Juventus’ title celebrations have been put on hold as they fell to a 2-1 defeat to SPAL at the Stadio Paolo Mazza.
The visitors needed just one point to secure the Serie A title, but Massimiliano Allegri opted to rest a number of his star players ahead of their crucial Champions League clash against Ajax on Tuesday night.
It was a decision that Allegri will ultimately regret, with his side sliding to a narrow defeat despite
Juve’s 19-year-old sensation Moise Kean displayed some lightning-quick reactions to deviate Joao Cancelo’s powerful strike on target and into the back of the net to take his side one step closer to the title, but things only went downhill from then for the visitors.
The hosts came out for the second half firing as Kevin Bonifazi headed in the equaliser just five minutes into the second half, with Sergio Floccari popping up with 15 minutes remaining to secure a memorable 2-1 win for SPAL.
Here’s a breakdown of the day’s events:
Starting XI: Viviano (6); Bonifazi (8), Cionek (6), Vicari (6), Fares (7); Lazzari (6), Missiroli (7), Schiattarella (7), Murgia (6); Floccari (8), Petagna (6).
Substitutes: Valdifiori (6), Regini (N/A), Antenucci (N/A).
Key Talking Point
With the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Mario Mandzukic and Leonardo Bonucci all absent it was always going to be tough for Juventus going up against a SPAL side who are fighting for their Serie A lives, but Allegri’s men just didn’t look at the races.
Whilst Juve dominated possession, SPAL were the better of the two sides throughout the game and thoroughly deserved the win on the day, creating the better chances and causing the Juve backline all sorts of problems.
Even though the defeat only looks to have put the champagne on ice for Juve fans for another week, it’s exactly what the club didn’t need with their winning momentum now halted heading into their most important game of the season on Tuesday night.
Starting XI: Perin (6); De Sciglio (6), Barzagli (6), Gozzi (7), Cancelo (7); Cuadrado (6), Bentancur (7), Kastanos (6), Spinazzola (6); Dybala (4), Kean (8).
Substitutes: Caviglia (6), Mavididi (6), Bernardeschi (6).
STAR MAN – On a day where there were very few stand out performances, Kean proved to be Juventus’ biggest threat.
Moise Kean has now scored in six consecutive appearances for club & country:
✓ vs. Finland
✓ vs. Liechtenstein
✓ vs. Empoli
✓ vs. Cagliari
✓ vs. Milan
✓ vs. SPAL
Try and stop this kid. pic.twitter.com/yqS3xiukil
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 13, 2019
He didn’t see much of the ball throughout the game, but the opportunity presented itself Kean showed his composure and awareness as he scored a very well-taken goal. When he came off the pitch Juve seemed to lose a large part of their attacking threat, with Allergi most likely regretting taking the youngster off given the result.
With SPAL still hovering dangerously above the relegation zone, they’ll be hoping to take their winning momentum into their next game when they travel to face fellow strugglers Empoli next Saturday afternoon.
As for Juve, they’ll at least take some comfort in knowing that their star men will be well rested for their Champions League semi final clash against Ajax on Tuesday night, where they will be looking to book their place in the semi finals of the competition.