14 May 2023
The return of Paul Pogba to the starting line-up was the major talkig point as a new-look Juve - launching the shirt for season 23/24 - welcomed Cremonese. However, Pogba's involvement was short-lived due to a muscle injury.
Juventus nonetheless collected all three points to reclaim outright second place in the Serie A table thanks to second half goals from Nicolò Fagioli and Bremer.
With Cremonese fighting to keep their Serie A status, the visitors’ tactics were simple: keep Juventus as far as possible from their goal. Although Davide Ballardini’s side were content to concede the Bianconeri possession, the flicks and vision of Paul Pogba combined with the pace and direct running of Federico Chiesa were beginning to work openings in the Cremonese rearguard.
In fact, it was Pogba who had the first glimpse at goal when he turned inside the area. However, Vlad Chiriches blocked the number 10’s effort. On 22 minutes, after flighting in a cross, Pogba fell to the ground in pain. The midfielder left the pitch in tears, replaced by Arkadiusz Milik. The Polish striker was the first to test Marco Carnesecchi with a shot from distance. The Cremonese goalkeeper then had to react quickly to parry a Bremer header from a corner.
The grey and red wall was doing its job, keeping Juve at a safe distance, until the final seconds of stoppage time in the first half when Leandro Parades picked out Milik, who had sneaked in behind the defence. However, Carnesecchi was alert to the danger and quickly punched clear before the forward could bring the ball under control.
More urgency was required to find a way through the well-drilled Cremonese defence and that’s exactly what Juve supplied at the restart. First a Milik cross was punched only as far as Paredes, whose drive was deflected for a corner. The Bianconeri kept up the pressure. Adrien Rabiot saw his shot saved and Milik turned the rebound over the bar.
However, the breakthrough was only minutes away. Chiesa was launched down the left wing and as he made his way into the area the number 7 laid the ball back to the edge of the area, where Nicolò Fagioli was waiting to lash the ball high behind Carnesecchi.
Juve knew a second goal would put the game to bed and so continued to push forward. Another Chiesa cross picked out Milik in the middle but a magnificent recovery tackle by Chiriches denied the Pole another goal against Cremonese.
The second goal duly arrived, but only after Milik had seen another effort disallowed for offside and Rabiot had hit the side netting from an excellent position.
With just over 10 minutes remaining a Paredes corner was met by Rabiot. The loose ball inside the area was too appetising for Bremer not to make the most of and he placed his header into the unguarded net.
A third win in succession in Serie A was just the confidence booster the team needed heading into Thursday’s Europa League semi-final decider against Sevilla.
JUVENTUS 2-0 CREMONESE (HT: 0-0)
Scorers: 55′ Fagioli, 79′ Bremer
JUVENTUS: Perin; Gatti, Bremer, Danilo; Cuadrado (82′ Barbieri), Fagioli, Paredes, Rabiot, Chiesa (66′ Iling); Pogba (24′ Milik) (82′ Kean); Vlahovic (66′ Di Maria). Subs not used: Szczęsny, Pinsoglio, Alex Sandro, Rugani, Locatelli, Kostić, Miretti. Coach: Allegri.
CREMONESE: Carnesecchi; Ferrari (66′ Castagnetti), Chiriches, Lochoshvili (70′ Sernicola), Vasquez; Meite, Benassi (66′ Buonaiuto); Quagliata (46′ Valeri), Galdames, Okereke; Afena-Gyan (46′ Ciofani). Subs not used: Saro, Sarr, Aiwu, Bianchetti, Ghiglione, Acella, Basso Ricci. Coach: Ballardini.
Bookings: 64′ Cuadrado, 66′ Danilo