23 September 2018
To win at this level there are times you need to dig deep, keep believing and not give in. That is a lesson Juventus will surely take from this tough away trip to the Stadio Benito Stirpe. The Bianconeri emerged 2-0 winners after a hard-fought contest, as Moreno Longo’s Frosinone side battled admirably to keep the scores deadlocked, though without doing too much to threaten in the other direction.
It was one-way traffic for the majority of the game and the question on most observers’ lips was whether Juve would finally find a way through. They were made to wait but goals in the final ten minutes from Cristiano Ronaldo and Federico Bernardeschi secured a deserved victory.
Attack versus defence
The Bianconeri were warned before the game that they would face a battle on Sunday evening by Juan Cuadrado, who was on the score-sheet the last time Juve travelled to Frosinone. The Colombian was chosen in a back four alongside Daniele Rugani, Giorgio Chiellini and Alex Sandro for the match and his prediction proved accurate.
The first half saw Juve’s attacking trio, Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic and Cristiano Ronaldo, struggle to create clear openings, with space very much at a premium. The Portuguese forward did go close within the first seven minutes, firing Mandzukic’s knock-down across goal, but Marco Sportiello saved before Marco Capuano managed to get the ball to safety, as it trickled towards goal. Ronaldo forced the Frosinone keeper into a smart save on 20 minutes, pouncing on a lose header in the area before firing low at the near post.
One-way traffic resumes
In the second period, the visitors tried to play with greater width, but despite monopolising possession the yellow and blue wall ahead of them remained impenetrable.
Massimiliano Allegri sent Bernardeschi on to replace Rodrigo Betancur ten minutes into the second half, switching to a 4-4-2 formation, and the Italian almost had an instant impact, chesting Chiellini’s cross into the path of Ronaldo, but the latter’s left-foot volley was blazed over the bar. The duo combined shortly after, with Ronaldo producing an improvised back-heel finish from close range, but Sportiello managed to get himself in the way.
Joao Cancelo, who replaced Cuadrado with 20 minutes to play, almost set up Mandzukic for a winner shortly after coming on. His cross with the outside of the boot was met by the Croat in the centre of the box, but the striker’s header was just inches too high.
CR7 and Bernardeschi strike
When the goal eventually came there was a slice of luck, but it was no more than Juventus deserved, having been camped in the opposing half for the duration of the second half. Miralem Pjanic attempted to fire towards goal, having created space near the edge of the box. The ball deflected off a Frosinone defender and into the path of Ronaldo, who hit a first-time left-foot shot into the corner.
With the deadlock broken, the pressure was on Frosinone to push for an equaliser and we were able to see how the game would have played out if both sides went in search for goals. Juventus kept their opponents at arm’s length and eventually put the game to bed. Pjanic won the ball high up on the left-hand side before switching the play to Bernardeschi, who calmly made room for a shot before smashing home.
With their fifth league win in as many games, Juventus remain out in front at the top of the Serie A table.
FROSINONE 0-2 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-0)
Scorers: Ronaldo 81, Bernardeschi 90+4
FROSINONE Sportiello; Zampano, Goldaniga, Salamon, Capuano, Molinaro; Chibsah, Maiello (Criestig 47), Halffredsson (Cassata 85); Campbell (Ciano 71), Perica Subs not used: Bardi, Ariaudo, Beghetto, Krajnc, Brighenti, Soddimo, Ghiglione, Pinamonti, Ciofani Coach: Longo JUVENTUS
Szczesny; Cuadrado (Cancelo 69), Rugani, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Emre Can, Pjanic, Bentancur (Bernardeschi 56); Dybala, Mandzukic (Matuidi 85), Ronaldo Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, Bonucci, Benatia, Kean Coach: Allegri REFEREE: Giacomelli
ASSISTANTS: Mondin, Santoro
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Marinelli
VAR: Mariani, Del Giovane
YELLOW CARDS: Bentancur 28, Perica 29, Molinaro 62, Sportiello 80.