paulo Dybala needed to undergo a recovery period. We will understand if he can start from the beginning of the match or come on during it. Ronaldo is the first to arrive and the last to leave for training. His spirit is fundamental to us. He started the season well. Morata is a functional player, we signed him on purpose. I don't think he played badly. He didn't have a lot of time to get involved. He is a strong player
If someone arrives, we will only see him on Monday evening. Fabio Paratici is working on it. Sami Khedira, Mattia de Sciglio and Douglas Costa are training like everyone else and are available to play.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s two goals were not enough as Juventus and Roma played out to a 2-2 draw at Stadio Olimpico on Sunday evening. Veretout scored twice for the Giallorossi, while the Portuguese attacker’s two equalisers, one which was scored with Juve down to 10 men, meant that points had to be shared.
VERETOUT CONVERTS PENALTY
The opening 20 minutes saw both teams going in search of their rhythm, and it was Roma who had the first effort at goal when Mkhitaryan worked his way past the backline and let rip at goal, only for Szczesny to pull off a great save to deny him. Roma took the lead just after the half hour, after a Rabiot handball saw the referee signal to the spot. Veretout stood up to take the spot kick, and his ball went under Tek and off the inside of the post. Ramsey nearly equalised moments later when he directed Ronaldo’s excellent cross just inches wide of the post.
RONALDO TOO, BUT VERETOUT RESPONDS
The scoreline turned to 1-1 just before the stroke of half time when Juventus were awarded a penalty too, this time from a hand ball by Pellegrini. Ronaldo made no mistake from the spot and fired in a powerful effort. But that wasn’t to be the last goal of the half, as Roma quickly found themselves working a counterattack. Mkhitaryan played the ball across to Veretout, who found himself open at goal and he fired in a strong effort to make it 2-1 in favour of Roma going into the break.
CR7 NODS HOME
Roma nearly started the second half in the same way they ended the first half, when Dzeko capaitalised on a defensive error to fire at goal, but he was denied by the upright. Pirlo then opted for a double change by bringing on Douglas Costa and Arthur in place of McKennie and Arthur, before then being reduced to 10 men after Rabiot was shown a second yellow. Despite the man disadvantage, the Bianconeri were pushing for that equaliser and they got it in the 69th minute through a towering leap by Ronaldo that saw him effortlessly nod home the equalizing goal. Frabotta was brought on with five minutes to go in place of Kulusevski, but that wasn’t enough to grab a late winner as the points were shared.
Roma: Mirante; Mancini, Ibanez, Kumbulla; Santon, Veretout, Pellegrini, Spinazzola; Mkhitaryan, Pedro; Dzeko.
Juventus: Szczęsny; Danilo, Bonucci, Chiellini; Kulusevski (Frabotta 85’), McKennie (Arthur 58’), Rabiot, Ramsey (Bentancur 68’), Cuadrado; Cristiano Ronaldo, Morata (Douglas Costa 58’).
Subs: Buffon, Pinsoglio, De Sciglio, Rugani, Demiral, Frabotta, Arthur, Bentancur, Portanova, Dybala, Douglas Costa, Vrioni.
Andrea Pirlo addressed invited media today at the Allianz Stadium, where he spoke about his team’s progress in training, how he is progressing as a coach, and provided updates on his players along with Alvaro Morata.
Here’s what he had to say:
We are increasing the workload, and the team has responded well: we worked even better than last week. The boys are hungry and motivated, despite having won a lot. This enthusiasm and this desire to improve reassures me a lot.
Coaching is a different emotion, because I don't decide, but I depend on the players who take to the field. In my head, I've been trying to figure out for a while how to make the boys perform at their best.
We waited for a forward and he arrived. Alvaro Morata knows us well, I was lucky enough to play with him: he was one of our priorities, on a technical and tactical level he is the player we were looking for.
We have worked with Dybala, who has gradually returned to the group. Let's see how he is today and then we will decide if he comes to Rome. Pellegrini went to Genoa to play more, due to next year’s European Championship. De Sciglio is available, just like last week. We had a talk with Sami Khedira to understand the best solution, for him and for us. Arthur comes from a period of inactivity but has worked well. He is settling in, on a tactical and physical level. Bernardeschi and Douglas Costa are two forward and wing players. There they will have to give their best.
THE LEAGUE & ROTATION
The opponents have strengthened a lot, it will be a thrilling league. Nobody has an advantage; we will have to fight until the last day. Turnover? After one match day it is difficult to implement. I will try to field the best team according to our tactical needs and the characteristics of Roma.
A welcome return to the Juventus management staff has been made official for Marco Storari, who returns to the Bianconeri set-up, in the Sporting Area, as 'Professional's Talent Development'.
The former goalkeeper played for Juventus for five seasons, between 2010 and 2015, winning four Scudetti, two Italian Super Cups and an Italian Cup.
Now, he is returning to Juve with a new role and an important task: to develop new Juventus talents.
All the best, Marco! And welcome back!
Juventus started their Serie A campaign with a win 3-0 win over Sampdoria at Allianz Stadium on Sunday evening. Kulusevski opened the scoring in the first, before second half goals from Leonardo Bonucci and Cristiano Ronaldo ensured the result.
KULU STRIKES ON DEBUT
It was Andrea Pirlo’s first ever official match on the Juventus bench, and his first formation saw the Bianconeri line-up in a 5-4-1 formation. The home side dominated possession from the get-go, and they nearly went a goal up in the sixth minute when Danilo struck a fierce effort that flew over the left corner by inches. Ronaldo was denied by an Audero save from close range, but just minutes later they were 1-0 up after Kulusevski fired in an angled left-footed drive that rattled the back of the net to give himself a great to his debut. The Portuguese then smacked the crossbar after a promising breakaway, before firing an effort inches wide after Ramsey played him in.
