Juventus
    Juventus
      11.12.2019 23:02 - in: Match report S

      Juve end UCL Group Stage on a high

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      Five wins, one draw and top of Group D in the Champions League.

      Juventus ended their Champions League Group Stage campaign with a 0-2 away win over Bayer Leverkusen at BayArena on Wednesday evening. Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain got onto the scoresheet, as the Bianconeri ended the round with five wins a draw.

      With qualification and top spot in the group already secured, Maurizio Sarri opted to change up his usual starting formation at the back, by introducing Buffon in goal, and having Demiral and Rugani take to the centre of defence.

      TAME FIRST HALF

      There was a great ebb and flow to the start of the game, with the first real chance coming when Higuain beat the offside trap and unselfishly crossed through to Ronaldo instead of shooting; however, the Portuguese couldn’t get onto the end of it. That sparked a counterattack by Bayer, who then saw Diaby unleash a powerful effort that smacked the upright and bounced out of play. The game quickly settled down and it saw both Ronaldo and Cuadrado create half chances of their own, with both their efforts following a similar pattern of going wide. Higuain then turned well into the box and blasted his effort over with 35 minutes on the clock, but neither team provided much more entertainment for the remainder of the half, outside of Havertz’s last ditch effort that was blocked by Demiral on the stroke of half-time.

      DYBALA ASSISTS FOR RONALDO GOAL

      Ronaldo thought he had opened the scoring when he had the ball in the back of the net in the 51st minute of the game. He got onto the end of Bernardeschi’s ball and shot an angled drive that rebounded off the far post and into the back of the net, but the goal didn’t stand as the flag was raised. The tempo of the game dropped even further as the game progressed, and Sarri hoped to change things up by introducing Dybala in place of Bernardeschi. His entrance onto the field made an immediate impact as he provided the assist for Ronaldo’s goal in the 75th minute. Dybala received the ball on the edge of the box, and he fed it across to CR7, who made no mistake in directing the ball across the line from close range. 

      HIGUAIN WRAPS IT UP

      Rabiot was then replaced by Matuidi with ten minutes to spare, while Aranguiz came close to pulling back the equalizer when his turn and hit went just wide of the goal post. The result was put beyond a doubt when Dybala got onto the end of a looping ball; he then passed it to Higuain, who smacked it into the bottom corner of the net. The Bianconeri will find out who their Last 16 opponents will be on Monday.

      Bayer Leverkusen: Hradecky; L Bender, Dragovic, S Bender, Sinkgraven; Bellarabi, Demirbay, Aranguiz, Diaby; Havertz, Alario

      Substitutes: Ozcan, Retsos, Tah, Bailey, Baumgartlinger, Wendell, Volland

      Juventus: Buffon; Danilo, Demiral, Rugani, De Sciglio; Cuadrado, Pjanic, Rabiot (Matuidi 85’); Bernardeschi (Dybala 65’); Higuain, Ronaldo

      Substitutes: Szczesny, Dybala, Alex Sandro, Matuidi, Bonucci, Muratore, Portanova

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