Juventus earned a second clean sheet in succession with a goalless draw at Atalanta in Matchday 7 of Serie A.
The Bianconeri had the better of the first half chances, with efforts from Nicolò Fagioli and Moise Kean. Federico Chiesa, a continual thorn in the Atalanta side, forced a spectacular save from Juan Musso at the start of the second half - just as Luis Muriel did from Wojciech Szczesny from a direct free-kick in the closing 15 minutes.
Perhaps it was to be expected in a match between a side that had held four clean sheets from their opening six league games this campaign and the team that had collected most clean sheets since the start of last season, 23 out of 44 games, that there would not be many chances for either side when Atalanta hosted Juventus.
The few opportunities that did arise in the first half were for the most part created by the Bianconeri despite an early fright when Davide Zappacosta latched onto a deep cross and found himself unmarked at the edge of the six-yard box. His first effort was blocked before his second shot went wide.
On the half hour mark, Federico Chiesa burst into life, getting the better of Rafael Toloi twice in as many minutes. The second show of skill from Chiesa earned Juve a free-kick at the edge of the Atalanta penalty box. Chiesa took the responsibility himself but couldn’t get his shot beyond the wall.
The spark from the number 7 ignited a wave of Juventus attacks. Nicolò Fagioli tried his luck from distance. The midfielder’s swerving shot was watched all the way by Juan Musso. The home goalkeeper was called on again four minutes later. Moise Kean, enjoying his first start of the season, showed strength on the ball to ride a couple of challenges and create space for himself. The striker’s shot was held by Musso.
The game of chess between two grandmasters continued in the second half, with each attacking manoeuvre being outplayed by the opponents’ defensive lines.
It was the only mix-up by the home defence that allowed Juve the first chance in the second period. The ball ricocheted into the path of Chiesa, who let fly from just outside the area. His shot was kept out by a one-handed save from Musso.
Not to be outdone by his opposite number, Wojciech Szczesny produced the save of the match on 74’. Luis Muriel curled a free-kick over the wall but Szczesny managed to get finger-tips to the ball to touch it onto the underside of the crossbar.
The Juve keeper was again called into action to deny Muriel on 88’. Another dipping shot from distance saw Szczesny pull off the save. This time the rebound broke into the path of Teun Koopmeiners, who blasted over from close range. The Atalanta midfielder also failed to hit the target from a promising position inside stoppage time as the two sides earned back-to-back clean sheets for a share of the points.
ATALANTA 0-0 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-0):
ATALANTA: Musso; Scalvini (64′ Kolasinac), Djimsiti, Toloi; Zappacosta (81′ Holm), De Roon, Ederson, Ruggeri (85′ Bakker); Koopmeiners; De Ketelaere (81′ Pasalic), Lookman (64′ Muriel).
Subs not used: Carnesecchi, Rossi, Palomino, Zortea, Adopo, Hateboer, Miranchuk.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny, Gatti, Bremer (83′ Rugani), Danilo; McKennie (83′ Weah), Fagioli (67′ Miretti), Locatelli, Rabiot, Cambiaso (67′ Kostic); Kean (75′ Yildiz), Chiesa.
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, Huijsen, Iling-Junior, Mancini, Nicolussi Caviglia.
Bookings: 5′ Rabiot, 53′ Danilo, 90’+2 Holm.
An Arek Milik goal was enough for Juventus to inflict a first defeat of the season on Lecce. The side from Salento arrived ahead of the Bianconeri in the standings but the Polish striker’s 57th minute close range finish saw Juve leapfrog the visitors ahead of the remaining fixtures of Matchday 6.
Juventus demonstrated early ambition with the first shot of the evening in under 30 seconds. Adrien Rabiot’s effort from distance called Vladimiro Falcone into action but the Lecce goalkeeper would have a relatively uneventful first half.
On 13’ Nicolò Fagioli looked to link up Federico Chiesa, as he did to good effect against Sassuolo in the previous match, but this time the number 7 dragged his shot off target.
Falcone was called on again halfway through the opening period when Arkadiusz Milik tried his luck from outside the penalty area.
Five minutes later, Juventus finally carved open the visiting defence. First-time exchanges in midfield gave Danilo space to feed the ball through for Chiesa. However, from an excellent position the forward placed his shot just the wrong side of the far post.
The second half continued with a well-organised Lecce sitting deep, leaving the onus on Juve to break them down. And that was what the hosts did on 57 minutes.
A corner kick was kept in the area by Milik, who prodded the ball to McKennie. The midfielder’s delivery was headed back across the face of goal by Rabiot, where Milik was waiting to pounce. The striker tapped in from close range to finally break the deadlock.
On 65’ some good work down the left flank left Rabiot in space to attack the penalty area. The Frenchman’s shot flashed just wide.
Juve came close to adding a second with a quarter of an hour remaining, when again quick link-up play on the left released Chiesa.
His cross was intended for McKennie, denied a tap-in by a crucial interception by Patrick Dorgu inside his own six-yard box.
At the other end of the pitch, Szczesny remained a virtual onlooker as Lecce sought in vain a way to test the Juve number 1. In stoppage time, the visitors were reduced to 10 men when substitute Mohamed Kaba was shown a second yellow for simulation.
Juventus now prepare for the trip to Bergamo on Sunday with confidence restored.
JUVENTUS 1-0 LECCE (HT: 0-0):
Scorers: 57’ Milik.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Rugani (71′ Gatti), Bremer, Danilo; McKennie (86′ Weah), Fagioli (86′ Miretti), Locatelli, Rabiot, Cambiaso (71′ Kostic); Chiesa, Milik (77′ Vlahovic).
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, Huijsen, Nicolussi Caviglia, Yildiz, Iling-Junior.
LECCE: Falcone; Venuti (62′ Gendrey), Baschirotto, Pongracic, Dorgu; Oudin (62′ Rafia), Ramadani (69′ Kaba), Blin (81′ Piccoli); Almqvist, Krstovic, Strefezza (62′ Sansone).
Subs not used: Brancolini, Joan Gonzalez, Berisha, Listowski, Faticanti, Corfitzen, Gallo, Burnete, Touba, Samek.
Bookings: 29′ Ramadani, 55′ D’Aversa, 68′ Rafia, 75′ Chiesa, 85’ Kaba, 90′ Krstovic, 90’+1′ Rabiot.
Sending off: 90’+3 Kaba.
Juventus suffered their first defeat of season 2023/24 with a 4-2 defeat at Sassuolo. The Bianconeri had rallied to draw level twice, first through an own goal by Matias Vina in the opening half and Federico Chiesa on 78 minutes in the second half.
However, the home side restored their lead on 82 minutes and Federico Gatti’s own-goal in the last minute of stoppage time completed the scoring in favour of Sassuolo.
The rain that began to fall just before kick-off at the Mapei Stadium played its part in the game’s opening goal. With 12 minutes on the clock a dipping, swerving drive from distance from Armand Laurienté deceived Wojciech Szczesny, with the ball slipping through the goalkeeper's gloves into the net.
The Bianconeri responded and were level inside 10 minutes. Federico Chiesa created the danger when he whipped in a delivery that the home defence could not cope with. Matias Vina turned the ball into his own net from close range under pressure from Weston McKennie.
Just before the half hour, Manuel Locatelli came close from the edge of the area. Moments later Federico Gatti tried to set up Danilo for a tap-in following a well-worked free-kick but the captain just could not reach the ball played across the face of goal.
On 38’ Szczesny made amends for his earlier mistake with a prodigious save, at full stretch he palmed away a powerful header from Ruan Tressoldi. However, two minutes later the hosts restored their advantage, when Berardi swept the ball beyond Szczesny with a first-time shot at the edge of the box.
A Federico Chiesa free-kick that went just wide of target eight minutes into the second half showed Juve’s intention to draw level for the second time, and they did exactly that on 78’, with Chiesa eventually grabbing his goal. The number 7 lashed an unstoppable shot beyond Alessio Cragno after being set up by Nicolò Fagioli.
Before Chiesa’s equaliser, Laurienté and Dusan Vlahovic spurned gilt-edged chances with only the oppostion goalkeeper to beat - a sign that defences were not on top.
In fact, the game’s fifth goal came a mere four minutes after the Bianconeri had drawn level for the second time. Laurienté hit a similar shot to the one that had led to the game’s opener. This time Szczesny made the save, but Andrea Pinamonti was fastest to react to the rebound and placed his header into the unguarded net.
Juventus pushed forward in search of a third equaliser on the night but were almost caught out on the counter attack in stoppage time, when Gregoire Defrel struck the underside of the crossbar. However, there was to be one more goal, when Gatti placed the ball into his own net in the final minute of stoppages.
A home match against Lecce on Tuesday gives Juventus an immediate opportunity to redeem this their first setback of the new campaign.
SASSUOLO 4-2 JUVENTUS (HT: 2-1):
Scorers: 13′ Laurienté, 21′ Vina o.g., 41′ Berardi, 78′ Chiesa, 82′ Pinamonti, 90’+5′ Gatti o.g.
SASSUOLO: Cragno; Toljan, Erlic, Tressoldi (46′ Viti), Vina (90’+1′ Ferrari); Matheus Henrique, Boloca; Berardi, Bajrami (85′ Castillejo), Lauriente (85′ Pedersen); Pinamonti (85′ Defrel).
Subs not used: Pegolo, Theiner, Missori, Racic, Mulattieri, Obiang, Ceide, Volpato, Thorstvedt.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Gatti, Bremer, Danilo; McKennie (60′ Weah), Miretti (46′ Fagioli), Locatelli (83′ Milik), Rabiot, Kostic (46′ Iling); Vlahovic (75′ Kean), Chiesa.
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, Huijsen, Rugani, Cambiaso, Nicolussi Caviglia.
Bookings: 36′ Rabiot, 51′ Boloca, 55′ Danilo, 58′ Berardi, 64′ Vina, 83′ Pinamonti.
Coach Massimiliano Allegri fulfilled his pre-match press duties ahead of Juventus' away game against Sassuolo on Saturday evening, looking ahead to the trip to Reggio Emilia.
FOCUS AND BALANCE
“Now we have to stay focused because there’s too much euphoria and, while on the one hand that’s nice, it can take away energy and attention. We’e only on Matchday 5 and Sassuolo, with the exception of a 3-0 win with a [Paulo] Dybala hat-trick a few years ago, have always been tough opponents. They’re coming off the back of a big defeat to Frosinone, so we’ll have a tough task and we will have to be very attentive, physical and technically good. It ill be important to get a good result. We have to get back to normality, which is winning as many games as possible and is part of Juventus’ DNA.
We have a big game tomorrow, and then there’s another on Tuesday. The strength of any team is to have balance, because that’s how results are obtained. One win or loss should not change that, nothing collapses when we lose or draw a game, we just have to keep on working. I repeat, there are better-equipped teams and we have to fight with them, we have to do it with the desire to improve and with work."
“[Federico] Chiesa and [Dusan] Vlahovic are fine, on Wednesday Vlahovic had some back pain and Federico had some fatigue with his flexor. They’re fully available. On Tuesday we’ll have a game, three days later, which will only happen for midweek Serie A rounds this year, but we are only thinking about Sassuolo. I think we’ll rotate on Tuesday and I’ll evaluate Vlahovic’s condition for tomorrow.
But everybody up front is doing well, including [Moise] Kean and [Arkadiusz] Milik. [Kenan] Yildiz will be with the Next Gen tomorrow, while Huijsen will be with us permanently from now on as Alex Sandro will be out for a while. Fagioli has the technique to play in front of the defence, in 2017 I defined him as a playmaking midfielder and that's what he continues to be. Then with experience he will also be able to play in front of the defence. [Weston] McKennie is fine, I’ll take a look at him today. [Timothy] Weah is a good option, he’s settling in well after just a few months in Italy but I’m happy with the way he’s integrating.”
“Next year we have to be in the Champions League. We have a chance to get into the top four, but it won’t be easy because Inter, AC Milan and Napoli are stronger than everybody. We have to go one step at a time, with balance, without mood swings that are tied to single results. Whatever path we take will be determined to have been right or not by the results at the end of the season. We have to have the desire to be at the top, we have to get the results to get into the Champions League. You don’t win or lose league seasons on one game, and you don’t qualify for the Champions League or not because of one game.”
"[Francesco] Magnanelli is very good. The staff, including those who have been with me for 18 years and those added more recently, bring great value. I'm happy when some of them, like [Paolo] Bianco or [Simone] Padoin, start their career as a coach. I like my staff to be made up of quality people and it would be a source of pride for me to have people I’ve worked with to go into coaching. I’m very happy with everybody who woks at Continassa, there’s a good team with a good spirit."
THE SQUAD AND THE FUTURE
"We have a less experienced squad this year, but we've got enthusiasm and dynamism. We have to keep working hard to improve, remembering that we have to run more than everybody else and results will bring more confidence and belief. Everybody here must feel the responsibility. When you are at Juventus you have to grow faster. We have young players who we know can make mistakes, but we also have experienced players. The boys are growing and we have to be clear about what we can achieve. The way this team is structured, it's clear that it has a big future. There are a lot of Italians, young players, all with a future and that is important. If we make it into the top four this year, after a generational change, we will have helped the club a lot. It should be remembered that last year, on the field, we finished third."
"The national team coach visiting was a real pleasure, because we are there to put the national team playes in the best working conditions and to have as many players called up as we can. In the last squad we had Chiesa and [Manuel] Locatelli, but there are others who can be called up too. We're committed to Juventus and also the national team."
SPORT IN THE CONSTITUTION
"I'm very happy that the country recognises the educational, social and mental wellbeing-promoting value of spots. Among other things, I've been a coach committed to sport and health for years. The numbers in Italy have changed in recent years, there's more obesity among kids so they need to be motivated to do sport. Sports give you rules, education and discipline and that's why I'm happy about the introduction of Article 33 into the Italian Constitution, because it will help to go into schools to educate the new generations that will be the future of Italy."
Unfazed by the interruption of leaue duty for the international break, Juventus made it back-to-back wins in Serie A with an impressive 3-1 over Lazio in the opening fixture of Matchday 4.
The Bianconeri charged into a two-goal advantage before the half hour mark was reached in the first half following clinical finishes from Dusan Vlahovic and Federico Chiesa.
Although the visitors pulled one goal back through Luis Alberto midway through the second period, another outstanding goal from Vlahovic restored Juve's two-goal advantage two minutes later.
The first home win of the campaign saw Juventus reach the 10-pioint mark, leaving last seasons runners-up already seven points adrift.
Massimiliano Allegri confirmed the same outfield players that had started the previous match, against Empoli - a first for the coach since his return - and the decision to stick by Weston McKennie on the right side of midfield proved crucial.
The USA international, enjoying his 100th appearance in the black and white stripes, was involved in the build-up for all of the Bianconeri’s goals.
On 10 minutes the midfielder stretched to keep the ball in play. His pass to Manuel Locatelli was played first time into the heart of the penalty area where Dusan Vlahovic swooped on the half volley. The number 9 thundered his shot beyond Ivan Provedel for his third of the season.
Filip Kostic, with a swerving shot from the edge of the area, and Vlahovic, with a close-range header from the resulting corner after Provedel’s finger-tip save, came close to adding a quick second for the Bianconeri.
The team’s second goal arrived on 26 minutes. Federico Chiesa also enjoying his third of the campaign. The number 7 pounced ahead of Adrien Rabiot onto a cross from McKennie and lashed a right foot curler that Provedel could do nothing about.
The goal arrived just after Lazio had come close to equalising. Maurizo Sarri’s side found the opening through Daichi Kamada, whose rasping effort was acrobatically tipped over the crossbar by Wojciech Szczesny.
The Bianconeri came out in determined fashion after the restart and only a reflex save from Provedel stopped Adrien Rabiot from adding a third goal.
Lazio continued to play their football, however, and with Juve being guilty of sitting too deep, found a way back into the match - or so it seemed. Andrea Cambiaso was caught in possession and Luis Alberto took advantage to curl a shot up and over Szczesny.
The electric atmosphere that had filled the Alianz Stadium until then was silenced. The moment of trepidation lasted all of two minutes, however, the time Vlahovic needed to power home his second of the afternoon. The striker received a cross-field pass from McKennie but still had a lot to do. Undaunted, the number 9 brought the ball down on his chest and held off two challenges before drilling his shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
The fans greeted the prodigious act with thunderous applause, as they did when the goalscorers were substituted with less than 10 minutes to play. Arkadiusz Milik and Moise Kean had chances to add to the tally on the counter-attack as Lazo threw more players forward.
A huge roar greeted the final whistle as Juve collected a 10th point from the 12 available. With the Vlahovic-Chiesa partnership producing the goods, the Bianconeri look confidently ahead to next weekend’s trip to face Sassuolo.
JUVENTUS 3-1 LAZIO (HT: 2-0):
Scorers: 10′ & 67’ Vlahovic, 26’ Chiesa, Luis Alberto 65’.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Gatti, Bremer, Danilo; McKennie (71′ Weah), Miretti (58′ Fagioli), Locatelli, Rabiot, Kostic (58′ Cambiaso); Chiesa (83′ Kean), Vlahovic (83′ Milik).
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, Alex Sandro, Rugani, Nicolussi Caviglia, Yildiz, Iling.
LAZIO: Provedel; Marusic, Casale, Romagnoli, Hysaj (46′ Pellegrini); Kamada (77′ Guendouzi), Cataldi (46′ Rovella), Luis Alberto; Felipe Anderson (73′ Pedro), Immobile (69′ Castellanos), Zaccagni.
Subs not used: Sepe, Mandas, Patric, Vecino, Isaksen, Lazzari, Gila.
Bookings: 7′ Miretti, 16′ Bremer, 60′ Gatti, 77’ Cambiaso, 81′ Vlahovic, 84′ Pellegrini.
"The players who stayed here trained well, and the others came back with a lot of enthusiasm after their international commitments, although some will have to recover a little because of the time difference. Tomorrow will be a good game and it will be important for us to be ready."
With the above words, Massimiliano Allegri opened his press conference on Friday afternoon ahead of Juventus' Serie A fixture against Lazio.
On Saturday, September 16, 2023, at 15:00 CEST, Juventus will kick off the fourth day of Serie A, the first after the international break.
BONUCCI AND POGBA
"I've already said everything I have to say about Bonucci, a number of times. I don't feel the need to say any more, I only wish him the best of luck for the rest of his career. We're sorry about the whole situation and are waiting for developments and further clarity. We hope that light will be shed on what has happened as soon as possible. I can't comment on other issues because they concern Paul directly and they are strictly personal."
"We have to focus on the players we have available to us, and there are a lot. Tomorrow will be a tough game and we have to be 100% focused on this game alone. Lazio are a direct rival for the top four. Lazio are a well organised team, both in defence and attack. Tomorrow we'll be at home, so we'll see if we can find an extra gear to click into after the win at Empoli."
DOUBTS ABOUT THE XI
"We have to focus on the players we have available to us, and there are a lot. Tomorrow will be a tough game and we have to be 100% focused on this game alone. Lazio are a direct rival for the top four. There's a good chance that we'll see Chiesa from the start. Fede has recovered and is available. I'm very happy with how Locatelli played with Italy, and McKennie is becoming a reliable option and could start."
THE SQUAD HARMONY
"There's a good atmosphere in the group, and it's always tough to choose who will start. But it's good to know that we have a competitive squad and that will be important to qualify for next season's Champions League. It’s a young group with a lot of desire, and tomorrow is a big test."
JUVE'S PENALTY TAKERS
"After Vlahovic our penalty taker is Milik. Kean also takes them well, as does Danilo. We have a lot of options from 12 yards. There is no shortage of players to choose from."
Juventus head into the international break unbeaten after collecting a second win out of three for the season at the Castellani against Empoli.
A goal in either half, the first from Danilo, the second from Federico Chiesa, were just reward for a confident Bianconeri performance, which saw Mattia Perin not asked to make a save throughout the match.
Juventus came at Empoli from kick-off, implementing the high-pressing game desired by Massimiliano Allegri. It was through possession retrieved inside the opponent’s half that the Bianconeri produced their first chance, a snapshot from Dusan Vlahovic, saved by Erit Berisha, a deadline-day signing by the Tuscan club. The striker and the goalkeeper would continue their duel throughout the first half.
Danilo emerged as the other Juve player to cause the shot stopper difficulties on his debut. In fact, it was the captain that opened the scoring on 24 minutes after Empoli failed to clear a corner. A similar situation unfolded 14 minutes earlier when Danilo nodded the ball into the net from close range but was adjudged to have impeded the keeper earlier in the build-up.
However, the captain was faultless when he steered home his shot for the game’s opening goal after Filip Kostic’s delivery was not dealt with by the home defence. Kostic, on his first appearance of the campaign, won the corner after dispossessing Bartosz Bereszynski with a perfect steal deep in the Empoli half. Danilo proudly displayed the number 6 on his back on the day the club remembered a historic number 6, Gaetano Scirea.
Another player determined to leave his mark on his first start of the campaign was at the heart of the action that led to Juve being awarded a penalty with seven minutes of the first half remaining. Federico Gatti burst into the area only to be tripped by Youssef Maleh. After a VAR check confirmed the referee’s initial decision, Vlahovic struck his spot kick too centrally, allowing Berisha to make the save.
Immediately after the restart, Berisha was again called on as he raced off his line to thwart Federico Chiesa racing in on goal. Just before the hour mark, Chiesa again burst into the penalty box, this time with only the keeper to beat he curled his shot just wide of the far post.
The number 7 was not going to be denied though. After Paul Pogba had his thumping ruled off due to Vlahovic being in an offside position when setting up the Frenchman, Chiesa killed off the hosts’ lingering hopes of salvaging something from the match. Arek Milik spun on the half-way line and played the ball into the path of Chiesa who, once again one-on-one against the home keeper, used all of his pace to avoid Berisha’s challenge in midfield, and regained his footing before stroking the ball into the unguarded net.
Inside stoppage time, Juve came close to adding to their tally, when a Milik header clipped the crossbar and Moise Kean struck the outside of the post with a low drive.
As it was, two goals were enough to secure a second win of the season. After the international break, Lazio visit the Allianz Stadium.
EMPOLI 0-2 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-1):
Scorers: 24′ Danilo, 82’ Chiesa.
EMPOLI: Berisha; Bereszynski, Walukiewicz, Luperto, Pezzella; Maleh, Marin (72′ Kovalenko), Fazzini (61′ Grassi); Baldanzi (61′ Cancellieri), Caputo (72′ Destro), Cambiaghi (83′ Gyasi).
Subs not used: Perisan, Stubjar, Shpendi, Cacace, Guarino, Ranocchia, Ebuehi, Bastoni, Ismajli.
JUVENTUS: Perin; Gatti, Bremer, Danilo; McKennie (86′ Weah), Miretti (62′ Pogba), Locatelli, Rabiot, Kostic (70′ Cambiaso); Chiesa (83′ Kean), Vlahovic (70′ Milik).
