Sassuolo Unlucky To Leave With Just a Point Against Juventus

Juventus were lucky to salvage a point after Sassuolo kept on coming from behind in their 3-3 clash in Serie A on Wednesday night, as Juve open up a seven point gap at the top of the table.

Maurizio Sarri’s side had taken the lead after just six minutes. Miralem Pjanic’s diverted corner fell to Danilo on the edge of the box who, on his 29th birthday, side-footed the ball straight through the pack of players inside the box and into the top corner – a fine goal to open the scoring.

Pjanic then turned provider once more, this time for Gonzalo Higuain. After just 12 minutes of the game Juve were two goals to the good and looking at a nine point lead over 2nd-placed Atalanta, when Higuain neatly finished inside the box for his 7th of the season.

But despite taking an early two-goal deficit to the Serie A front-runners, Sassuolo hit back. Wojciech Szczesny was first called into action soon after Higuain’s goal, with Mert Muldur’s ranged effort taking a deflection and forcing the low save from the Polish stopper.

The ex-Arsenal man was again forced to make a smart save when Sassuolo forward Domenico Berardi got in-between the defense, only to fire his effort from inside the box straight at the onrushing keeper.

But Sassuolo were rewarded for their perseverance just before the half-hour mark – as the ball pin-balled through the defense, it eventually fell to the feet of Filip Djuricic inside the box who curled the ball smartly into the top-corner, leaving Szczesny helpless as his clean sheet went out the window.

That would cap an entertaining first-half at the Mapei Stadium, but soon into the second-half, Sassuolo were back on level terms. Berardi was fantastic on the night, and he got a well deserved goal when, from the right-hand side of the box he curled a free-kick straight over the wall and into the back of the net.

Juve players could only watch as Berardi scored a free-kick that Cristiano Ronaldo – who had a very quiet night – would’ve been proud of.

But the action wouldn’t stop there – minutes later Berardi turned provider as Francesco Caputo completed the comeback within the hour. Berardi fired a low ball right across the goal and Caputo in an almost identical fashion as he did against Lazio last weekend, was at the far post, ready to tap into an empty net for his 17th goal of the season.

Francesco Caputo’s goal completed Sassuolo’s comeback from 0-2 against Juventus; The Bianconeri would, however, still manage to equalize

As soon as Sassuolo took the lead, it was all Juve. As expected the Serie A leaders were back into this game just 10 minutes later when Alex Sandro timed a neat run to the near post where he was able to head home from the corner, and cap an unreal six-goal game at the Mapei.

Both teams utilised their substitutes to try and score a fourth, and it was Sassuolo who came closest, only for some good goalkeeping from Szczesny to keep hold of a point for Juve – a point which sees them seven clear in the hunt for the Scudetto.

On what was supposed to be a routine win against a formidable, but beatable Sassuolo side then, Juve realized that their job is far from done. Despite having a seven point lead over Atalanta, Sassuolo have shown the rest of the league Juve’s flaws, and have left the title race open for the likes of Atalanta, Lazio, and even Inter.

It might be a far cry to see anyone else winning the league but at least fans will have some more excitement going into the final games. It’d be a travesty if Juve didn’t win the league now and if Lazio could’ve kept their footing a bit then they could yet have been heading for the Scudetto.

Maurizio Sarri will have been furious, but he was full of praise for Sassuolo. They have a dream of their own in mind for this season as they look to surpass Milan in 7th. They need to breach a six point gap to both Milan and Napoli though, and with Milan’s form, it looks like this plucky Sassuolo side will just miss out.



July 15, 2020 – Serie A 2019-2020 Round 33

SCORERS:  5′ Danilo (J), 12′ Higuain (J), 29′ Djuricic (S), 51′ Berardi (S), 54′ Caputo (S), 64′ Alex Sandro (J)

SASSUOLO (4-2-3-1): Consigli; Muldur, Chiriches (75′ Marlon), Peluso, Kiriakopoulos, Magnanelli (67′ Bourabia), Locatelli; Berardi (86′ Ferrari), Djuricic (67′ Traore), Boga (86′ Raspadori); Caputo (Pegolo, Ghion, Haraslin, Magnani, Manzari, Mercati, Piccinini) Coach: De Zerbi
JUVENTUS (4-3-3): Szczesny; Danilo, De Ligt, Chiellini (46′ Rugani), Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic (57′ Rabiot), Matuidi (86′ Raspadori); Bernardeschi (62′ Douglas Costa), Higuain (57′ Dybala), Cristiano Ronaldo (Buffon, Pinsoglio, Bonucci, Demiral, Muratore, Olivieri) Coach: Sarri

REFEREE: Mr. Valeri from Roma
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Magnanelli, Kiriakopoulos (S), Bernardeschi, Cristiano Ronaldo (J); Extra Time: 5′, 2nd Half 5′