BONUCCI DOUBLES THE LEAD
The opening minute of the second stanza saw equal play between both sides, with neither team testing the opposition’s goalkeeper. De Sciglio, who had replaced Frabotta, saw his effort skim just wide of the far post. The Bianconeri were finding their rhythm against and they doubled the lead after a goalmouth scramble. McKennie had initially prodded it straight at Audero, but the rebound fell in the path of Bonucci, who then poked it over the line from close range. The American was find himself in good positions inside the box and he came close to getting a third but Audero pulled off an impressive save off the line to somehow block his effort with his foot!
AND RONALDO WRAPS IT UP
Sampdoria threatened with an effort from Quagliarella, but it would be Ronaldo who would have the final say when he made it 3-0. Ramsey played a smart through ball for the CR7, who struck an angled drive into the far bottom corner to wrap up all three points.
Juventus: Szczęsny; Bonucci, Chiellini (Demiral 85’), Danilo; Cuadrado (Bentancur 78’), Rabiot, McKennie, Frabotta (De Sciglio 67’); Kulusevski (Douglas Costa 82’), Cristiano Ronaldo, Ramsey.
Sampdoria: Audero; Bereszynski, Tonelli, Colley, Augello; Depaoli, Thorsby, Ekdal, Leris, Jankto; Bonazzoli.
Andrea Pirlo spoke to invited journalists where he previewed his first ever Serie A match as head coach of the Bianconeri, touched on aspects of his players and what he hopes to see.
Here is what he had to say:
A NEW SEASON
The pre-season was short for everyone; we weren't able to play much. We needed the minutes that the internationals got in their legs. We have a lot of games with little time to prepare. A new season begins, we start from scratch and we have to face it with desire and ferocity. I'm going to tell the guys tomorrow that we have to get off to a good start.
Ranieri is a great coach, tomorrow will be a difficult match. Samp will play with very tight lines and will look for restarts: we are prepared. Tomorrow I would like to see what we have prepared from the beginning: the search for the ball, mastery of the field and a proactive attitude. We're doing it well, the inputs are coming into our heads
PIRLO AS A COACH
Doubts? I don't have any. Certainties? I'm at Juve, I coach a team of champions, it was easy for me to fit in and I'm fine. I don't have to show the differences with Sarri's Juve: we have the same goals. I carry on my idea of football, which must be aggressive and based on mastery of the game. This period has not changed me; like I was a footballer, I'll be a coach. There are those who speak well of me and those who have doubts, but for me nothing changes: I am sure of what I am doing. The formation depends on the players you have available, in order to get the best out of them.
Higuain communicated his desire to change leagues, we managed to find a mutual agreement. Arthur comes from La Liga and he must know our league; let's give everyone time to settle down. Douglas Costa is a strong player. He's had some physical difficulties, we're working to get him to the top, he'll give us a big hand. Chiellini, Bonucci and they are Buffon are behaving in a very professional way, they call me Mister, out of respect also to the companions. Kulusevski is intelligent, he finds his position alone. He is showing great openness to playing in different roles.
The Bianconeri’s first friendly ahead of the new campaign saw them win convincingly against Novara, with Cristiano Ronaldo putting Juve a goal up in the first half, as Aaron Ramsey, Marko Pjaca and a late brace from Manolo Portanova completing the rout in the second.
ANALYSING THE TEAM
Juve-Novara proved to be a very useful test, with one week to go until the new Serie A season kicks off, especially to see how well the newcomers are bedding in.
In the opening 11 minutes, two new Bianconeri are heavily involved in the attack, namely Dejan Kulusevski (in the forward line alongside Ronaldo) and Weston McKennie in midfield. The first blast of the match arrives from McKennie, a left-footed shot from the edge of the area on five minutes, with an identical effort coming from Juan Cuadrado at the stroke of a quarter-of-an-hour. In both cases, the intervention of the opposing goalkeeper, Ivan Lanni is fundamental in keeping out the strikes.
The best link-up play comes on 20 minutes, as Ronaldo opens the scoring with a sharp right foot of his own, which slips unstoppably into the far corner, at the end of a fine passing passage of play involving Kulusevski.
Novara, who play in Serie C, set up as expected, playing a stand-off game, trying to limit the damage without risking too much and attempting to strike on the counter-attack. Juve therefore maintains a great deal of possession, whilst testing out formations and going for goal as much as possible. With further strikes in the first half to come from Ramsey and Ronaldo but the goal is left untroubled.
SECOND HALF DOMINATION
Just 11 minutes after the restart and Douglas Costa, one of the many substitutes after the interval, crosses deep to the far post for the on-rushing Ramsey to tap home, beating Lanni with a great touch. 10 minutes later and another second half sub makes their mark, with Pjaca stabbing home after his first attempt on goal is blocked to make it 3-0.
During the second half two other "new" players are on the field, namely: Arthur and Luca Pellegrini. Their impact on the game is good, with Pellegrini pushing to the left and Arthur sweeping the opposing half, carrying the ball and often dictating the tempo.
Right at the death Portanova pounces, scoring twice in two minutes, for a brilliant personal brace.
The match finishes 5-0, with the team therefore, getting off to a good start, in view of the official start of the season.
COACH PIRLO'S THOUGHTS
"I am satisfied because it's the first match and we only had two days to prepare for it after the return of the players from international duty. The guys worked hard, they've had good training sessions and this was the most important thing. We are trying many different formations, in the first half we played with a four-man defence that in the attacking phase became three, whilst in the second half we remained with the three fixed at the back and with three up top. Now we are preparing for our season debut on Sunday, we have one week to get ready."
WATCH JUVE-NOVARA IN FULL ON JUVENTUS TV!
From Verona, where last championship ended, to the beginning of the new Serie A season for Juventus Women. Coach Rita Guarino couldn't have hoped for a better start to the 2020/21 campaign, as her girls won 2-0 at the Sinergy Stadium with goals from Cristiana Girelli and Arianna Caruso decisive. The same goal scorers from last season's winning debut (on that occasion in Vinovo against Empoli).
