Lazio vs Juventus 0-2: Two Bonucci Penalties Do It for Allegri

A solid Juventus side benefited of unexpected “goalscorer” Leonardo Bonucci to dispose of Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Saturday night. The Bianconeri captain buried the spot twice as Massimiliano Allegri’s came back to winning ways after three Serie A games. 

In his first match-up against his former club Juventus, Lazio coach Maurizio Sarri saw his troops starting strong but ultimately paying for the lack of a true striker, as his experiment of deploying Pedro as false nine failed.

Indeed, with Serie A top goalscorer Ciro Immobile kept at bay by an injury, Sarri placed the Spaniard in the middle of a three-man front line, with Felipe Anderson playing on the right and former Verona man Mattia Zaccagni covering the left spot in what was his first start for the Biancocelesti.

For Juventus, Paulo Dybala’s and Giorgio Chiellini’s absences forced Max Allegri to line up his side in a 3-5-2 fashion where Alvaro Morata and Federico Chiesa were the offensive terminals. 

Bonucci Penalty Breaks the Deadlock for Juventus

Lazio looked more organized and aggressive from the start, with Manuel Lazzari pushing hard from the right flank. Things got even worse for Juventus after 12 minutes as Danilo suffered a abductor injury. He was replaced by Dejan Kulusevski, who was deployed as a winger while Juan Cuadrado took the spot vacated by the Brazilian right back as Allegri switched to a 4-3-3 setup. 

Despite the difficult start, however, the Bianconeri received a golden chance on 22 minutes when a clumsy tackle from Danilo Cataldi on Alvato Morata prompted the VAR to send them to the penalty spot. It was their captain Leonardo Bonucci to take the responsibility and he made the best out of it with a perfect conversion.

The unexpected goal broke the Biancocelesti‘s momentum and Juventus were more in control for the rest of the first half. Allegri’s band came close to double their lead on with a spectacular overhead attempt from Morata that sailed over the bar. 

Lazio had a reaction around 35 minutes but their nervous attacks posed to major threat to Wojciech Szczesny. 

…and Another One from the Spot for Bonucci

On 48 minutes, Kulusesvki whipped a shot that Pepe Reina had to deflect in corner. The Spanish goalkeeper repeated himself on the subsequent corner kick, preventing Bonucci from tapping the ball in from point-blank range.

Lazio continued to struggle to create anything dangerous. The perfect exemplification of their offensive woes came around the one-hour mark, when Luis Alberto squandered a big counter attack chance as he ignored his teammates and saw his shooting attempt blocked by the defense.

Maurizio Sarri tried to change the trend by sending in Vedat Muriqi for Zaccagni, placing the big Kosovar striker in the middle of his front line – but Muriqi’s impact at Lazio continued to be imperceptible. More strikers were eventually added to the mix by both coaches: Moise Kean for Morata among the Juventus lines, and Raul Moro replacing Felipe Anderson for the Biancocelesti

It was an old face, however, to propitiate the second for Juventus and get the game done and dusted for the visitors. Federico Chiesa received a long ball from Kulusevski on the counter and dashed past Reina, whose desperate exit outside the box had no effect. The Lazio goalkeeper thus had no other choice than tackling the Azzurri starlet from the back, scoring a yellow card and sending Bonucci to the penalty spot for the second time.

Bonucci could thus complete the peculiar feat of scoring a brace from the spot as Juventus ended in control and Reina had to push back a late Kean challenge to avoid more punishment for the visitors.

What’s Next for Lazio and Juventus

With this win, Juventus reached Lazio at 21 points in the Serie A table as they prepare to face Chelsea on Tuesday to grab the first spot in Champions League Group H. Their next domestic test will next Saturday at the Allianz Stadium against Atalanta.

Lazio, on the other hand, proved once more how inoffensive they are without their talismanic striker Ciro Immobile. They will visit top-ranked Napoli on Sunday, but only after visiting Lokomotiv Moscow on Thursday for a decisive Europa League game. 



November 20, 2021 – Serie A 2021-2022 Round 13

SCORERS: 23′ Bonucci pen., 83′ Bonucci pen.

LAZIO (4-3-3): Reina; Lazzari, Luiz Felipe, Acerbi, Hysaj; Milinkovic-Savic, Cataldi (84′ Basic), Luis Alberto; Felipe Anderson (75′ Raul Moro), Pedro, Zaccagni (65′ Muriqi) (Strakosha, Akpa Akpro, Adamonis, Radu, Romero, Patric, Leiva, Escalante, Vavro) Coach: Sarri
JUVENTUS (4-4-2): Szczesny; Danilo (12′ Kulusevski), Bonucci, De Ligt, Lu. Pellegrini; Cuadrado, Locatelli (89′ Bentancur), McKennie, Rabiot; Chiesa, Morata (74′ Kean) (Perin, Pinsoglio, Alex Sandro, Rugani, Arthur, Kaio Jorge) Coach: Allegri

REFEREE: Mr. Di Bello from Brindisi
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Hysaj, Reina, Luis Alberto, Sarri (L); Cuadrado, Allegri (J); Added Time: 1st Half: 4′, 2nd Half: 4′