BONUCCI BRACE FOR THE WIN

BONUCCI BRACE FOR THE WIN

Lazio hosted Juventus in the capital with  both sides looking to make headway up the table.

The Old Lady started on the front foot, Chiesa causing a few problems in and around the box. However, the home side took the initiative after a nervy opening to attack themselves. Danilo was involved in a nasty challenge and had to be withdrawn with Kulusevski the man on. Nevertheless, their luck was about to change. Cataldi’s slide from behind caught Morata and the ball with the referee pointing to the penalty spot. Bonucci stepped up and converted emphatically.

 

It was enough to put the away side back in control, dominating possession and passing around themselves. Lazio had their first shot on target with Milinkovic-Savic’s effort straight at Szceszny. Morata had the next great chance, volleying over Cuadrado’s chipped cross having been left unmarked inside the box. That was about as exciting as the final minutes of the half got.

 

Juventus started brightly after the break, Reina saving well from Kulusevski at his near post. The game was opening up more as time went by with Lazio finding spaces from where to attack. But their coordination in the final third left a lot to be desired still. The away side were always the likelier to score whenever they got forward which was not often one has to say. Acerbi’s leaping headed pass seemed to be destined for Muriqi but the forward came up just short with his jump. But then it all went wrong.

Reina came rushing off his line to clear a through ball away from Chiesa, got nowhere it and was haplessly stranded. With the attacker moving into the box and waiting for an angle to shoot, the goalkeeper tried to nick the ball off of him but only succeeded in conceding a penalty. Bonucci made it two from two, sending Reina the wrong way.

 

Kean saw a shot saved by Reina as the game petered out towards the end. Both managers got into a bit of fracas and were booked but that was about it. Juventus picked up a crucial three points while Lazio lost their first home match of the season.

Here are the three key takeaways from the match:

JUVENTUS WITH A CONTROLLED WIN

It was a classic Max Allegri performance- take the lead and hold on without trouble. Bonucci’s penalty was enough to put them in a comfortable spot but their defence was hardly called upon too much. In fact, they had some good chances at the other end with Kulusevski, Morata and Kean all going close. In the midfield, Rabiot and Locatelli covered everything amongst themselves while Pellegrini was a more than able deputy for Sandro. Even Cuadrado was raiding down the right flank all the time. Allegri will certainly hope that the team can take heart from it and put together a run of good results.

 

LAZY LAZIO LOSE

There is not much good to say about Maurizio Sarri’s men tonight. They were way off the pace throughout the match, dearly missing top scorer and talisman Immobile. Without the striker, their attacks were severely disjointed with Sceszny having a remarkably easy day. Lazio looked like they were running out of ideas as the match went on, not really sure of what to do with the ball once they got forward. The fact that it was only two goals conceded was down to some poor finishing and good saves from Reina as well. Lazio need to get their act together if they are to return to the Champions League soon.

 

A LATE TITLE CHARGE?

Juventus welcomed back Federico Chiesa, who was instrumental in all the good things up the pitch with Paulo Dybala sidelined. Though the injury to Danilo was another blow, Kulusevski performed well in his absence. The Old Lady need to keep on winning if they are to have the slightest hope of regaining the Scudetto this season.

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