Juventus severely underwhelmed as they slipped to a 2-0 defeat against Champions League-chasing Roma on Sunday evening.
The visitors started brightly and set the tone for the game by forcing Roma keeper Antonio Mirante into a string of sensational saves during the opening 25 minutes. I Bianconeri continued to control possession for the remainder of the first half, but they were unable to find a breakthrough and the tie remained goalless at the interval.
Neither side was able to stamp their authority on the second half and opportunities in front of goal proved to be rare. However, with just ten minutes left on the clock Roma were able to find a breakthrough through Alessandro Florenzi. The right-back took advantage of some slack defending and found himself through on goal before delicately chipping the ball over the onrushing Wojciech Szczesny.
Edin Dzeko then confirmed the win for Roma with the final kick of the game as he finished off a rapid counter attack with a confident finish from close range.
Starting XI: Mirante (8*); Florenzi (8), Fazio (7), Manolas (6), Kolarov (7); Pellegrini (6), N’Zonzi (7), Zaniolo (6); Kluivert (4), El Shaarawy (7), Dzeko (6).
Substitutes: Cristante (6), Under (6).
Key Talking Point
After securing the Serie A title with a win over Fiorentina in April, Juventus have stuttered in recent weeks, drawing their previous two games against Inter and Torino.
I Bianconeri had plenty to prove then, even if the result of the game was theoretically meaningless. Unfortunately for their supporters, they went on to underwhelm once again. They looked more solid at the back than they have in recent weeks, but they remained rather uninspired in possession and were far from clinical in front of goal.
With nothing more to play for until the end of the season, Juve need to find inspiration from somewhere in order to finish the campaign strongly and build some momentum heading into next season.
Starting XI: Szczesny (6); De Sciglio (6), Caceres (6), Chiellini (5), Spinazzola (7*); Cuadrado (5), Pjanic (6), Can (5), Matuidi (5); Dybala (4), Ronaldo (5).
Substitutes: Bentancur (5), Sandro (N/A), Cancelo (N/A).
Star Man – Leandro Spinazzola
A bright spark on an otherwise frustrating evening for Juve, Spinazzola looked a real threat down the left-flank.
He constantly overlapped Blaise Matuidi and caused Florenzi a number of problems in the final third. His delivery was, for the most part, rather accurate but his teammates were guilty of being flat-footed in the box. On another day, he could have easily come away with a couple of assists to his name.
Spinazzola. What a player.
— Bima A. Nugroho (@Prophetsiddhart) May 12, 2019
More and more convinced by #Spinazzola every time I see him play for #Juventus.
Has not had much space to work in an attacking sense but has defended decisively. Nice composure to his game.
For Sale > Alex Sandro.
— Elio Salerno (@eliosalerno87) May 12, 2019
Spinazzola deserves to have his fair shot at starting next year. Kids a beast
— Mak (@KMakry) May 12, 2019
Roma will look to keep their Champions League aspirations alive when they travel to face Sassuolo on Saturday, while Juventus host Atalanta next Sunday.