Juventus vs Bologna 1-1: Vlahovic Salvages Hard-Earned Draw for Bianconeri

A resilient performance from Bologna held pre-match favorites Juventus to a dramatic 1-1 draw on Sunday evening. Despite taking the field as outsiders, the visitors put in a remarkable shift to take home a significant point.

Juventus surprised everyone on the opening weekend. Amid ominous-looking off-field turmoil, Massimiliano Allegri’s side thrashed Udinese 3-0 at the Dacia Arena. With enthusiasm at an all-time high following a morale-boosting performance in Udine, the Bianconeri fans filled the stands at the Allianz Stadium, hoping for another routine triumph.

However, following an underwhelming showing in a 2-0 home loss to Milan last week, Bologna came to Turin in a different mood. Thiago Motta’s side looked disciplined at the back, allowing very few sights of goal to clueless Juventus. But more importantly, they had clear ideas about how to hurt their hosts on the other side of the pitch.

Mattia Perin pulled off a decent save to thwart Dan Ndoye’s well-taken low effort from inside the box in the 23rd minute. Juventus didn’t receive the memo. Unaware of the danger, Allegri’s men collapsed moments later as Lewis Ferguson struck home to stun the Allianz crowd into silence and put Bologna in front. 

Despite taking control of the ball possession, Juventus failed to invent anything meaningful in the final third. Dusan Vlahovic and Federico Chiesa, the opening-day heroes, spent the remainder of the first half in stealth mode, frustrated with a lack of service from the midfield. Bologna went into halftime 1-0 up but with everything to do in the second half.

The visitors had to learn that the hard way. Only seven minutes after the break, Gleison Bremer headed the ball down to Vlahovic, whose sublime half-volley found its way to the back of the net. Unfortunately for the Serbian striker, VAR cut his celebration short for offside. But Juventus changed their attitude after Allegri’s pep talk in the dressing room.

Pinned to their opening third, Bologna lost the foothold in the game. Lukasz Skorupski had to step up to keep his side afloat, and he did. The Polish goalkeeper came up with a brilliant save to deny Timothy Weah’s mighty attempt from the edge of the box. Two minutes later, Nicolo Fagioli spurned another massive opportunity, failing to keep his effort on target from a promising position.

Juventus had the initiative but nothing to show for it. Allegri tried to reignite a comeback by introducing Paul Pogba midway through the second half. When it looked like the home side could be on the verge of restoring parity, Bologna hit on the counter, with Joshua Zirkzee forcing a top-class save from Perin. 

Second-half substitute Samuel Iling Junior tackled Ndoye from behind on the rebound inside Juve’s six-yard box. However, after reviewing the situation, referee Marco Di Bello refused to point to the spot, leaving the entire Bologna dugout fuming. It didn’t take long before Juventus capitalized on the lifeline handed by the match official. 

Iling Junior lifted a perfect cross from the left flank, with Vlahovic finding the bottom corner with a towering header. It was his sixth Serie A goal against Bologna. But it was everything Juventus could rescue from this enthralling encounter. Allegri will have a week to rally his troops for the upcoming trip to Empoli.

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