Zenit vs Juventus 0-1: Kulusevski Heads in Late to Win It for the Bianconeri

Juventus registered their sixth win on the trot by defeating Zenit in what was a tightly fought contest at the Gazprom Arena.

A late header from substitute Dejan Kulusevski saw the Bianconeri maintain their 100% win record in the Champions League this season.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side had a few scoring chances but they were unable to make the most out of them until the Swede found the net from Mattia de Sciglio’s cross.

Zenit, however, put up a tough fight, defensively and offensively. They produced a spirited performance and have some positives to take from this game.

At the end of the day, Allegri and Juve will probably be relieved to bag all three points from the fixture while they leave Russia.


Zenit manager Sergei Semak used a 4-3-3 formation today instead of the 3-4-3 against Arsenal Tula last weekend. Yaroslav Rakitskiy was back in the starting XI and so was Vyacheslav Karavayev. Wilmar Barrios started in midfield ahead of Daler Kuzyayev while Claudinho was on the left wing in place of Aleksandr Yerokhin.

Juventus’ XI also underwent a few changes from their victory against Roma with Alex Sandro back in the lineup and De Sciglio starting at right-back. Matthijs de Ligt was back after missing Sunday’s fixture against Roma due to an injury.

Weston McKennie completed the three-man midfield alongside Manuel Locatelli and Rodrigo Bentancur. This was the first Champions League start of the season for the United States international.

Juventus were boosted by Alvaro Morata’s return which meant that Moise Kean would be on the bench. As expected, Federico Chiesa and Federico Bernardeschi partnered the Spaniard in the attack.


Zenit had the first good chance of the game when Claudinho took a shot at goal but Wojciech Szczensy managed to pull of an important save.

Juventus attacked a lot more than their opponents and were persistently trying to put pressure on the opposition backline. However, the best they could manage was a few corners that bore no fruition. Chiesa looked eager to trouble the Zenit defenders but his shots were off-target.

The hosts had a chance to open the scoring just before half-time but Artem Dzyuba’s header was wide.



Juventus began the second half well and McKennie had an early opportunity to give them the lead but his shot was blocked by Zenit goalkeeper Stanislav Kritsyuk. Claudinho tried to have a shot at goal but it was wide off the far post.

Allegri made a couple of changes just before the hour-mark with Juan Cuadrado, Kulusevski and Arthur coming on. The latter got booked soon almost instantly.

Juventus had a very good scoring chance in the 63rd minute when Leonardo Bonucci’s delivery found Cuadrado. The Colombian’s shot went past Kritsyuk but Morata could not reach in time to tap it into the net.

The Bianconeri continued to attack but to no avail. First, Morata shot over the crossbar before McKennie’s header from a cross went wide. The Spaniard was eventually subbed off and in came Moise Kean.

Juventus finally got their goal in the 86th minute after Kulusevski headed in from De Sciglio’s cross. This was the Swede’s very first goal in European football. 

The Bianconeri managed to hold on to their lead and maintain their perfect run in the Champions League. Next up for Juve is a tough test against Inter in what is expected to be a cracking Derby d’Italia on Sunday.



October 19, 2021 – Champions League 2021-22 Group H

SCORERS: 86′ Kulusevski

JUVENTUS (4-3-3): Szczesny, De Sciglio, Bonucci, De Ligt, Alex Sandro (58′ Cuadrado), Locatelli (58′ Arthur), Bentancur (84′ Ramsey), McKennie, Chiesa, Morata (76′ Kean), Bernardeschi (58′ Kulusevski) (Chiellini, Danilo, Pinsoglio, Rugani, Perin) Coach: Allegri
ZENIT (4-3-3)Kritsyuk, Karavayev (61′ Sutormin), Chistyakov (88′ Krugovoy), Lovren, Rakitskiy, Wendel, Barrios, Santos, Malcom (69′ Kuzyayev), Dzyuba (61′ Azmoun), Claudinho (88′ Erokhin) (Mostovoy, Kerzhakov, Kravtsov, Kuznetsov, Byazrov, Khotulyov); Coach: Semak

REFEREE: Scharer (Switzerland)
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Barrios (Z), Karavayev (Z), Arthur (J), Ramsey (J) ; Added Time: 1st Half 0′, 2nd Half: 4′