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Daffara, Alex Sandro, Rugani, Fagioli, Nicolussi Caviglia, Yildiz, Iling-Junior.
Bookings: 15′ Locatelli, 43′ Bereszynski, 48′ Vlahovic, 49′ Miretti, 86′ Gyasi, 90’+7′ Destro.
The last match for Juventus before the international break sees the team travel to Tuscany to face Empoli, with Sunday’s scheduled for 20:45 CEST.
The Bianconeri are aiming to return to winning ways following last week’s draw with Bologna, while Empoli are still in search of their first points of the 2023/24 campaign.
Coach Massimiliano Allegri addressed in the media in the pre-match press conference on Saturday, highlighting the potential danger this match could pose. “Tomorrow we will find an opponent who will try to earn their first points of the championship, so we expect a difficult game, as are all the ones we have faced and will have to face. Empoli shouldn't be underestimated, they have the DNA of a team that likes to play, we'll have to be solid. We want to return to Turin with the three points.”
Below are the main points touched on by the Juventus coach.
“I have six defenders, including Dean Huijsen, and they are all reliable. Tomorrow Danilo and Gleison Bremer will definitely start, but I have to decide who will play between Alex Sandro and Federico Gatti. Nicolo Fagioli missed some of our pre-season training, but he is recovering after breaking his collarbone. In the future he could also occupy the role of regista, but at the moment that role is held by Manuel Locatelli and he is doing it well. I'm disappointed at hearing some boos at the Stadium on Sunday, directed at players who are always reliable and professional. I see Dusan Vlahovic as very calm, also because he is physically better, and then we know that when the forwards score, they are always fine.
Dusan will score this year and I'm very serene about what his season will be like and the same goes for Federico Chiesa, Moise Kean and Arek Milik. Filip Kostic could also start tomorrow – he is a reliable player and last year he provided twelve assists and is improving a lot on shooting from distance. Paul Pogba is coming off an injury and his playing time needs to be managed because he hadn't played for a year. Good things are already being seen because Samuel Iling-Junior's assist for Vlahovic came from a good play by Paul. When Pogba is only at 70% he is still decisive, he is different from the others. Wojciech Szczesny is better following his knock, but he will come back only after the international break.”
EIGHT TEAMS, FOUR POSITIONS
“There are eight very strong teams this year, so we will need to be very good to qualify for the Champions League. This year's championship will be very balanced, in my opinion, and I think that to finish fourth you need to score 76 points and the Scudetto-winning total will be around 86-90 points. Napoli remain the favourites, but Milan and Inter are also two well-equipped teams. We will have to be at our best to be in the top four come the end of December to then push for our objectives over the second half of the campaign.”
“We shared every market move with the Club: it didn't make sense to sign players just to "change faces". We also had the desire of maintaining a competitive and sustainable team, we have players who will grow compared to last year. We work every day to be competitive and then, as mentioned, there are our opponents; it will be a very difficult championship for every team.”
The first home outing of season 23/24 ended in a 1-1 draw with Bologna. Juventus levelled the scoreline with 10 minutes to play through Dusan Vlahovic, his sixth goal in as many matches against the Rossoblu, after the visitors had taken a first half lead.
The draw puts the Bianconeri on four points from the opening two games.
Expectations were high among the fans that flocked to the Allianz Stadium, especially considering the confident performance in the opening fixture against Udinese.
Instead, Juve struggled to make inroads in the first half against Thiago Motta’s well-drilled Bologna. The visitors closed down the flanks and took advantage of their own pressing game to head into the interval with the advantage.
Both defences held firm until the midway point of the first half when Mattia Perin, replacing the injured Wojciech Szczesny, blocked an effort from Dan Ndoye. A minute later, however, Bologna took the lead when Joshua Zirkzee played through Lewis Ferguson. The midfielder received possession inside the penalty area and took his time before placing the ball into the far corner.
A goal behind, Juve raised the tempo and crafted their first chances of the game, both of which fell to Nicolò Fagioli. In quick succession, his shots were blocked by the Bologna defence. While, visiting goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski made his first save of note with three minutes to play of the opening spell, punching away a free kick from Andrea Cambiaso.
It was a transformed Juventus that emerged from the dressing room. After pinning back the visitors inside their own half from the restart, the Bianconeri appeared to have drawn level on 52 minutes. Dusan Vlahovic struck from close range to divert a Bremer cross into the net. However, the striker’s joy was short lived as VAR intervened, and the referee confirmed Adrien Rabiot’s offside position when Vlahovic shot.
Unaffected, Juve kept up the pressure and four minutes later, Tim Weah’s rasping drive was tipped wide by Skorupski. Still the hosts pressed on, but after Fagioli saw his shot ruffle the side netting.
All this within the opening quarter of an hour of the second half.
With Bologna having ridden out the initial storm, Massimiliano Allegri turned to the bench for inspiration.
The coach called on Paul Pogba and Samuel Iling Jr. to provide new impetus and it was the two substitutes that linked up in the move that led to the equaliser. Pogba shrugged off a couple of tackles in the centre of the park before releasing Iling on the run down the right. The winger’s first time cross was met majestically by Vlahovic, whose header gave Skorupski no chance.
With 10 minutes to play, Juve were level.
However, despite as many as seven minutes of time added on, the Bianconeri couldn’t complete the turnaround and had to settle for a share of the points.
JUVENTUS 1-1 BOLOGNA (HT: 0-1):
Scorers: 23′ Ferguson, 80′ Vlahovic.
JUVENTUS: Perin, Danilo, Bremer, Alex Sandro; Weah (80′ Yildiz), Fagioli (66′ Pogba), Locatelli (80′ McKennie), Rabiot, Cambiaso (66′ Iling); Vlahovic, Chiesa (73′ Milik).
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Garofani, Gatti, Huijsen, Rugani, Kostic, Miretti, Nicolussi Caviglia, Kean, Soulé.
BOLOGNA: Skorupski; Posch, Beukema, Lucumì, Lykogiannis (60′ Corazza); Moro (60′ Dominguez), Aebischer (84′ El Azzouzi); Ndoye (90’+1′ Fabbian), Ferguson, Orsolini (60′ Karlsson); Zirkzee.
Subs not used: Ravaglia, Gasperini, Joaquin Sosa, Bonifazi, De Silvestri, Van Hooijdonk, Urbanski.
Coach: Thiago Motta.
Referee: Di Bello.
Bookings: 11′ Rabiot, 16′ Posch, 86' Yildiz.
"It's our first home game, so the fans will give us a big helping hand and that's important. We are looking forward to playing at home, in front of a full house. We'll have to carry the fans along with us by playing well."
That was coach Massimiliano Allegri's first answer in his pre-match press conference on Saturday, looking ahead to Juventus' first home game of the season against Bologna on Sunday.
Our home campaign kicks off on Sunday, August 27, with kick-off set for 18:30 CEST in Turin.
LOOKING AHEAD TO BOLOGNA
The boss was asked about the state of the squad, and gave updates on Moise Kean, Paul Pogba and Wojciech Szczesny.
"Moise Kean has never been out of the squad. He arrived late once, but that can happen. He suffered a relapse after a knock, but he's available tomorrow. The transfer market? I think we'll stay as we are, and I'm very happy. Pogba is better. He had a good week and responded very well on Wednesday after a very intense training session. He is available tomorrow and he could be used. Szczesny won't be with us tomorrow after he picked up a knock. Perin will play. I have two doubts about the rest of the XI, one in the middle and one out wide."
A YOUNG SQUAD
"We have to keep working. The average age of the team has gone down and we have to ride the wave of enthusiasm that the youngsters bring. But, I'll repeat, we need balance, to stay calm, and before anything else we have to work. We have a different team this year, we'll have to run a lot. Every season when we get started I give the team and the staff a direction on how to work, according to the characteristics of the squad we have. We have to get used to winning as many games as we can, continuing to work and improving both as a team and as individuals."
ON THIAGO MOTTA'S BOLOGNA
"Bologna are a strong team and they proved it last season. Tomorrow we'll face a tough team who did well and created a lot against AC Milan. We'll need to have the right attitude. They have also strengthened in the transfer market, especially by increasing the quality in attack. We will have to be alert, but above all we must maintain the right balance. We must not get overly excited in good moments and we must not let our heads drop in the more difficult spells. As I said, we always need balance. The important thing is to be convinced of how we are working and of our means."
ON SAUDI ARABIA
"Offers from Saudi Arabia? I signed a four-year contract at Juventus and I can't leave now. When I leave Juve I want to leave a team behind me that will have a bright future and one that will continue to fight for success for years to come."
Pressing. Power. Precision. That is how Juventus started the season in Udine as the curtain raiser to the new season saw Massimiliano Allegri's side run out 3-0 winners.
All three goals were scored in an incisive opening half, which saw Tim Weah and Andrea Cambiaso make their competitive debuts for the Bianonceri.
Another new face, teenager Kenan Yildiz, made an appearance in the second half when the points were safely in the bag after a solid defensive display after the break matched the attacking verve of the first.
The season could not have got off to a better start as Federico Chiesa opened his and the team’s account for the new campaign inside two minutes. Pressing in midfield forced Udinese to concede possession inside their own half and when Dusan Vlahovic fed the ball into the path of Chiesa, the number 7 had just one thought on his mind, go for goal from the edge of the area. On pulling the trigger, his shot nestled into the bottom corner.
The second goal came in the 20th minute. This time it was Vlahovic who received the fans’ affection after he slammed home a spot kick, awarded following a handball in the home penalty area.
Even before Vlahovic converted from 12 yards, Juve had threatened on another occasion. Andrea Cambiaso was out to make it a debut to remember in the Juventus shirt, and the wingback tried his luck after a swift move down the left flank allowed him to burst in on goal. Silvestri blocked the effort with his feet.
However, Cambiaso was involved in the third goal of an electric opening half. Three minutes into stoppage time, a Chiesa back-heel picked out the number 27, whose precise left-footed cross was headed home from close range by Adrien Rabiot.
The sharpest player on the home side was Florian Thauvin, who threatened either side of the half-time whistle. The forward was first denied by Wojciech Szczesny at full stretch, then his deflected shot almost looped in at the far post.
Neither Fabio Miretti or Tim Weah made it out for the second half, replaced by Nicolò Fagioli and Weston McKennie respectively.
McKennie produced a disciplined performance in the wingback role to help limit Udinese’s attempts to get a foothold in the game. Sandi Lovric proved to be the most dangerous for Udinese, first with two shots from outside the area before he ghosted in behind the Juve backline but placed his header wide.
Juve breached the home defence for the fourth time on the night after soaking up the pressure. Dusan was denied a double though after the flag was raised against Samuel Iling only after the striker had deposited the ball into an unguarded net. Vlahovic was replaced in the closing minutes by Kenan Yildiz. The class of 2005 made it a first call-up to remember, with his first slice of Serie A action.
What's more, at the other end, a brave double save on 83' by Szczesny made sure there was to be no late surge by the home side.
Three goals, three points and a clean sheet, a confident start by Massimiliano Allegri’s team that allowed the coach to collect his 250th win in charge of the Bianconeri, only the second in the footsteps of Giovanni Trapattoni to reach such a milestone.
UDINESE 0-3 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-3):
Scorers: 2′ Chiesa, 20’ Vlahovic, 45+3’ Rabiot.
UDINESE: Silvestri; Kabasele, Bijol, Perez; Festy Ebosele (55′ Ferreira), Zarraga (46′ Samardzic), Walace, Lovric, Kamara (46′ Zemura); Thauvin (66′ Success), Beto (74′ Lucca).
Subs not used: Piana, Malusà, Guessand, Quina, Abankwah, Aké, Semedo, Camara, Pejicic, Nwachukwu.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Danilo, Bremer, Alex Sandro; Weah (46′ McKennie), Miretti (46′ Fagioli), Locatelli, Rabiot, Cambiaso (69′ Iling); Vlahovic (84′ Yildiz), Chiesa (77′ Milik).
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, Gatti, Pogba, Kostic, Huijsen, Rugani, Soulè, Nicolussi Caviglia.
Bookings: 27′ Alex Sandro, 31′ Kabasele, 34′ Danilo, 90’+5′ Locatelli.
Serie A returns after almost two and a half months, with Juventus travelling to Udinese for their first match of the 2023/24 campaign, scheduled to take place at 20:45 CEST on Sunday evening at the Udinese Arena.
Like the fans, Coach Massimiliano Allegri is looking forward to the season's start, sharing his thoughts with the media in the first pre-match presser of the season:
"We are very happy to start the championship. There's always great anticipation when you have to play your first league game. Tomorrow will be the first of a long journey that will end on May 25th. We will start to get serious and we will have to be ready for this first appointment."
The Coach touched on several points in answering the journalists' questions, a re-cap of which you can read below.
"I am very happy with the squad I have available, with how the group is working and how we have prepared, between Turin and the United States. Now with the matches that start to count, it will be completely different from those played in pre-season."
LACK OF EUROPEAN FOOTBALL
"We are very disappointed not to be able to play in the European cups, and the Champions League in particular. It's never nice not participating, also because we had achieved our qualification on the field. We will have to transform the bitterness into positive energy and anger to give everything in the league and in the Italian Cup. Technically, not having the commitment in the middle of the week will allow us to have more days to work on the pitch and, consequently, to prepare for the matches that await us.
We'll try to exploit this aspect to our advantage, but I don't think it's an advantage to not play in European competitions."
"We have excellent relations with Cristiano Giuntoli and Giovanni Manna, I get along very well with them both. Cristiano has fully integrated into our set-up since he arrived. He was very well-received and found a group that was available and prepared to work. He is a very important figure within the Club."
"In addition to Federico Chiesa and Dusan Vlahovic, we can count on excellent players such as Arek Milik, Moise Kean - who unfortunately will not be called up for Udine because he is still recovering from a knock - and Kenan Yildiz. Kenan comes from the Youth Sector, he's a very interesting prospect who has shown his qualities, and there are many. I am very happy and satisfied with the players I have at my disposal."
"Usually whoever won the championship the year before always starts as favourites, so Napoli starts ahead of all the other teams. Then there are many other excellent teams: Inter are strong, Lazio and Milan are no different. It is too early to make predictions now, Serie A has yet to start. What I can say is that we will have to improve our away performance because last season this was the big difference with Napoli."
THE MATCH VS UDINE
"Nicolo Fagioli has trained well and is available, so I will evaluate his use tomorrow. On the flanks I have four players for two spots, so this afternoon I'll have to decide. Tomorrow the changes from the bench will be fundamental because it will be the first official match and it will also be very hot. Paul Pogba's presence in the squad will be decided after today's training."
NATIONAL TEAM COACH
"Roberto Mancini did an excellent job with the national team, even winning a European Championship. I wish Luciano Spalletti all the best in this new role, which is an important assignment that was given to him after winning the Scudetto last year."
Juventus collected all three points in Udine on the final day of the season thanks to a second-half goal scored by Federico Chiesa.
The winger curled home with just over 20 minutes to play in a match that had seen Leonardo Bonucci hit the crossbar as the Bianconeri wrapped up the campaign with yet another clean sheet.
A noisy Dacia Arena welcomed the two sets of players for the closing encounter of the campaign, and the match almost got off to a flying start. A mistake by home keeper Marco Silvestri gifted possession to Fabio Miretti inside the area, but the young midfielder delayed too long, allowing the Udinese defence to thwart the danger.
On the hosts' first attack, a cross picked out Beto inside the six-yard box. The striker couldn’t keep his header down.
Juve increased the pressure on the home defence as the game entered the half hour mark. First a fiercely delivered free-kick from Juan Cuadrado brought out a finger-tip interception from Silverstri, which was crucial to take the ball away from the lurking Leonardo Bonucci - who shortly after would come closest to opening the scoring in the first half.
Arek Milik and Federico Chiesa combined well at the edge of the penalty box. Milik’s return pass sent Chiesa on the run, but his shot was deflected for a corner. From the set piece, Milik’s glancing header was met by Bonucci, who redirected the ball goalwards, only to see his header rebound off the underside of the crossbar.
Goalless at the break. To add some impetus to the attack, Massimiliano Allegri swapped Filip Kostić with Samuel Iling jr. The Next Gen talent made an instant impact. A cross from the winger was flicked just wide by Chiesa.
Like in the first period, Juve took control of proceedings at the midway stage of the half. Adrien Rabiot drilled a shot into the side netting when sent through on goal. Five minutes later Cuadrado cut inside and unleashed a shot that rose over the crossbar.
But the goal was on its way.
Manuel Locatelli turned inside the Udinese area and released Chiesa. The number 7 took a couple of touches before firing an unstoppable shot into the far corner.
There were still over 20 minutes to play, however, and both sides created further chances. Sandi Lovrić run straight at the Juve defence before letting fly, forcing Wojciech Szczęsny into his first real save. The keeper was called on to repeat his act by keeping out another long range effort from Nehuen Perez.
In between the two opportunities for the hosts, Manuel Locatelli came close to grabbing his first goal of the season. However, his flick was brilliantly saved by Silvestri.
Despite over eight minutes of time added on, Chiesa’s finish remained the only goal of the game as Juventus completed the anomalous season in seventh place.
UDINESE 0-1 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-0):
Scorer: 68′ Chiesa.
UDINESE: Silvestri, Abankwah (58′ Cocetta), Perez, Guessand (79′ Buta); Pereyra, Samardzic, Walace (47′ Arslan), Lovric, Udogie; Thauvin (79′ Vivaldo), Beto (79′ Nestorovski).
Subs not used: Padelli, Piana, Ulineia, Centis, Russo, Bassi, Castagnaviz.
JUVENTUS: Szczęsny; Gatti, Bonucci (90’+3′ Rugani), Danilo; Cuadrado, Locatelli, Rabiot, Kostic (46′ Iling); Miretti (61′ Di Maria); Chiesa (78′ Paredes), Milik (78′ Kean).
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, Alex Sandro, Barbieri, Riccio, Sersanti.
BOOKINGS: 38′ Gatti, 88′ Paredes, 88′ Arslan, 89′ Nestorovski.
Juventus were handed the knock-out blow to their fading Champions League qualifying hopes by Milan in the final home match of the campaign.
The game's only goal was scored by Olivier Giroud on 40 minutes. Danilo came closest to equalising in stoppage time but the Bianconeri left the pitch empty handed.
The closing home fixture of the season brought a Calcio classic to the Allianz Stadium, but the long season had taken its toll on both sides. Milan started the stronger of the two teams. However, their only shot in the opening spell, from Junior Messias, was easily dealt with by Wojciech Szczęsny.
Just before the quarter of the hour, Juve threatened. Juan Cuadrado was invited to try his luck from distance, and his effort forced Mike Maignan to parry the shot wide.
The Bianconeri had a string of chances midway through the first half. First Moise Kean used his strength to charge forward from the half-way line. His cross was met on the slide by Ángel Di María, whose volley finished high. Immediately after, Federico Chiesa flashed a shot from a tight angle over the crossbar, while Kean on the turn at the edge of the area, drilled in a shot, which was comfortably taken by Maignan.
However, the only goal of the first half - and of the game - was scored by the visiting side. Davide Calabria floated in a cross, which was attacked by Olivier Giroud, who outjumped Federico Gatti and powered a header into the corner beyond Szczęsny.
Into the second half, the Rossoneri looked to add to their advantage when Alexis Saelemaekers was picked out inside the area. The substitute’s angled drive was blocked by Szczęsny, who earlier had used his height advantage over Brahim Diaz inside the six-yard box.
Juve made progress into the Maignan's area on 84’, but Adrien Rabiot’s header flew wide of target. Milan had put up a red and black wall in front of their goal and Juve were invited to break it down, which they almost did in stoppage time.
A corner kick reached Danilo whose close range effort was net bound until it was blocked by Pierre Kalulua practically on his goal line.
At the full-time whistle, the visitors celebrated nailing down fourth place and Champions League football next season. For Juventus, next week’s final match at Udinese will decide the Bianconeri’s final league position.
JUVENTUS 0-1 MILAN (HT: 0-1):
Scorers: 41′ Giroud.
JUVENTUS: Szczęsny; Gatti, Bremer (82′ Bonucci), Danilo; Cuadrado, Locatelli, Rabiot, Kostic (63′ Paredes); Di Maria (63′ Milik), Kean (72′ Iling-Junior), Chiesa.
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, Alex Sandro, Rugani, Barbieri, Miretti, Sersanti.
MILAN: Maignan; Calabria (85′ Kalulu), Thiaw, Tomori, Theo Hernandez; Tonali, Krunic; Messias (56′ Saelemaekers), Brahim Diaz (81′ Pobega), Leao (81′ Ballo-Touré); Giroud (85′ Origi).
Subs not used: Mirante, Tătăruşanu; Florenzi, Gabbia, Kjær; Adli, Vranckx; De Ketelaere.
BOOKINGS: 33′ Messias, 55′ Cuadrado, 64′ Krunic.
On the evening that Juventus were docked 10 points for events off the pitch, the team lost 4-1 on it.
Empoli took advantage of their chances, while the Bianconeri missed theirs to lead 2-0 at the break. The hosts went three goals up before Federico Chiesa pulled one back with five minutes to play, only for Empoli to score a fourth deep inside stoppage time.
Despite the news that had filtered through to the players, Juventus started with intent to climb back up the standings.
The first chances fell to Dušan Vlahović and Filip Kostić, but both times home keeper Guglielmo Vicario smothered the danger. On 13 minutes, Arek Milik got involved, attacking a corner played to the edge of the six-yard penalty area. The striker’s header crashed back off the crossbar and although Federico Gatti poked the ball into the net from the ensuing scramble, VAR confirmed that Vicario had been impeded in the lead-up.
Despite dominating the opening 15 minutes, Juve would find themselves two goals down five minutes later. With their first attack, Empoli were awarded a penalty when Milik tripped Nicolò Cambiaghi at the edge of the area. Francesco Caputo converted the spot kick.
Three minutes later a corner wasn’t cleared despite a reflex save from Wojciech Szczęsny from a close range Jean Akpa Akpro header. The ball broke into the path of Sebastiano Luperto, who drove his shot high into the net.
The Bianconeri responded immediately. Bremer was guilty of missing a gilt-edged chance when the ball broke to him from six yards out but he couldn’t keep his shot down. Adrien Rabiot then went close with a powerful shot from distance, but Juve were being well marshalled by the home side.
The last chance in the first half arrived in stoppage time when Kostić played through Vlahović, but a tackle from Vicario, who had come rushing outside of his penalty area, stopped the striker in his tracks.
At the start of the second half the script remained the same despite Leandro Paredes and Federico Chiesa being brought on after the interval.
The first opportunity fell to Vlahović, who skied his shot. Two minutes later, Empoli scored their third. Akpa Akpro raced away from Alex Sandro. His cross was flicked beyond Szczęsny by Caputo for the veteran striker’s second on the night.
