Alvaro Morata scored the decisive goal as Juventus huffed and puffed their way past minnows Spezia at the Allianz Stadium.

Juventus were far from their best against Spezia but did just enough to see off Thiago Motta’s side for a precious win at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday night.

Alvaro Morata was the man of the hour as the Spaniard scored the decisive goal to send Juventus six points clear of Atalanta and AS Roma in the race for the fourth spot. La Dea does have one game in hand over the Bianconeri, but Massimiliano Allegri’s side now have their destiny in their own hands.

The Old Lady were the better side in the first half, and they certainly made their advantage count. Spezia, to their credit, fought back after the break and could have even gone away with a point or more had it not been for Wojciech Szczesny.

Juan Cuadrado and Dusan Vlahovic both had chances to kill off the tie in the second half but failed to take their chances. In the end, Morata’s strike proved decisive in the grand scheme of things.

Allegri had several key players missing on the night, and all things said, his team did well to avoid compromising what could have been a banana peel of a tie. After all, every point matters as we enter the final stages of the 2021/22 football . The Hard Tackle looks at how the Juventus players fared on the night.

Wojciech Szczesny: 7/10

The Polish international had a rather comfortable first half with barely a save to make. He was called into action in the second half as Juventus looked to protect their lead and come up trumps. Szczesny denied Emmanuel Gyasi before coming off his line to deny Kevin Agudelo.

Danilo: 6/10

The Brazilian did well on the night and kept things simple. He shifted around the defence as required but kept his composure in the face of a Spezia counterattack in the second half.

Mattijs de Ligt: 6/10

This was perhaps the Dutch international’s poorest performance for Juventus in recent games. He looked uncomfortable at the back and lacked his usual authority. Thankfully for de Ligt, Spezia failed to take advantage of it, and he was rarely tested.

Daniele Rugani: 6/10

The Italian was drafted into the game thanks to Leandro Bonucci’s injury and did well. He put in a no-nonsense approach and passed the ball well when called upon. A solid if unspectacular outing for the 27-year-old.

Juan Cuadrado: 6/10

The Colombian international was a constant threat on the right and caused Spezia several concerns with his darting runs. He went close to doubling Juventus’s lead in the second half but could not do so. Cuadrado forced Ivan Provedel into a fine save while blasting another opportunity above the bar.

Manuel Locatelli: 6/10

The Italian was in good nick on the night and helped Juventus seize control of the midfield in the first half. His assist for Morata proved decisive given Juventus’s inability to find a second goal. Spezia showed more fight after the break, but Locatelli, to his credit, held firm and was up to the task.

Arthur Melo: 6/10

The former Barcelona man worked hard, and there can be no doubts regarding his commitment. He uncharacteristically struggled to keep the ball and was careless at times. He did, however, make up for it with his tidy passing.

Luca Pellegrini: 6/10

The left wing-back had an eventful night where he gave no quarter and ran up and down the pitch. Pellegrini won the majority of the duels he was involved in and was largely solid on the night. He also did well to recover the ball regularly as Spezia threatened in the second half.

Dusan Vlahovic: 5/10

It was probably the Serb’s worst outing in a Juventus jersey so far. He played a role in setting up Morata’s winner but did little else otherwise. The 22-year-old looked out of sorts and even received a yellow card for his troubles.

Alvaro Morata: 7/10

The Spanish striker secured his first Serie A strike of 2022 with a tidy finish that proved decisive on the night. Morata was up for the challenge and worked hard to win the ball back from the front. He had an opportunity to score a second in stoppage time but could not connect well.

Adrien Rabiot: 4/10

The Frenchman continued to frustrate and endured another forgettable night where he failed to make a difference. Rabiot made several needless fouls and failed to keep possession as Spezia ramped up the pressure. He passed well but did little apart from that.

SUBSTITUTES

Federico Bernardeschi: 5/10

Bernardeschi replaced Pellegrini a little after the hour mark and earned himself a needless booking with a tackle on Agudelo. The Italian winger will be suspended for Juventus’s next Serie A clash against Sampdoria next weekend.

Moise Kean: N/A

The Italian international replaced Vlahovic with five minutes to go. He had little to do as Juventus saw out the game.

Comments 1

  1. Bixente says:

    How Rabiot keeps getting selected for matches baffles me a lot. I don’t know what Allegri sees that we don’t.

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