GOALLESS AT THE HALF
Despite the convincing finish to the game, the Bianconere were made to work for the win, with Verona showing their resilience in what was a goalless first half. Juve dominated the play from the off and had two chances immediately in both the fourth and fifth minute, but neither Aurora Galli nor Girelli could find the target. However, Lisa Boattin stepped up with a great free-kick from a tight angle that agonisingly struck the post on 15 minutes. The woodwork would again play a pivotal part in denying Barbara Bonansea's header just before the end of the half.
CARUSO & GIRELLI DECISIVE
The Bianconere emerged from the locker room in the second half with the same determination that they showed in the first and it didn't take long to finally break down the stubborn Verona defence. Girelli opened Juve's account for the season in classic Girelli fashion, heading home from a corner kick.
It was to be two, just three minutes later when some great combination play between Girelli and Bonansea led the ball into the path of Caruso who's left-footed strike gave Francesca Durante no chance in the Verona goal. Despite the Bianconere's dominance, Verona found themselves with a way back into the match 10 minutes from time.
Laura Giuliani was adjudged to have brought down on-loan forward Asia Bragonzi and a penalty was awarded to the hosts. However, Rossella Sardu failed to convert kicking high and wide. In the closing stages the frame of the goal would once again deny Bonansea who hit the crossbar. In the dying embers, Alice Berti replaced Caruso to make her Bianconere debut, a big moment for the 16-year old born in 2003.
"It was important to start off on the right foot by winning the three points on a difficult pitch like that of Verona's and in a period in which the high temperatures are felt especially now that we are at the beginning of the season and our conditions are not yet at 100%. I'm happy with the result and having given Alice Berti the chance to make her Serie A debut. We'll keep these three points tight and start thinking about the next one."
On Saturday 22nd August at 17:45 CEST, Juventus Women play away to Hellas Verona in the Bianconere's first game of the season.
The match will be shown LIVE on Juventus TV.
Here are the players in full selected by Rita Guarino:
20 Souza Alves
Yesterday morning, Matthijs de Ligt underwent stabilisation surgery on his right shoulder, at the UPMC Salvator Mundi clinic in Rome. The operation, performed by Dr. Volker Musahl, assisted by doctors, Bryson Lesniak and Fabrizio Margheritini and in the presence of Juventus Head of Medical Department, Luca Stefanini, was a complete success.
The estimated recovery time is approximately three months.
Juventus claimed a 2-1 win over Lyon at Allianz Stadium on Friday evening, but were unfortunately eliminated from the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 due to the away goal rule. The overall scoreline finished 2-2.
TALE OF TWO PENALTIES: DEPAY FIRST
The start of the game saw two of Juventus’ attacking chances blown for offside, before then seeing Lyon lay on the attack. Szczesny was forced into making a fingertip save on Aouar with nine minutes on the clock, before then being awarded a penalty kick after Bentancur was judged to have made a late challenge in the box a minute later. Depay stood up to take the penalty and he chipped it into the back of the net to hand Lyon a 1-0 lead at Allianz Stadium. Bernardeschi had a shot blocked from point blank range, while Ronaldo directed his header from nine yards out off target.
Anthony Lopes was only really called into action in the 37th minute when he was forced to make a free-kick off Higuain’s glancing header. The Lyon shot-stopper was tested just minutes later when Ronaldo struck a free-kick, and he pulled off a one-handed save to push it away from the goal frame. Juventus were laying on the attack and they were awarded a penalty in the 43rd minute after a handball on Depay in the box. Ronaldo stood up to take it, and he made no error in slicing it past Lopes to put the teams level at the break.
RONALDO BULLET BUT IT’S NOT ENOUGH
The second half saw both teams on edge as they knew what was at stake, and scrappy play took place by both teams. However, it was Juventus who managed to get a crucial second goal when Ronaldo picked up the ball on the edge of the box and struck it into the top right corner to put the scoreline at 2-1 (2-3 on aggregate).
Ramsey, Dybala and Danilo were all introduced into the game, as Ronaldo saw his glancing header skim just over the crossbar by inches. Lyon were itching to get the equalising goal and they had several half chances in the box, but each time the Bianconeri defence persevered. Dybala couldn’t last the remainder of the game and he limped off in the 84th minute due to injury. Juventus tried with all their might to get that last-minute goal, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.
Juventus: Szczęsny; Cuadrado (Danilo 70’), Bonucci, De Ligt, Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic (Ramsey 62’), Rabiot; Bernardeschi (Dybala 70’ Olivieri 84’), Higuain, Ronaldo.
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Buffon, Chiellini, Ramsey, Dybala, Danilo, Matuidi, Rugani, Demiral, Olivieri, Muratore.
Lyon: Lopes; Denayer, Marcelo, Marçal; Dubois, Caqueret, Bruno Guimarães, Aouar, Cornet; Ekambi, Depay.
Lyon bench: Tatarusanu, Diomande, Andersen, Rafael, Dembele, Traore, Mendes, Reine-Adelaide, Jean Lucas, Tete, Bard, Cherki.
Focus, determination and hunger are the key ingredients that were underlined in today’s press conference when Maurizio Sarri and Leonardo Bonucci took the stage. Both Coach and player spoke about what was needed from the team in order to overturn the 1-0 deficit, all while previewing tomorrow’s fixture set to take place at Allianz Stadium.
Here is what they had to say.
SARRI: “A GREAT PERFORMANCE IS NEEDED”
“Tomorrow will be a game that we will need play with a clear head. A great performance is needed, Lyon has grown a lot and become solid defensively. Higuain and Pjanic? They are two players on the rise. Ronaldo is training in the right manner, yesterday he scored an excellent goal in training. He played many games in a short time, he rested a little and now he has trained with intensity and strength.
“We will try to recover Dybala up until tomorrow morning, at the moment he's still training with the medical staff. Cuadrado will most likely start from the first minute, let's see whether it is from the defensive line or in a more attacking position.
