MATCH REPORT: JUVENTUS 3-0 SPEZIA

It took awhile but once the Old Lady got into gear, it was turn out the lights, the party's over in Turin for Spezia.


Federico Bernardeschi came off the bench and changed the game for Juventus, providing assists for Alvaro Morata and Federico Chiesa before Cristiano Ronaldo’s third on the counter against Spezia.


The Bianconeri were feeling tense after the 1-1 draw at Verona, which saw them slide 10 points behind leaders Inter, albeit with a game in hand. Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Juan Cuadrado, Arthur, and Paulo Dybala were already out of action, then Matthijs de Ligt pulled out in the warm-up, making way for Gianluca Frabotta.

Spezia missed Riccardo Saponara, Tommaso Pobega and Federico Mattiello, but M’Bala Nzola had his first start since January 11.


Federico Chiesa put the ball in the net only after he was flagged a long way offside. Ivan Provedel rushed off his line to get just enough on the ball before Dejan Kulusevski, then on the counter, Riccardo Marchizza’s effort was deflected over by Merih Demiral.


There was a period of Spezia pressure, but also Juve chances, Chiesa’s volley charged down at the back post, and Claudio Terzi making a decisive interception on the cross for Cristiano Ronaldo.


Kulusevski hesitated on a Ronaldo through ball, allowing Martin Erlic to charge down the finish. Juventus finally created a truly dangerous opportunity on 41 minutes when Ronaldo’s right-foot angled drive beat Provedel to bounce off the inside of the far post.

Weston McKennie failed to make the most of a terrible Luca Vignali back-pass after the restart, as Erlic got back to prevent Chiesa tapping into an empty net.


Provider got just enough on a Kulusevski cross to put Ronaldo off, as the ball practically bounced off him in front of an open goal.


Andrea Pirlo made a double substitution that proved pivotal. Within a couple of minutes of coming on, Federico Bernardeschi had burst down the right and placed across to the near post, where Alvaro Morata got in front of Erlic to tap in from a couple of yards. It was initially ruled offside, but VAR confirmed Bernardeschi was level.


Bernardeschi was involved in the second goal too, as he burst down the left, rolled across for Chiesa, whose first shot was wonderfully saved by Provedel from eight yards, but he threw himself at the rebound to fire in.


Ronaldo forced a save from Provedel when his free-kick went over the wall, while Marchizza’s strike was deflected for a Spezia corner.


The visitors poured forward for the final 20 minutes, as Juve tried to defend the two-goal advantage, but this did allow them to be very dangerous on the counter-attack.


That’s precisely what happened in the final minute, as Rodrigo Bentancur won back the ball and sent Ronaldo clear to drill past Provedel.


Deep into stoppages, VAR was used to give Spezia a penalty for Merih Demiral’s challenge on Emmanuel Gyasi. Andrij Galabinov stepped up and his spot-kick was parried by Wojciech Szczesny to keep the clean sheet intact.



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