10 January 2021
Juventus picked up three crucial points on Sunday evening against a Sassuolo side who, despite playing half the game with only 10 men after Pedro Obiang’s red card, made the match a competitive encounter. After a tight first 45 minutes, the game sprung into life after the interval. Danilo’s stunning opener was cancelled out by Gregoire Defrel, before Aaron Ramsey and Cristiano Ronaldo struck in the final stages to earn the Bianconeri a 3-1 win.
SASSUOLO DOWN TO TEN MEN
Juventus took their time to get going, though Cristiano Ronaldo and Gianluca Frabotta both went close in the early going. The former headed over the crossbar, while the latter fired just off target with his left-foot after a delightful, heeled lay-off by Weston McKennie. The American was one of two Bianconeri players to be forced off in the first period due to injury. McKennie gave way to Aaron Ramsey just before the 20-minute mark and Paulo Dybala was replaced by Dejan Kulusevski in the final minutes of the first period. Sassuolo meanwhile found themselves down to 10 men just before the break, after Pedro Obiang was red-carded for a tough challenge on Federico Chiesa. Juventus almost broke the deadlock before the break through Merih Demiral, who was thwarted by Andrea Consigli, while Kulusevski fired just over after some good link-up play with Ramsey.
DANILO FIRES JUVE IN FRONT
At the start of the second period, Andrea Pirlo sent Adrien Rabiot on in place of Rodrigo Bentancur and his team looked to make their numerical superiority count. Five minutes into the half, Danilo broke the deadlock in emphatic fashion. After a short clearance from the Neroverdi defence, the Brazilian ran onto the loose ball, catching it first-time with the sweetest of strikes, sending the ball like an arrow past Consigli into the corner.
With the game having settled into a calmer rhythm, the away side gradually ventured out of their own half and hauled themselves level with a splendid goal. Gregoire Defrel received the ball in the penalty box from Hamed Traore and produced a killer first touch to leave himself with only Wojciech Szczesny to beat, which he did with aplomb to draw the Neroverdi level.
Juventus went close on several occasions as they looked to get their noses back in front. Played in by Ramsey, Ronaldo looked to round Consigli before being brought down, however the referee waved play on. Chiesa saw an effort hit the outside of the post and subsequently laid on a chance for Rabiot from a corner, which the Frenchman headed over the crossbar. The Bianconeri pushed forward unremittingly while the visiting side kept on playing their football despite the numerical disadvantage, making for an entertaining contest. It was with less than 10 minutes to play however that the home team scored their second. Frabotta fired in a teasing low cross from the left, which no Sassuolo defender dealt with, leaving the on-rushing Ramsey with the simplest of tasks. The Welshman finished clinically from close range to give Juventus a vital late advantage.
RONALDO PUTS THE GAME TO BED
In stoppage time, with Sassuolo throwing caution to the wind in search of a leveller, Ronaldo pounced onto a long ball from Danilo, strode in the box and sent a low, powerful drive past Consigli to put the result beyond any doubt and secure all three points for Pirlo’s side.
JUVENTUS 3-1 SASSUOLO (HT: 0-0)
Scorers: Danilo 50, Defrel 58, Ramsey 82, Ronaldo 90+2.
Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, Demiral, Frabotta; Chiesa (Morata 86), Bentancur (Rabiot 46), Arthur, McKennie (Ramsey 19, Bernardeschi 86); Dybala (Kulusevski 43), Ronaldo
Subs not used: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Di Pardo, Chiellini, Dragusin, Portanova, Fagioli, Bernardeschi, Morata
Consigli; Muldur (Oddei 73), Chiriches (Ayhan 86), Ferrari, Kyriakopoulos; Locatelli, Obiang; Defrel (Boga 67), Djuricic (Maxime Lopez 46), Traore; Caputo (Toljan 46)
Subs: Pegolo, Marlon, Peluso, Rogerio, Magnanelli, Raspadori, Schiappacasse
Coach: De Zerbi
REFEREE: Massa (Imperia)
ASSISTANTS: Imperiale, Colarossi
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Abisso
VAR: Chiffi, Di Iorio
YELLOW CARDS: Bonucci 13, Ferrari 17, Bentancur 34, Frabotta 71, Kulusevski 79.
RED CARD: Obiang 45+1.