“Playing without fans, even tomorrow, will not be pleasant. The most important competition in the world, the Champions League, would need it even more. Let's hope that the right conditions will soon be in place in order for fans to return.
“Lyon defends with intensity and efficiency and counter-attacks really well. The result of the first-leg allows them to set the game according to their characteristics. It will be a very difficult game, but not an impossible one.
“We are happy to have won possibly the most difficult Serie A in history. Now it would be great to go to Portugal and play the Final 8 as it would mean entering the world's élite.”
BONUCCI: “WE MUST GIVE 100%”
“All of us, with a word, a gesture, an injection of positive energy, can determine how the game unfolds. The focus is on this game, and on the desire to overturn the result; we must only look at ourselves. The Juve seen after the lockdown has shown good things. This week we were fortunate enough to train really well. Tomorrow we must play as a team and give 110%. To play without our fans is not nice, and we will need to be even more focused in order to go to Lisbon.”
GARCIA & MEMPHIS’ WORLDS
Memphis: “Tomorrow will be a very special game."
Garcia: "It's all in our own hands, the qualification to the quarter-finals will depend on us. Juventus won the league beforehand; I don't think they'll be tired. The players will be prepared and have the right game tempo. For us it will be a disadvantage, but the game in the French League Cup showed that our physical form is good.
It's a shame that fans won't be present tomorrow: we look forward to having them back soon, as football is made to be played in front of fans. Juve is a great team and it is demonstrated by the fact that even this year they won the Scudetto. But tomorrow we won't only want to defend, we will also want to score a goal. Juve have many great players, many stars. Everyone can move the needle; we are humble, but very ambitious: we want to qualify.
Juventus ended off their Serie A season as champions but fell to Roma in their final game of league, as the Giallorossi claimed a 3-1 win at Allianz Stadium on Saturday evening. Higuain opened the scoring, but a goal from Kalinic and a brace from Perotti saw them take the three points.
PIPITA OPENS SCORING
Having secured the Scudetto title with two matches to spare, the Bianconeri could enjoy the fixture and the night, as Captain Chiellini was able to swing aloft the Scudetto trophy. Juventus needed just five minutes to snatch the lead in the game when a corner kick directed into the box saw Rabiot flick it towards the back post. Higuain was ready and he fired it into the back of the net.
ROMA RESPOND THROUGH KALINIC & PEROTTI
Little goalmouth action followed as the sweltering heat impacted the tempo of the game. Roma, however, did score an equalizer in the 23rd minute when Kalinic got onto the end of ball and turned it into the back of the net with his head. The young Frabotta then threatened after he turned a quick give-and-go into a ferocious angled drive that flashed wide of goal. Roma were enjoying the majority of the possession and they had a goal disallowed in the 37th minute when a Calafiori effort on the volley was flagged after the ball had gone out on the initial play. The Giallorossi did take the lead just before the break when they were awarded a penalty in the 43rd minute for a foul on Calafiori. Diego Perotti stood up to take the effort, and he sliced the ball under Szczesny to make it 1-2
PEROTTI SECURES THREE POINTS FOR ROMA
Demiral marked his return to action against the exact same team he sustained his knee injury against, as he replaced Bonucci, while Ramsey came on in place of Rabiot. Straight after the changes, Roma added to their scoreline when Zaniolo went on a good run up field to feed Perotti, who then sliced it into the back of the net to make it 3-1. In an attempt to pull one back, Ramsey combined well with Higuain but turned his effort onto the upright.
Szczesny then pulled off a great one-handed save to turn Perotti’s effort around the post, while Olivieri came on for Bernardeschi and Vrioni for Higuain. The remaining minutes of the game saw no change to the scoreline as the visitors claimed an away win.
Juventus: Szczęsny; Danilo, Rugani, Bonucci (Demiral 50’), Frabotta; Rabiot (Ramsey 50’), Muratore, Matuidi; Zanimacchia, Higuain (Vrioni 79’), Bernardeschi (Olivieri 72’).
Subs: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Chiellini, Alex Sandro, Cuadrado, Demiral, Wesley, Ramsey, Bentancur, Peeters, Olivieri, Vrioni.
Roma: Fuzato; Smalling, Ibanez, Fazio; Zappacosta, Villar, Veretout, Calafiori; Zaniolo, Perotti; Kalinic.
The Italian Champions will return home tomorrow evening (20:45 CEST) as they will host Roma at the Allianz Stadium in the last Serie A match of the season. It will be an occasion to celebrate at home and raise the Scudetto to the night sky.
“Who will play tomorrow? We'll assess it today and tomorrow morning, depending on who needs to rest and who is fit to play. Between tomorrow and Friday there will be a big difference in terms of mentality. We'll need to be good at recovering all energies possible. Tomorrow will play who is fit and we'll try to make it a day of celebration. I can see two light-hearted teams tomorrow evening, with clear heads: a beautiful game can come out of it.”
THE BIANCONERI’S FORM
“Let's see how Cristiano feels for tomorrow, he's one of the players that played the most in the entire season. With regards to Aaron Ramsey, might be back with the team today and there are good possibilities that he plays in the #UCL. Dybala is with the medical staff, everything is proceeding well, but I don't know when he'll be back with the group.”
“We're playing much higher on the pitch, with a better level of ball possession, and for it being my first year at the club, I'm very happy, and I know we have margins for improvement. It was a peculiar season, very difficult and devastating for everyone, something we've never seen before; teams are tired both mentally and physically. In a profession like ours, to be able to take a break for twenty days is vital: I hope that the league restarts in the appropriate time frame in order to allow players and staff to recharge."
First half goals from Gagliano and Simeone saw Cagliari stun the Italian Champions by claiming a 2-0 Serie A win at the Sardegna Arena on Wednesday evening.
