Alvaro Morata and Juan Cuadrado stepped up to ensure an under-fire Juventus secured all three points against Bologna to keep within touch of the Serie A top four.
It was not easy, but Massimilano Allegri’s Juventus ran out 2-0 winners against Bologna to move to within a touching distance of the top four. Goals from Alvaro Morata and Juan Cuadrado helped the Bianconeri secure all three points on the night. The task was easier said than done, given that Juventus were without some of their important players.
Bologna started well and dominated the game for large periods. Juventus were admittedly second best for large sections, but their quality shone through in the end. Morata gave the visitors the lead after Federico Bernanrdeschi put him through. It was Juventus’s first shot on the night. Morata almost doubled his team’s lead shortly after but could not find a way past the Bologna defence.
Juventus showed more maturity and improved their game after the opening goal. At the other end, Wojciech Szczesny was alert and denied Bologna numerous times. However, they had to wait until the 69th minute to give themselves breathing space. Cuadrado rifled in an unstoppable drive from the edge of the box, much to his side’s relief.
The strike upped Juventus’s confidence, and they went on to create more chances in the closing minutes. Unfortunately for Juventus, there would be no more goals, but the job was done, and they leave for Turin with all three points in the bag. The Hard Tackle looks at how Allegri’s men fared on the night.
0 – Massimiliano Allegri has never lost in 19 managerial matches against Bologna in Serie A (W15 D4): he is the manager with the most matches without any defeat against a single side in the competition in the three points for a win era. Bulletproof. #BolognaJuve pic.twitter.com/iOXLRWSlst
— OptaPaolo 🏆 (@OptaPaolo) December 18, 2021
Wojciech Szczesny: 8/10
The Polish international has been inconsistent this season but was in top form on the night. He denied Marko Arnautovic and Nicolas Dominguez, while several other attempts also went begging for Bologna. Szczesny’s performance kept his side in the game before Juan Cuadrado gave them the two-goal cushion in the 69th minute.
Juan Cuadrado: 7/10
The Colombian did well on the night and stepped up as one of Juventus’s top players. He struggled at times defensively but largely held his own. Cuadrado also provided width going forward and ensured his side got all three points with a thunderous strike. Not his best performance but he was decisive when needed.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfc) December 18, 2021
Leonardo Bonucci: 5/10
The veteran was handed a difficult outing by Marko Arnautovic, a constant thorn in the air. The Austrian troubled the Italian ace but could not get past Szczesny. Bonucci made an excellent start by completing a dangerous interception in the first minute. However, for the duels in the rest of the night, he mostly came out second best.
Matthijs de Ligt: 7/10
The Dutchman did not have the best of nights, but he only held his own and covered his partner well. The 22-year-old is increasingly becoming the player Juventus thought they had bought and was the standout defender for the visitors on the night.
Luca Pellegrini: 6/10
The left-back huffed and puffed as he tried to make an impact at both ends of the field. Did not do much wrong but did little to stand out as well.
The former Barcelona man showed off his physical strength and held the opposition off well. However, he did little with the ball and was often slow in the build-up. Thankfully Bologna lacked the players to trouble him. Arthur could get found out should he play the same way against the better teams.
— Arthur Melo (@arthurhromelo) December 18, 2021
Adrien Rabiot: 4/10
The Frenchman had an opportunity to score for his side late on. That was about the best he could do on the night as he ran around with little joy. Rabiot is often guilty of being inconsistent, and he showed on the day that he could be Jekyll and Hyde and Mr Invisible. Quite the plethora of skills there.
Weston McKennie: 6/10
McKennie was the pick of Juventus’s midfield players on the night. The statement has more to do with those around him failing to turn up than McKennie standing out. The youngster was decent enough and showed intent and purpose while breaking forward. He also used his physicality to good effect.
Federico Bernardeschi: 7/10
This was the Italian winger’s best performance in some time. He stepped up to the plate and assisted Morata in scoring the opener with an excellent pass. Bernardeschi continued to be a threat down the flank and was amongst Juventus’s best players on the night.
Alvaro Morata: 8/10
The Spanish international led the line with aplomb and opened the scoring on the night. He could have doubled the lead in the 15th minute but failed to make more of the opportunity. Morata should be given credit for making the difference on the night. He will be hoping can continue the form for the remainder of the season.
3 – Álvaro Morata has found the net in three consecutive away games in the big-5 European leagues for his first time since May 2017 with Real Madrid (four in that case). Excursion.#BolognaJuve
— OptaPaolo 🏆 (@OptaPaolo) December 18, 2021
Moise Kean: 6/10
Kean was far from his best and lacked the killer instinct. However, to his credit, he did cause the Bologna defence some problems. The youngster has the ability but lacks the refinement needed to establish himself as a fearsome attacking threat.
Alex Sandro: 6/10
Sandro replaced Pellegrini in the 61st minute and was a slight upgrade over the Italian. However, the Brazilian did not particularly stand out or make any game-changing plays.
Manuel Locatelli: 6/10
The UEFA Euro 2020 star came on for Arthur and did not have to do much to prove that he is an upgrade over the Brazilian. Locatelli kept things tidy and helped Juventus see out the game.
Dejan Kulusevski: 5/10
The Swedish international replaced Kean in the 70th minute and carried slightly more threat going forward. However, he has had better days in a Juventus shirt.
Rodrigo Bentancur: 5/10
Bentancur replaced the energetic McKennie and offered solidity in the middle of the park and experience. His arrival made life easier for Rabiot, who looked out of sorts and out of form.
Kaio Jorge: N/A
He replaced Morata in the final few minutes as the Spaniard was given a much-needed breather. Jorge had little to no time to leave his impact on the game.