Obiang Sees Red as Juventus Thrash Sassuolo 3-1 in Turin

Both Juventus and Sassuolo came into their Serie A Round 17 fixture on the back of impressive wins. The Old Lady brought an end to Milan’s unbeaten run in Italian top-flight with a 3-1 win, while the Neroverdi secured a 2-1 win over Genoa.

The hosts were the form team, aiming for their fifth domestic victory from seven games. Meanwhile, Roberto De Zerbi’s men looked for their third three-point affair in four outings. With a top-four position on offer, the fixture offered a lot for both sides.

Last Sunday, Sassuolo’s unbeaten away win had come to an end, their complacency at the back catching up with them. However, they have not lost consecutive away fixtures since January 2020, their confidence rendering the 5-1 defeat to Atalanta an anomaly.

They started the match brightly, putting Juventus under pressure and taking the game to them. Andrea Pirlo’s men took their time in settling in, and the game opened up once they found their groove. Both sides had plenty of half-chances in the first period, but their goal attempts did not bear fruit.

While the scorers were not troubled, there were setbacks for both sides. The reigning Italian champions lost Weston McKennie and Paulo Dybala to injuries, while Pedro Obiang received a game-changing red card for his tackle on Federico Chiesa.

With Obiang in the dressing room, Sassuolo’s midfield balance was off. It only took Juve six minutes to get on the scoreboard in the second half.

Adrien Rabiot’s attempted pass to Cristiano Ronaldo was cleared. However, the ball fell right in Danilo’s, who took his chance from a distance and was duly rewarded. The ball clattered into the bottom left corner to make it 1-0.

De Zerbi’s men were down a man and looking at a one-goal deficit. They have scored 17 Serie A goals in away fixtures, 9 of them coming after the blessed 57-minute mark. The Neroverdi stood to their billing and scored their 10th away league goal in Sassuolo time.

They managed to claw one back through an excellent understanding of Hamed Traore and Gregoire Defrel. Traore released Defrel in the Juventus’ box, and the French forward sent a fierce shot at Wojciech Szczesny to make his chance count.

Sassuolo tried to hold on to parity but succumbed to Juventus’ numerical advantage and relentless pressure. Aaron Ramsey gave the Old Lady the lead. The Welshman capitalized on a Gianluca Frabotta pass to get past Andrea Consigli.

There was still life in the Neroverdi, but their search for a second equalizer were thwarted. Juve profited from their attempts in added time as Danilo found Cristiano Ronaldo from a long ball. The Portuguese had his shots blocked and headers looped away in the first half but would not miss this time. With time and space on his side, he easily found the back of the net to make it 3-1, for his 15th goal of the 2020-21 campaign.

When referee Davide Massa blew for full-time minutes later, Pirlo was a pleased man. Juventus continued their ascent in Serie A points table, leapfrogging Atalanta and Napoli for a top-four position. They welcome Genoa to the Allianz Stadium for their next domestic outing before the crunch meeting with Inter.

Meanwhile, Sassuolo and De Zerbi have to rethink their strategies. With the exception of 0-2 win over Napoli and stalemate against Roma, they have dropped nine points against their top-four rivals. The Neroverdi need to arrest their slide if they want to realize their ambition of participating in UEFA competitions.  



January 10, 2021 – Serie A 2020-21 Round 17

SCORERS: 51′ Danilo (J), 58′ Defrel (S), 82′ Ramsey (J), 92′ Cristiano Ronaldo (J)

JUVENTUS (4-4-2): Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, Demiral, Frabotta; Chiesa (86′ Bernardeschi), Arthur, Bentancur (46′ Rabiot), McKennie (19′ Ramsey, 86′ Morata); Dybala (42′ Kulusevski), Cristiano Ronaldo (Buffon, Pinsoglio, Chiellini, Dragusin, Di Pardo, Portanova, Fagioli, Bernardeschi) Coach: Pirlo
SASSUOLO (4-2-3-1): Consigli; Muldur (72′ Oddei), Chiriches (86′ Ayhan), Ferrari, Kyriakopoulos; Obiang, Locatelli; Defrel (67′ Boga), Djuricic (46′ Toljan), Traore; Caputo (46′ M. Lopez) (Pegolo; Marlon, Peluso, Rogerio, Magnanelli, Schiappacasse, Raspadori) Coach: De Zerbi

REFEREE: Mr. Massa from Imperia
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Bonucci, Bentancur, Frabotta, Kulusevski (J), Ferrari (S); Red Card: Obiang (S); Extra Time: 1st Half 5′, 2nd Half 4′