Having secured the Scudetto on the weekend against Sampdoria, the Italian Champions were looking to claim another win in the penultimate match of the season. However, it didn’t go to plan…
GAGLIANO & SIMEONE HAND CAGLIARI LEAD
Muratore had the first effort of the game with an effort that was saved by Cragno, but it was Cagliari who took the lead with eight minutes on the clock when the young Gagliano got onto the end of a cross to tap it over the line. Ronaldo thought he had found the equalizer when he got onto the end of Bernardeschi’s ball, but it was disallowed due to offside.
Bonucci threatened with a powerful effort from range just after the half hour, which sailed out by inches at the far post. Cuadrado then had an attempt of his own when his angled drive flashed wide of the far post, while Bentancur struck a strong hit inside the box that was blocked by Cragno’s legs. The Rossoblu were looking threatening when on the attack and they doubled the lead in stoppage time when Simeone controlled the ball, pulled off a feint and then fired straight past Buffon.
BATTLE OF GOALKEEPERS
The Sardinians started the second half showing their determination to add a third goal, and they immediately threatened with an effort from Paloschi that sailed wide of the target. Buffon then proved why he is still playing at the age of 42 when he pulled off an excellent one-handed save to deny Simeone’s acrobatic volley with a one-handed save, but it was then flagged for offside. Cragno was next to be called into action when he palmed away Alex Sandro’s effort over the bar, before beating away Ronaldo’s snapshot. Bernardeschi saw his shot from Matuidi’s cross go wide of goal, before Cragno had the last important save of the game with an acrobatic effort on Zanimacchia’s looping strike. Despite Juve’s attempt to turn the scoreline around, the game ended in favour of the Rossoblu.
Cagliari: Cragno; Walukiewicz, Ceppitelli, Klavan; Faragò, Rog, Ionita, Mattiello; Joao Pedro, Simeone, Gagliano.
Juventus: Buffon; Cuadrado, Bonucci, Rugani, Alex Sandro; Bentancur (Peeters 75’), Pjanic (Matuidi 61’), Muratore (Zanimacchia 61’); Bernardeschi, Higuain (Olivieri 88’), Ronaldo.
Subs: Szczęsny, Pinsoglio, Demiral, Coccolo, Wesley, Frabotta, Matuidi, Peeters, Olivieri, Vrioni, Zanimacchia.
Juventus claimed an unprecedented ninth successive Serie A title when they defeated Sampdoria 2-0 on Sunday evening at Allianz Stadium. Ronaldo scored at the end of the first half to hand the Bianconeri the lead, while Bernardeschi wrapped up the victory as Ranieri’s side finished the game with 10 men.
JUVE LOSE DANILO & DYBALA
The game didn’t see many chances occur in the opening 20 minutes, and it was the home side to threaten first at goal when Bonucci played a long ball up field, Matuidi then crossed it into the box for Ronaldo, who jumped up to nod it towards goal only to be blown for a foul on Chabot. Danilo was forced into being substituted at the half hour mark, after a clash of heads with Ramirez left him dizzy, and it meant that he was taken off in place of Bernardeschi, with Cuadrado moving to right-back. Sampdoria were starting to put on the pressure, and Quagliarella had two efforts at goal in quick succession which Tek was equal to. Five minutes before the break, Sarri was forced into making a second change as Dybala came off for Higuain.
RONALDO BREAKS THE DEADLOCK
Ronaldo unleashed a flying effort that sailed just high of the target, before a Bernardeschi effort stung the palms of Audero. Six minutes of stoppage time where added at the end of the half, and Juve took advantage of the extra time as they went into the break with the lead after Ronaldo got onto the end of a Pjanic cross and fired it home into the bottom of the corner.
BERNA SEALS SCUDETTO
The start of the second half saw both teams threaten at goal: Higuain and Ronaldo couldn’t turn Pjanic’s long free-kick into the back of the net, while Leris prodded Ramirez’s cross just inches wide of the upright. Szczesny was then called into making a fingertip save on Yoshida’s free-kick, while Audero did the exact same when he parried away Ronaldo’s effort from close range. Juventus made it 2-0 and moved one step closer to securing the Scudetto when Audero spilled Ronaldo’s effort: Bernardeschi pounced on the loose ball and it poked it into the back of the net.
RONALDO MISSES PENALTY
Quagliarella nearly responded with a goal of his own, when he sent in a glancing header off Leris cross and saw his effort palmed away by Szczesny. Samp were then reduced to 10 men when Thorsby, who was already on a yellow, was shown a second for a late challenge on Pjanic. De Ligt and Pjanic were then replaced by Rugani and Bentancur, while Juventus were awarded a penalty in the 88th minute after Alex Sandro was brought down inside the box. Ronaldo stood up to take the penalty, but he, unusually, didn’t convert it, as he blasted it against the crossbar. It didn’t end there though, as the Bianconeri were denied from making it 3-0, this time with a dramatic goal line clearance by Yoshida on Bonucci inside stoppages.
Juventus: Szczęsny; Danilo (Bernardeschi 29’), De Ligt (Rugani 78’), Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Rabiot, Pjanic (Bentancur 78’), Matuidi; Cuadrado, Dybala (Higuain 39’), Ronaldo.
Subs: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Rugani, Demiral, Ramsey, Bentancur, Muratore, Higuain, Bernardeschi, Olivieri, Zanimacchia.
Sampdoria: Audero; Tonelli, Yoshida, Chabot, Augello; Depaoli, Linetty, Thorsby, Jankto; Ramirez, Quagliarella.
Juventus will host Sampdoria at the Allianz Stadium tomorrow evening, on Matchday 36 in the Serie A calendar. Today, Maurizio Sarri presented the game in his briefing to invited journalists at Allianz Stadium.
"Tomorrow, we want to bring home the three points and reach our goal. We must be clear-headed and enter the pitch with great determination. In Udine in the last game we lost our organisation after we gave too much. We broke up and stretched out too much because of our desire to attack."
