02 October 2021
A victory of monumental proportions, for so many reasons. A crucial step in the title fight, a huge confidence boost to the squad, and another clean sheet. Not to mention there’s nothing like beating your local rivals on their turf, and especially after how Juventus reacted to a disappointing first half to perform so well after the break. Manuel Locatelli claimed the deserved winner fewer than five minutes from time for a team which is clicking into place and finding what it takes to win these kinds of games.
FEISTY TORINO REACT TO JUVE CHANCES
It was Moise Kean who struck the first blow. After Matthijs de Ligt won the ball he played in the forward who took off, running 50 yards and cutting in, but his shot skewed wide. Adrien Rabiot was responsible for conjuring the second attempt with his pass to Weston McKennie in the centre of the area, but the American's first-time shot failed to hit the target. Following the Bianconeri’s encouraging start the hosts then sprang into action, testing Wojciech Szczesny through Rolando Mandragora’s effort from outside the area. Juve allowed Torino to take the initiative, sitting back and waiting for the right moment to strike. The visitors struggled, though, as Moise Kean was frequently left isolated up front. Yet when Federico Chiesa found his feet in the game Juve prospered on the counter-attack. Shortly before half time, Manuel Locatelli had an excellent opportunity, but his right-footed strike was deflected out for a corner.
With 80 minutes gone and the deadlock still yet to be broken, Max Allegri replaced Federico Bernardeschi with Dejan Kulusevski. The Swede had an immediate impact, playing in Rabiot who stormed into the box and whipped in a low ball to Chiesa, but the 23-year-old was unable to tap in before Cristian Ansaldi cleared.
The clock ticked down but Juve showed no signs of letting up, seemingly immune to fatigue. Their persistance was rewarded four minutes from time when Locatelli struck the winner, with the ever-influential Chiesa crossing in to his international team-mate before beating Vanja Milinkovic at his near post. It was then just a matter of holding on. Kaio Jorge made his maiden Juventus appearence in place of Chiesa and the away side remained unbowed in defence, managing to keep possession while sitting comfortably in Torino’s half. The Bianconeri also came close to doubling their advantage through Kulusevski, who hit the post with a fantastic individual effort. It’s not like Juve needed to convince their doubters after beating Chelsea in the Champions League, but this vindicating win helped. What’s more, it was just as vital as beating the European champions, if not more.
TORINO 0–1 JUVENTUS (HT 0-0)
SCORER: 86 Locatelli
Milinkovic; Zima, Bremer, Rodriguez; Singo, Pobega, Mandragora, Aina (65 Ansaldi); Lukic (66 Linetty), Brekalo (84 Rincon); Sanabria (77 Baselli)
Unused substitutes: Berisha, Gemello, Buongiorno, Izzo, Vojvoda, Verdi, Kone, Warming
Szczesny; Danilo, de Ligt, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Bernardeschi (80 Kulusevski), Locatelli, McKennie, Rabiot; Chiesa (89 Kaio Jorge); Kean (45 Kean)
Unused substitutes: Perin, Pinsoglio, Bonucci, Rugani, De Sciglio, Pellegrini, Bentancur, Arthur
ASSISTANT REFEREES: Giallatini, Galetto
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Baroni
BOOKED: 57Sanabria, 62Lukic, 65Mandragora, 82Chiellini