18 December 2021
Juventus produced a confident, mature performance to secure a deserved 2-0 victory at Bologna, with Alvaro Morata and Juan Cuadrado on the score sheet. The Bianconeri started strong and aggressive but knew when to slow down the tempo and bide their time too. They were rarely threatened and ran out throughly deserved winners.
BERNARDESCHI INVENTS, MORATA SCORES
The fog covering the Dall’Ara didn’t manage to dampen the teams’ spirits as they started the game. Juventus got going at a lightning pace, pressing constantly, which after just six minutes gave McKennie and Arthur the chance to pick up the ball in midfield and send Morata away on the break. The Spaniard spread the ball to Bernadeschi, who played a brilliant return pass and Morata fired home from close range.
Bologna tried to react and get back into the match but when Morata managed to get away at speed towards the box he regularly put the Bologna defence under pressure. Another burst on the quarter-hour mark saw him he set up Rabiot, who hit a low angled effort which was blocked by Skorupski. It was a wonderful open game, especially as the hosts were not put off by going behind and managed to give Arnautovic a chance with a header which was stopped by Szczesny, and Svanberg with a spectacular overhead kick which missed by a whisker. Juventus picked up on the danger from their opponents and tried to maintain control of the game by winning the ball back high and keeping possession, often with one touch play, but the tempo eventually slowed as the minutes ticked by and the defences were able to limit opportunities.
Bologna came out after the restart with the bit between their teeth and Juve dropped off, keeping things tight at the back. On the hour mark Allegri brought on Alex Sandro and Locatelli for Pellegrini and Arthur, but the hosts kept probing for an equaliser – Szczesny was well placed at the near post to save Dominguez's effort. The Bianconeri maintained the calm Allegri has so often called for and allowed Bologna to let off some steam, patiently waiting for the right moment to strike. They weren't always able to engineer effective counter-attacks but when they did they got their reward. Rabiot and Morata linked up well to play in Cuadrado on the edge of the box, the Colombian sold his man a dummy to buy himself the space for the shot: it came off Hickey and ended up beneath the bar beyond Skorupski's reach.
JUVE SEE IT OUT
Bentancur and Kulusevski took over from McKennie and Kean as Juve set about controlling the game. Bologna's play was more frantic by this point, leaving themselves open on the counter. Cuadrado exploited that space to run the length of the pitch and tee up Bernardeschi on the edge of the area but Skorupski was equal to his effort. The keeper was then called into action once more to keep out Rabiot's header. Juve battened down the hatches and refused to offer Bologna a glimpse of goal. Cuadrado and Kulusevski had chances to make it three but in the end it was only the three points that really mattered.
BOLOGNA 0-2 JUVENTUS (HT 0-1)
SCORERS: Morata 6, Cuadrado 69
Skorupski; Soumaoro, Medel, Theate; De Silvestri (Skov Olsen 46), Soriano (Santander 85), Dominguez, Svanberg (Vignato 80), Hickey (Viola 85); Arnautovic, Barrow (Sansone 79) Van Hooijdonk
Szczesny; Cuadrado, De Ligt, Bonucci, Pellegrini (Alex Sandro 61); McKennie (Bentancur 72), Arthur (Locatelli 61), Rabiot; Bernardeschi, Morata (Kaio Jorge 85), Kean (Kulusevski 71).Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, De Sciglio, Rugani, De Winter, Soule
ASSISTANTS: Valeriani, Bresmes
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Marini
VAR: Banti, Di Iorio
BOOKED: Dominguez 29, McKennie 29