"Sampdoria are a team that have found their way of playing and their width, they are able to keep organised for long periods of the game. They have five our of their last nine matches, so they won't be an easy side to face. They may give the impression of not having much motivation because of their league standing, but that will not be the case, because they have just lost a derby. Right now, nobody can overcome us in terms of motivation, we have a clear goal in mind."
THE BIANCONERI'S SEASON
"I give the team a good mark, as this is the most difficult season in the history of Italian football. In the results of the last games there have been enormous difficulties for all of the teams. In such a complicated season, the team have done well, despite having room for improvement."
"He has played 46 games this season. I didn't play him in the last two because I made different choices against physical teams. Miralem Pjanic has played a lot and at the moment he has a small fixable ache, Today, he is back in the group and we'll see tomorrow if he will play or not."
A stoppage time Fofana goal met Udinese claimed a 2-1 victory over Juventus at Dacia Arena on Thursday evening. Matthijs de Ligt broke the deadlock with a first half strike, but goals from Nestorovski and Fofana saw them snatch the three points.
DE LIGT BREAKS THE DEADLOCK
The Bianconeri first attempt came with four minutes on the clock when Ronaldo received the ball on the edge of the box, he then turned and fired the ball straight into Musso’s arms. The post saved Juventus from suffering an early goal when a cross, which took a touch off Danilo, rattled the upright. The Bianconeri then threatened at goal when Ramsey’s shot was blocked, the ball then fell to Dybala whose shot a powerful effort that was palmed away by the host’s shot-stopper.
Ronaldo then struck an effort from 25 yards that looked destined for the top corner, but it sailed out by inches. Juventus took the lead with three minutes remaining in the first half, when a clearance fell to the feet of the Matthijs de Ligt. He gets a quick touch before smashing it into the bottom corner to give the Bianconeri a lead!
UDINESE TAKE HOME THE POINTS
Udinese started the half by testing Szczesny when Nestorovski got behind de Ligt and fired straight into the arms of Tek from a tight angle. The hosts drew level at 1-1 through Nestorovski, who got into the end of a cross and nodded in a power header. Matuidi and Douglas Costa were brought on with half an hour remaining, as they replaced Ramsey and Bernardeschi. Dybala attempted an effort from 25 meters but was denied by Musso, while Cuadrado came on for Danilo. Alex Sandro attempted an effort from range with eight minutes to go, but it failed to hit the target.
The Bianconeri were pushing for that late winner that would secure the Scudetto, but it was the opposition in black and white who took home the victory after Fofana beat his challengers, nutmegged de Ligt and slotted the ball under Szczesny deep inside stoppage time.
UDINESE (3-5-2): Musso; Becao, Nuytinck, Ekong; Ter Avest, Fofana, De Paul, Sema, Zeegelaar; Okaka, Nestorovski.
JUVENTUS (4-3-3): Szczęsny; Danilo (Cuadrado 74’), Rugani, de Ligt, Alex Sandro; Ramsey (Matuidi 59’), Bentancur, Rabiot; Bernardeschi (Douglas Costa 59’), Dybala, Ronaldo.
SUBS: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Cuadrado, Coccolo, Demiral, Pjanic, Matuidi, Muratore, Douglas Costa, Olivieri, Vrioni, Zanimacchia.
The Bianconeri will take to the field against Udinese tomorrow night in what will be a vital result for the outcome of the Scudetto. Speaking ahead of the game, Mister Sarri addressed journalists on the eve of the fixture where he spoke about what is at stake.
Here is what he had to say:
UDINESE & THE SCUDETTO RACE
We need four points, although in this moment, winning is difficult for everyone. We need to remain focused on the single matches and now we must think solely on Udinese. Udinese are a physical team and in this moment they're in a good phase. It will be a difficult match, we'll need to be attentive in preparing for it.
RONALDO – DYBALA PARTNERSHIP
We're a strong team with further margins for improvement. I struggle to see the difficulty in in making two players like Cristiano and Dybala coexist: they're two incredible players. Cristiano feels really good, he has the great ability to focus immediately on the next objective. It's a rare ability, he has a champion mindset.
Higuain and Chiellini were at work with the doctors yesterday. Merih Demiral is feeling better, we're working on bringing him back to top physical form. At certain times of the season Rugani deserved to play more and sometimes he was criticized too much. Pjanic is fine, in the last few matches we have made different choices only for issues of characteristics
Rabiot is a player with rare qualities, after some big changes he's finally finding his rhythm, but it's a normal path that many foreigners take when they arrive in Italy. Now I see him playing with a good level of personality.
Juventus bounced back to claim a 2-1 Serie A win against Lazio at Allianz Stadium on Monday evening. Cristiano Ronaldo converted a penalty and scored a second after the break to ensure a victory for the Lady.
After having failed to win in their last three matches, the Bianconeri were looking to bounce back against a Lazio side that had seemingly lost the form they had before lockdown occurred.
Douglas Costa was handed a starting birth as he marked his 100th appearance in the Bianconeri colours. Higuain was initially scheduled to start from the first minute, but an injury during the warm-up meant Dybala took his place.
GOALLESS FIRST HALF
It wasn’t a game of many opportunities in the opening minutes, but Alex Sandro did threaten with a glancing header that rattled off the outside of the post with 11 minutes on the clock. Lazio then attacked minutes later, and they saw their effort by Cataldi deflected wide. Juve were working the ball and remaining patient in their build-up, while Lazio were defending valiantly.
In the 35th minute, Rabiot went on a good run with the ball at his feet: he worked his way into the box and fired at goal from a tight angle which saw Strakosha parry it out of play. Lazio came agonizingly close to breaking the deadlock when Immobile struck from just outside the box: it looked to have beaten Szczesny but bounced off the upright.
