Goals by Weston McKennie and Arthur were enough to grab all three points as Juventus beat a resolute Bologna 2-0 at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday.
Juventus were a little slow off the blocks and it was hardly surprising that they needed a stroke of good fortune in order to break the deadlock in the 15th minute. After some fine play by Cristiano Ronaldo, Arthur unleashed a long-range effort that took a deflection off Jerdy Schouten to slowly find its way into the net, with Bologna goalkeeper, Lukasz Skorupski left helpless.
Thereafter, neither side really managed to test either goalkeeper a great deal, although Skorupski did make a brilliant double save to ensure Bologna’s deficit remained at one goal. Post the interval, Juventus were put to the sword but maintained their slender advantage thanks to some superb goalkeeping by Wojciech Szczesny.
Szczesny’s magnificence in goal paid off in the end, as Weston McKennie headed in from Juan Cuadrado’s corner in the 71st minute to put the game to bed. As Juventus wrapped up the 2-0 win, they ended up closing the gap to AC Milan following their defeat to Atalanta on Saturday, although they remain 7 points behind the Serie A leaders. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Andrea Pirlo’s men.
Wojciech Szczesny: 8/10
Hardly tested in the first half, but Szczesny needed to be at his best post the break, with the Juventus no. 1 making three big saves to preserve his clean sheet. The one to keep Juan Cuadrado’s inexplicable goal-bound header was top class. Kept things simple with ball at his feet.
Juan Cuadrado: 7/10
A game of hits and misses for Cuadrado, who nearly scored a spectacular own goal in the second half before Szczesny saved his blushes. Carried a threat going down the right flank, but his crosses were not always accurate. The Colombian, though, did get the assist for Weston McKennie’s goal. Worked hard off the ball, winning 11 duels, but also faced some nervy moments.
Leonardo Bonucci: 7/10
Bonucci took some time to find his feet in the midst of Bologna’s onslaught in the second half. But, it was the Italian international who eventually took matters into his own hands to kill off the space and keep things tight. Won each of the 4 duels he contested while making a couple of key clearances as well. Misplaced just 7 passes all game.
Giorgio Chiellini: 6/10
Responsible for keeping the Juventus defence organised, Chiellini struggled when Bologna were on top post the half-time interval, failing to win each of the 4 ground duels he contested. The Juventus captain, though, was imperious in the air, winning every aerial duel while also making 6 clearances. Is constantly found wanting for pace nowawadays.
Named as the left-back in the absence of Alex Sandro, Danilo had a battle on his hands against ex-Juventus winger Riccardo Orsolini. The Brazilian faced some hairy moments up against the Bologna talisman but came out on top more often than not. Hardly charged forward but did play in 1 key pass.
Weston McKennie: 8/10
? | Mckennie stats vs Bologna:
• 53 Touches
• 94.4%➖Passes completed
• 4/8 Aerial duels won
• 4/9 Ground duels won
• 2/3 Dribbles completed
• 2 Interceptions
• 1 Clearance
• 3 Key passes
• 1 Goal
The boss. ??❤️ pic.twitter.com/KJQSM1JQRl
— Nisrin (@NisrinJuve) January 24, 2021
One of the difference-makers on the day for Juventus, McKennie rose the highest to nod in Juan Cuadrado’s corner in beautiful fashion. The 22-year-old, though, should have celebrated a brace on Sunday instead, having failed to convert a fine chance created by Cristiano Ronaldo. Should have also had an assist to show for his efforts, however, with Federico Bernardeschi not converting his opening.
The creative supremo for Juventus against Bologna, Arthur pulled the strings effortlessly when the hosts were on top, but was often left anonymous when Bologna were taking the game to his side. Played in as many as 3 key passes while boasting an excellent 92 percent passing rate. Had the goal, however fortunate it was, to cap off a solid enough display.
Rodrigo Bentancur: 6/10
A game in which Bentancur blew hot and cold. The Uruguayan international failed to assert the Bianconeri’s dominance in the side and failed to contain Bologna when they were mounting the pressure early in the second half. Misplaced just 2 passes all game, but needs to do better in the defensive phase.
Federico Bernardeschi: 5/10
Preferred ahead of Federico Chiesa on the left side of the Juventus midfield, Bernardeschi failed to make an impression. While he did have a shot saved brilliantly by Lukasz Skorupski, he ought to have done better when trying to finish a chance by McKennie. His set-pieces hardly carried a threat either.
Dejan Kulusevski: 6/10
Starting ahead of Alvaro Morata, Kulusevski showed some fine touches and neat footwork. Carried a lot of threat when he looked to take the opposition defenders on, but his end product left a lot to be desired. Failed to aim even one shot on goal and was rightly replaced late on.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 7/10
Cristiano Ronaldo has assisted the most different players in the history of Football
Arthur is the 80th player to receive an assist from Cristiano Ronaldo pic.twitter.com/vWbDav14Zt
— Everything Cristiano (@EverythingCR7_) January 24, 2021
A frustrating afternoon for Ronaldo, who grabbed the assist for Arthur’s goal after some fine work. However, it just was not to be for him in front of goal, as he was denied by Skorupski on a number of occasions. Created a couple of chances as well, but did not have another assist to show for those efforts. Did all he could.
Alvaro Morata: 6/10
On for Bernardeschi, Morata was hardly involved, as Juventus looked to see the game out once McKennie scored.
Adrien Rabiot: N/A
On for Arthur, Rabiot carried the ball with purpose and embarked on one fine run. Helped see the game out.
Matthijs de Ligt: N/A
Available once again, de Ligt replaced Bonucci late on and saw the game out without much of a fuss.
Aaron Ramsey: N/A
On for Kulusevski, Ramsey helped Juventus remain in front late on.
Merih Demiral: N/A
A late introduction, Demiral was hardly on the pitch before the full-time whistle blew.
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