The three-goal deficit was reduced with five minutes to play. Rabiot’s cross cleared the danger area before arriving to Chiesa, who controlled with his chest before drilling a volley low into the net.
The goal didn’t spark an onslaught from Juve, however, and Empoli restored their three-goal advantage in stoppage time. Roberto Piccoli was set up in front of goal and the striker drilled home on 93 minutes.
An evening that started in anomalous circumstances ended with a result no one would have predicted.
EMPOLI 4-1 JUVENTUS (HT: 2-0):
Scorers: 18′ (pen) & 48’ Caputo, 22′ Luperto, 85′ Chiesa, 90+3′ Piccoli.
EMPOLI: Vicario; Ebuehi, Ismajli, Luperto, Parisi; Grassi, Bandinelli (68′ Haas); Akpa Akpro (87′ Stojanovic), Fazzini (78′ Henderson), Cambiaghi (78′ Pjaca); Caputo (87′ Piccoli).
Subs not used: Perisan, Ujkani; Cacace, Satriano, Destro, Tonelli, Vignato.
JUVENTUS: Szczęsny; Gatti, Bremer, Alex Sandro (63′ Rugani); Barbieri (46′ Chiesa), Miretti (46′ Paredes), Locatelli (58′ Di Maria), Rabiot, Kostic; Milik (58′ Kean), Vlahovic.
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin,, Riccio, Sersanti, Iling-Junior.
Bookings: 53′ Parisi, 55′ Rabiot, 66′ Bandinelli, 76′ Paredes.
Juventus tumbled out of the Europa League in the semi-finals despite a battling performance in a pulsating match at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán stadium.
In a game that saw both sides create chances, the Bianconeri opened the scoring on 65 minutes through Dušan Vlahović. The lead lasted seven minutes when Suso levelled from distance.
The match was decided in extra time by Lamela, who powered a header beyond Wojciech Szczęsny.
With five changes to the starting XI from last week’s first leg in Turin, Juventus took time to settle in the passionate atmosphere of the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán stadium. That said, on 15 minutes the Bianconeri’s first shot, struck by Nicolò Fagioli, who would be stretchered off later in the opening half following a shoulder injury, led to the team’s first corner. Again Federico Gatti displayed his aerial strength, bulleting a header that was well saved by Yassine Bounou.
Sevilla’s response came from a flashing header from Lucas Ocampos, which was miraculously kept out by Wojciech Szczęsny. Five minutes later, Tek made another acrobatic stop to deny a dipping shot from Marcos Acuña. In between the two chances for the home team, Juve created a glorious opportunity themselves. A well-worked counter attack saw Adrien Rabiot feed Ángel Di María on the run. With only the keeper to beat, El Fideo chipped wide of the target.
On 33’ Moise Kean used his strength to hold off a challenge from Loïc Badé to drive his shot across the face of goal, beyond Bounou but the effort bounced back off the upright.
Juve did have the ball in the back of the net in the first half. Leandro Paredes, who had replaced Fagioli, lofted a pass over the top for Manuel Locatelli, who dragged his cross into the path of Adrien Rabiot. The Frenchman slammed his shot high into the net, but the flag was raised against Locatelli. VAR confirmed the midfielder set off in an offside position.
Again it was Juve that created the first clear-cut chance after the interval. Rabiot was sent through but dragged his shot wide of the far post. Before the hour mark, Bremer headed wide as the Bianconeri continued to look dangerous.
And the game’s opening goal arrived on 65 minutes.
Dušan Vlahović latched onto some slack play at the edge of the Sevilla area and dinked his shot over the advancing keeper. Budapest beckoned.
However, seven minutes later another substitute, Suso unleashed an unstoppable shot that flew high beyond Szczęsny for the equaliser.
With a quarter of an hour of the 90 minutes remaining, it was 1-1 on the night, 2-2 on aggregate.
As the game edged towards extra time, Szczęsny made a fine block to keep out Bryan Gil, then the Juve number 1 acrobatically tipped Youssef En-Neysri’s header over the bar.
Also in the first period of extra time, the first chance fell to Juve. Federico Chiesa drilled a low shot at the near post, which Bounou spilled but managed to scoop the ball away from the onrushing Vlahović.
A minute later Sevilla scored the match’s third goal. Gil’s flighted cross was met by Lamela, whose header gave Szczęsny no chance.
Sevilla sat back, intent on soaking up the pressure. Acuña was shown a second yellow card for time wasting leaving the hosts down to 10 men after 115 minutes.
Juve threw cross after cross into the middle, but there was to be no repeat of the last-gasp equaliser in the first leg. Juventus bowed out of the Europa League in the semi-finals for the second time.
SEVILLA 2-1 JUVENTUS (AET) (HT: 0-0) (3-2 AGG.):
Scorers: 66′ Vlahovic, 72′ Suso, 95′ Lamela.
SEVILLA: Bounou; Jesus Navas (105′ Gomez), Gudelj, Badé, Acuña; Fernando, Rakitic; Oliver Torres (61′ Suso) (117′ Rekik), Ocampos (69′ Lamela), Bryan Gil (99′ Montiel); En-Nesyri.
Subs not used: Dmitrovic, Alberto Flores, Alex Telles, Rafa Mir, Hormigo, Bueno.
JUVENTUS: Szczęsny; Gatti, Bremer, Danilo; Cuadrado (105′ Milik), Fagioli (40′ Paredes), Locatelli (86′ Miretti), Rabiot, Iling-Junior (86′ Kostic); Di Maria (63′ Chiesa); Kean (63′ Vlahovic).
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, Alex Sandro, Rugani, Barbieri.
Bookings: 11′ Kean, 57′ Acuna, 105′ Danilo, 116′ Paredes, 117′ Suso, 120 Montiel.
Sending off: 115′ Acuna.
The return of Paul Pogba to the starting line-up was the major talkig point as a new-look Juve - launching the shirt for season 23/24 - welcomed Cremonese. However, Pogba's involvement was short-lived due to a muscle injury.
Juventus nonetheless collected all three points to reclaim outright second place in the Serie A table thanks to second half goals from Nicolò Fagioli and Bremer.
With Cremonese fighting to keep their Serie A status, the visitors’ tactics were simple: keep Juventus as far as possible from their goal. Although Davide Ballardini’s side were content to concede the Bianconeri possession, the flicks and vision of Paul Pogba combined with the pace and direct running of Federico Chiesa were beginning to work openings in the Cremonese rearguard.
In fact, it was Pogba who had the first glimpse at goal when he turned inside the area. However, Vlad Chiriches blocked the number 10’s effort. On 22 minutes, after flighting in a cross, Pogba fell to the ground in pain. The midfielder left the pitch in tears, replaced by Arkadiusz Milik. The Polish striker was the first to test Marco Carnesecchi with a shot from distance.
The Cremonese goalkeeper then had to react quickly to parry a Bremer header from a corner.
The grey and red wall was doing its job, keeping Juve at a safe distance, until the final seconds of stoppage time in the first half when Leandro Parades picked out Milik, who had sneaked in behind the defence. However, Carnesecchi was alert to the danger and quickly punched clear before the forward could bring the ball under control.
More urgency was required to find a way through the well-drilled Cremonese defence and that’s exactly what Juve supplied at the restart. First a Milik cross was punched only as far as Paredes, whose drive was deflected for a corner. The Bianconeri kept up the pressure. Adrien Rabiot saw his shot saved and Milik turned the rebound over the bar.
However, the breakthrough was only minutes away. Chiesa was launched down the left wing and as he made his way into the area the number 7 laid the ball back to the edge of the area, where Nicolò Fagioli was waiting to lash the ball high behind Carnesecchi.
Juve knew a second goal would put the game to bed and so continued to push forward. Another Chiesa cross picked out Milik in the middle but a magnificent recovery tackle by Chiriches denied the Pole another goal against Cremonese.
The second goal duly arrived, but only after Milik had seen another effort disallowed for offside and Rabiot had hit the side netting from an excellent position.
With just over 10 minutes remaining a Paredes corner was met by Rabiot. The loose ball inside the area was too appetising for Bremer not to make the most of and he placed his header into the unguarded net.
A third win in succession in Serie A was just the confidence booster the team needed heading into Thursday’s Europa League semi-final decider against Sevilla.
JUVENTUS 2-0 CREMONESE (HT: 0-0):
Scorers: 55′ Fagioli, 79′ Bremer.
JUVENTUS: Perin; Gatti, Bremer, Danilo; Cuadrado (82′ Barbieri), Fagioli, Paredes, Rabiot, Chiesa (66′ Iling); Pogba (24′ Milik) (82′ Kean); Vlahovic (66′ Di Maria).
Subs not used: Szczęsny, Pinsoglio, Alex Sandro, Rugani, Locatelli, Kostić, Miretti.
CREMONESE: Carnesecchi; Ferrari (66′ Castagnetti), Chiriches, Lochoshvili (70′ Sernicola), Vasquez; Meite, Benassi (66′ Buonaiuto); Quagliata (46′ Valeri), Galdames, Okereke; Afena-Gyan (46′ Ciofani).
Subs not used: Saro, Sarr, Aiwu, Bianchetti, Ghiglione, Acella, Basso Ricci.
Bookings: 64′ Cuadrado, 66′ Danilo.
Leonardo Bonucci made his 500th appearance in the black and white stripes, but it was his replacement who grabbed the headlines with a last-gasp equaliser for Juventus against Sevilla. Federico Gatti pounced inside stoppage time to score for a second consecutive European night at the Allianz Stadium as the first leg of the Europa League semi-final finished 1-1.
The Spanish side took the lead on 26 minutes through Youssef En-Nesyri. At the interval Massimiliano Allegri made two changes and it would be substitutes linking up that set up, Gatti, who took over from Captain Bonucci on 62', that left the tie on a knife's edge.
An electric atmosphere welcomed the teams out on the pitch at the Allianz Stadium. Both teams displayed their intentions early to hit at pace, with Filip Kostić and Ángel Di María linking up with Dušan Vlahović. For Sevilla, the main threat came from Lucas Ocampos, who forced Wojciech Szczęsny into two early saves from headers. The second save, a one-handed parry, was especially worthy of note.
Immediately after, Vlahović had his first sight of goal. Although the flag was eventually raised for offside, the striker was thwarted twice in quick succession by Yassine Bounou. The Sevilla goalkeeper was cut out in Juve’s next attack. A low cross from Kostić on the left was placed out of reach of Bounou, whose presence did enough to unsettle Vlahović as he shot over with the goal gaping.
Ocampos missed a similar chance at the other end but two minutes later the hosts took the lead. This time Ocampos led a counter attack and delivered a low pass into the penalty area. A Bryan Gil dummy saw the ball arrive at the feet of Youssef En-Nesyri, who had time to pick his spot as he slotted his shot beyond Szczęsny on 26 minutes.
Juventus were clearly rocked at finding themselves a goal down but dug deep to hold firm and keep Sevilla at a safe distance for the remainder of the opening half. In fact it was from distance that Szczęsny was called into action again, on 40 minutes when Ivan Rakitić’s vicious swerver almost deceived the Juve keeper.
At the interval Massimiliano Allegri made two substitutions, Federico Chiesa and Samuel Iling-Junior.
The two forwards immediately gave the Bianconeri momentum going forward. Chiesa was inches away from making contact with a long-ball played into the area, while Iling jinked his way into the box but his cut-back didn’t find a teammate.
On 63 minutes it was Iling, however, who tested Bounou with a low drive from the edge of the area. It would be two other substitutes that would be fundamental in Juve levelling on the night.
Sevilla were happy to sit deeper and deeper in a bid to hold onto their lead, and the tactic was effective as Juve were denied any clear cut chances. But the never-say-die spirit came to the fore again.
With the last attack of the match, Chiesa won a corner, which he took himself. Paul Pogba played a header back across the face of goal, and from close range, Federico Gatti pounced with a crucial goal. In seven days the return leg in Andalusia will decide which of the two teams makes it to the final, in what is nothing less than a winner-takes-all.
JUVENTUS 1-1 SEVILLA (HT: 0-1):
Scorers: 26′ En-Nesyri, 90’+7′ Gatti.
JUVENTUS: Szczęsny; Danilo, Bonucci (61′ Gatti), Alex Sandro; Cuadrado, Miretti (46′ Chiesa), Locatelli, Rabiot, Kostic (46′ Iling); Di Maria (69′ Pogba); Vlahovic (61′ Milik).
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, Kean, Rugani, Soulé, Paredes, Fagioli.
SEVILLA: Bounou; Jesus Navas, Badé, Gudelj, Acuna; Fernando, Rakitic; Ocampos (34′ Montiel), Oliver Torres (73′ Gomez), Bryan Gil (81′ Lamela); En-Nesyri.
Subs not used: Dimitrovic, Alberto Flores, Alex Telles, Rekik, Rafa Mir, Bueno.
Bookings: 42′ Rabiot, 71′ Rakitic, 77′ Locatelli, 78′ Bryan Gil, 79′ Chiesa, 82′ Badé, Lamela 90+5’.
Two goals without reply in Bergamo. Juventus collected an important win on Serie A Matchday 34 thanks to second half goals from Samuel Iling Junior, on his first Serie A start, and Dušan Vlahović, back-to-back goals for the striker.
The three points on the back of a solid performance push Juve into second place, two points ahead of Lazio on a weekend when six of the top-eight teams in Serie A went head on.
The first lunchtime kick-off for Juventus coincided with the first signs of summer as the sun shone at a sold-out Gewiss Stadium. The temperature was certainly high on the pitch as both teams employed a pressing game, quickly closing down their opponents.
It was from Bianconeri pressure that the first chance of the match sprang. Nicolò Fagioli forced Teun Koopmeiners into a mistake at the edge of his own area. The ball broke into the path of Ángel Di María, who let fly from the edge of the area but curled his shot wide.
A minute later Arkadiusz Milik rose to meet a Juan Cuadrado cross but the striker flicked his header wide of the same post.
Not to be outdone, Atalanta created chances of their own. The first arrived from a corner which was met by Giorgio Scalvini, whose header hit the post. Davide Zappacosta then headed over from an interesting position at the edge of the six-yard box and a Marten De Roon piledriver was blocked by Alex Sandro.
The last chance of the first half was created down the Atalanta right-hand side, which was where the home side had been doing the bulk of their attacking. A cross from inside the area from Koopmeiners picked out Mario Pašalić, who lashed his shot over the bar.
Neither goalkeeper was called into action in the opening half. An aspect that would certainly change after the break.
In fact, 10 minutes after the restart Juve took the lead. Samuel Iling Junior won possession inside the Atalanta half before exchanging passes with Adrien Rabiot. The midfielder reached the deadball line and his low cross was deflected back to Iling, who finished from the edge of the six-yard area.
A Serie A debut to remember for the teenager.
Paul Pogba came close to adding a second after a swift counter attack. Then, with 15 minutes to play, Wojciech Szczęsny made his first save. Koopmeiners’s shot from a free-kick was hit with pace but was well covered by the Juventus number one.
In the closing minutes, the home side continued to push forward in search of an equaliser, while Juve aimed to wrap up the points on the break. On 89’ Dušan Vlahović hit his effort straight at Marco Sportiello as the Juve striker was played through one-on-one against the Atalanta goalkeeper. Only a minute elapsed before a surprise shot from Zappacosta at the edge of the area struck the face of the post and bounced to safety.
The Bianconeri defence was standing firm against everything the hosts were throwing at them and in the eighth minute of time added on Vlahović made sure all three points were heading back to Turin. The number nine unleashed an unstoppable shot that flew into the top corner.
Juventus move into second place with four matches of Serie A to play. Attention now turns to the Europa League semi-final.
ATALANTA 0-2 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-0):
Scorers: 56′ Iling, 90+8′ Vlahović.
ATALANTA: Sportiello; Toloi, Djimsiti, Scalvini; Maehle, De Roon, Koopmeiners, Zappacosta; Ederson (49′ Boga) (64′ Soppy), Pasalic (60′ Muriel); Zapata.
Subs not used: Musso, Rossi, Okoli, Demiral, Palestra.
JUVENTUS: Szczęsny; Danilo, Rugani, Alex Sandro; Cuadrado, Fagioli (64′ Pogba), Locatelli, Rabiot, Iling-Junior (82′ Kostić); Di Maria (82′ Chiesa); Milik (64′ Vlahović).
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, Bremer, Gatti, Bonucci, Barbieri, Miretti, Kean, Soulé.
Bookings: 62′ Rabiot, 90′ Maehle, 90+9′ Vlahović.
All the goals came in the first half as Juve collected a first win in Serie A since the opening week of April. The 2-1 win over Lecce came courtesy of goals from Leandro Paredes and Dušan Vlahović, who restored Juve's lead after the visitors had equalised from the penalty spot.
The Bianconeri came close to adding a third through Danilo in the second half, but his header struck the upright. At the other end, Wojciech Szczęsny made an important double block to maintain the advantage.
Momentarily, Juve move into second place.
Straight from kick off there was no holding back between Juventus and Lecce. As early as the second minute the visitors had the ball in the net when Assan Ceesay slid in at the far post. However, VAR indicated that the Lecce striker was in an off-side position.
He wouldn’t be the only player to have his joy short-lived for the same reason.
On eight minutes Filip Kostić attempted an audacious lob on the run but couldn’t keep his effort on target. Juve continued to press, however, and Nicolò Fagioli won a free-kick after a quarter of an hour. Leandro Paredes took full advantage of a gap in the defensive wall to drive his shot into the bottom corner.
Ten minutes later the Bianconeri had the ball in the net for a second time. However, it was Fabio Miretti who was to share the same fate as Ceesay. A well-worked move with Ángel Di María pulling the strings saw Miretti run onto the ball and crack a shot in off the crossbar.
A matter of centimetres denied the teenager, adjudged to be fractionally offside, his first goal in Serie A.
On 30 minutes, Massimiliano Allegri had to make the first substitution of the match as Mattia De Sciglio was stretchered off. Juan Cuadrado took over on the right flank.
As the match flowed from one end to the other, on 37’ from a Lecce cross the ball struck the arm of Danilo inside the area. For a second match in a row, Juve had to face a penalty. For a second match in a row, Lecce had a chance to score from a spot-kick.
Ceesay this time had a chance to celebrate as he drove his penalty low into the corner. Even if he guessed correctly, Szczęsny just couldn’t reach the well-placed shot.
Only three minutes later Juve were back in front thanks to the Serbian connection. A Kostić cross was met sweetly on the half-volley by Dušan Vlahović, who smashed his shot low into the far corner.
Either side of the interval Miretti found himself in a goal-scoring position again. Before the break he flicked an effort over the bar, then with the first chance since the restart, the midfielder poked the ball wide from the edge of the six-yard box with the goal at his mercy.
Juve came close to opening a two-goal advantage through Danilo. Looking to make amends for giving away the penalty, the defender pushed forward for a corner but saw his header crash off the post.
It wasn’t all one-way traffic, however, and the Bianconeri had Szczęsny to thank for two reflex saves from point-blank headers, the first from Ceesay, the second on the rebound from Federico Baschirotto.
With just the one-goal lead, the tension remained inside the Allianz Stadium even until the final seconds of the five minutes of time added on.
At the final whistle, the Juve faithful gave a huge cheer of satisfaction - Juventus were back to winning ways in Serie A.
JUVENTUS 2-1 LECCE (HT: 2-1):
Scorers: 15′ Paredes, 37′ Ceesay (pen), 40′ Vlahovic.
JUVENTUS: Szczęsny;Bremer (87′ Gatti), Bonucci, Danilo; De Sciglio (32′ Cuadrado), Fagioli, Paredes (87′ Locatelli), Miretti (72′ Pogba), Kostić; Di Maria (72′ Chiesa); Vlahović.
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, Alex Sandro, Rugani, Milik, Kean, Soulé, Iling jr.
LECCE: Falcone; Romagnoli, Baschirotto, Umtiti, Pezzella (70′ Ceccaroni); Gonzalez (59′ Di Francesco), Hjulmand (89′ Voelkerling), Maleh (59′ Blin); Banda, Ceesay (89′ Colombo), Oudin.
Subs not used: Bleve, Brancolini, Tuia, Helgason, Gendrey, Cassandro.
BOOKINGS: 47’ Umtiti, 55′ Paredes, 61′ Pezzella, 76′ Bremer.
Juventus stretched their unbeaten run at Bologna to 20 matches with a share of the points in Serie A Matchday 32 after the Bianconeri came from a goal down to draw 1-1 at the Renato Dall'Ara stadium.
The first half was a tale of two penalties. Bologna converted theirs on 10 minutes, through Riccardo Orsolini. On the half-hour, Arek Milik saw his spot kick saved by Lukasz Skorupski.
Milik made amends, however, with the equaliser on 61 minutes. Juve are return to league action when they host Lecce in the midweek round as the season heads into a nail-biting finale for a top-four finish.
Both sides fielded 4-3-3 formations set to attack. Juve’s front three of Federico Chiesa, Arkadiusz Milik and Filip Kostić were intent on breaking down the home defence, which was saved twice by Georgios Kyrakopoulos at the edge of his own penalty area.
Bologna’s reply came in the shape of Riccardo Orsolini, who stole the ball from Alex Sandro to be then tripped up by Danilo as he made his way into the penalty box. After consulting with VAR the referee pointed to the penalty spot (due to a malfunctioning pitchside monitor the referee was not able to check the evidence in person). Orsolini took the penalty himself, sending Wojciech Szczęsny the wrong way.
Juve set out to find an equaliser, but one player in particular would ensure Bologna held onto their lead until half-time, Lukasz Skorupski. The home keeper first denied Arek Milik’s volley on 25 minutes. A minute later, the Bianconeri broke into the Bologna box again, this time through Nicolò Fagioli. His first close-range effort was blocked by Skorupski, who parried the shot back into the path of Fagioli, who tried his luck again, but this time the keeper’s foot kept the ball out.
The Bianconeri continued to create chances and were awarded a penalty of their own when Milik was upended at the edge of the area. Again the referee was advised by VAR after he had initially given a free-kick.
Milik stepped up but saw his spot kick saved by Skorupski. The Polish striker would eventually have the better of his international teammate, but only after the interval.
Samuel Iling Jr and Matias Soulé were introduced to the action just short of the hour mark, and the two substitutes made an immediate impact. Iling touched the ball into the area for Chiesa, whose attempted pass was deflected into the path of Milik. This time the striker drilled the ball beyond Skorupski.
Iling again was at the heart of the next attack, which almost led to Juve completing the turnaround. The winger spun inside the area, only to blast his shot over the bar.
Bologna came off the ropes in the closing phases as both sides created chances to clinch all three points. Stefan Posch headed wide from close range after Orsolini attempted a spectacular volley. Soon after, Joshua Zirkzee was thwarted twice in as many minutes by Szczęsny.