Juventus nearly went 1-0 up straight at the start of the season half when Dybala’s slalomed his way into the box, let rip, saw it saved by Strakosha, but then saw Ronaldo’s follow-up cleared off the line by Lazzari. But things quickly turned on its head and the Bianconeri took the lead with two Ronaldo goals in three minutes: the first saw Ronaldo put home a penalty kick after Bastos was deemed to have handled the ball in the box, while the second saw Dybala do most of the work when he and Ronaldo broke the offside trap, ran side by side up towards goal. The Argentine then passed it through to Ronaldo, who finished it off in a calm manner to make it 2-0.
IMMOBILE PULLS ONE BACK
Ronaldo and Dybala then linked up after the hour mark when the Portuguese turned his header onto the crossbar. Anderson then threatened with an effort from range that sailed high off the target with the aid of Tek’s touch. Lazio did land up pulling a goal back when they were awarded a penalty after Bonucci was judged to have brought down Immobile. The Italian striker made no error from the spot and he fired the ball under Szczesny to make the scoreline 2-1 with eight minutes left to play.
Sarri made a defensive change in the final minutes by bringing on Rugani in place of Dybala in order to ensure the three points stayed in Turin, and it worked out as the Lady claimed the victory.
Juventus: Szczęsny; Cuadrado, De Ligt, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Ramsey (Matuidi 57’), Bentancur, Rabiot; Douglas Costa (Danilo 57’), Dybala (Rugani 87’), Ronaldo.
Juve bench: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Danilo, Rugani, Demiral, Wesley, Pjanic, Matuidi, Muratore, Higuain, Olivieri, Zanimacchia.
Lazio: Strakosha; Bastos, Luiz Felipe, Acerbi; Lazzari, Milinkovic-Savic, Cataldi, Parolo, D Anderson; Caicedo, Immobile.
Lazio bench: Proto, Guerrieri, Vavro, Armini, A Anderson, Falbo, Lukaku, Adekanye, Moro.
In the words Maurizio Sarri, the importance of tomorrow night's game "speaks for itself." That's what the coach told invited journalists today on the eve of the game against the Biancocelesti.
"Lazio have had a great season, proving to be an excellent team. They are able to regroup, even if they are going through a difficult spell at the moment. We have suffered against them this year."
Of course Sarri understands that the focus needs to be on his team: "We must worry about being solid and playing with continuity, this is what we are thinking about. It's not important who plays, but rather the work that can be done as a team."
"We've come up against teams that are in great form, that are capable of maintaining a very high level of organisation and their results reflect that. It must also be said that many teams right now also struggle to hold onto the game for 90 minutes. We are witnessing many strange matches, which run incomprehensibly, not only in Serie A. It's a difficulty for everyone, this period is an anomaly."
FIGHTING FOR THE TARGETS
The tactician added: "Bentancur, de Ligt and Bonucci are back in the group today after a bit of personalised training. Chiellini has to rest for a few days, but regardless of who takes the field, the importance is on the tasks that need to be done and carrying them out in the best possible way, so that the defensive line is less exposed."
"We don't need to be afraid as the team is used to fighting for these targets, and from this point of view it gives ample guarantees, during the extraordinary nature of this moment."
A six-goal thriller saw Juventus and Sassuolo secure a point each as the Serie A fixture ended 3-3 at the Mapei Stadium on Wednesday evening. The Bianconeri went two goals clear through goals from Danilo and Higuain, but the Neroverdi found a way to comeback and make it 3-2. Alex Sandro was the last to get on the scoresheet, salvaging a point for the Bianconeri.
SOUTH AMERICAN INFLUENCE
Sarri surprised many by calling Chiellini up to the starting XI, as he replaced Bonucci who had a foot problem. Higuain was also included in the line-up, with Dybala starting from the bench. Juventus needed only five minutes to take control of the game and they went 1-0 up when Pjanic played a corner to Danilo, who was on the edge of the box. The Brazilian struck it first time and it sailed past Consigli. Five minutes later and Juventus doubled the lead: Pjanic was again the assist man when he sent a vertical ball over the top to Higuain who then fired it past onrushing goalkeeper.
SASSUOLO PULL ONE BACK
The Bianconeri threatened with a chipped ball from Ronaldo that hit the side-netting, before Sassuolo threatened with their own effort from Muldur that forced Szczesny into making a reflex save. The hosts did pull a goal back just before the half hour mark when a defensive error allowed for Djuricic to fire at goal.
NEROVERDI COMEBACK & TAKE THE LEAD
Daniele Rugani was brought on at the start of the second half, as Giorgio Chiellini could only last 45 minutes. Sassuolo drew level in the 50th minute through an unstoppable Berardi free-kick that sailed into the top corner. De Zerbi’s men then turned the result on its head and claimed a 3-2 lead just four minutes later after the ball was tucked into the back post by Caputo.
ALEX SANDRO MAKES IT 3-3
Sarri then brought on Douglas Costa in place of Bernardeschi, and soon afterwards, Juventus drew level in the 64th minute. Alex Sandro was positioned at the near post as a corner was crossed into the box by Bentancur, and he rose up and nodded it into the back of the net. Consigli denied Ronaldo with an excellent save, while Ramsey was brought on in place of Matuidi with 10 minutes to go. As the game drew to a close, chances followed on each end of the field and the hosts were denied with a double save: Szczesny came to the rescue again when he blocked Traore’s effort, before Boga's follow-up was cleared off the line by Alex Sandro. Tek ensured that the scoreline remained level when he pulled off a fingertip save on Bourabia to send it over the bar.
Sassuolo: Consigli; Muldur, Chiriches, Peluso, Kyriakopoulos; Magnanelli, Locatelli; Berardi, Djuricic, Boga; Caputo.
Juventus: Szczęsny; Danilo, De Ligt, Chiellini (Rugani 46’), Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic (Rabiot 57’), Matuidi (Ramsey 81’); Bernardeschi (Douglas Costa 62’), Higuain (Dybala 57’), Ronaldo.
Substitutes: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Bonucci, Rugani, Demiral, Ramsey, Rabiot, Muratore, Dybala, Douglas Costa, Olivieri.
