26 September 2023
An Arek Milik goal was enough for Juventus to inflict a first defeat of the season on Lecce. The side from Salento arrived ahead of the Bianconeri in the standings but the Polish striker’s 57th minute close range finish saw Juve leapfrog the visitors ahead of the remaining fixtures of Matchday 6.
Juventus demonstrated early ambition with the first shot of the evening in under 30 seconds. Adrien Rabiot’s effort from distance called Vladimiro Falcone into action but the Lecce goalkeeper would have a relatively uneventful first half.
On 13’ Nicolò Fagioli looked to link up Federico Chiesa, as he did to good effect against Sassuolo in the previous match, but this time the number 7 dragged his shot off target.
Falcone was called on again halfway through the opening period when Arkadiusz Milik tried his luck from outside the penalty area.
Five minutes later, Juventus finally carved open the visiting defence. First-time exchanges in midfield gave Danilo space to feed the ball through for Chiesa. However, from an excellent position the forward placed his shot just the wrong side of the far post.
The second half continued with a well-organised Lecce sitting deep, leaving the onus on Juve to break them down. And that was what the hosts did on 57 minutes.
A corner kick was kept in the area by Milik, who prodded the ball to McKennie. The midfielder’s delivery was headed back across the face of goal by Rabiot, where Milik was waiting to pounce. The striker tapped in from close range to finally break the deadlock.
On 65’ some good work down the left flank left Rabiot in space to attack the penalty area. The Frenchman’s shot flashed just wide.
Juve came close to adding a second with a quarter of an hour remaining, when again quick link-up play on the left released Chiesa. His cross was intended for McKennie, denied a tap-in by a crucial interception by Patrick Dorgu inside his own six-yard box.
At the other end of the pitch, Szczesny remained a virtual onlooker as Lecce sought in vain a way to test the Juve number 1. In stoppage time, the visitors were reduced to 10 men when substitute Mohamed Kaba was shown a second yellow for simulation.
Juventus now prepare for the trip to Bergamo on Sunday with confidence restored.
JUVENTUS 1-0 LECCE (HT: 0-0)
Scorers: 57’ Milik
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Rugani (71′ Gatti), Bremer, Danilo; McKennie (86′ Weah), Fagioli (86′ Miretti), Locatelli, Rabiot, Cambiaso (71′ Kostic); Chiesa, Milik (77′ Vlahovic). Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, Huijsen, Nicolussi Caviglia, Yildiz, Iling-Junior. Coach: Allegri.
LECCE: Falcone; Venuti (62′ Gendrey), Baschirotto, Pongracic, Dorgu; Oudin (62′ Rafia), Ramadani (69′ Kaba), Blin (81′ Piccoli); Almqvist, Krstovic, Strefezza (62′ Sansone). Subs not used: Brancolini, Joan Gonzalez, Berisha, Listowski, Faticanti, Corfitzen, Gallo, Burnete, Touba, Samek. Coach: D’Aversa.
Bookings: 29′ Ramadani, 55′ D’Aversa, 68′ Rafia, 75′ Chiesa, 85’ Kaba, 90′ Krstovic, 90’+1′ Rabiot
Sending off: 90’+3 Kaba