However, the last clear-cut chance fell to Juve on 85 minutes. Dušan Vlahović challenged for a cross, obliging Skorpuski to punch the ball down only as far as Soulé, who from the height of the penalty area with the goal gaping, shot over the bar.
The point kept Juventus in third place, but with six teams split by only six points the chase for a top-four finish is hotting up, and the teams return to action in midweek, when Lecce visit the Allianz Stadium.
BOLOGNA 1-1 JUVENTUS (HT: 1-0):
Scorers: 10’ Orsolini (pen), 61’ Milik.
BOLOGNA: Skorupski; Posch (86′ De Silvestri), Soumaoro, Lucumì, Kyriakopoulos (66′ Cambiaso); Moro (81′ Medel), Schouten, Dominguez (66′ Zirkzee); Orsolini, Barrow, Ferguson (81′ Aebischer).
Subs not used: Bardi, Ravaglia, Bonifazi, Sosa, Lykogiannis, Pyyhtia.
Coach: Thiago Motta.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Cuadrado, Gatti, Danilo, Alex Sandro; Fagioli (57′ Soulé), Locatelli (83′ Paredes), Rabiot; Chiesa (69′ Miretti), Milik (83′ Vlahovic), Kostic (57′ Iling-Junior).
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, De Sciglio, Bremer, Bonucci, Rugani, Pogba.
BOOKINGS: 2′ Posch, 41′ Kyriakopoulos, 54′ Rabiot, 87′ Paredes.
Juventus missed out on an eighth Coppa Italia final in nine seasons after losing 1-0 to Inter in the semi-final second leg at San Siro. The game's only goal arrived after a quarter an hour of play from Federico Dimarco.
The Bianconeri saw plenty of the ball but lacked the creativity to find a way in behind the Inter defence.
In the end Juve bowed out 2-1 on aggregate.
The 36th Derby d’Italia in Coppa Italia kicked off with both sides being highly attentive, with Juventus sitting deep, perhaps too deep.
As early as the third minute, the home side created the first chance. A cross whipped in from the right was just beyond Lautaro Martinez. Bremer’s timely interception denied a scoring opportunity for Edin Dzeko.
Likewise, 10 minutes later Alex Sandro was well positioned to head clear from Denzel Dumfries lurking at the far post.
However, Inter continued to press and took the lead on 15 minutes. Nicolò Barella played a pass through the heart of the Juve defence for an unmarked Federico Dimarco, who hit a first time shot with the outside of his boot to place the ball beyond Mattia Perin.
Juve’s response came in the shape of a Mattia De Sciglio header that flashed just wide and a Filip Kostić shot, which produced a fine save from Andrè Onana.
The Bianconeri knew something more was needed after the break to keep their cup dreams alive. Arek Milik came on at the restart to add to the attacking options.
And the first signs were positive. Fabio Miretti found himself in space at the edge of the area but couldn’t keep his shot down. A few minutes later Manuel Locatelli hit the target but his shot curled into the arms of Onana.
On 52 minutes Inter had the ball in the net for the second time after Edin Dzeko placed his shot in off the far post. The goal was disallowed due to striker having set off from an offside position. A reprieve for Juve, but the Bianconeri were still struggling to find the guile to break down a well-drilled Inter defence.
In fact, with a one-handed save from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, it was Perin the keeper that was most severely tested in the closing stages of the match.
Even four minutes of time couldn't change the complexion of the game. Juve failed to find the goal to take the game to extra time. At the final whistle, Dimarco’s goal proved enough on the night for Inter.
INTER 1-0 JUVENTUS (HT: 1-0):
Scorers: 15’ Dimarco.
INTER: Onana; Darmian, Acerbi, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella (68′ Brozovic), Calhanoglu (82′ Gagliardini), Mkhitaryan, Dimarco (78′ Gosens); Dzeko (68′ Lukaku), Lautaro Martinez (78′ Correa).
Subs not used: Cordaz, Botis, De Vrij, Bellanova, Asllani, D’Ambrosio, Carboni, Zanotti.
JUVENTUS: Perin; Bremer, Bonucci (68′ Danilo), Alex Sandro; De Sciglio, Miretti (79′ Pogba), Locatelli (62′ Paredes), Rabiot, Kostic (46′ Milik); Di Maria, Chiesa.
Subs not used: Szczęsny, Pinsoglio, Gatti, Rugani, Fagioli, Soulé, Iling-Junior.
BOOKINGS: 58′ Locatelli, 90’+2′ Mkhitaryan.
Despite finding the net twice, Juventus came out losers in the Serie A Matchday 31 fixture against Napoli. Ángel Di María and Dušan Vlahović had goals disallowed inside the final 10 minutes of a tight contest with the league leaders, who then claimed victory in stoppage time through Giacomo Raspadori.
Juventus did not hold back, not allowing Napoli to settle in possession in the opening minutes.
On 10’ the first shot. A rasping effort from Juan Cuadrado, which Alex Meret was happy just to parry, allowing his defence to mop up the loose ball.
Six minutes later, Filip Kostić made progress down the left flank. His cross reached Arek Milik, whose header brought another save from Meret.
As the game progressed, Napoli were seeing more of the ball but the aggressive pressing game by Juve was keeping Wojciech Szczęsny a virtual bystander. On 26’ Adrien Rabiot muscled his way onto a through ball after Matias Soulé and Cuadrado had linked up to good effect. Rabiot’s cross was too powerful for the onrushing Milik as it sped across the face of the Napoli goal.
At the other end, only once did Napoli see some daylight between them and the Juve goal. Hirving Lozano sped away on the counter attack but a timely recovery tackle by Danilo blocked the winger’s shot. Federico Gatti was on hand to complete the clearance.
Napoli’s possession continued to grow but at half time the visitors had failed to hit a shot on target.
Five minutes after the restart the first save from Szczęsny after Khvicha Kvaratskhelia cut in from the left.
Half way through the second half the goal threat posed by Victor Osimhen came to the fore. The Serie A top scorer had three attempts in the space of a few minutes. First the striker’s shot was deflected out for a corner. From the set piece he won a header, which was placed straight at Szczęsny, who then watched Osimhen’s half-volley fly over the crossbar from close range.
The reaction from Juventus came in the shape of Daniele Rugani with an attempted scissors kick, quickly followed up by a Milik slap shot that went wide.
Heading into the closing 10 minutes, the game opened up and Juve thought they had scored the opener. A lightning counter attack was finished off by Ángel Di María. However, a tackle by Milik before El Fideo was sent in on goal was adjudged to have been a foul after the VAR review.
Two minutes later the Bianconeri had the ball in the net again. Federico Chiesa sprinted to the deadball line. His cut back was finished off by Dušan Vlahović. This time the goal was disallowed because the ball had crossed the line before Chiesa’s delivery.
Inside stoppage time it seemed as if Szczęsny had ensured Juve a point when he denied Osimhen with the striker galloping in on goal. However, there was still time for Giacomo Raspadori to fire a volley into the net.
Juve threw everything forward in a last ditch attempt to salvage a point but it was to be the visitors’ night.
JUVENTUS 0-1 NAPOLI (HT: 0-0):
Scorers: 90+3’ Raspadori.
JUVENTUS: Szczęsny; Cuadrado, Gatti, Rugani, Danilo; Soulé (65′ Fagioli), Rabiot, Locatelli, Kostic (60′ Chiesa); Miretti (60′ Di Maria); Milik (89′ Vlahovic).
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, De Sciglio, Bremer, Alex Sandro, Bonucci, Pogba, Paredes, Iling-Junior.
NAPOLI: Meret; Di Lorenzo, Kim, Juan Jesus, Olivera; Anguissa, Lobotka (90’+5′ Rrahmani), Ndombele (68′ Zielinski); Lozano (68′ Elmas), Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia (86′ Raspadori).
Subs not used: Marfella, Gollini, Demme, Bereszynski, Zerbin, Zedadka, Ostigard, Gaetano.
BOOKINGS: 23′ Locatelli, 39′ Rabiot, 85′ Fagioli, 89′ Di Maria, 90’+7′ Anguissa.
Juventus have secured qualification into this year’s Europa League semi-finals following a 1-1 draw against Sporting CP at the José Alvalade Stadium. Adrien Rabiot’s early strike inside 10 minutes was cancelled out by Marcus Edward’s penalty kick, yet Federico Gatti’s winner in the first leg proved vital as the Bianconeri progressed 2-1 on aggregate.
Mister Allegri opted to field an attacking trident featuring Federico Chiesa, Angel Di Maria and Dušan Vlahović, knowing full-well his side could not sit on the 1-0 lead from the first leg played a week prior.
Yet it would free-scoring Frenchman Adrien Rabiot who would give the Bianconeri the lead, the midfielder reacting quickest to a loose ball in the box following Juve’s first corner of the match, turning in his 11th goal of the season just nine minutes into the encounter.
Ten minutes later, however, Juve’s goalscorer was adjudged to have taken down Manuel Ugarte in the Sporting box, as the hosts were awarded a spot-kick. Edwards stepped up to the mark, sending Wojciech Szczesny the wrong way to make it 1-1.
The Portuguese side, backed by a vocal home crowd, rode the momentum from their equaliser as they looked to get back into the tie, enjoying a decent spell of possession in attack, but failing to make their half-chances count. Diomande rose highest from Sporting’s fifth corner of the match in the 35th minute, but could only guide his headed effort wide of the right-hand upright.
The visitors began the second half with positive intent, Vlahović involved in the thick of the action as he twice came close to registering his name on the scoresheet, narrowly failing to head Juan Cuadrado’s cross from the right-hand side on target before having a strike on goal deflected out for a corner minutes later.
The Serb would then combine well the lively Chiesa, the Italian latching onto his teammate's pass, but could not keep his shot down as he watched it sail over the bar.
With 20 minutes to go, Coach Allegri made a triple substitution, bringing on Paul Pogba and Arek Milik to add to the attack, while an injury to Bremer saw first-leg scorer Federico Gatti added to the fray.
In desperate need of a goal, the home side continued their attacking intent, with a heart-in-mouth moment for the Bianconeri as Danilo misjudged a ball in the box, allowing Ricardo Esgaio to slip in behind, yet the right-back could only drag his shot on goal wide.
It was nervy end to the game for Juventus as an unmarked Sebastian Coates blazed a volley over the bar from close range, before failing to connect cleanly with a neatly-played ball over the top on 90 minutes as Alex Sandro hoofed away the danger.
Juventus remained resolute, seeing out the match to secure the 2-1 aggregate victory, and a date with Sevilla in the Last Four of this season’s Europa League.
SPORTING CP - JUVENTUS 1-1:
SCORERS: 9' Rabiot (J), 20' Edwards (S).
SPORTING: Adan; Diomande, Inacio (71' Matheus Reis), Coates; Esgaio, Ugarte, Morita, Santos (87' Arthur Gomes); Trincao (81' Chermiti), Edwards, Gonçalves.
Unused subs: Diogo Pinto, Israel, Alexandropoulos, Luis Neto, Rochinha, Fatawu Issahaku, Bellerin, Tanlongo, Dario Essugo.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Cuadrado, Danilo, Bremer (71' Gatti), Alex Sandro; Rabiot, Locatelli, Miretti (71' Pogba); Di Maria, Vlahovic (71' Milik), Chiesa (78' Kostic).
Unused subs: Perin, Pinsoglio, De Sciglio, Bonucci, Rugani, Soulé, Paredes, Fagioli.
BOOKINGS: Ugarte, Edwards (S), Gatti, Pogba (J).
Juventus fell to consecutive defeats in Serie A losing by the game's only goal at Sassuolo. Neither side risked much in the first half, but the game opened up after the break. Sassuolo took the lead through substitute Gregoire Defrel on 64 minutes. Adrien Rabiot and Angel Di Maria came closest to pulling Juve level but in the end the Bianconeri left empty handed.
Concentration turns once more to the Europa League on Thursday, when Juve take on Sporting CP in Lisbon.
Another youngster promoted from the Next Gen made his Serie A debut. For Tommaso Barbieri it was not his first team debut having already tasted Champions League action against Paris Saint Germain in November. Still, the 20 year old was one of the main outlets for Juve in a tight first half.
The full-back won a couple of corners, which for once the Bianconeri could not make the most of, leaving Andrea Consigli in the home goal untested over the opening 45 minutes.
The same could be said for Consigli’s opposite number. Mattia Perin cut out two low crosses played into his six-yard penalty area, but also the Juve shotstopper had a quiet first half. Sassuolo winger Nedim Bajrami came closest to testing Perin, but the replacement for the injured Domenico Berardi shot high after finding himself in a useful position on the right side of the penalty area.
Neither side had shown the guile to break down their opponents. After 45 minutes of taking the measure of each other, both teams had to risk something more after the interval to make the breakthrough.
Sassuolo made the first change in an attempt to alter the balance of the game, bringing on Gregoire Defrel at the start of the second half. The substitute brought out a first-class save from Perin on 56 minutes from a corner, which had been awarded after another Perin save from a curling shot from Maxime Lopez.
The home side continued to keep the pressure on the Juve defence, obliging Federico Gatti to make unconventional clearances, first off his own goal line then from a corner he headed against his own post. Sasssuolo’s pressure eventually paid off. From the Neroverdi’s ninth corner, Nicolò Fagioli miss hit his clearance into the path of Defrel, who drilled a low shot into the net.
Massimiliano Allegri threw on Federico Chiesa and Angel Di Maria and the two subs linked up for one of Juve’s most clear cut chances to level. First, however, home keeper Andrea Consigli miraculously kept out Adrien Rabiot’s header. From the resulting corner, Juve kept up the pressure with Chiesa who burst to the heart of the Sassuolo penalty area. His cutback reached Di Maria, who blasted over the crossbar.
Juventus collected corner after corner but never again tested Consigli, resulting in a second consecutive Serie A defeat. The Bianconeri must pick themselves up immediately, on Thursday there is the return leg in Lisbon of the Europa League quarter-finals.
SASSUOLO 1-0 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-0):
SCORERS: 65′ Defrel.
SASSUOLO: Consigli; Toljan, Erlic, Tressoldi (89′ Ferrari), Rogerio; Frattesi, Lopez, Henrique (70′ Harroui); Bajrami (77′ Zortea), Pinamonti (46′ Defrel), Laurientè (77′ Ceide).
Subs not used: Pegolo, Russo, Marchizza, Alvarez, Obiang, Romagna, D’Andrea, Thorstvedt.
JUVENTUS: Perin; Gatti, Bremer, Danilo; Barbieri (57′ Cuadrado), Paredes (82′ Pogba), Fagioli (66′ Miretti), Rabiot, Kostic (66′ Chiesa); Milik (57′ Di Maria), Vlahovic.
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Bonucci, Rugani, Locatelli, Soulé, Iling-Junior.
Bookings: 90’+5’ Chiesa.
Juventus earned a narrow victory in the first leg of the Europa League quarter-finals against Sporting CP. The game’s only goal came from Federico Gatti, with his first goal for the club. With a double stop in stoppage time, Mattia Perin made sure the Bianconeri take a 1-0 win to defend in Lisbon next week.
Massimiliano Allegri picked three in attack, Arek Milik flanked by Federico Chiesa and Ángel Di María. In fact, Juventus set out to exploit the pace of Chiesa, who looked the most dangerous of the Bianconeri in the opening phases.
On 11 minutes the vision of Di María saw Chiesa on the run and the pass from El Fideo was inch perfect. Chiesa brought the ball down with one touch, with the second he struck his shot, which forced a clever stop from Adan. The Sporting keeper was called into action four minutes later. This time Chiesa popped up on the right wing when his low cross was cut out by the Spanish shotstopper.
Sporting then came more into the game as an attacking force, and it was the Juve keeper that would be the busier of the two. The first scare came on 20 minutes when Hidemasa Morita drilled a low shot just wide. Nine minutes later, following a corner, Coates hit a volley which brought out an excellent save from Wojciech Szczęsny, who a minute later made a similar save from Pedro Gonçalves. The visitors continued to create and Nuno Santos saw his effort cleared off the line by Filip Kostić.
In the closing minutes of the first half Szczęsny was taken off after receiving treatment, replaced by Mattia Perin. Sporting were also forced into a change with Jeremiah St. Juste coming off injured.
The second half, if possible, was even tighter than the opening 45 minutes. Both sides made double substitutions just after the hour mark in a bid to find the key to unlock the opposing defence.
However, it was once again the pace of Chiesa that caused the Sporting defence problems. His low cross was inviting but found no takers. However, from the resulting corner kick Juve took the lead.
The delivery from Di María caught out Adan. Dušan Vlahović took advantage to head goalwards. Two Sporting players combined to clear the ball off the line but Federico Gatti was there to pounce inside the six-yard box to prod the ball into the net.
The defender’s first goal for Juve, and it was huge.
The visitors set out to grab an equaliser but it was only in stoppage time that they actually created scoring chances, two in succession, and both times Perin the stops on the goalline to ensure Juve held on for a fourth straight win in the Europa League - all achieved without conceding a goal along the way.
In a week’s time, the return leg in Lisbon, with qualification for the semi-finals on the line.
JUVENTUS 1-0 SPORTING CP (HT: 0-0):
Scorers: 73’ Gatti.
JUVENTUS: Szczęsny; (41′ Perin); Gatti, Bremer, Danilo; Cuadrado, Locatelli (85′ Paredes), Rabiot, Kostic (63′ Fagioli); Di Maria (85′ Pogba), Chiesa; Milik (63′ Vlahovic).
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Kean, Bonucci, Miretti, Rugani.
SPORTING CP: Adan; St.Juste (45+3′ Diomande), Inacio, Coates; Esgaio (77′ Bellerin), Gonçalves, Morita, Nuno Santos (63′ Reis); Edwards (77′ Issahaku), Chermiti (63′ Gomes), Trincao.
Subs not used: Israel, André Paulo, Alexandropoulos, Luis Neto, Rochinha, Tanlongo, Essugo.
BOOKINGS: 20′ Inacio, 24′ Rabiot.
Juventus fell for a second time in succession at the Olimpico in Rome when they lost 2-1 to Lazio in Serie A Matchday 29.
Adrien Rabiot had equalised just before half-time after Sergej Milinković-Savić had broken the deadlock. Mattia Zaccagni restored Lazio's lead on 53 minutes.
No team had been as effective as Lazio in the opening quarter of an hour throughout the Serie A campaign and Maurizio Sarri’s side again started strongly, forcing Juve on the backfoot.
Twice in the space of a minute Sergej Milinković-Savić had the chance to open the scoring. First on 12 minutes, the towering Serb found himself unmarked at a corner, but his free-header sailed over the crossbar. A one-two with Luis Alberto then saw the midfielder dribble his way into the penalty area before Bremer made a crucial challenge.
It was Milinković that eventually did open the scoring. Wojciech Szczęsny - who had earlier made a full-stretch save to keep out a Ciro Immobile volley - could do nothing as the Lazio number 27 slammed the ball home from close range. Following consultation with VAR the referee confirmed the goal, adjudging that Alex Sandro had not been fouled by the eventual goalscorer in the build-up.
Juve’s response was swift and determined. The Bianconeri won a corner immediately after the restart, which was met by Bremer. The centreback’s powerful header was kept out by Ivan Provedel but Adrien Rabiot pounced inside the six-yard box to bundle the ball into the net.
Both sides continued to attack at the start of the second half, but it was Lazio that found the game’s third and final goal. Felipe Anderson played a pass into the penalty area. Some quick thinking by Luis Alberto freed Mattia Zaccagni, who curled his shot beyond Szczęsny.
Again Juve looked to respond. Federico Chiesa’s pace on the left, Ángel Di María’s skill on the right were the main attacking threats employed by the Bianconeri. While a Chiesa run and cross set up Nicolò Fagioli, whose volley finished just over the bar, Di María had a goal-bound effort blocked by Milinković-Savić.
In the five minutes of time added on Juventus continued to throw bodies forward but despite piling the pressure on the Lazio goal, there was to be no second equaliser on the night.
LAZIO 2-1 JUVENTUS (HT: 1-1):
Scorers: 39′ Milinkovic-Savic, 42′ Rabiot, 53’ Zaccagni.
LAZIO: Provedel; Marusic, Casale, Romagnoli, Hysaj; Milinkovic-Savic, Cataldi (69′ Vecino), Luis Alberto; Felipe Anderson, Immobile (64′ Pedro), Zaccagni (84′ Basic).
Subs not used: Maximiano, Adamonis, Lazzari, Patric, Gila, Radu, Pellegrini, Marcos Antonio, Romero, Cancellieri.
JUVENTUS: Szczęsny; Gatti, Bremer, Alex Sandro; Cuadrado (69′ Danilo), Fagioli (86′ Miretti), Locatelli (63′ Paredes), Rabiot, Kostic (63′ Chiesa); Di Maria, Vlahovic (63′ Milik).
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, Bonucci, Rugani, Soulé.
Assistant Coach: Landucci.
Referee: Di Bello.
BOOKINGS: 45′ Alex Sandro, 45’+2′ Locatelli, 50′ Cuadrado, 85′ Milinkovic-Savic, 90’+5′ Miretti.
Everything happened in a raucous finale of the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final between Juventus and Inter. The third Derby d'Italia appeared to be heading for a goalless draw until Juan Caudrado opened the scoring with seven minutes to play.
Deep into stoppage time, Romelu Lukaku equalised with a penalty. The Inter striker was then sent off, followed by Cuadrado and Handanović after the final whistle.
The tie is balanced on a knife's edge with the second leg at the end of the month.
The sixth Derby d’Italia semi-final started with Juve keen to pounce on their first opportunity. And that opportunity arose when Adrien Rabiot and Mauel Locatelli worked together to win possession on the half-way line. The ball was shuffled forward to Dušan Vlahović, who with a deft flick freed Ángel Di María.
El Fideo ran at the Inter defence, only for his shot to be tipped wide by Samir Handović.
As the first half progressed Di María and Locatelli tried their luck from distance, but both shots sailed over the crossbar.
Inter tested Mattia Perin first from a Federico Dimarco free-kick, then a precise passing move found Marcelo Brozović at the height of the penalty spot. His low drive was parried by Perin.
Nicolò Fagioli and Vlahović linked up cleverly before the number 9’s glancing header finished between Handanović’s hands.
Inside first half stoppage time Inter came close to opening the scoring, when Danilo D’Ambrosio won a header inside the six-yard area. However, the Nerazzurri defender couldn’t keep his effort on target.
There was nothing to separate the two sides at the break. And there continued to be nothing between the sides for the bulk of the second half - until the explosive final 10 minutes.
Just four minutes after the restart, Fagioli and Vlahović again linked up. This time the striker’s header went just over.
On 64’ Henrikh Mkhitaryan flashed a shot only inches from Perin’s far post, as chances remained few and far between.
Arek Milik, one of three substitutes employed by Massimiliano Allegri, came close to stabbing the ball home from a Juan Cuadrado cross.
