Juventus will return to Turin with three points after they claimed a 1-2 away win against SPAL at Stadio Paolo Mazza on Saturday evening. Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring for the Bianconeri, while Aaron Ramsey nabbed the second with a delightful finish.
Three points in Ferrara
Giorgio Chiellini was granted his first start since sustaining his knee injury last August, and he was partnered alongside Rugani at the back. It was almost the perfect start for Juventus when Ronaldo put the ball into the back of the net with just four minutes on the clock. Dybala looped over into the box, it met the Portuguese striker whose ball struck the post and crossed the line, only for it to be blown for offside. Szczesny was called into action in the 21st minute to deny a powerful Missiroli cross-cum-shot at the near post: the ball squirms under his legs but he stops the ball from going anywhere by basically sitting on it. It was Juve who were doing the attacking and Dybala was cruelly denied by the woodwork after having brilliantly turned on the ball and firing in an unstoppable effort that looked destined for the bottom left corner; however, it struck the upright and bounced back.
Cristiano Ronaldo then made history by becoming one of three players to score in 11 consecutive Serie A matches, when he broke the deadlock in the 39th minute. Juan Cuadrado was instrumental in the build-up, having swept in an excellent cross that left Ronaldo having to knock it into the back of the net, and he did so with pace and precision.
The Portuguese attacker nearly started off the second half in the same manner in which he finished the first; with a goal. He struck an angled drive towards goal that looked destined to be going in if it wasn’t for the foot of Berisha, who directed it around the far post. After 54 minutes on the clock, Chiellini made way for de Ligt, while Berisha made a save on Cuadrado. It was soon 0-2 to the visitors: Dybala went on an excellent run and played a delightful ball to Ramsey, who brilliantly chipped the ball over Berisha to complete a sublime finish.
SPAL were handed a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty, following a consultation with VAR, following a foul by Rugani inside the box on Missiroli. Petagna stood up to the spot to take the penalty and made no mistake in sending Szczesny the wrong way. Rabiot was put on for Ramsey, while Bernardeschi took to the field in place of Matuidi. Ronaldo came agonizingly close to restoring Juve’s two-goal lead with a free-kick that sailed over the wall and straight onto the crossbar. Six additional minutes were added to the clock, but neither team added to the scoreline as the Old Lady claimed all three points.
SPAL: Berisha; Cionek, Bonifazi, Zukanovic, Reca; Missiroli, Valdifiori, Castro; Valoti, Petagna, Strefezza
Substitutes: Thiam, Letica, Floccari, Murgia, Dabo, Vicari, Sala, Felipe, Di Francesco, Tomovic, Fares, Tunjov
Juventus: Szczesny; Danilo, Rugani, Chiellini (de Ligt 54’), Alex Sandro; Ramsey (Rabiot 73’), Bentancur, Matuidi (Bernardeschi 78’); Cuadrado, Dybala, Ronaldo
Substitutes: Buffon, Pinsoglio, De Sciglio, De Ligt, Coccolo, Wesley, Rabiot, Peeters, Bernardeschi, Olivieri