Juventus vs Monza 0-2: Newcomers Complete Double Over Bianconeri

Monza completed a league double over Juventus in their maiden Serie A season, claiming a stunning 2-0 win at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Raffaele Palladino painted his return to his former stomping ground with flying colors as the visitors leapfrogged their esteemed hosts into the upper half of the table.

Winless in consecutive Serie A matches, including an embarrassing 5-1 defeat at Napoli a fortnight ago, Juventus took the field hoping to give their fans something to cheer about in these tumultuous times for the club. Last week’s 15-point deduction relegated the Bianconeri to mid-table, forcing them to work from the ground up to return in the top-four race.

Despite welcoming marquee summer signing Paul Pogba and leading goalscorer Dusan Vlahovic back to the fold from long-term injuries, head coach Massimiliano Allegri left both stars on the bench. His tactical ideas brought Juventus no good, as they looked up the creek without the paddle in the opening stages. 

While they cannot be accused of a lack of trying, the record-time Italian champions struggled to create meaningful chances. Juventus enjoyed more possession early on, but Monza came up with the goods. Palladino’s men opened the scoring ten minutes into the match through Hellas Verona loanee Gianluca Caprari, who finished off a delightful team action with a stylish goal. 

However, Monza’s celebrations were short-lived as VAR ruled the goal out for offside. But there was no denying for the second time of asking as Jose Machin split Juventus’ defense in half with a top-class through ball for Patrick Ciurrria, who beat Wojciech Szczesny on the far post to give the visitors the lead in the 18th minute. 

Juventus re-established control of the ball, yet Allegri’s men continued to struggle with a lack of creativity in the middle of the park. Instead of drawing back, the hosts slipped further behind in the 39th minute. In-form Carlos Augusto danced past several defenders before setting up Dany Mota one-on-one with the keeper. The Portuguese forward was ruthless, giving Monza a comfortable two-goal cushion at the break. 

Juventus had a mountain to climb in the second half, but they could’ve cut the deficit just three minutes after the break. Angel Di Maria delivered another sublime cross from the corner-kick, but Gleison Bremer was late on the far post to tap the ball into the empty net.

Although Juventus had more possession and held Monza in their opening third, they couldn’t find a breakthrough. The visiting goalkeeper Michele Di Gregorio came up with another massive performance to keep Allegri’s men at bay. The 25-year-old shot-stopper was nothing short of impressive in the second half.

Second-half substitute Arkadiusz Milik almost had an immediate impact. He picked up a loose ball on the edge of Monza’s box and unleashed a thunderous shot, forcing Di Gregorio into a spectacular diving save. It was only a sign of things to come.

Di Maria again tried from a long-range distance, but Di Gregorio pulled off another outstanding save to thwart the Argentine’s effort. He was then quick to deny Adrien Rabiot from point-blank before Bremer headed home from the goal line. But he was a fraction offside.

Juventus failed to threaten Monza’s keeper for the remainder of the game, slipping to 13th in the Serie A table.

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