Torino vs Juventus 0-1 – Late Locatelli Strike Rescues the Bianconeri

A brilliant late strike from Manuel Locatelli earned a dramatic win for Juventus in the most recent edition of the Derby della Mole.

The first fixture of the Turin rivalry was tightly contested, with both sides having threatening spells of possession. Due to outstanding midfield play, Torino controlled the majority of the first half, but Juventus responded well in the second and came away with three points.

After two competitive draws against Lazio and Atalanta, Torino manager Ivan Juric started his familiar 4-3-2-1. Talented defenders Ola Aina and Wilfried Singo started at wing-back, while captain Andrea Belotti remained out with a foot injury.

Juventus ran out a 4-3-3 similar to the formation that took down Chelsea on Wednesday. Rising star Moise Kean started at forward, with Locatelli and Adrien Rabiot providing support from the midfield. Team regulars Leonardo Bonucci, Rodrigo Bentancur and Juan Cuadrado all began the the match on the bench.

In the first minutes of the match, Kean nearly scored the opening goal. The 21-year-old made a brilliant solo run down the left wing, but his shot went wide of the net.

Later, the Bianconeri wasted another clear chance when Rabiot fired a low pass across the face of the goal. The ball took a deflection along the way and fell to Weston McKennie at point-blank range, but the American’s shot flew over the crossbar.

Torino recovered from their shaky start and began to build confidence and dominate possession in the midfield. Beating Rabiot to the ball on a corner, Sasa Lukic nearly scored a header, but the Serbian just missed the open goal.

Despite the visitors’ fast start, Torino largely dominated the first half. With the deep-lying Rolando Mandragora facilitating play, the Granata kept possession in the attacking third, reducing Juventus’ offense to a Mourinho-esque counter attacking style.

Desperate to change the pace of the game, Massimiliano Allegri started the second half by replacing Kean with Cuadrado, playing the Colombian at forward alongside Federico Chiesa.

The substitution provided an immediate boost to the visiting team. Cuadrado played a wonderful high cross into the box, and Alex Sandro’s header was just saved by Vanja Milinković-Savić. Moments later, he took a powerful strike from outside the box, forcing another save.

Needing to reinvigorate his squad, Juric made his first changes of the match with 25 minutes remaining. He brought on Cristian Ansaldi and Karol Linetty, strengthening his side’s defense.

McKennie’s poor night continued as he botched yet another scoring opportunity. With an apparent shooting lane inside the box, the midfielder chose to play an awkward cross towards the left wing that halted his side’s growing momentum.

As Torino seemed content to sit deep and play defensively, Manuel Locatelli finally opened Juventus’ account. The midfielder, who had been quiet throughout the match, received the ball outside of the box and fired a curling shot that banked off of the post.

The Bianconeri were fortunate to earn all three points, but the club has now won three straight domestic matches and are quickly rising up the table.  



October 2, 2021 – Serie A 2021-22 Round 7

SCORER: 86′ Locatelli

TORINO (3-4-2-1): V. Milinkovic-Savic; Zima, Bremer, Rodriguez; Singo, Pobega, Mandragora, Aina (65′ Ansaldi); Lukic (66′ Linetty), Brekalo (84′ Rincon); Sanabria (77′ Baselli) (Berisha, Buongiorno, Gemello, Izzo, Kone, Rincon, Verdi, Vojvoda, Warming) Coach: Juric
JUVENTUS (4-4-2): Szczesny; Danilo, De Ligt, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Rabiot, McKennie, Locatelli, Bernardeschi (80′ Kulusevski); Chiesa (89′ Kaio Jorge), Kean (46′ Cuadrado) (Perin, Pinsoglio, Arthur, Bentancur, Bonucci, De Sciglio, Lu. Pellegrini, Rugani) Coach: Allegri

REFEREE: Mr. Valeri from Rome
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Sanabria, Lukic, Mandragora (T), Chiellini (J); Added Time: 1st Half 0′, 2nd Half 4′