However, four minutes later it was Cuadrado that applied the finishing touch. Rabiot’s cross was helped on to an unmarked Cuadrado by the Inter defence. The number 11 took one touch before slamming the ball under Handanović.
Just as it seemed to be a case of winding down the closing seconds, Inter were awarded a penalty after Bremer flicked the ball with his arm. Romelu Lukaku converted from 12 yards five minutes into stoppage time.
And as happened in the recent league fixture, two more players were sent off after the final whistle, Cuadrado for Juve, Handanović for Inter.
The second leg on April 26 promises to be an emotional decider.
JUVENTUS 1-1 INTER (HT: 0-0):
Scorers: 83′ Cuadrado, 90’+4′ Lukaku (pen).
JUVENTUS: Perin; Gatti, Bremer, Danilo; Cuadrado, Fagioli (65′ Miretti), Locatelli, Rabiot, Kostic; Di Maria (65′ Chiesa); Vlahovic (73′ Milik).
Subs not used: Szczęsny, Pinsoglio, De Sciglio, Alex Sandro, Rugani, Paredes, Barrenechea, Kean, Soulé, Iling-Junior.
INTER: Handanovic; D’Ambrosio (81′ Dumfries), Acerbi, Bastoni; Darmian, Barella, Brozovic (81′ Asllani), Mkhitaryan, Dimarco (68′ Gosens); Dzeko (68′ Lukaku), Lautaro (86′ Correa).
Subs not used: Cordaz, Onana, Gagliardini, De Vrij, Bellanova, Carboni, Zanotti.
BOOKINGS: 40′ Brozovic, 80′ Lukaku, 89′ Miretti.
SENDINGS OFF: 90’+5′ Lukaku, Handanovic e Cuadrado (after final whistle).
Juventus collected three precious points with a narrow win over Hellas Verona to maintain the winning form that had taken the Bianconeri into the international break.
The game's only goal was scored by Moise Kean - exactly as he had done in the first meeting between the two sides.
Despite the two sides battling for vastly different objectives - Juve to break into the top four, Verona to climb out of the bottom four - there was nothing to split the teams in the first half.
Ondrej Duda found himself with the ball at his feet inside the Bianconeri penalty area in the third minute but the Slovak drove his low shot straight at Wojciech Szczęsny. That would be the shot stoppers only save of the opening 45 minutes.
However, on the quarter hour mark Tek was grateful that Fabio Depaoli’s vicious volley whistled wide of his far post.
Juve threatened with two free-kicks.
The first, struck by Juan Cuadrado - celebrating his 300th appearance with the Bianconeri - drove his shot over the bar. The second saw Arek Milik roll the ball for Danilo, whose drive took a wicked deflection, which diverted the ball onto the crossbar and out for a corner.
The game was taking the same shape as the corresponding fixture in Verona. A tight encounter with scoring chances few and far between.
And exactly as happened in November it was Moise Kean that broke the deadlock. On 55 minutes, the striker latched onto a through-ball from Manuel Locatelli. His first touch set him up, the second saw him beat Lorezno Montipò with a low drive.
Dušan Vlahović, Ángel Di María and Filip Kostić were all brought on as Juve looked for a killer second goal but it was Szczęsny who was called on more than his opposite number. The Juve keeper did well to sweep the ball away from the advancing Kevin Lasagna before making a full-stretch save from Filippo Terraciano’s long-range effort.
The last chance fell to Juve, however, when a well-worked free-kick saw Di María float in a cross which was met by Federico Gatti. The number 15 carefully placed his header across the face of goal but Bremer couldn’t find the finishing touch.
JUVENTUS 1-0 HELLAS VERONA (HT: 0-0):
Scorer: 55′ Kean.
JUVENTUS: Szczęsny; Gatti, Bremer, Danilo; Cuadrado (65′ Kostic), Fagioli, Locatelli, Barrenechea (46′ Miretti), De Sciglio; Milik (59′ Di Maria), Kean (59′ Vlahovic).
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, Alex Sandro, Rugani, Soulé, Iling-Junior.
HELLAS VERONA: Montipò; Dawidowicz, Ceccherini (66′ Cabal), Magnani; Faraoni (81′ Terracciano), Tameze, Veloso (66′ Verdi), Depaoli (66′ Doig); Duda; Lasagna (77′ Ngonge), Gaich.
Subs not used: Perilli, Ravasio, Braaf, Abilgaard, Kallon.
BOOKINGS: 44′ Depaoli, 58′ Gaich, 59′ Kean.
Juventus defeated Inter in the 180th Derby d'Italia in Serie A. Filip Kostić scored the only goal of the game on 23 minutes.
It was the Bianconeri's 100th goal at Inter in Serie A as Juve won both league encounters against their old foes without conceding for the first time since season 1976/77.
A well-drilled Juventus allowed Inter early possession, in fact, the home side would dominate possession in the first half, but Wojciech Szczęsny was seldom employed.
It looked like it might have been a more complicated opening for the Polish goalkeeper when as early as the second minute he parried a Nicolò Barella long-range effort. Federico Gatti, Bremer and Danilo kept their attention high at all times, and just once was the backline punctured.
On 17’ Romelu Lukaku linked up with Barella at the 18-yard line to play the midfielder in behind the Juve defence. Barella’s shot was powerful but straight at Szczęsny, who with the help of his body deflected the ball out for a corner.
Five minutes later an incisive counter attack, led by Adrien Rabiot, gave Juve the lead.
The midfielder latched on to a loose ball inside the centre circle. A quick exchange with Dušan Vlahović allowed him to make inroads to the edge of the area, where he picked out Filip Kostić. The number 17 took one touch before biding his time and driving the ball across the face of André Onana’s goal, where it nestled in at the far corner.
Five minutes of VAR consultation confirmed that there was no use of the hand by Rabiot in the build-up. Juve’s lead was confirmed.
Matias Soulé had the ball at his feet with an opportunity to punish Inter further but the teenager, a surprise inclusion by Massimiliano Allegri in the starting XI, just couldn’t coordinate himself for the shot.
As the game headed towards the interval Lukaku headed wide. Juve saw out the five minutes of stoppage time to reach the break with the most slender of advantages.
The second half started with Juve adopting the same tactics, allowing Inter to keep control of the ball and looking to hit on the counter attack.
The tactics almost worked to perfection on 52’ when Kostić delivered a low ball into the area after another lung-bursting run. Matteo Darmian slid across to stop the ball arriving at the feet of Vlahović. At the other end, Manuel Locatelli charged down Hakan Çalhanoğlu, just as the Inter midfielder was shaping up for a shot at the edge of the area.
The Juve number five then popped up in attack, drilling in a shot that was dealt with by Onana.
As the game headed into the final 20 minutes, both sides created chances to add to the game’s solitary goal. Federico Chiesa, who had come on for Soulè, galloped down the field but fired just wide. Federico Gatti made a timely lunge inside his own area just ahead of Lukaka. On the counter attack, Kostić and Rabiot linked up to devastating effect. This time the Serb’s shot was deflected just wide.
A minute later Locatelli followed up an attack he started after yet another crunching tackle. Chiesa’s cross was tipped away by Onana as Locatelli was hurtling forwards for the tap in.
The tension never abated but the chances became fewer in the closing minutes of normal time, and the seven minutes of stoppages.
Finally the referee blew the whistle and Juve could celebrate back-to-back wins against Inter in Serie A this season. However, passions spilled over at the end of the match, resulting in the sendings off of Danilo D’Ambrosio and Leandro Parades.
INTER 0-1 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-1):
Scorer: 23’ Kostić.
INTER: Onana; Darmian (79′ Correa), De Vrij, Acerbi; Dumfries (82′ Bellanova), Barella (62′ Mkhitaryan), Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Dimarco (62′ D’Ambrosio); Lautaro Martinez, Lukaku (79′ Dzeko).
Subs not used: Handanovic, Cordaz, Gagliardini, Asllani, Carboni, Zanotti, Fontanarosa.
JUVENTUS: Szczęsny; Gatti, Bremer, Danilo; De Sciglio (75’ Cuadrado), Fagioli, Locatelli, Rabiot, Kostic; Soulé (66′ Chiesa) (82′ Paredes), Vlahovic.
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin; Bonucci, Rugani, Barrenechea; Di Maria, Sekulov, Iling-Junior.
BOOKINGS: 30′ Barella, 31′ Gatti, 71′ Rabiot, 88′ Danilo, 90’+1′ Paredes, 90+7’ D’Ambrosio, 90+7’ Brozovic.
SENDINGS OFF: Paredes, D’Ambrosio (after final whistle).
Juventus produced a solid, confident performance at the Europa-Park Stadion to win 2-0 and eliminate Freiburg from the Europa League.
The Bianconeri scored a goal in either half, the first from Dušan Vlahović from the penalty spot, the second in stoppage time from Federico Chiesa, to add to the first leg advantage to win the round of 16 tie 3-0 on aggregate.
Juventus kicked off intent on conceding the home side nothing in the opening minutes. In fact, Freiburg were limited to a only a shot from the edge of the area from Ritsu Doan in the first 20 minutes.
Juve weren’t only defending, however. A vicious drive from Manuel Locatelli stung the gloves of Mark Flekken to signal the visitors’ intention not to sit back and simply defend their slender goal lead from the first leg.
At the midway point of the first half, the hosts broke in behind the Juve defence, forcing Wojciech Szczęsny to concede a corner. The keeper then outdid himself to keep out a Matthias Ginter header. Bremer stepped in to block the follow up from Michael Gregoritsch.
Five minutes later the ball was in the back of the home side’s net.
Filip Kostić whipped in a free kick awarded after Adrien Rabiot had been chopped down by Manuel Gulde, his first booking of the evening. Bremer met the cross with a powerful header, which crashed off the underside of the crossbar. Moise Kean was first on to the rebound, and his touch found its way to Dušan Vlahović, who spun and cracked the ball home from inside the six-yard area.
Dušan’s joy turned to disappointment when VAR intervened to rule the goal out for offside.
However, Vlahović would have his goal before half time.
After a Moise Kean run and shot had been blocked by Fekken, Juve quickly recylced possession. Federico Gatti added extra weight to the attack. A Nicolò Fagioli dummy allowed the ball to run into the path of Gatti inside the area and the central defender’s shot was cleared off the line with Flekken beaten.
Again VAR intervened. After studying the footage, the match official awarded Juve a penalty for handball by Gulde, who received his second yellow card.
Dušan kept his cool from the spot, driving his shot down the middle. Flekken got a touch but not enough to keep the ball out.
Juve went into the break one goal and one player to the good.
The second half was more a matter of maintaining the advantage than pushing on for a second goal. Szczęsny was seldom tested as the 10-man Bundesliga outfit struggled to create clear scoring chances.
Inside stoppage time, Juve did find their second goal on the night.
Federico Chiesa was not to be denied. The substitute had just been denied by Flekken, whose arm deflected the number 7’s shot onto the crossbar, but with his second chance, set up by Rabiot, he slotted the ball in at the near post to the wheel away and celebrate in front of the joyous travelling support.
Juve by two goals on the night, three on aggregate and go into the urn for tomorrow’s draw for the Europa League quarter-finals.
FREIBURG 0-2 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-1):
SCORER: 43’ Vlahović (pen), 90’+5′ Chiesa.
FREIBURG: Flekken; Kubler, Ginter, Gulde; Sildillia, Eggestein (46′ Schmidt), Hofler, Gunter (74′ Weißhaupt); Doan (63′ Sallai), Gregoritsch (74′ Petersen), Holer (63′ Grifo).
Subs not used: Uphoff, Atubolu, Schmid, Keitel, Jeong, Rohl.
JUVENTUS: Szczęsny; Gatti, Bremer, Danilo; Cuadrado (84′ De Sciglio), Fagioli, Locatelli (84′ Barrenechea), Rabiot, Kostic (70′ Iling); Kean (90′ Soulé), Vlahovic (70′ Chiesa).
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, Rugani, Paredes, Miretti, Compagnon, Di Maria.
BOOKINGS: 26’ & 43’ Gulde, 56′ Vlahovic, 81′ Iling, 87′ Sallai.
SENDINGS OFF: 43’ Gulde.
Juventus scored four against Sampdoria to notch up their 16th win of the season. First half goals from Bremer and Adrian Rabiot were cancelled out before the break but the Frenchman added a second to restore the advantage 20 minutes after the break.
Wrapping up the evening's goals was the first Serie A strike from Mati Soulé in stoppage time. In between the Bianconeri hit the woodwork three times, twice by Dušan Vlahović.
The low-key start to the match belied the explosion of emotion that would arrive with four goals in the space of 11 minutes.
Sampdoria looked dangerous twice through Manolo Gabbiadini in the opening 10 minutes. The captain on the night fired wide when one-on-one with Mattia Perin, before testing the keeper from range three minutes later.
Juve then scored with their first effort on target. A corner from Filip Kostić was met by Bremer, who powered his header beyond Martin Turk. The Slovenian keeper, on his Serie A debut, would soon be called on again to defend another set piece.
On 25’ Dušan Vlahović won a corner when his shot was deflected out by Bruno Damione. The visitors did not deal with the first delivery and when Fabio Miretti received possession he played in an inch-perfect cross, which Adrien Rabiot headed home.
The French midfielder celebrated a third goal in as many home appearances in Serie A.
At two goals up with 26 minutes played Juve looked to be cruising. However, two goals in a minute pulled Sampdoria level.
The first arrived following a Filip Đuričić run, which had split the home defence. His pass picked out Mehdi Leris, whose shot was deflected into the path of Tommaso Augello, who curled the ball beyond Perin. There wasn’t time to take a breath before Đuričić finished off a run and cross from Alessandro Zanioli.
The stadium and the team were shell-shocked, but if Juve had already found a way past the visiting defence twice then they had the ability to do it again.
Massimiliano Allegri introduced Juan Cuadrado and Manuel Locatelli at the start of the second half. Cuadrado signalled Juve’s intentions from long range on 63’. One minute later, an attack down the opposite flank produced Juve’s third goal of the evening.
Kostić and Rabiot swapped passes at the half-way line to release the Frenchman. Another exchange, this time between Rabiot and Nicolò Fagioli at the edge of the area, gave the number 25 a sight of goal, and he didn’t wait for a second invitation, powering his shot beyond Turk.
Three minutes later, there was a chance to open a two goal advantage for the second time. Locatelli won the ball in the centre of the park to send Cuadrado galloping down the flank. The winger made his way into the area and when he checked his run, he was tripped by Augello.
Vlahović took the responsibility from 12 yards but struck his penalty off the post.
Juve continued to push players forward in search of the killer fourth goal. Matias Soulé had a shot saved before Cuadrado cracked an effort off the crossbar.
Deep into stoppage time, the decisive goal arrived. Kostić again delivered an inviting cross, Vlahović won the header. Somehow Turk parried the striker’s effort onto the bar but Soulé pounced on the loose ball to head into the empty net.
The entire team surrounded the young Argentine to celebrate together his debut strike in Serie A, the goal that ensured Juve collected another three points.
JUVENTUS 4-2 SAMPDORIA (HT: 2-2):
SCORERS: 11′ Bremer, 26′ Rabiot, 31′ Augello, 32′ Đuričić, 65′ Rabiot, 90’+4′ Soulé.
JUVENTUS: Perin; Danilo, Bonucci (46′ Cuadrado), Bremer (83′ Rugani); De Sciglio (87′ Gatti), Fagioli, Barrenechea (46′ Locatelli), Rabiot, Kostic; Miretti (72′ Soulé); Vlahovic.
Subs not used: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Paredes, Compagnon, Iling-Junior.
SAMPDORIA: Turk; Gunter, Nuytinck (76′ Paoletti), Amione; Zanoli, Winks, Rincon (82′ Malagrida), Augello (72′ Murru); Leris, Đuričić (72′ Jesè); Gabbiadini.
Subs not used: Ravaglia, Tantalocchi, Oikonomou, Sabiri, Quagliarella, Yepes.
BOOKINGS: 39′ Rincon, 58′ Fagioli.
Two days after Juve earned a precious first leg victory over Freiburg in the Europa League last 16, Massimiliano Allegri presented the next match in the hectic fixture list, the Serie A encounter with Sampdoria, tomorrow, Sunday 12 March.
The coach touched on various topics, not only the players' fitness, but also the approach required to face the team at the foot of the table.
NO ROOM FOR MISTAKES
"Sampdoria at first glance seem beatable, but their last few results can be misleading because they have been running their opponents very close indeed. It's an important match because we can go second - that is where we are with what we have done on the pitch and that’s the only thing that counts.
"It is not a decisive week, but certainly an important one. Winning the "small matches" are vital in the league. Head-to-heads are more balanced, you can win them or lose them, that’s why we must not get the smaller games wrong."
"Paul [Pogba] is available, while [Mattia] Perin and [Dušan] Vlahović will play. [Federico] Chiesa is out tomorrow but hopefully he’ll be back for Thursday, like [Angel] Di Maria, who’ll be rested. Both [Mattia] De Sciglio and [Samuel] Iling-Junior will return. [Mattia] Compagnon from our Next Gen team will be called up, while we hope to have [Arkadiusz] Milik back for the match against Inter."
“The plan was to play [Leonardo] Bonucci tomorrow, then Alex Sandro got injured so Leo played more minutes against Freiburg. Tomorrow we'll understand how he is to see if he will play from the first minute.In midfield, I have to decide between [Leandro] Paredes and [Enzo] Barrenechea, while tomorrow morning I will evaluate the rest of the players.
"It doesn't matter who plays, we have to have the right approach. The important thing is that the team understands the importance of this match."
A header from Ángel Di María was the difference between Juventus and Freiburg in the first leg of the round of 16 in the Europa League.
The Bianconeri dominated the match until the breakthrough, only then did the visitors begin to enjoy some possession. However, the six shots on target to just one from Freiburg demonstrated how Juve had held the upper hand.
The aim is to do the same in seven days in the return leg.
Juve came strongly out of the blocks and as early as the second minute Ángel Di María worked his way into the penalty area to lay a tantalising ball across the face of the Freiburg goal. However, there were no takers.
Again the Argentine was at the centre of the action that led to the visitors’ first save. Di María slipped a pass for Juan Cuadrado to race on to. A quick exchange in the centre of the park freed Adrien Rabiot, who bore in on goal. His shot from a tight angle was untidily dealt with by Mark Flekken, with the ball spinning dangerously towards the goalline before being cleared.
A change in the team's set up was required when Alex Sandro had to come off after 23 minutes, replaced by Leonardo Bonucci, before the Bianconeri called the Freiburg keeper into action again from two free-kicks. The first was curled over the wall by Cuadrado. The second by Dušan Vlahović. Both were palmed away to safety by Flekken.
After Vlahović’s effort, Juve continued to press and Fabio Miretti turned the ball into the path of Manuel Locatelli, but off balance the number five shot off target.
With just over half an hour elapsed, Juve almost got the breakthrough. Again the danger came from a set piece, a corner from Di María, which deceived Flekken. Bremer made his move to apply the finishing touch at the far post but couldn’t direct his header on target.
Neither could Vlahović with the last chance of the first half after Cuadrado had let fly from the edge of the area. The shot stung the keeper’s gloves and when the rebound broke back into the area, the Serbian striker twisted his header wide.
A header in the second half would provide the breakthrough, however.
Juve continued to boss the game after the interval. An attack down the right broke down but the Bianconeri recycled the ball and tried their luck down the left.
Filip Kostić flighted in a cross, which was majestically met by Di María. El Fideo’s bullet header gave Flekken no chance.
Nine minutes later, with their first shot, Freiburg thought they had found the equaliser. A free-kick delivered into the area by Vincenzo Grifo and was laid off into the path of Lucas Höler, who smashed his half volley into the net.
However, VAR called the attention of the match official and the goal was disallowed because of a handball in the build-up.
Freiburg took the upper hand in the contest and began to see more of the ball. Juve dug in, though, and kept the German side at a safe distance. With 10 minutes remaining, Juve broke on the counter attack. Rabiot broke forward and Federico Chiesa found himself with the ball at his feet at the edge of the area, but his shot was charged down.
At full time only one goal split the two sides despite the gulf of 19-1 in overall attempts over the first leg. Next Thursday will provide the final verdict.
JUVENTUS 1-0 FREIBURG (HT: 0-0):
SCORER: 53’ Di María.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Danilo, Bremer, Alex Sandro (23′ Bonucci); Cuadrado, Miretti (46′ Fagioli), Locatelli, Rabiot, Kostic (77′ Kean); Di Maria; Vlahovic (66′ Chiesa).
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, Gatti,Rugani, Soulé, Paredes, Barrenechea.
FREIBURG: Flekken; Sildillia, Ginter, Lienhart (67′ Gulde); Kubler, Eggestein (58′ Keitel), Hofler, Gunter; Sallai (58′ Doan), Holer (88′ Gregoritsch), Grifo.
Subs not used: Uphoff, Atubolu, Schmid, Petersen, Wagner, Weisshaupt, Rohl, Schmidt.
BOOKINGS: 24’ Gunter, 51′ Holer, 71′ Bremer, 84′ Bonucci.
Massimiliano Allegri and Filip Kostić were in the press room at the Allianz Stadium to present the Europa League last 16 first leg against Freiburg, which kicks off tomorrow at 21:00 CET.
The coach and the winger underlined the importance of a home win in the opening leg, without underestimating the quality of the side sitting equal fourth in the Bundesliga.
"I want to see a positive attitude tomorrow and lay the foundations by taking a lead into the second leg. Freiburg are physically strong, they are fifth [on goal difference] in the league, unbeaten in Europe, but we have to get back to winning at home - between the Champions League and Europa League, we’ve only managed one win.
"It is clear that Ángel [Di María] is an extraordinary player, what with his experience and all the trophies he has won. He will play from the start tomorrow. I haven't yet decided who else will play. I also have to think about managing the squad, considering Sunday's match. [Paul] Pogba is available, but I still need to decide how to get the best out of him. [Leonardo] Bonucci is fine, but I have to evaluate whether to play him or Alex Sandro, who is 99% ok.
"I'm happy with how Dušan [Vlahović] is performing. He is constantly growing. Forwards are judged on goals scored, but you also have to look at their performance. Like every player, he has to keep up the work and continually improve. Last year we played with [Federico] Chiesa as centre-forward. I consider him a striker that starts out wide, but he has the characteristics to cover every position in attack."
"[Vincenzo] Grifo is a good player and he's proving it. He scores goals, provides assists, and is good at set pieces. He's a player we need to keep an eye on."
"I've played against Freiburg several times. They're a compact and solid team. We have to take control of the game because they adapt very well. We have to start tomorrow with a good performance. I know the Europa League well, having already won it. Our aim is to win the competition. It's one of our objectives."
