23 August 2014
With just one week remaining until the big Serie A kick-off, Juventus gained another important 90 minutes under their belts over the course of two 45-minute fixtures against Milan and Sassuolo in Reggio Emilia.
The Bianconeri, featuring the returning Arturo Vidal in a midfield diamond formation, began their first game by controlling possession but it was in fact Milan who forged the first chance of the encounter, Jeremy Menez thrashing a shot wide from inside the area.
After Paul Pogba had seen a close-range strike blocked by Diego Lopez, the same fate then befell Andrea Pirlo, this time thwarted by a wall which did its job when tasked with keeping one of his trademark free-kicks at bay.
Despite Juventus upping the pressure as the game wore on, it was in fact the Rossoneri who took the lead against the run of play on 29 minutes, Mattia De Sciglio squaring for Keisuke Honda to sweep past Marco Storari for what proved to be the only goal of the game.
Allegri opted to field an entirely different side for his team’s second test against Sassuolo and saw an energetic outfit, including Primavera midfielders Mattia Vitale and Federico Mattiello, do all the running in the opening stages of the affair.
It was, however, the Neroverdi who produced the first shot on target, Yussif Chibsah, a former Juventus Primavera player, forcing Rubinho to get down and stop his volleyed attempt at goal on 24 minutes.
The dying stages of the game saw two goalscoring opportunities fall at the feet of Simone Pepe, who aimed his first directly at Ciro Polito before subsequently losing his footing at the vital moment after Martin Caceres had played an inviting ball into his path.
But there was to be one final twist in the tale with just two minutes remaining as Roberto Pereyra capitalised on Francesco Magnanelli’s failed clearance to sidefoot home from just outside the six-yard box.
Juventus starting XI v Milan: Storari, Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Ogbonna, Evra, Pirlo, Vidal, Marchisio, Pogba, Tevez, Giovinco.
Juventus starting XI v Sassuolo: Rubinho, Caceres, Marrone, Chiellini, Asamoah, Romulo, Padoin, Vitale, Pereyra, Pepe, Mattiello.