MATCH REPORT: JUVENTUS VS PARMA

That goal-scoring machine Alex Sandro is back from the dead.


Four were defenders on the scoresheet when Juventus beat Parma 3-1 at the Allianz Stadium, as Alex Sandro's Gaston Brugman has scored the opener from a free-kick and Juventus struggled to answer in the first half, but Alex Sandro found an opening when he took two touches in the area and smashed in the equalizer before half-time.


The same Brazilian was the man who turned the game around after two minutes in the second half before Matthijs de Ligt added a third for the hosts.


Juventus had to put the Super League drama aside and focus on the match against Parma, fighting for a place in the Champions League next season.


The last few days have been chaotic for the Bianconeri, with their 1-0 defeat to Atalanta seeing them slide into fourth place.


Patron Andrea Agnelli was then at the forefront of the breakaway Super League project that collapsed in just 48 hours.


Fans have protested, but the collapse means qualifying for the Champions League is more important than ever and is not a given for Juventus.

Cristiano Ronaldo returned against struggling Parma and was close to scoring after only seven minutes.


The Portuguese managed to direct a powerful low cross, but goalkeeper Simone Colombi managed to get down quickly and reacted just in time to stop it on the line.


The 29-year-old keeper was called into action several times in the opening minutes, but Graziano Pelle almost had a header on target at the other end after 10 minutes.


The former Italy international won the duel with Matthijs de Ligt, who went down under the challenge, but he couldn’t direct the header on goal.


Weston McKennie was booked for a challenge on Gervinho, who charged towards the penalty area, and Gaston Brugman smashed in the free-kick.


A perfectly executed free-kick by the 28-year-old Uruguayan and Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon didn’t have the time to react as the ball swirled into the corner.


Juventus responded by attacking immediately, pushing the visitors back. Alex Sandro came close at the first post from a corner before Paulo Dybala was close to finding the target with an effort right outside the box.


Dybala hit the wall from a free-kick right outside the area after 34 minutes, as Arthur Melo won a free kick for the Bianconeri.

Alex Sandro then found Leo Bonucci with a cross from the right, and the defender managed to get good contact with the ball and had Colombi stretching for it. But it went just wide of the target.


Since the goal by Brugman, the hosts haven’t really tested Parma’s goalkeeper but eventually found the back of the net.


Juventus won a corner when Dybala tried to find Ronaldo in the box, and the Portuguese leaped above everyone else but didn’t manage to get to the Argentine’s cross.


But from the following corner, Alex Sandro was on call in the area and with two touches he managed to flick it up in the air and smash it home on the volley.


After having struggled to break down Parma in the first half, Alex Sandro pounced when Dybala couldn’t reach across, and the Brazilian made it 21 after two minutes of the second half.


The cross bounced over Dybala but Alex Sandro was at the far post and scored with a header from close range to give Juventus the lead in the 47th minute.


Juventus continued to push for the third, through attempts from Dybala and Ronaldo, and we're getting closer when defender Bonucci got struck in the face by Pelle trying to hold off his former Italy teammate.


Bonucci struggled minutes after and had to leave the pitch to get treatment from the Juve medics.

The center-back was soon back on the pitch and the Bianconeri continued to control the possession.


Giuseppe Pezzella had a great opportunity to level when he was completely free in the area on a corner kick, his powerful header had Buffon beaten, but Arthur Melo cleared off the line.

But it was the home side who were going to run away with it, as Matthijs de Ligt met a corner on the first post and steered it goalwards and into the back of the net with a great header.


Dybala was heavily involved going forward for Juventus and had a chance to make it four in the 78th minute. Substitute Dejan Kulusevski left it for the Argentine at right, but Colombi stopped the low effort.


Juventus were sloppy at the back and Buffon was at times tested, as the Old Lady kept giving Parma free headers in their own area.

But the Crociati couldn’t keep hold of the opportunities, but Juventus, who entered cruise control, kept showing some lack of concentration towards the end.


Dybala played a good game for the home side but was brought off after 84 minutes and was replaced by Alvaro Morata towards the end.


Ronaldo was not happy leaving the pitch without a goal on the night, as he booted the ball away and got booked for his reaction to a foul made by Alvaro Morata.


Parma looks further and further away from Serie A, whilst Juventus leapfrogged Atalanta and climbed to third ahead of tomorrow’s games.


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