Spezia vs Juventus 2-3 – Matthijs De Ligt Gives Max Allegri First Win

The Bianconeri earned their first win in Serie A this season on Wednesday evening in a thrilling 3-2 win away at Spezia thanks to a winner from Matthijs de Ligt late on in the second half.

Juve have had a torrid start to the season in Massimiliano Allegri’s return to the club and previously sat in the relegation zone after four matches, drawing two and losing two. In fact, Spezia had a better start to the season than Juve and recorded their first win of the season against Venezia in a 2-1 away victory.

In an entertaining game throughout, the lead changed three times before arriving at the final 3-2 result. Moise Kean gave Allegri’s side the lead in the first half but Spezia went 2-1 up with goals either side of half-time. Federico Chiesa equalised for Juve in the 66th minute before Matthias de Ligt saved the day for the Bianconeri to give them their first Serie A win of the season.

Kean made his first start of the season in his loan return to Juve as Chiesa also made his first start after coming back from injury, with Allegri making five changes from the draw against Milan. Kean was partnered up top by Paulo Dybala as the visitors deployed a 4-4-2 system as they did in their 1-1 draw with Milan last weekend.

The hosts lined up in a 4-2-3-1 system, making two changes from their victory last time out, with Mehdi Bourabia and Petko Hristov coming in to replace Jacopo Sala and Martin Erlic.

Juve created a few half-chances before they took the lead with Kean shooting just wide and de Ligt blazing his effort over the bar with both chances coming inside the Spezia penalty area.

Kean opened the scoring for Juve after 28 minutes in what was his first Serie A goal since mid-April of 2019, slotting the ball home into the bottom-left corner. Leonardo Bonucci knocked the ball long from deep before Adrien Rabiot nodded down to Kean who struck from the edge of the area.

Spezia’s first chance of the match came just before their equaliser in the 33rd minute as Wojciech Szczesny parried the ball away from a decent long range effort. Emanuel Gyasi picked the ball up on the left and was able to cut in onto his right foot before his looping shot found the back of the net past a powerless Szczesny. Gyasi seemingly mocked Juve as he performed Cristiano Ronaldo’s famous celebration as he equalised for the hosts in what was great evening for the Ghanaian.

Dybala looked to pose a threat for Juve before the break with a few long range efforts but Zoet was able to comfortably deny the Argentinian as they went in at half-time at 1-1.

Juventus were the stronger side in the first half but were far less convincing as the stats would suggest. They had the better of possession and created a few half chances but keeper Zoet was not challenged too much and could do little about Kean’s goal. Spezia created very little but took their chance when it mattered to go in at half-time with the scores level and held a good account of themselves.

Allegri made two substitutions at half-time as he looked for Juve’s first Serie A win of the season, bringing on Manuel Locatelli for Rodrigo Bentancur and Alex Sandro for Mattia De Sciglio.

Spezia took the lead just a few minutes after the break through Janis Antiste. After hitting on the counter-attack, Maggiore played a long ball forward for Antiste on the left who controlled the ball well and superbly cut in before his shot took a slight deflection off Bonucci to go in past Szczesny.

Juve continued to push and Zoet made some more good saves, including a header from Kean. However, Spezia looked dangerous on the counter with Juve looking vulnerable at the back as the visitors continued to push for an equaliser.

The Bianconeri brought the game back level in the 66th minute after Verde was dispossessed on the edge of his own box by Chiesa who then proceeded into the box and laid it off to substitute Alvaro Morata. The ball eventually broke for Chiesa who was able to nutmeg Hristov and fire the ball home past Zoet.

Chiesa once again demonstrated his talent throughout the game and deservedly got on the score sheet. De Ligt retook the lead for Juventus shortly after they equalised. Spezia failed to clear a Dybala corner and the ball fell to de Ligt who scored from inside the area, firing the ball home into the bottom-right corner.

Spezia had a good chance to make it 3-3 late on with a couple of chances as the hosts piled on the pressure and threw men forward, with Juve looking to drop back and hold on to the three points. However, they were unable to equalise and the visitors snatched the win. 

It was a valiant effort by Spezia as they nearly marked a day in their history if they were able to hold onto the win. The hosts certainly held a very good account of themselves in what was a thoroughly entertaining game throughout. Juventus were far from their best but they will look to build on this now and will hope to gain confidence and momentum to start to progress further up the table.  


September 22, 2021 – Serie A 2021-22 Round 5

SCORERS: 28′ Kean (J), 33′ Gyasi (S), 49′ Antiste (S), 66′ Chiesa (J), 72′ de Ligt (J)

SPEZIA (4-2-3-1): Zoet; Amian, Hristov, Nikolaou, Bastoni; Ferrer, Bourabia (77′ Sala); Verde (77′ Manaj), Maggiore (85′ Salcedo), Gyasi; Antiste (77′ Nzola) (Provedel, Zovko, Bertola, Kiwior, Podgoreanu, Strelec) Coach: Motta
JUVENTUS (4-4-2): Szczesny; Danilo, de Ligt, Bonucci, De Sciglio (45′ Alex Sandro); Chiesa (84′ Kulusevski), McKennie, Bentancur (45′ Locatelli), Rabiot (67′ Bernardeschi); Dybala, Kean (59′ Morata) (Perin, Pinsoglio, Cuadrado, Lu. Pellegrini, Rugani, Ramsey) Coach: Allegri

REFEREE: Mr. Aureliano from Bologna
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Nikolaou, Nzola (S), Morata (J); Added Time: 1st Half 1′, 2nd Half 6′