Ahead of tomorrow evening’s clash against Sassuolo, Bianconeri head coach Sarri sat down with invited journalists, where he spoke about the clash, the race for the Scudetto title, and provided an update on some of his players.
Sassuolo is a team that is on the same path as Atalanta. They are giving continuity to a project, they are organised, and with a smart coach. They are in excellent form and are a dangerous team. The team has scored 17 goals in 6 games, so we don't have a problem when it comes to scoring. De Zerbi always manages to make an impression on his teams. He is the most interesting of the young coaches. We will be at least equal on the level of enthusiasm and determination, because we are in a moment where we are playing for the Scudetto.
THE SCUDETTO RACE
This Scudetto is not taken for granted, and it is still to be battled and fought for. In sport, there is no obvious result. At this moment of the season we have to do a few calculations, we will think about the rest later. I hope that soon we will be able to make more rotations.
Merih Demiral is fine, but he needs time to get back into physical form. The player who has the most goals in his feet is Aaron Ramsey, then we have growing players who can give their offensive contribution, such as Bentancur and Rabiot. Miralem Pjanic's exclusion was only precautionary. Bonucci has a problem with his foot that we need to evaluate today. Chiellini's absence is one of the great regrets of this season. He is a player who knows how to be enthralling. He has been training with the team for 5 days: I see him growing, and, in the future, he will be a great contribution for us.
Two Cristiano Ronaldo penalties saw Juventus comeback twice to ensure a 2-2 draw against Atalanta at Allianz Stadium on Saturday evening. The Bergamo outfit took the lead first through Zapata and then through Malinovskyi, but a determined Bianconeri display ensured a point was earned.
ZAPATA GIVES ATALANTA FIRST-HALF LEAD
The Bianconeri were looking to bounce back from their midweek disappointment against Milan, and they welcomed back de Ligt and Dybala following their suspensions against the Rossoneri. Atalanta threatened with just six minutes on the clock when Castagne sent in a dangerous cross that saw Zapata head it over from close range. Atalanta took hold of the advantage in the 16th minute when an excellent give and go between Papu Gomez and Duvan Zapata saw the Colombian fire the ball under Szczesny. The visitors dominated possession for the remainder of the half, but Dybala tried to pull a goal back with a tight-angled drive that got pushed out for a corner. The half was wrapped up with the Argentine delivering in a dangerous cross into the box, in which Ronaldo’s diving header went wide of the target.
RONALDO FROM THE SPOT
Juventus were handed a lifeline 10 minutes after the break, when they were handed a penalty after De Roon was judged to have handled the ball. Ronaldo stood up to take the spot kick and he made no mistake by firing it past Gollini. Sarri then opted to make changes to his set-up with Danilo, Bernardeschi and Dybala making way for Alex Sandro, Douglas Costa and Higuain respectively. Atalanta, who had taken off Zapata and Papu Gomez, threatened with 15 minutes to go, with an effort by Malinovskyi that sailed just wide of the post. The game was ebbing and flowing with great pace, and Juventus were denied of taking the lead by Gollini when he brilliantly saved Ronaldo’s effort: the Portuguese flicked the ball over his marker and shot on the volley, only to have his effort palmed away.
IT ENDS 2-2
The Bergamaschi continued to look dangerous on the break, and they took the lead in the 80th minute when Muriel crossed the ball across the face of goal for Malinovskyi. And with no hesitation, he fired at goal and beat Szczesny at the near post. The Lady went pushing for a late goal and a second penalty was awarded to Juventus on the stroke of the 90 for a hand ball: Ronaldo stood up to take the spot kick and he fired it low into the bottom left corner as the game ended in a draw.
Juventus: Szczęsny; Cuadrado, Bonucci (Rugani 82’), De Ligt, Danilo (Alex Sandro 59’); Rabiot, Bentancur, Matuidi (Ramsey 82’); Bernardeschi (Douglas Costa 59’), Dybala (Higuain 67’), Ronaldo.
Subs: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Chiellini, Alex Sandro, Rugani, Pjanic, Ramsey, Muratore, Douglas Costa, Higuain, Olivieri.
Atalanta: Gollini; Toloi, Palomino, Djimsiti; Hateboer, De Roon, Freuler, Castagne; Gomez, Ilicic; Duvan Zapata.
Atalanta bench: Rossi, Sportiello, Caldara, Sutalo, Tameze, Czyborra, Muriel, Malinovskyi, Gosens, Bellanova, Pasalic, Colley.
Ahead of tomorrow's clash against Atalanta, Maurizio Sarri addressed invited media at Allianz Stadium, where he previewed the game and provided an update on his team:
"This is an important phase of the season. Atalanta are the real deal and are doing really well and their stats reflect that, especially away from home. They're a very difficult opponent and have been for some time. Right now we have to think about the target of the league, then Lyon. Whatever comes next we can't think about.
The Nerazzurri are an aggressive team that know how to counter well.
From a physical point of view they have important accelerations and it will be a difficult game from all points of view. Right now almost all teams struggle to have continuity for 90 minutes and what I would like to see is organisation, which in certain moments is decisive.
In the away match Atalanta held a very intense rhythm for 55 minutes but then they likely couldn't hold it for the final stages. I think we'll see a different type of match this time around."
"Paulo Dybala is unquestionably an absolute talent, but given the blackout we had in Milan I still think it would have gone the same way [with him available]. Douglas Costa is an important player for us, and after going through a period without Higuain, having someone like him ready to come off the bench and change the games was crucial.
Alex Sandro was out for 10 days, whilst Giorgio Chiellini has taken a different, longer path, where in the last 11 months has trained very little with the group."
THE CURRENT MOMENT
"If the match against Milan had happened earlier on, the priority would be to go in search of the causes. Given that we are in the final stages, the priority becomes ensuring that it doesn't have a negative impact. We have to look forward immediately.
We'll see today after training whether or not there will be a few changes for the match."