Juventus were held to a point against a resolute Sassuolo side at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday afternoon, opening the door for Inter at the top of Serie A.
The visitors started brightly, but it was I Bianconeri who fashioned the best chance of the opening stages, with Emre Can failing to convert from point-blank range.
Can’s glorious opportunity didn’t deter Sassuolo
Against the run of play, Juve took the lead as Leonardo Bonucci decided to take matters into his own hands. Rodrigo Bentancur laid the ball off to the onrushing Juve skipper before the centre-half unleashed a speculative drive from distance which, with the help of a deflection, found its way into the bottom corner.
The home side dominated the remainder of the game, but the visitors stood firm and held Serie A’s table-toppers to just a point.
Key Talking Point
After numerous marginal victories this season, a slip-up was inevitable for Juventus.
The hosts were woeful in the first half with very few of the starting XI actually looking up for the battle – falling 2-1 behind almost immediately after the restart in what was an absolute calamity of a goal to concede.
Substitutes Dybala and Blaise Matuidi certainly helped Juve improve in the second half – the former being instrumental in the home side getting the equaliser with just over 20 minutes to play.
On the whole, however, it was a dismal display and now, they’ve let the door wide open for Inter ahead of their game with SPAL later today.
Starting XI: Buffon (4); Cuadrado (7), Bonucci (7), de Ligt (3), Sandro (6); Can (4), Pjanic (7), Bentancur (6); Bernadeschi (4); Higuain (6), Ronaldo (5).
Subs: Dybala (8*), Matuidi (6), Ramsey (6)
After a dire opening 45 minutes, second-half substitute Paulo Dybala was at the heart of everything that went right for I Bianconeri while he was on the pitch.
Clear Pen, Dybala has turned this game
— Juventus News – Juvefc.com (@juvefcdotcom) December 1, 2019
– There’s something off about Ronaldo and it’s not an injury. Time will reveal the truth.
– Bernardeschi isn’t Juventus calibre. He should be used as back up only or sold.
– De Ligt had a nightmare but the kid needs a rest. Play Demiral for God’s sake!
– Dybala is crucial#Juve
— Jeff Lang (@b1anconeri) December 1, 2019
Dybala has been juve’s main man this season
— Cactus Jack (@aidankayyy) December 1, 2019
Replacing the poor Federico Bernardeschi in the number ten role, the Argentine found himself is some fantastic positions – popping up all over the place in the final third.
Juve’s intensity out of possession increased significantly as a result of Dybala, with the 26-year-old winning a penalty for the hosts after hassling
Starting XI: Turati (8); Toljan (6), Marlon (7), Romagna (7), Kyriakopoulos (6); Magnanelli (6), Locatelli (7), Traore (6); Djuricic (5), Caputo (7), Boga (8).
Subs: Duncan (6), Muldur (6), Peluso (N/A)
Juventus take on the high-flying Lazio on the road next Saturday before travelling to Leverkusen for their final Champions League group stage game.
As for the visitors, the Coppa Italia is next on their agenda as they host second-tier Perugia on Wednesday afternoon. They then host Cagliari in Serie A next Sunday.