"Juve have great quality. We are above average skillswise. We've always worked together and we believe in ourselves. As for Dušan, I have know him for a long time. We talk often. I think every player experiences some periods like this, but I'm not worried because he is showing a lot of hunger. I'm sure he just needs one goal to get over this period, and I hope he scores it tomorrow."
"My goal is always to give 100%, no matter the competition. I listen to what the coach asks of me and I always adapt. I'm happy here. All my teammates have helped me settle in and understand the level of expectations at Juve."
Juventus hit the woodwork three times in the capital but it was Roma that claimed all three points. The game's only goal was scored by Gianluca Mancini on 53 minutes.
Adrien Rabiot, in the closing seconds of the first half, Juan Cuadrado from a free kick and Mancini again hit the post as Juve sought an equaliser in vain.
In front of a sold-out Stadio Olimpico, Juventus took the game to the hosts, but Roma had no intention to allow Juve a route to goal. In fact, after a flicked effort by Dušan Vlahović on four minutes brought the first save from Rui Patricio. The Portuguese keeper wouldn’t be called on again until the final four minutes of the half from a long-range drive from Manuel Locatelli.
In between, both sides packed midfield, denying their opponents space. When Juve had the chance to hit on the counter attack, hesitation at the crucial moment allowed the home team to recover. First, Ángel Di María took one touch too many in space at the edge of the area. Nicolò Fagioli did likewise from an interesting position.
At the other end, Paulo Dybala attempted a shot from the edge of the area, which forced Wojciech Szczęsny to look sharp, diving to his right.
Then, just as half time was approaching, Juve came so close to the breakthrough. Danilo flighted in a deep cross, which was met by Adrien Rabiot. The midfielder’s header appeared goal bound but Rui Patricio with the slightest of touches deflected the ball onto the post.
Although the second half started in the same fashion as the first, with Juve managing possession, again the Bianconeri lacked precision in the final pass.
Then eight minutes after the restart Roma took the lead. Gianluca Mancini was given time to take aim before firing an unstoppable shot low into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
A minute later Juan Cuadrado made a recovery tackle to stop Leonardo Spinazzola in his tracks when bearing in on goal.
Juve regrouped but were thwarted in their search for the equaliser by the frame of the goal, not once but twice.
Five minutes after going behind, Cuadrado stepped up to take a free kick. His curling effort struck the outside of the post. Vlahović then read a back-header but just couldn’t reach the ball before it bounced into the hands of Rui Patricio. Soon after, the Roma keeper made the save of the game, with a one-handed stop to keep out an effort from distance from Di María.
Juve never relented and forced corner after corner. From one of those set pieces they hit the post again - or rather Mancini almost turned the ball into his own net from close range, saved by the upright.
The sending off of Moise Kean 40 seconds after his introduction did little to help the cause but Juve still had one last chance, when the ball broke to Danilo at the height of the penalty spot in the final minute of stoppage time. The number six couldn’t repeat his goal scoring touch from the derby, however, and his shot was saved on the line by Rui Patricio.
Immediately after, the referee blew the final whistle, which signalled a fifth league defeat of the season for the Bianconeri.
ROMA 1-0 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-0):
SCORER: 53’ Mancini.
ROMA: Rui Patricio; Mancini, Smalling, Ibanez; Zalewski (63′ Karsdorp), Cristante, Matic, Spinazzola; Pellegrini (85′ Belotti), Wijnaldum (73′ Bove); Dybala (73′ Abraham).
Subs not used: Boer, Svilar, Llorente, Celik, Kumbulla, Camara, Volpato, El Shaarawy.
JUVENTUS: Szczęsny; Danilo, Bremer, Alex Sandro (45′ Bonucci); Cuadrado (89′ Kean), Fagioli (59′ Chiesa), Locatelli (76′ Paredes), Rabiot, Kostic (76′ Pogba); Di Maria; Vlahovic.
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, Gatti, Rugani, Miretti, Barrenechea, Soulé, Iling-Junior.
BOOKINGS: 31′ Locatelli, 33′ Matic, 57′ Cristante, 63′ Spinazzola, 75′ Kostic.
SENDING OFF: 90’ Kean.
Tomorrow, Sunday 5 March, the Stadio Olimpico will be lit up for Roma-Juventus.
On the eve of the Serie A Matchday 25 fixture, Coach Allegri spoke to the press that had gathered at the Allianz Stadium for the pre-match conference.
"Roma are having an excellent campaign and are fighting for a place in the Champions League. At home they have one of the best defences in Europe, conceding just five goals in eleven games and are coming off four home wins without conceding a goal. Roma-Juventus in a full stadium - it'll be a good match. We will have to be on top of our game.
"I hope [José] Mourinho is able to take his place on the bench tomorrow. He doing a great job at Roma, leading them into the battle for a place in the Champions League. As for [Paulo] Dybala, he was important for Juventus, and he's just as important for Roma.
We'll face him being full aware of his characteristics."
"[Paul] Pogba is fit and feeling fine. I was very happy with how he entered the game against Torino. It wasn't easy after such a long time out. He still has to recover full match fitness, he doesn't have much playing time in his legs yet, but at the moment he's an excellent solution to have on the bench. As for players recovering [from injury], [Fabio] Miretti is back. So, everyone is available except [Arkadiusz] Milik, who'll return after the break, and Kaio Jorge.
"Tomorrow I will evaluate who will play. [Leandro] Paredes is fine, [Manuel] Locatelli is available again, [Enzo] Barrenechea is in the reckoning, too. They are all fine and they are all reliable. Now we will have a match every four days, with Freiburg immediately on Thursday, it will be important that whoever comes off the bench makes an impact like the players that came on against Torino.
[Angel] Di Maria has been ever present over the last few games, the important thing is that when he plays he is a determining factor, like he has been in the last few games, regardless of the result."
"It is an important match against Roma because it's a head-to-head and we must start to pull away from the teams behind us. As for looking ahead, we'll keep an eye on how the situation in the table develops. However, if we want to be realistic, qualifying for the Champions League is now very difficult, almost impossible.
"The team has so far earned 50 points and we will have to give continuity to the results obtained on the field by working on mini-objectives, as I have been saying for a while. Would making it to the Champions League despite a 15-point penalty be like winning the Scudetto? I'd say it would be like winning three!”
Derby della Mole number 156 in Serie A will go down as a classic.
Juve rallied from trailing twice to emerge 4-2 victors. Second half goals from Bremer and Adrien Rabiot added to the comeback goals in the first-half from Juan Cuadrado and Danilo.
The return of Paul Pogba while the match was still tied at 2-2 added to the sense of celebration inside the Allianz Stadium.
The worst possible start to a derby. Torino won a corner with their first attack. From the cross Wilfried Singo headed the ball into the path of Yann Karamoh. Unmarked inside the six-yard box, the winger took a touch before firing into the net.
Just two minutes on the clock and Juve were forced to chase the game. And that’s exactly what they did.
10 minutes later a half-volley from Ángel Di María flashed across the face of goal. On 16’ the Bianconeri were level.
Another run from Filip Kostić down the left flank opened up the Toro defence. The winger’s cross cleared the danger area but was collected at the opposite side of the penalty area by Juan Cuadrado.
The number 11 steadied himself before unleashing his shot goalwards. A deflection sent the ball into the roof of the net. It was Cuadrado’s fourth derby goal and his celebration captured all of the Colombian’s joy.
Just after the half hour, Dušan Vlahović tested his international teammate in the Torino goal. Vanja Milinković-Savić was relieved to grab the ball at the second time of asking.
Torino also threatened. Antonio Sanabria’s glancing header was tipped wide for a corner on 38’ but five minutes later the Toro striker would find the net. Ivan Ilić swung in an inviting cross, which Sanabria met first time to place the ball into the corner out of reach of Wojciech Szczęsny.
Two minutes of time were signalled by the fourth official, and Juve had every intention of using each precious second. A corner from the left was gloriously met by Danilo, whose powerful header had clearly crossed the line before the Torino keeper could attempt to keep it out - confirmed by the goal-line technology.
Four goals in a pulsating first-half. The second half would prove to be just as emotional.
Not even five minutes from the restart and both side’s had chances. First, Aleksej Mirančuk curled wide from the edge of the area. Juve broke directly up the field. A one-two between Vlahović and Nicolò Fagioli released the striker in on goal, only for the number 9’s shot to bounce back off the crossbar.
On 67’ Karol Linetty saw his effort crash off the face of the bar. The match was still in the balance, but not for long.
Inside the final 20 minutes the Bianconeri stepped up another gear - in part due to the return to action after a 236-day lay-off of Paul Pogab. The number 10 was one of three changes made on 69’. Federico Chiesa and Mattia De Sciglio completed the triple switch.
And the new impetus immediately paid off. Bremer rose highest from a corner worked in by Chiesa to bullet a header beyond former teammate Milinković-Savić.
Nine minutes later Juve opened up a two-goal cushion. Another set-piece did the damage. This time a free-kick delivered by Kostić was not dealt with by the Granata defence. Applying the finishing touch at the far post was Adrien Rabiot.
After a lengthy VAR check the goal was confirmed and celebrations in the Allianz Stadium started in earnest.
JUVENTUS 4-2 TORINO (HT: 2-2):
Scorers: 2’ Karamoh, 16’ Cuadrado, 43’ Sanabria, 45+2’ Danilo, 71’ Bremer, 80’ Rabiot.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny 6; Danilo 6.5, Bremer 6 (90′ Bonucci SV), Alex Sandro 6.5; Cuadrado 6.5 (69′ De Sciglio 6), Fagioli 6.5, Barrenechea (69′ Pogba), Rabiot, Kostic; Di Maria (69′ Chiesa); Vlahovic (86′ Kean).
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, Gatti, Rugani, Paredes, Soulé, Iling-Junior.
TORINO: Milinkovic-Savic; Djidji (84′ Gravillon), Schuurs, Buongiorno; Singo, Linetty (74′ Ricci), Ilic, Rodriguez (74′ Vojvoda); Miranchuk, Karamoh (59′ Radonjic) (74′ Seck); Sanabria.
Subs not used: Fiorenza, Gemello, Bayeye, Adopo, Seck, Gineitis, N’guessan Cauneman.
BOOKINGS: 60′ Rodriguez, 90+3′ Ricci.
Massimiliano Allegri spoke to the press ahead of the Derby della Mole tomorrow, Tuesday 28 February. The coach touched on various subjects, such as the return to the squad of both Paul Pogba and Federico Chiesa, and obviously the significance of the match against the city rivals.
"The derby is always an important match. We have to continue our climb up the table by adding to our points tally, trying to reach Bologna, Torino permitting. Our strength must be that of setting one small goal at a time. However, tomorrow will be difficult.
“Torino are a team moulded by [Ivan] Juric, teams that have a very specific playing system. They attack a lot, they pile on a lot of pressure. These matches are very intense but we've done well at immersing ourselves in these kinds of challenges. If we think we can play on our tiptoes, we're done for.”
"[Paul] Pogba will be called up for the derby and will play if necessary. He doesn't have much playing time in his legs, but more than enough. I have spoken to him as I have done with the other players. He must understand that we're at an important stage of the season. He must have the drive to have given his contribution at the end of the season.
"Yesterday [Federico] Chiesa trained with the team after six so-so days. Now to say that Pogba can be a starter after 315 days on the sidelines or likewise Chiesa, who has been out for 10 months, is another thing. A little patience is needed.
"[Leonardo] Bonucci is fine, but due to his long period of inactivity, he'll be sitting close to me at kick-off tomorrow evening. But having him back is already an important plus, he is the club captain afer all."
THE SEASON'S FOCUS
"Regardless of what happens off the pitch, we have earned 47 points and we must try and stay in the top four, one of our aims at the start of the season.
"We have got over the 15-point deducton. We know that we have to try to get to the end of the season having enough points that would allow us to finish in the top four. Also, we have the semi-final of the Coppa Italia and the last 16 of the Europa League to focus on."
Ángel Di María supplied the finishing touch, not once, but three times as Juve powered to a 3-0 win at the Stade de la Beaujoire to send Nantes out of the Europa League and the Bianconeri through to the last 16.
The Argentine grabbed two goals in the first half - the first an absolute screamer - and added a third late on as Juve dominated the play-offs second leg.
As expected, driven by the passionate home support, Nantes took the game to Juve in the opening minutes. However, the Bianconeri defence held the home attack at a safe distance and when they had the chance to break forward, they did to devastating effect.
Nicolò Fagioli intercepted a pass inside Nantes territory and quickly fed the ball forward to Ángel Di María. El Fideo swept a first-time shot over the stranded Albant Lafont.
What a start with just five minutes on the clock.
Nantes responded to going a goal down by throwing players forward, but never pierced the Juve defence. After absorbing the home side’s reaction, the Bianconeri again struck on the counter attack.
Di María received possession just outside the box. The number 22 dribbled his way to the edge of the six-yard box, only for his chip to be blocked on its way into the net by Nicolas Palois. The veteran central defender was shown a straight red card for having denied an obvious goal scoring opportunity.
From the resulting penalty, Di María sent Lafont the wrong way.
On 22 minutes the number 22 almost grabbed his hat-trick, which would arrive in the second half. The World Cup winner then picked out Adrien Rabiot with a pin-point cross, which the midfielder headed over from the edge of the six-yard box.
The visitors continued to keep the tempo high. Manuel Locatelli swept a shot from the edge of the box just wide of goal. In stoppages, Filip Kostić received a defence-splitting pass from Rabiot and shaped up against Lafont, who gratefully gathered the ball after the winger’s shot rebounded off the post.
Juventus emerged after the break with their concentration still at 100%, pinning the home team inside their own half for the first 10 minutes from the restart. Mattia De Sciglio had a shot blocked by Charles Traore after Lafont had saved from Di María. Kostić then had a volley saved.
The Nantes keeper made two more saves, point blank to keep out a Juan Cuadrado volley and Alex Sandro’s close-range header before Juve eventually scored a third.
With 11 minutes to play, Di María completed his treble. The Nantes defence failed to clear the danger and when Dušan Vlahović’s effort looped across the face of goal, El Fideo pounced on the loose ball. His header was parried by Lafont, but only after the ball had crossed the line.
Only when the referee indicated that goal-line technology had signalled the goal did Di María celebrate.
With qualification assured, Juve took their foot off the pedal as Nantes sought a consolation goal.
However, Wojciech Szczęsny was determined to take home another clean sheet and pulled off a spectacular one-handed save in stoppage time to round off a commanding performance.
NANTES 0-3 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-2):
Scorers: 5’, 20’ (pen) & 79’ Di María.
NANTES: Lafont; Catelletto, Girotto, Pallois; Centonze, Sissoko (46' Moutoussamy), Chirivella (24' Traore), Simon (73' Mohamed); Mollet (73' Guessand), Delort (46' Ganago), Blas.
Subs not used: Descamps, Coco, Knepe, Doucet, Corchia.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Danilo (83' Bonucci), Bremer, Alex Sandro; De Sciglio (64' Cuadrado), Fagioli, Locatelli, Rabiot, Kostić (83' Iling-Junior); Di Maria (83' Paredes), Kean (64' Vlahovic).
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, Gatti, Rugani, Soulé, Barrenechea.
BOOKINGS: Traore, Cuadrado.
SENDING OFF: Palois.
Juventus collected a 15th clean sheet from their 23 Serie A matches this season with a 2-0 win at the Alberto Picco stadium in Spezia.
Moise Kean opened the scoring just after the half-hour mark. With a quarter of the match remaining, Ángel Di María displayed all of his class with the second goal, which killed off the contest.
Juve’s return to Serie A duty after midweek Europa League commitments saw the team undergo a mini-makeover. Mattia Perin took over in goal, Daniele Rugani replaced the suspended Bremer at the heart of defence, while Moise Kean led the line in attack. In midfield, Leandro Paredes joined Adrien Rabiot and Manuel Locatelli.
The latter was booked after a mere 18 seconds into the game for a late lunge in the centre of the park. A yellow card that will see the number 5 miss out on the Derby della Mole next week.
It was an even first-half on the tight pitch at the Alberto Picco, with Spezia playing an intense pressing game under caretaker coach Fabio Lorieri.
Daniele Verde had the first shot on target, a tame effort on 10 minutes that did little to worry Perin.
On 17’ instead Juve had the ball in the net. Vlahović raced onto a defence-splitting pass to poke the ball between the legs of Bartłomiej Drągowski. The flag was raised, however, and the goal was disallowed. In attempting the save, the Spezia keeper picked up an injury and was replaced by veteran Federico Marchetti.
For the 40-year-old, it was his first action since August 2021. His first involvement was from a corner, met by Danilo, whose header flashed just wide, with Vlahović sliding in at the far post but he arrived just too late to apply the finishing touch..
With their next attack, Juve took the lead. Paredes created space for himself in midfield. The Argentine invited Filip Kostić to progress down the flank. The winger whipped in his cross and Kean on the volley directed the ball in at the far post. It was the striker’s first league goal in 2023.
Although Eldor Shomurodov reached a couple of crosses, his headers were comfortably dealt with by Perin.
A mix-up by Paredes and Kostić gifted Spezia another opportunity before the half-time whistle but home captain Emmanuel Gyasi couldn’t reach the delivery at the far post.
Nicolò Fagioli and Mattia De Sciglio were brought on immediately after the break as Juve continued to hold back wave after wave of Spezia attack.
The Bianconeri dug deep at the edge of their penalty area and allowed the home side little in the way of clear cut chances despite intense pressure. Locatelli and Danilo made two important blocks.
Then, with a quarter of the match remaining, Juve added a second. Ángel Di María received possession at the edge of the area and on looking up, drilled a low shot beyond Marchetti into the far corner.
The Bianconeri had doubled their lead with their second shot on target.
With a two-goal cushion to defend, Perin stepped up to the mark.
First Gyasi met a cross from the right. His volley was destined for the back of the net until the Bianconeri keeper at full stretch tipped the ball away. A similar save was required 10 minutes later, this time to deny Dimitris Nikolaou’s header.
Juve ensured that Spezia had no way back into the contest in the closing minutes as they collected a fourth clean sheet in their six wins over the Ligurian side in Serie A.
SPEZIA 0-2 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-1):
Scorers: 32' Kean (J); 66' Di Maria (J).
SPEZIA: Dragowski (25' Marchetti); Amian, Ampadu, Nikolaou; Gyasi, Bourabia, Ekdal (79' Caldara), Agudelo (59' Nzola), Reca; Verde (79' Maldini), Shomurodov.
Subs not used: Zovko, Beck, Krollis, Ferrer, Kovalenko, Wisniewski, Giorgeschi, Cipot.
JUVENTUS: Perin; Danilo, Rugani, Alex Sandro; Cuadrado (46' De Sciglio), Locatelli, Paredes (46' Fagioli), Rabiot, Kostić (81' Iling-Junior); Kean (56' Di Maria), Vlahović (92' Bonucci).
Subs not used: Szczęsny, Pinsoglio, Gatti, Soulé, Barrenechea.
Referee: La Penna.
BOOKINGS: 1' Locatelli (J); 16' Agudelo (S); 51' Fagioli (J); 55' Reca (S).
Juventus set off for Liguria later today for tomorrow's match at the Picco stadium against Spezia. Ahead of the Serie A Matchday 23 fixture Massimiliano Allegri greeted the press in his customary pre-match conference. The coach touched on various subjects such as the player fitness, the right approach and the fallout from Thursday's Europa League debut against Nantes.
ON THE OPPOSITION
"It will be a complicated game in La Spezia, it's a tough ground to play at. They are a team that creates a lot of chances, as they showed against Napoli and Atalanta. We must have the right approach, take to the field with our attention high, with maximum concentration and determination."
"Those who play every three days are used to it. [Federico] Chiesa won't be available because he's very tired after his recent efforts, which is to be expected. I still have to evaluate the others, but there will certainly be some changes.
"[Moise] Kean, [Mattia] Perin and [Daniele] Rugani are three who will come in - also because Bremer is suspended and Leo [Bonucci] is not yet in the condition to start. He's fine but not ready to play from kick-off. However, I'm happy he's in the group. As for the others, I have to decide."
"We've scored nine goals in nine away games, a statistic that was boosted with our three goals against Salernitana, otherwise it would be much lower. It's something we must improve upon."
"We need to improve our performance during the match, especially when we are in control. After going a goal up against Nantes we slowed the game down and we moved the ball very slowly. We were no longer convinced about getting that second goal when it was something that had to be sought with greater insistence.
"Then we conceded the only time they broke forward - proof that Nantes are very good at staying in the game considering with their first opportunity they punished us."
Juventus were held to a 1-1 draw by Nantes in the first leg of the Europa League play-offs. Dušan Vlahović, Federico Chiesa and Ángel Di María were fielded in attack from kick-off and combined for the game's opening goal. On the hour the visitors equalised through Ludovic Blas.
The Bianconeri struck the crossbar twice as they sought to restore their advantage.
Juventus started sprightly and the front three created the first danger for the visiting defence. Ángel Di María let fly from the edge of the area, stinging the gloves of Alban Lafont.
The Nantes goalkeeper had no chance just over 10 minutes later, when the front three linked up to perfection. A defence-splitting pass from Di María picked out the run of Federico Chiesa, who from the edge of the six-yard box headed across the face of goal. Rushing in to tap home was Dušan Vlahović, who spun away to celebrate with Chiesa. It was the first time that two had directly combined for a Juve goal.
With the five players across the back, supported by three in midfield, Nantes were set up to frustrate Juve, but the Bianconeri were moving the ball quickly, using both flanks, and at the heart of it all was Di María.
And it was El Fideo that came close to adding a second on 28 minutes. Another dipping shot from the edge of the area was once again dealt with by Lafont with a spectacular one-handed save.
Three minutes later the Nantes keeper was called onto save his team once more. Alex Sandro sought Vlahović inside the penalty area. Aware of the danger Andrei Girotto stretched to reach the cross, almost turning the ball into his own net. Lafont did enough to touch the ball away.
Lafont was last called on by Juve in the first half when a Leandro Paredes free-kick in stoppage time saw the former Fiorentina shot stopper opt once more for his favoured punch clearance.
The second half started in the same manner as the first, with a shot from El Fideo saved by Lafont.
On the hour Di María had the ball at his feet again in a shooting position but delayed allowing the defence to close him down. Nantes then set off on the counter attack. Three passes later Ludovic Blas found himself one on one with Wojciech Szczęsny. The Canaries forward lashed the ball into the top of the net for the equaliser.
Juve’s response was immediate, but unfortunate.
Just one minute later Vlahović fed Chiesa and when the number 7 went for goal, he saw his shot first hit the crossbar, bounce on the line before striking the far post to safety.
Two minutes later a corner from Di María flew over the head of Lafont but once again the frame of the goal stood between Juve and their retaking the lead.
Juve were kept at a safe distance by their French opponents until stoppage time drama.
