Juventus 2-0 Brescia: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Bianconeri Go Top Ahead of Lazio-Inter Clash

Juventus returned to the top of Serie A with a 2-0 win over ten-man Brescia on Sunday afternoon at Allianz Stadium thanks to goals from Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado.

Brescia did well to stave off the Bianconeri threat in the first half but were undone when Florian Ayé took down Aaron Ramsey on the edge of the box, earning him a second yellow card before the free kick was beautifully converted by Argentine forward Paulo Dybala for the game’s opener.

Adrien Rabiot,Ales Mateju

A neat back heel from substitute Blaise Matuidi allowed Cuadrado to kill off any hope for Brescia, whose tightly-organised defence frustrated Juve for the majority of the game, despite the home side pulling all the strings.

All in all it was a steady enough performance from the reigning Italian champions, but one that fell short of being entirely convincing as they failed to fully dismantle the bottom three side.


JUVENTUS

Key Talking Point

Juve were successful in their bid to return to the top of the table, also gaining some much needed momentum after some inconsistent performances.

Their form has notably faltered in recent weeks, with Juve nine points shy of their tally from this point last season ahead of fellow title contenders Lazio and Inter’s clash on Sunday evening.

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The emergence of a team sheet without Juve talisman ​Cristiano Ronaldo ruffled some feathers before kick off. The match offered a chance to test just how dependent the Bianconeri are on CR7, who has scored in each of Juventus’ last ten league matches. 

And are they? Well, the results are not entirely conclusive.

They succeeded in taking all three points, but they ought to have done better. They struggled for fluency for large portions of the game and the ball was often overturned in the final third before they mustered any serious threat.

With a little bit of that Ronaldo magic, perhaps it could have been five or six.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Szczęsny (8); Danilo (6), Rugani (6), Bonucci (6), Sandro (6); Ramsey (6), Bentancur (8), Rabiot (7); Cuadrado (8), Dybala (9), Higuaín (8).

SubstitutesPjanić (N/A), Matuidi (8), Chiellini (7).


Paulo Dybala

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​Dybala’s curling free kick stopped Andrenucci in his tracks, and it’s hard to think of a keeper who could have stopped it.

He was a constant source of trouble for the Brescia defence. When crosses failed or passages of passes came to nothing, Dybala invaded the six-yard box with intricate dribbles, single-handedly taking the ball into the danger zone for Juve. He also rattled the cross bar in stoppage time.

Without his cleverly placed free kick which carried Juventus into half time with the lead, you wonder whether they would have been able to break the deadlock in the second half. 


BRESCIA

Key Talking Point

Brescia would have been happy to take anything from this tricky fixture, and you can understand why they might have been hopeful given Juve’s recent form.

Mario Balotelli,Daniele Chiffi

They put in a performance any team fighting relegation would be proud of. It was unfortunate that Aye’s recklessness put them on the backfoot, as they certainly had it in them to hold on for a clean sheet.

Brescia can be happy with the events of the afternoon, as they managed to contain the Juventus attack and create a few chances of their own.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Alfonso (6); Sabelli (8), Mateju (7), Chancellor (8), Martella (6); Bisoli (7), Dessena (7), Bjarnason (8); Zmrhal (7),Aye (4),  Balotelli (7).

Substitutes: Andrenacci (9), Ndoj (6), Skrabb (N/A).


Lorenzo Andrenacci

Third choice keeper Andrenacci might have had his sights set on heroics as he warmed up in the tenth minute of the game.

With Brescia’s preferred keeper injured, second choice Alfonso started between the sticks before leaving the field with what looked like concussion early in the first half.

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Andrenacci came on and produced a calm and impressive performance, making several vital stops to keep Brescia in the game, including an incredible diving save to stop Rabiot in the dying moments in the first half. 

His key contributions protected the Biancazzuri from total collapse. ​


Looking Ahead

​Juve have an away trip at SPAL to look forward to next week, before the first leg of their last 16 ​Champions League tie with Lyon.

Brescia have ties with Napoli and Sassuolo up next as they look to move further away from the relegation zone.

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