Juventus vs Cagliari 2-0: Kean and Bernardeschi Get Job Done

Juventus closed their tormented 2021 with a comfortable win over relegation-struggling Cagliari to move fifth in the Serie A table – as they wait for Roma and Fiorentina to undertake their mid-week league test.

It was an easy job for the Bianconeri at the Allianz Stadium despite Walter Mazzarri’s Rossoblu giving some signs of life after a string of poor results and performances. Still, Juventus took home all three points with goals from Moise Kean and Federico Bernardeschi – the first goal in Bianconero for the Azzurri‘s winger after more than one year and a half!

Bernardeschi Breaks Goal-Scoring Drought

The Cagliari wall held for almost 40 minutes. That is, until Bernardeschi worked the ball down the right side and, after besting three Rossoblu opponents, whipped it in the box, finding Kean’s (random?) winning deflection. It was the first goal since two months from the former PSG man, who found himself in the right place at the right time anyway.

Before that, there had not been any significant chance on either side, except for Kean heading the ball into Alessio Cragno’s right post from a Juan Cuadrado cross on 11 minutes. As expected, Juventus were in control for most of the first half while Mazzarri’s boys closed themselves at the back.

The Bianconeri should have had their second early after the restart but Alex Sandro’s header from a Cuadrado corner sailed off target. After that, Juventus seemed comfortable with their one-goal lead and posed no additional threat to the Islanders’ goal.

On 60 minutes, Cagliari had a golden chance as Raoul Bellanova crossed the ball in the middle of the box but Dalbert wasted it all, missing an easy tap in from close range. Seven minutes later, it took a super save from Wojciech Szczesny to deny a Joao Pedro header powered by a Gabriele Zappa service. 

Mazzarri started to believe in it and added another striker in Leonardo Pavoletti, who replaced Gaston Pereiro. It was a short illusion, though, as Juventus’ second finally came on 84 minutes. It came from a great intuition from Dejan Kulusevski, who had substituted Kean a few minutes earlier.

The Swede “read” Zappa’s pass along the midfield line and intercepted it to trigger Juventus’ counterattack. Kulusevski served Bernardeschi, whose powerful diagonal shot left no chance to Cragno and got the job done for the home side.

What’s Next for Juventus and Cagliari

Juventus are on a good trend as they collected their fourth win out of the last five games. The Bianconeri have conceded only two goals in the last eight domestic tests. As they prepare to face Napoli after the year-end break, they will have to concentrate on defusing the transfer market rumors speculating about the possible departure of key players like Paulo Dybala and Matthijs De Ligt.

Second-to-last Cagliari have been looking like a team in disarray over the last few weeks. Tonight’s showing, albeit fruitless, was a small step forward for Mazzarri’s side, even though they lost one point to direct contenders Genoa – who surprisingly held Atalanta to a draw. They will next face Sampdoria at the Luigi Ferraris Stadium on January 6.



December 21, 2021 – Serie A 2021-2022 Round 19

SCORERS: 40′ Kean, 83′ Bernardeschi

JUVENTUS (4-3-3): Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, De Ligt, Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Arthur (83′ Locatelli), Rabiot (46′ McKennie); Bernardeschi (89′ De Sciglio), Morata (89′ Kaio Jorge), Kean (72′ Kulusevski) (Perin, Pinsoglio, Pellegrini, Rugani, De Winter, Soulè) Coach: Allegri
CAGLIARI (3-5-2): Cragno; Carboni, Ceppitelli, Lykogiannis; Bellanova, Zappa, Grassi, Deiola (71′ Oliva), Dalbert (85′ Keita); Pereiro (64′ Pavoletti), Joao Pedro (Aresti, Radunovic, Altare, Faragò, Ceter) Coach: Mazzarri

REFEREE: Mr. Dionisi from L’Aquila
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Carboni, Dalbert, Pavoletti (C); Added Time: 1st Half: 0′, 2nd Half: 5′