First Danilo flashed a volley over the bar from close range then in the fifth minute of time added on, Bremer headed over from a metre out. The referee was called on to study the moment by VAR however. The match official interpreted the incident in favour of Nantes, indicating that a push by Bremer on his marker caused the same player to strike the ball with his hand.
The outcome was no penalty.
The scoreline remained 1-1, leaving Juventus needing victory in the second leg to progress to the knock-out stage proper.
JUVENTUS 1-1 NANTES:
Scorers: 13' Vlahović, 60' Blas.
Juventus: Szczęsny; De Sciglio (73' Cuadrado), Danilo, Bremer, Alex Sandro; Fagioli (63' Kostić), Paredes (63' Locatelli), Rabiot; Di Maria (73' Soulé), Vlahović (86' Kean), Chiesa.
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Crespi, Gatti, Bonucci, Rugani, Iling-Junior.
Nantes: Lafont; Centonze, Castelletto (88' Guessand), Girotto, Pallois (83' Corchia), Coco (77' Traore); Moutoussamy, Chirivella (77' Mollet), Sissoko; Blas, Mohamed (77' Simon).
Subs not used: Descamps, Petrič, Doucet, Diaz.
Refreee: Pinheiro (POR).
Bookings: 45'+1' Castelletto, 54' Chiesa, 57' Mohamed, 75' Danilo, 90' Corchia.
This afternoon was the moment for the pre-match press conferences at the Allianz Stadium ahead of the Europa League knock-out round play-offs. Coach Allegri and Gleison Bremer gave the Juve side of the story on the eve of the first leg against Nantes.
"Nantes have lost only once, against Olympique Marseille, in the last ten games, collecting six clean sheets along the way. It's a tie that is played over 180 minutes. I have great respect for the French team but here we have to lay the foundations that allow us to go to Nantes with a good lead. A new European path begins for us, it is an important objective because it could be a gateway to the Champions League. We want to go all the way.
"For me it is a debut on the bench in the Europa League. Our Champions League exit has left us with a bitter taste in our mouths and we're fired up. Playing in Europe gives us the possibility to fill the fixture list, it's better playing twice a week. We do this job for the challenge, to face important games. The stadium will be full and this is a good signal from the fans, who are helping us a lot."
The coach then touched on the fitness of some of the players, "[Juan] Cuadrado and [Leonaardo] Bonucci have recovered, Leo will also be called up to let him savor the match climate again. The only ones out are [Paul] Pogba, Kaio Jorge and [Arek] Milik. We hope to get Pogba back as soon as possible, he trained with the team this morning but he's still catching up. Chiesa has recovered well after Sunday's match, which is already a positive sign."
Allegri closed with two considerations, "I want to send a big hug to the Nantes player [Ignatius Ganago] who lost his little girl. I'd also like to wish good luck to Juventus Next Gen, who are playing the return leg of the semi-final of the Coppa Italia against Foggia tonight - let's hope they reach the final."
"It's an important match. We want to go the distance taking it one match at a time, starting from tomorrow. Nantes are a well-organised team that play well. We will have to be just as well organised on the pitch. We have to look at every single game as a final. We are a good team with a strong squad of players, we know the difficulties we are going through but we have closed ranks and reinforced our group spirit."
The Brazilian defender, in his debut seaon at Juve, then commented on his personal learning curve, "I'm always ready to play for the coach and the team. Whether it's a three-man or a four-man backline, it makes no difference. Last season at Torino we used man-marking, now I'm learning zonal marking. For now my overall performance is positive, apart from a few matches like those against Napoli and Monza. I want to continue growing and improving all the way to the end of the season."
After back to back wins in the cup and league, Massimiliano Allegri aimed for his side to keep up the momentum by fielding a front three of Dušan Vlahović, Federico Chiesa and Ángel Di María.
However, it was a goal from Adrien Rabiot the split the sides after both teams had efforts ruled out for offside by VAR in the second half.
Two of the front three linked up for the game’s first chance. On 12 minutes Vlahović won the ball in midfield. His quick pass to Di María gave the Argentine time to pick his shot, a shot that was deflected to the far edge of the six-yard box where Filip Kostić was lurking.
The number 17 seemed destined to score in successive matches after his goal against Salernitana but struck his effort wide.
On 24’ Kostić then had another opportunity from almost the exact same position. This time the chance sprung from a Chiesa run and cross down the right flank. Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenković slipped as the ball reached him, catching Vlahović off guard. Again at the far post was Kostić, who this time was denied by Pietro Terracciano, who blocked the shot on his goal line.
The Viola keeper thought he had done likewise 10 minutes later, but goal line technology ruled otherwise. A decision that gave Juve the lead.
Mattia De Sciglio delivered an excellent cross after linking up with Chiesa. Adrien Rabiot was at the far post, and the midfielder put enough power in his header for it to go over the line, confirmed by the signal received by the referee.
Manuel Locatelli ensured Wojciech Szczęsny was not tested by the visitors as he threw himself into two consecutive clearances inside his own penalty area as the Viola attempted to level before the half-time whistle.
Technology would take centre stage also in the second half.
On the hour mark, Locatelli won possession on the half-way line and intelligently touched the ball into space for Kostić. From one Serb to another as the winger played through Vlahović. The striker raced in on goal and delivered a deft finish for his first goal against his former side, or so he thought.
VAR disallowed the goal for offside. And not for the last time.
It was the first and last opportunity for the Juve number 9, replaced by Moise Kean, whose first involvement was to find himself one-on-one with Terracciano after the ball was deflected into his path by Kostić. Kean’s crashed his close-range shot against the Fiorentina keeper.
Juventus sat back to defend in depth in the closing 10 minutes as the Viola pressed for an equaliser. Luka Jović glanced a header just wide on 82’. Then again in the final minute of normal time, VAR was called on again.
The ball was driven into the net by Gaetano Castrovilli through a ruck of players. However, from the delivery into the area, Luca Ranieri was fractionally offside. For the referee the central defender participated in the lead-up to the goal, which therefore led to its being disallowed.
Juve saw out stoppage time without risking further for three hard-earned points, which pushed them within one point of seventh place.
JUVENTUS 1-0 FIORENTINA (HT: 1-0):
Scorer: 34’ Rabiot (J).
JUVENTUS: Szczęsny; Danilo, Bremer, Alex Sandro; De Sciglio, Locatelli, Rabiot, Kostić; Chiesa (82′ Paredes), Di Maria (75′ Fagioli); Vlahović (65′ Kean).
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, Gatti, Rugani, Barbieri, Barrenechea, Soulé, Iling-Junior.
FIORENTINA: Terracciano; Dodò (79′ Terzić), Ranieri, Milenkovic, Biraghi; Amrabat, Duncan (61′ Castrovilli); Ikoné (65′ Jović), Bonaventura (79′ Saponara), Gonzalez (79′ Cabral); Kouamé.
Subs not used: Cerofolini, Sirigu, Venuti, Quarta, Bianco, Brekalo.
BOOKINGS: 1′ Rabiot, 19′ Alex Sandro, 30′ Duncan, 47′ Bonaventura, 85′ Bremer, 87′ Kostic.
Juventus will need to bide their time and adopt a cautious approach if they are to come out on top against Fiorentina, says Massimiliano Allegri.
The coach was speaking to the gathered media ahead of the Bianconeri's Matchday 22 fixture against the Viola on Sunday evening (18:00 CET).
“After two big wins against Lazio in the Coppa Italia and Salernitana in the league, we can expect a different sort of game against Fiorentina tomorrow,” the coach began, “They're always a tricky side to play against: they play good football and run and press hard. We're going to need to keep things tidy and bide our time.”
“[Leo] Bonucci will be available for the game against Nantes on Thursday. [Arek] Milik is improving. Kaio Jorge is still unavailable. [Paul] Pogba is not ready for the matchday squad. He's working hard to be available but I can't put a timescale on it. We're all waiting for him to return – no one more than me. Danilo is fine. He can manage himself playing in this position. He's an increasingly important player for us. [Adrien] Rabiot is 27 and has reached the level of maturity you often see in players of that age. He's certainly not a gamble. He'll play tomorrow.”
KEEP ON IMPROVING
“Right now we must focus on the small targets and catch the sides ahead of us. The lads are working well but we can do better still during the match. I didn't like the last 30 minutes against Salernitana. We'll need to perform better if we want to beat Fiorentina tomorrow. We can improve the directness of our play.”
Juventus returned from Salerno with all three points on the back of a 3-0 victory. The Bianconeri's two Serbian internationals grabbed the goals, with a Dušan Vlahović double split by Filip Kostić just before the break.
After three matches without success in Serie A, Juventus rediscovered their winning touch in the league on the back of last week's win in Coppa Italia.
As early as the third minute Dušan Vlahović showed his hunger. The number 9 hurled himself at a cross but his diving header finished off target.
No other player would have as many efforts on goal in the opening half, and it was the Serbian striker that opened the scoring with a penalty.
The incident that led to the spot kick was made in Next Gen as Juve-owned Salernitana loanee tripped Fabio Miretti inside the box after the teenage midfielder had played an intelligent give-and-go with Ángel Di María.
Vlahović struck his shot in off the post, out of reach of Guillermo Ochoa, for his first goal in the black and white stripes since October 21.
With his confidence boosted, Vlahović tried his luck on 33 minutes with a half-volley from outside the box, which dipped just over the Salernitana crossbar.
The only negative moment of the first half arrived on 43 minutes when Miretti was stretchered off with an ankle injury. Replacing the number 20 was another Next Gen product Nicolò Fagioli.
There was enough time though for Juve to double their lead before the break. Adrien Rabiot’s cross was headed into the path of Vlahović. The Serb miss hit his shot but it ended up as a perfect assist for his international teammate Filip Kostić. The winger stole in ahead of Ochoa to touch the ball beyond the advancing home keeper.
A Serbian one-two that gave Juve a solid lead at the interval.
And after the break Juve put the game on ice. Again Dušan was at the heart of the action, sweeping home his shot first-time after being played through by Fagioli.
The third goal for the Bianonceri knocked the stuffing out of the home side, who would never seriously test Wojciech Szczęsny over the length of the match.
Instead Juve kept on pushing forward in search of goal number four.
In fact, the frame of the goal stood between the Bianconeri and their adding to the advantage. First to strike the woodwork was Ángel Di María, whose curling effort had Ochoa beaten before crashing off the crossbar.
With the game heading into the final minutes, a burst of pace from Federico Chiesa left opponents in his wake. The number 7 rolled the ball for Moise Kean on the run inside the box. This time it was the post that got in the way, with Ochoa again grateful.
A confident performance produced a return to winning ways in Serie A for Juve. Three crucial points to begin their climb back up the league table.
SALERNITANA 0-3 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-2):
Scorers: 26’ & 47’ Vlahović, 45’ Kostić.
SALERNITANA: Ochoa; Sambia, Troost-Ekong, Bronn, Bradaric (60’ Bonazzoli); Coulibaly (80’ Kastanos), Nicolussi Caviglia (71’ Bohimen), Vilhena (46’ Lovato); Candreva, Piatek (71’ Crnigoj), Dia.
Subs not used: Sepe, Sorrentino, Daniliuc, Pirola, Botheim, Valencia.
JUVENTUS: Szczęsny; Danilo, Bremer, Alex Sandro; De Sciglio (80’ Iling Junior), Miretti (43’ Fagioli), Locatelli, Rabiot, Kostic(62’ Cuadrado); Di Maria (62’ Chiesa), Vlahovic (79’ Kean).
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, Gatti, Rugani, Soulé.
BOOKINGS: Rabiot, Vilhena.
Salernitana-Juventus tomorrow evening at the Arechi stadium wraps up the action of Serie A Matchday 21.
Today Massimiliano Allegri faced the press in the customary pre-match conference and admitted that the match in Salerno will be far from easy, "Tomorrow's match will be complicated. Their fans are passionate, [Davide] Nicola is doing a great job there and they are coming off a victory in Lecce.
"For us, the important thing is to face the match with the right approach. We must put ourselves on a par with Salernitana. We have to get back on track and set about catching the teams ahead of us and start climbing the table."
The coach also considered the current situation regarding the fitness and form of those in his squad, adding "All the players are available apart from [Leonardo] Bonucci who has the flu, [Paul] Pogba who is recovering and [Leandro] Paredes who has a niggle.
"Dušan [Vlahović] has recovered well, I think he is much better physically. In my opinion he's lost weight but is more powerful than before. However, leaving [Moise] Kean out is getting harder and harder for me. He has improved a lot technically and physically. I think he is a very important player for our team."
"[Nicolò] Fagioli has grown a lot, too. When many players were missing, he did well and in general, our young players have brought enthusiasm and technique. I think everyone has contributed to the cause and they're all coming on well."
"[Hans] Nicolussi Caviglia was unlucky due to the problems he had with his knee. He is proving his worth at Salernitana and I am very pleased. But there are many very good young players in our academy, the club has done an excellent job with the youth sector. It is possible that in the next few years many will be part of the First Team."
The coach also touched on the side's mid-table position and the consequences on setting team goals, "Right now the fact is that we have been deducted 15 points and we have to think about reaching the 40-point mark. It's ironic, but we need to think about this objective first and then take it step by step.
"After all, it's a long season and we have to continue our journey. We are in the semi-final of the Coppa Italia and our aim is to progress in the Europa League as well.
"We must do our talking on the field, though, without any alibis."
A Bremer header on the cusp of half-time sent Juventus into the Coppa Italia semi-finals. The defender’s goal gave the Bianconeri a 1-0 win over Lazio at the Allianz Stadium after a determined, focused display against the side from the Capital.
The two sides took the measure of each other over the first quarter of an hour. The only threat to either goalkeeper came from a Mattia Zaccgni shot that Mattia Perin watched curl wide of his far post.
Just after the 15-minute mark, however, Perin’s opposite number was called into action.
Dušan Vlahović carried the ball down the right flank and worked it into the path of fellow-Serb Filip Kostić. The winger let fly with his trusted left foot and only the fingertips of Maximiano kept the ball out.
Juve stepped up their game and were often first on the loose ball in the centre of the park, allowing the team to build up momentum in attack.
One such example saw Kostić deliver an inviting cross into the heart of the Lazio penalty area. Adrien Rabiot rose unchallenged but couldn’t find direction on his header. The Lazio keeper, placed centrally, made a comfortable save.
A Kostić cross would set up the game’s opening goal, but only after Lazio threatened at the other end. Felipe Anderson was picked out in space at the edge of the area. His powerful drive whistled just wide of Perin’s post.
With the interval looming Juve broke the deadlock. A corner was partially cleared by the visiting defence. Nicolò Fagioli swung in another cross, which went all the way back to Kostić. The number 17 quickly lobbed the ball back into the middle, where Bremer timed his run to perfection. The central defender was quicker to the ball than the Lazio keeper, allowing him to nudge the ball over the advancing keeper into the unguarded net.
Juventus set their stall out at the start of the second half to defend their hard-earned lead.
Perin was eventually called on to make a save, from a Danilo Cataldi free-kick. The Juve keeper then had plenty of opportunity to show his safe handling as Lazio launched in plenty of crosses, all of which were dealt with by Perin.
At the other end, the Lazio keeper was brought into action after the interval with a save from a Manuel Locatelli drive at the midway point of the second half. As both coaches turned to the bench for fresh legs and to keep the level of concentration high, Bianconeri sub Moise Kean drilled in a low shot at the near post that tested Maximiano. The Lazio keeper finally making the save on his goal line.
Juve saw out the remainder of the match, keeping Lazio at a safe distance, and the slender goal was all that was needed to book a place in the semi-finals, where Inter await.
JUVENTUS 1-0 LAZIO (HT: 1-0):
Scorer: 44’ Bremer (J).
JUVENTUS: Perin; Danilo, Bremer, Alex Sandro; Cuadrado (88' De Sciglio), Fagioli (64' Miretti), Locatelli, Rabiot, Kostić; Chiesa (78' Di Maria), Vlahović (63' Kean).
Subs not used: Szczęsny, Pinsoglio, Rugani, Gatti, Paredes, Soulé, Iling-Junior.
LAZIO: Maximiano; Lazzari, Patric, Romagnoli (78' Casale), Marusic; Vecino (59' Milinkovic-Savic), Cataldi (74' Marcos Antonio), Luis Alberto (75' Basic); Felipe Anderson, Immobile (46' Pedro), Zaccagni.
Subs not used: Provedel, Adamonis, Gila, Radu, Hysaj, Lu. Pellegrini, Romero, Bertini, Cancellieri.
BOOKINGS: Cuadrado (J), Zaccagni (L), Perin (J), Danilo (J).
Tomorrow evening, at 21:00 CET, Juventus welcome Lazio to the Allianz Stadium in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals. Today Massimiliano Allegri addressed the press in the customary pre-match conference.
The coach first touched on the league defeat to Monza at the weekend, "The players are sorry, disappointed and upset. Tomorrow we have to put our league issues aside."
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE CUP
"The Coppa Italia is another competition. It will be a difficult match against Lazio, a team that is performing well at the moment.
"It is a direct knock-out match. It is necessary we approach the game with the idea in the forefront of our minds that this is a one-off encounter. It could go all the way to extra-time, so substitutions might prove to be even more important."
TOMORROW'S TEAM SELECTION
"I'll decide the line-up tomorrow morning. Apart from [Leonardo] Bonucci, the only player not available is [Paul] Pogba, who is suffering from some tightness in his flexors. It'll take a little patience, he needs to reset the motor, it'll take time. The same thing happened to [Federico] Chiesa. [Dušan] Vlahović should play from the start. As for [Juan] Cuadrado? He's fine."
THE PECULIAR MOMENT AT JUVENTUS
"Last Sunday against Monza the whole team put on a bad performance. I made three changes at half-time and we improved slightly.
"We must remain concentrated, however, because the 15-point deduction must not become an alibi, the club will take care of defending itself against the charges."
The news before kick-off was positive with call-ups for Paul Pogba and Dušan Vlahović. However, the former would not set foot on the pitch, while the latter, as the team's fifth substitute, failed to find a way through the visitors' defence.
Juve were undone by Monza in the first half. Goals from Patrick Ciurria and Dany Mota gave the side from Brianza a two-goal lead at the interval, from which the Bianconer, try as they might, were unable to reduce after the break.
Juventus set out to rediscover their winning touch in the league against the team they had defeated just 11 days ago in Coppa Italia.
Instead it was the visitors that looked more at home and found the net on 10 minutes through Gianluca Caprari. The Bianconeri were grateful for the introduction of the semi-automatic offside as the VAR signalled the slightest advantage of Caprari over Bremer.
The goal was disallowed but Monza’s lead was only postponed.
On 13 minutes Juve showed some of the link-up play that has been a feature lately when Nicolò Fagioli burst from midfield, leaving three Monza players in his wake. His cross picked out Moise Kean, who shot wide.
Five minutes later Monza broke the deadlock. José Macìn played a pass in behind the Bianconeri rearguard for Patrick Ciurria to chase. Ciurria accepted the invitation and drilled a shot low past Szczęsny.
The Biancorossi continued to see more of the ball and doubled their lead with five minutes of the first half to play. Carlos Augusto won back possession on the half way line and sprinted forward undisturbed. The wing back fed a pass into the penalty area for Dany Motta. The striker rounded Szczęsny and placed the ball into an unguarded net.
In the second half, Juve had it all to do.
Massimiliano Allegri made three changes during the interval. Samuel Iling, Matias Soulé and Manuel Locatelli were quickly joined by Arek Milik as the Bianconeri made a fourth substitution before the hour mark.
The changes provided the needed impetus and Juventus finally built up pressure on the visitors’ defence. Locatelli unleashed a drive from the edge of the area, punched away by Michele De Gregori at full stretch.
The Monza keeper would thwart Juve four minutes later when Milik hit another effort from distance, and again with a one-handed save after Ángel Di María’s long-range effort seemed goal bound.
Juve eventually found a way beyond the Monza keeper but Bremer was in a clear offside position when he tapped the ball into the net after Rabiot had forced yet another save. In stretching for the ball Milik picked up an injury, which would see him limp off and Juve finish with 10 on the pitch.
Monza saw out the final minutes to collect home and away wins and become only the second side to win their first two matches in Serie A over Juve since Inter in 1930.
JUVENTUS 0-2 MONZA (HT: 0-2):
Scorers: 18’ Ciurria, 39’ Mota Carvalho.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Gatti, Bremer, Danilo; De Sciglio (64' Vlahovic), Fagioli (46' Soulé), Paredes (46' Locatelli), Rabiot, Kostic (46' Iling-Junior); Di Maria, Kean (58' Milik).
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, Pogba, Alex Sandro, Miretti, Rugani.
MONZA: Di Gregorio; Izzo, Pablo Marì, Caldirola (24' st Marlon); Ciurria (32' st Birindelli), Machin, (32' st Ranocchia) Rovella (14' st Sensi), Carlos Augusto; Pessina, Caprari (25' st Petagna); Mota Carvalho.
Subs not used: Cragno, Sorrentino, Donati, Barberis, Gytkjaer, Valoti, Antov, Colpani, Carboni, D'Alessandro.
BOOKINGS: 69' Caprari (M), 78' Sensi (M).
Juventus and Atalanta grabbed three goals each in a pulsating draw at the Allianz Stadium as the championship reached the mid-way point.
The 3-3 draw, which saw Juve come back from behind twice, kept the Bianconeri 12 points behind their opponents after the 15-point deduction handed out by the sporting authorities on two days ago.
The game could not have got off to a worse start. With their first attack Atalanta found the opening goal.
On five minutes, Ademola Lookman received the ball inside the penalty area. The striker found half a yard before driving his shot in at the near post. Caught by surprise, Wojciech Szczęsny could only parry the effort into the net.
Juve’s response was immediate and effective.
Signalling the Bianconeri’s intent were shots from the edge of the area from Manuel Locatelli and Ángel Di María, who would be at the heart of everything Juve did in attack in the opening half.
A corner from El Fideo saw his international teammate Juan Musso scramble to punch the ball away just as Weston McKennie was about to make contact.
Juve kept up their high pressing game and the intensity paid off. Locatelli won back possession inside the visitors’ half and forced his way into the Atalanta area. The ball broke to Nicolò Fagioli, who was taken down by Ederson. VAR called the referee’s attention and after studying the pitchside monitor, the official pointed to the spot.
From 12 yards Di María sent Musso the wrong way. 20 minutes after going a goal down, Juve were level.
And 10 minutes later the hosts would be ahead.
A flowing move down the right completed the first half comeback. A Di María backheel freed Fagioli down the right flank. The midfielder’s cross was met on the half volley by Arkadiusz Milik, who dispatched the ball into the net.
Juve were caught cold at the restart. Not even a minute had elapsed and Atalanta were level. Joakim Maehle ghosted in behind the home defence to side foot his shot beyond Szczęsny.
And not satisfied, the Dea pushed on again. On 53’ Atalanta again made progress down the left, Jeremy Boga crossed from the byeline and Lookman, who had peeled off the shoulder of Alex Sandro, glanced his header into the net.
