Pjanic & Ronaldo secure victory over Spal

Pjanic & Ronaldo secure victory over Spal
Pjanic & Ronaldo secure victory over Spal
Pjanic & Ronaldo secure victory over Spal

Juventus maintained their unbeaten record in Serie A by claiming a 2-0 win over Spal at Allianz Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Miralem Pjanic opened the scoring with the a long-range effort, before Cristiano Ronaldo doubled the lead through a powerful header.

Through the absence of Alex Sandro and Mattia de Sciglio, Blaise Matuidi started at left-back, while Juan Cuadrado begun the game on the opposite flank, making for a new-look defensive line. The midfield also allowed for the introduction of Adrien Rabiot, while Aaron Ramsey was granted a starting place once again.

Juventus dominated possession in the opening minutes of the game and a good chance fell to them when Cuadrado sent in a long ball into the box, Ramsey then pulled it back to Ronaldo, who shot at goal, but it was saved by Berisha. Andrea Petagna then found himself with space to shot on the edge of the box, but his effort went wide of Gianluigi Buffon’s goal. A similar effort then fell to Sala, before Ronaldo threatened when he got onto the cross that saw his sliced effort deflected out for a corner. The home side were undoubtedly controlling the proceedings, but struggled to find the break-through…


Perhaps one of the best chances of the half came in the 34th minute of the game when a counter-attack, which started with Ronaldo and Cuadrado from inside Spal’s box, saw the Colombian run up to the half-way line, he then threaded through a pass to Dybala, who ran up the flank and burst into the box before striking a powerful left-footed hit that forced Berisha into making a stretched out save that sent it out for a corner. The Spal goalkeeper then pulled off an incredible save with when he denied Ramsey from close range, before a goal-line clearance by Vicari denied Pjanic. But only for a few seconds…


But it was the Bianconeri who would go into the break with a lead after a goal in the 45th minute. Berisha punched away a great effort struck by Khedira but could do nothing about the follow up shot from Pjanic. He stuck from distance on the half-volley, it took a slight deflection off the opposition, which saw his effort sail into the top right corner to net his second goal in the space of five days.


Juventus came out dominating possession once again in the second half and it was Berisha who made another excellent save 10 minutes into the second half to deny Khedira. The German went down low to nod in Ronaldo’s cross, but the goalkeeper dropped to the floor to push out the effort. Emre Can was then introduced into the fray on the half hour in place of Khedira, along with Bernardeschi who came on six minutes later for Ramsey. Dybala and Ronaldo were then both denied by Berisha, who stopped the Argentine’s initial shot, before then blocking CR7’s follow-up. The Ronaldo-Berisha battle continued moments later, when the Portuguese saw his angled drive palmed away by the gloves of the goalkeeper. It seemed to be the storyline of the day, as the Spal keeper denied Ronaldo again when he ran onto the end of a Pjanic pass at the near post.


After all his attempts at goal, Ronaldo finally got his moment to celebrate with his iconic ‘Siiii’ celebration following a delightful headed goal in the 78th minute. Dybala crossed in the assist for CR7, who directed a downward header towards goal that went through Berisha’s legs! It would be the final goal of the game in a match where the home side dominated the play, while Berisha kept the visitors in the game with his individual performance.

Juventus: Buffon; Cuadrado, Bonucci, De Ligt, Matuidi; Khedira (Can 60’), Pjanic, Rabiot (Bentancur 77’); Ramsey (Bernardeschi 66’); Ronaldo, Dybala

Substitutes: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Rugani, Demiral, Beruatto, Emre Can, Bentancur, Higuain, Bernardeschi

SPAL: Berisha; Tomovic, Vicari, Igor; Sala (Jankovic 72’), Murgia (Strefezza 57’), Valdifiori, Missiroli, Reca; Moncini (Paloschi 76’), Petagna

Substitutes: Thiam, Letica, Cionek, Floccari, Strefezza, Felipe, Paloschi, Cannistra, Jankovic, Tunjov, Zanchetta

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