01 August 2021
Juventus' second pre-season outing ended with a 2-1 victory over Monza in the 25th edition of the Luigi Berlusconi Trophy.
Massimiliano Allegri had far more first-team regulars to call upon than he did against Cesena just seven days earlier and had no hesitation in naming recent arrivals Wojciech Szczesny, Matthijs de Ligt, Aaron Ramsey, Adrien Rabiot and Dejan Kulusevski in his starting line-up.
The back four had Mattia De Sciglio and Luca Pellegrini on the flanks, with Merih Demiral partnering the Dutchman in the centre.
Filippo Ranocchia joined Ramsey and Rabiot in midfield while the youthful attacking trio was formed by Matias Soule, Andrea Brighenti and Kulusevski.
The first chance fell to the hosts just a few seconds in and Szczesny had to be on his toes to thwart Marco Brescianini.
The Bianconeri slowly grew into the game despite understandably being short of fitness at this early stage.
It was two youth players who combined for the excellent opening goal in the 12th minute, with Ranocchia applying a brilliant curling finish after some sterling work by Soule.
Monza, however, were determined to play their part and made a real game of it, very nearly finding an equaliser first through Brescianini (32) and then Antonino Barilla two minutes before the interval.
Allegri's men came out firing after the restart with Rabiot in particular using his pace to good effect on the left.
The second goal came eight minutes into the half when Kulusevski pounced on a defensive mess-up and made no mistake one on one against Michele Di Gregorio.
The usual raft of changes followed and the second period was inevitably played at a slower pace than the first.
One of the few chances was a fine Rabiot shot that forced Di Gregorio into an equally good save to keep the scores at 2-0.
Marco D’Alessandro halved the arrears with a few minutes remaining when he beat everyone to the ball in the box, but that proved to be the last action of note as Juve took home the Luigi Berlusconi Trophy.
The coming week will see the return of the remaining internationals as thoughts now turn to next Sunday's visit to Barcelona.