Juventus were called on to respond again and again they did.
Manuel Locatelli was fouled at the edge of the penalty area. From the free-kick, a training ground move was worked to perfection. Di María rolled the ball into the path of Danilo, who drilled his shot into the net.
With 25 minutes to play, it was all square. All three points were still there for the winning. However, the defences finally came out on top.
A Tolói run and shot forced Szczęsny into a smart save, while at the other end, two Bianconeri substitutes almost provided the game’s seventh goal.
Moise Kean put pressure on Merih Demiral, whose attempted backheel clearance fell again to Kean. The striker played the ball into the middle of the area, where Fabio Miretti was arriving. The teenager didn’t make clean contact on his shot. A chance spurned.
That was to be the last opportunity of the match. Six goals, a share of the points, but however spectacular the match, Juve's climb back up the table was put on hold.
Tomorrow evening at 20:45 CET Juventus will take on Atalanta at the Allianz Stadium in their final game of the first half of the 2022/23 Serie A season. Coach Allegri gave a run down of the current situation on and off the field.
NEW LEAGUE POSITION
“Tomorrow’s game is a big one. We need to end this first half of the season on a high. After being handed a 15-point penalty yesterday we’ve got to close ranks, keep our heads down and put in some hard graft, focusing solely on football. It has no bearing on our approach – we’ve still got to get points on the board, win games, take things step by step and never stop working. There are 60 points still up for grabs.”
“The legal proceedings are in the hands of other people at the club. There will be an appeal, but given the change in our league standings we have to try to really make the most out of the coming matches. We’ve got to do what we can. The final verdict will be issued in two months and we can’t look back in anger.”
“This morning I had a word with Maurizio Scanavino about yesterday’s events and today at 14:30 both President Gianluca Ferrero and Scanavino will address the team before training. We’ve been docked 15 points and we can’t shy away from that, even if it may be temporary. We’ll look for any silver lining. When faced with difficulties you’ve got to take responsibility. We’ve got to move on from what happened yesterday and as a team we’ll just try our best as always. On a personal note I’m very sorry for Andrea Agnelli, Pavel Nedved, Maurizio Arrivabene, Federico Cherubini and Paolo Garimberti.”
“Atalanta are playing fantastically and are fighting fit. We’ll need our fans to give us an extra boost. While Paul Pogba and Dusan Vlahovic won’t be in contention until the Monza game next week Juan Cuadrado may feature tomorrow. Adrien Rabiot didn’t train normally with the team but there’s a chance that he’ll be fine to face Atalanta.”
Juventus made it 18 matches unbeaten at home in the Coppa Italia with a 2-1 win over Monza in the Round of 16. Moise Kean had given Juve an early lead, canceled out on 25 minutes.
However, Federico Chiesa's comeback goal restored the Bianconeri's advantage with 12 minutes to play as the number seven definitively put his injury woes behind him.
Six of the Juventus starting XI had come through the Bianconeri Academy as Massimiliano Allegri turned to youth to kick off this season’s Coppa Italia campaign. What’s more, seven of the starters were 24 or under.
And it was the youth factor that created the early chances. On five minutes Samuel Iling Junior showed his impressive turn of pace as he raced at the Monza defence. The winger’s cross reached Nicolò Fagioli, whose side footer went close.
Three minutes later again Fagioli was involved as he linked up with Matias Soulé in midfield. The Argentine teeanger burst forward and fed a pass into the path of Weston McKennie. A pin-point cross from the US international picked out Moise Kean, who glanced his header into the net from the six-yard line.
Juventus, however, did not press home their early advantage and were pegged back by the visitors from a corner kick on 25 minutes. No one followed the run of Mattia Valoti, who like Kean, headed home from close range.
In an open contest, there were plenty of flashes of skill, but neither goalkeeper was seriously tested apart from another run from Iling which forced a finger tip save from Alessio Cragno.
At the break there was no splitting the two teams.
Immediately after the restart Kean had a chance to restore the lead with his personal double after he was played through from a cross field pass. The striker found himself one-on-one but fired his shot straight at Cragno, who blocked the effort with his shin.
Monza replied with a couple of efforts from Andrea Colpani. The 23-year-old fired his first shot over the crossbar, his second brought out a tidy save from Mattia Perin.
As the game entered the closing 15 minutes, the effect of the flurry of substitutes began to make an impact on proceedings.
Ángel Di María’s first real involvement saw him deliver a dangerous cross into the area, which reached Danilo. The captain’s shot was deflected off the crossbar by a Monza defender. The rebound broke to Kean, who touched the ball into the net, but his celebrations were cut short after he was flagged for offside.
However, Juve’s second goal was just around the corner and it arrived for a flash of magic from another sub on the night. Federico Chiesa ran at the Monza defence, shrugged off a challenge from full-back Valentin Antov and picked out a curling shot into the top corner.
Di María almost added a third in the final minutes with an outrageous rabona, which was saved by Cragno.
As it was the touch of class from Chiesa proved to be a worthy winner as Juve booked their place in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals for the 16th consecutive season, where they will meet Lazio.
JUVENTUS 2-1 MONZA:
Scorers: 9′ Kean; 25′ Valoti (M); 78′ Chiesa.
Juventus: Perin; Gatti, Rugani, Danilo; Soulé, Fagioli (74′ Di Maria), Paredes, Miretti (60′ Locatelli), Iling-Junior (74′ Alex Sandro); Soulé (60′ Chiesa), Kean (82′ Milik).
Subs not used: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Bremer, Barbieri, Kostic.
Coach: Landucci (Allegri suspended).
Monza: Cragno; Marlon, Pablo Marì, Carboni (57′ Carlos Augusto); Antov (82′ Sensi), Pessina (Rovella), Ranocchia, D’Alessandro (67′ Izzo); Colpani, Valoti (67′ Vignato); Gytkjaer.
Subs not used: Lamanna, Sorrentino, Caldirola, Barberis, Petagna, Bondo, Ciurria, Machin, Colombo, Ferraris.
Bookings: Antov (M), Rovella (M).
A run of eight successive wins in the league without conceding a goal was definitively ended by Napoli in Serie A Matchday 18. The game that could have opened up the title chase instead saw the Neapolitan side run out 5-1 winners to stretch their advantage over the Bianconeri at the top of the standings to 10 points.
Federico Chiesa made his first start in just over a year, adding to the Bianconeri’s attacking potential in support of Ángel Di María and Arkadiusz Milik.
However, it was the hosts that started on the front foot. After a quarter of an hour, Victor Osimhen sneaked in behind the Juve defence but his close range shot lacked power.
A minute later, though, the striker demonstrated his finishing ability. A cross from Matteo Politano was met on the volley by Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. Wojciech Szczęsny made an acrobatic stop but Osimhen pounced on the rebound to head home from close range.
Juventus responded to falling behind and had chances for a quick equaliser. First Di María latched onto a misplaced pass out of defence by the home side. El Fideo looked up and struck a shot from distance, which clipped the top of the crossbar. Four minutes later, Di María delivered an interesting cross, which was met by Milik. The striker’s header forced Alex Meret into his first save of the evening.
The home goalkeeper was put to the test again from a corner, met by Bremer inside the six-yard area, but the central defender couldn’t keep his header down despite outjumping Meret.
Then Napoli doubled their lead on 39 minutes and again it was a combination between Osimhen and Kvaratskhelia that did the damage. The Georgian winger latched onto the pass from Osimhen and dispatched his shot beyond Szczęsny.
Juve pulled a goal back immediately. Di María played a one-two at the edge of the area with Manuel Locatelli, then found the ball at his feet again from a short pass from Milik. This time the Argentine placed his shot firmly into the net.
Just before the break it was almost level. Amir Rrahmani turned a cross towards his own goal but Meret produced a fantastic reflex save to keep the ball out.
Despite an early goal line clearance from home captain Giovanni Di Lorenzo from a dangerous Juve corner, the second half was dominated by Napoli. The league leaders added three goals in a 17 minute burst. First from Rrahmani who met a corner kick. 10 minutes later Osimhen added his second, from another cross from Kvaratskhelia.
Juve failed to respond and fell further behind, when Alex Sandro diverted an Eljif Elmas drive beyond Szczęsny.
Napoli proved to be worth their commanding lead at the top of the table, but for Juve there is little time to lick their wounds. On Thursday there is the visit from Monza in the Coppa Italia before the Bianconeri host Atalanta in the last match of the first half of the season.
Massimiliano Allegri has urged Juventus to continue their upwards curve as they prepare for a top-of-the-table tussle with Napoli at the Stadio Maradona on Friday evening.
The coach was speaking to the media at his traditional pre-match press conference ahead of the Serie A Week 18 clash, which kicks off at 20:45 CET.
«The lads are in pretty good shape,” Allegri began. “We've had three days to prepare for this match and they're in good condition. We'll see how we get on tomorrow. We've obtained some good results so far but we must carry on improving. We must finish in the top four».
«Our injured players should be available again soon. I don't think we'll have anyone back before we play Monza in the Coppa Italia but some of them might be available for Atalanta. Cuadrado will probably train with the team on Tuesday. The others are looking much better.».
SPALLETTI' S NAPOLI
«Napoli are a very talented team and they're well drilled by an excellent coach. It will be a great game of football tomorrow night in front of a packed stadium. It won't decide anything in terms of the league and it's more important to them than it is to us. We must play with great technique and intensity. It's going to be tough because it's a head-to-head encounter against the team that are currently the best in the league. We must be really up for it. Spalletti is a fantastic coach and teacher – he showed that at Roma and Inter.».
«HIS RESULTS AND HIS WORK OVER THE YEARS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES. ON A PERSONAL LEVEL I'M GRATEFUL TO HIM FOR GIVING ME THE CHANCE TO COACH JUVENTUS, FOR SUPPORTING ME AND WORKING WITH ME FOR SO MANY YEARS».
DANILO AND CHIESA
«Danilo is doing really well, as they all are. We're playing with a different attitude now and we must carry on down this path. Chiesa is much better and I'm happy with him. I'll weigh up my options today and then decide on the team».
The Juventus world bid farewell to Gianluca Vialli before kick-off at the Allianz Stadium through the words of Gianluca Pessotto.
The minute’s silence touched the heart of the fans inside the ground as both Vialli and Ernesto Castano were both remembered before the match against Udinese.
Juventus welcomed World Cup winner Ángel Di María back to the line-up as Massimiliano Allegri made five changes from the starting XI from the midweek win over Cremonese.
Although experiencing a winless run after being one of the early season trail blazers, Udinese were no pushovers. Their physical brand of football was always going to keep a tight lid on proceedings.
That said, both goalkeepers were called into action twice in the first half. First Wojciech Szczęsny on 18 minutes held out Walace after the Udinese midfielder had won a header from one of the visitors’ many first half corners. A minute later, it was a Bianconeri set piece that almost provided the game’s opening goal. Daniele Rugani reached Di María’s free-kick delivery but his header from six-yards out was prodigiously tipped wide by Marco Silvestri.
The Udinese keeper produced another excellent save to thwart Juve after their first example of flowing football in the first 45 minutes. Fabio Miretti and Di María linked up before the Argentine fed the ball into the path of Moise Kean. The striker’s angled shot was blocked by Silverstri.
The last chance before the break forced a reflex save from Szczęsny to keep out Walace again.
The Bianconeri showed more urgency at the restart. Di María and Adrien Rabiot were supplying the cut and thrust from midfield. One such move saw the Frenchman deliver a pass to Miretti in the area, but the teenager was dispossessed before he could shoot. Rabiot again was involved two minutes later with a cross that went close to finding its way into the net.
Just as he had done against Cremonese, Allegri brought on Leandro Paredes and Federico Chiesa to increase forward momentum.
However, chances were few and far between but Juve had been making it a positive habit of grabbing late goals. And so it was to be again.
With less than five minutes of normal time on the clock, Paredes played through Chiesa, who from the heart of the penalty area delivered a pass into the six yard area. Waiting to apply the finishing touch was Danilo. The captain on the night placed the ball high into the net. Again a solitary goal was enough for all three points.
Eight wins in a row. Eight wins without a goal conceded. Next week Juve travel to league leaders Napoli.
Before previewing Saturday's match against Udinese at Allianz Stadium, Massimiliano Allegri took a moment to remember former Bianconeri players Ernesto Castano and Gianluca Vialli, who passed away on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
“They were two great players, and two great men, who gave so much to the game, to Juventus and to Italy.
“I knew Vialli personally and he meant so much to Italian football. He was a role model for the younger players and we will all miss him. Watching him play, you couldn't help but be in awe of his technique, his heart and his passion.”
“We'll have a full house tomorrow and it will be a great occasion for us. Udinese are a physical side and they're having a great season. They have some top-quality players, like our former player [Roberto] Pereyra. It's going to be a tricky match, as they all are."
“[Angel] Di Maria is available again and [Leo] Paredes is improving his condition. I'll assess [Gleison] Bremer today because he's a little tired but we have [Daniele] Rugani who's ready to play.
"[Matias] Soule is another one I need to consider. He helped us out by playing at wing-back against Cremonese but he's more of an attacking player. He's a quality footballer who works hard.
“Alex Sandro should be back tomorrow. [Federico] Chiesa did well in the last game, from a physical point of view too. He needed a match like that. His fitness is improving and I'm very happy.
“[Moise] Kean has come in with a different mindset this year and dropped six kilos. You can see the difference on the pitch. [Juan] Cuadrado is working well and I think he'll be able to rejoin the team in another week or so.”
Juventus picked up 2023 where they had left off 2022. Winning. And winning without conceding.
A seventh straight win was collected at the Giovanni Zini stadium thanks to an inch-perfect Arek Milik free-kick just as the 90 minutes had elapsed. It was Juve’s eighth effort on target from their 19 shot total - enough to earn the team all three points against battling Cremonese and continue Juve’s march in Serie A.
The home side started aggressively, backed by the vociferous support. Cyriel Dessers had the first chance but flashed his close-range volley off target, while Emanuel Valeri thought he had scored on 15 minutes. Instead, even without analysing the goal-line clearance from Bremer, the play was halted because of offside against the Cremonese full-back.
Juventus took the measure of their opponents, who played with five across the back. The defensive line kept the Bianconeri outside of the penalty area, which meant inspiration had to come from distance.
Matias Soulé provided the first threat, cutting inside from the right flank twice. Both his efforts were aimed for the far corner and both were intercepted by the outstretched hand of home goalkeeper Marco Carnsecchi.
On the half hour, Fabio Miretti followed in the footsteps of his fellow Next Gen graduate, when he dropped the shoulder to cut in from the left. His effort dipped just wide. As did Filip Kostić's shot after he invented something out of nothing, but again the curler fell just the wrong side of the far post.
It would be a shot from outside the box, though, that would decide the game. But before then...
10 minutes into the second half Massimiiano Allegri decided to freshen his side. Federico Chiesa and Moise Kean were brought on to add some spark to the attack. Another Miretti effort parried out for a corner almost brought the opening goal as Federico Gatti retrieved the ball from the corner inside the box, to fire just wide.
Then Chiesa lashed a shot into the side netting as the match opened up. In fact, at the other end, Dessers sneaked in behind the Juve defence only to smash his shot off the post. Juve responded, first through Adrien Rabiot, another player introduced by the coach, whose volley was once again saved by Carnsesecchi, who outdid himself from the resulting corner, blocking a point-blank effort from Kean.
Again Cremonese hit the upright when Felix Afena Gyan drove in a cross from the byline. Kean then attempted a dipping shot, again saved by the home keeper.
Just as the 90 minutes were almost up, Rabiot was brought down as he powered forward. From the resulting free-kick, up stepped Milik, whose precise left-footed curler hit the post on its way into the net. Finally, the deadlock was broken.
The Bianconeri saw out the seven minutes of time added on to clinch a seventh straight Serie A win, all obtained without a goal conceded.
Juventus are set to return to league action at 18:30 CET on Wednesday at the Stadio Zini to face Cremonese in Serie A Week 16. Coach Max Allegri excitedly looked ahead to the game in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday.
“We’re starting up again tomorrow after a 52-day break and we’re in for a very tough game straight away against a team that didn’t concede in their last two home matches. They also gave Napoli a run for their money despite losing in the end. Cremonese get a lot of shots and crosses in, so we’ll need to take to the pitch with respect and humility. Substitutions will play a key role.”
“[Paul] Pogba is running. The most important thing right now is that his knee isn’t swollen. If he carries on like this for the next two to three weeks, he’ll be able to train with the squad. [Federico] Chiesa is doing better and has been in full training. He’s ready to play some part tomorrow. [Angel] Di Maria and [Leandro] Paredes are back and doing well. I’ll assess today whether [Wojciech] Szczesny can play or not. [Adrien] Rabiot came back from the World Cup raring to go. [Dusan] Vlahovic is doing well. I hope to have everyone available in three weeks’ time.”
THE LEAGUE RESTART
“It’ll be important to play as a team in Cremona. Games are always tougher after breaks. I’m interested to see how the approach will be. The biggest game of the season is our next one and we need to approach it with desire and a sense of responsibility. Napoli are clear favourites for the Scudetto at the moment, so now our aim is to get into the top four and go all the way in the Coppa Italia and the Europa League.”
Six wins on the spin.
That is how Juve have seen out 2022 with a 3-0 win over Lazio before Serie A makes way for the World Cup.
Again Moise Kean was on the scoresheet, with time with a double, while fellow striker Arek Milik completed the night's goals with a third in the final minute.
Worth noting, not only six wins in a row, but six wins in a row obtained without one goal conceded, and the Bianconeri sit third in the table.
Boosted by his winner against Verona on Thursday, Moise Kean was given the nod again by Massimiliano Allegri and appeared in the mood to repay the faith shown in him by the coach.
As early as the sixth minute Kean ran at the Lazio defence as Juve hit on the counterattack. Taking on his marker, Kean fired his shot wide.
Five minutes later it was Nicolò Fagioli who tried his luck. Again Filip Kostić was involved in the build up, picking out the midfielder inside the penalty area. Lazio goalkeeper Ivan Provedel frustrated the midfielder’s hopes of the third goal in four matches with an outstretched hand.
The visitors were seeing plenty of the ball but were unable to test Wojciech Szczęsny. Juve, meanwhile, looked dangerous again on 19 minutes. A long ball from Danilo was excellently controlled by Arek Milik, who then took a touch to tee up his shot, which whistled just wide of the post.
The Biancocelesti did create one danger to the Juve defence. Inside the final five minutes of the first half, Pedro cut in from the left and struck a vicious shot, which deflected off Manuel Locatelli and dipped only just over the bar.
Two minutes later, the deadlock was broken. Adrien Rabiot stole possession from the toes of Sergej Milinković- Savić and quickly launched a pass into the path of Kean. The striker understood that Provedel had come racing off his line, reaching the ball first, lofting it over the advancing keeper. Those inside the Allianz Stadium held their breath before the ball bounced under the bar and into the net.
The stadium then erupted as Juve took a crucial lead just before the break.
Juventus came out after the interval intent on doubling their advantage. First, Arek Milik brought out a clever reflex save from Provedel before Locatelli followed up with a drive from the edge of the area, which again the Lazio keeper got behind.
Just before the 10 minute mark of the second period, however, Juve did find their second goal. Milik won possession inside the Lazio half, Locatelli quickly spun the ball into the path of Kostić, who took a touch before releasing his shot. There was too much power in the winger’s effort for Provedel to hold. Kean was on hand to tap home his and the Bianconeri’s second of the game.
Kean sensed a hat-trick was in the air and on 62’ he almost grabbed his third of the match after another run at the Lazio defence. This time his drive was saved by Provedel and it was to be his last involvement in the game as he came off to a standing ovation, replaced by Ángel Di María.
Lazio made all five of their substitutions but it was the Juve subs that left their mark in the final minute of normal time. Di María played an inviting pass into the path of Federico Chiesa, whose first time cross was met by Milik for goal number three.
Although the three points were never in doubt, there was the matter of keeping a sixth clean sheet in as many matches and in stoppage time Szczęsny pulled off a great save to deny Felipe Anderson a consolation goal for the visitors.
Juve made it six wins out of six, leaping ahead of Lazio in the standings to climb into third place going into 2023.
JUVENTUS 3-0 LAZIO (HT: 1-0):
Scorer: 43′ Kean (J), 54′ Kean (J), 90′ Milik (J).
JUVENTUS: Szczęsny; Gatti, Bremer, Danilo; Cuadrado, Locatelli (84′ Paredes), Rabiot, Fagioli, Kostic (64′ Chiesa); Kean (62′ Di Maria), Milik.
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Scaglia, Bonucci, Rugani, Barbieri, Miretti, Soulé.
LAZIO: Provedel; Hysaj (68′ Gila), Casale, Romagnoli, Marusic; Milinkovic-Savic (77′ Marcos Antonio), Cataldi (58′ Vecino), Basic (58′ Luis Alberto); Romero (68′ Cancellieri), Felipe Anderson, Pedro.
Subs not used: Maximiliano, Adamonis, Kamenovic, Radu, Bertini.
BOOKINGS: 25′ Gatti (J), 27′ Bremer (J), 28′ Milinković-Savić (L).
Tomorrow, Sunday 13 November, Juventus take on Lazio in the closing Serie A fixture of 2022. Five consecutive victories have pushed the Bianconeri into the top four and the coach explained that the aim is to continue to build the positive feeling in the squad in the match that kicks off at 20:45 CET at the Allianz Stadium.
CONCERNING THE OPPONENTS...
"I expect a difficult match against a strong Lazio side, which is doing excellently well. It's the last game of the year, we're coming off a positive run and we have to keep it up, knowing however that Lazio away have only conceded one goal.
"They are a difficult team to beat, Sarri knows how to organise his team well in defence. He also has a lot of skillful players. Maurizio is an important coach who won the league title with Juve and is doing a great job at Lazio.
"The other night in Verona we played against a team that had created several scoring chances against Milan and Roma, which runs hard and presses high, making you play long balls. The boys did well, but tomorrow is a completely different match. Lazio run at you and like to impose thieir game in your half."
CONCERNING THE SQUAD...
"Tomorrow morning, I will see if Locatelli and Cuadrado will be available and based on this I will make my choices. Vlahović won't be available. He did part of the training yesterday and today and his condition is such that he is not able to play. Chiesa though is available tomorrow.
"As for Di María, I'll have to decide how much time to give him. Tomorrow is dangerous because of the quality of opponents and it is even more so because it is the last game before a long stop. We are in a good form, we have to continue it."
MAKING THE MOST OF THE MOMENT
"The best thing we have seen in this period is the team spirit that we are regaining, then obviously there are things to improve.
"To bring home results and defend well, as we are doing, we need to pay even more attention. Then we need to improve our possession game, but the best thing is the team spirit that we are regaining. We are one game from the end of the first part of the season, so we have to do well against a complicated team."