Roma were left wondering how they could possibly break through Juventus‘ backline as they were beaten 1-0 by a vintage display from Massimiliano Allegri’s side in Serie A on Sunday.
The Giallrossi’s trip to Turin was billed as the game of the weekend and the Giallorossi played as though they knew it for the first 10 minutes, putting Juve under immediate pressure, and clearly craving an early lead.
It rocked the Romans when after just 15 minutes, Moise Kean put Juve 1-0 up. It was their first meaningful attack and came when Mattia De Sciglio cut inside the defender and curled an excellent cross towards the far post.
There seemed to be three players queuing up to head it in and it appeared that Kean had confidently powered the ball into the net. Replays showed that Rodrigo Bentancur actually headed the ball onto Kean, which subsequently diverted it past Rui Patricio. Kean won’t care how it went in, but De Sciglio may feel aggrieved to have been robbed of an assist given the quality of his delivery.
Roma’s pressure continued, with Juve also showing they have the ability to score again if needed. The chance came when Tammy Abraham escaped through on goal after a Giorgio Chiellini mistake.
He danced through the defenders excellently but was tackled by Bentancur. The ball rolled to Henrikh Mkhitaryan who lofted it over Wojciech Szczesny but was wiped out by the Pole. The ball quickly presented itself to Tammy Abraham who scored put Daniele Orsato had already blown for the penalty.
Szczesny instantly made amends for his error by brilliantly saving Jordan Veretout’s spot-kick. Roma would live to rue that miss as Juve showed the kind of machine-like efficiency that became their trademark during Allegri’s first stint in charge.
In previous games this season when Juve had shown little attacking prowess, it felt like it was because they didn’t have the ability. This time, it seemed they had total belief that they can see out the result despite the quality of the opposition.
Roma pushed and pushed, although they struggled to create much in the way of clear-cut chances due to how deep Juve were playing. They also seemed to be one killer pass away from an excellent goal at multiple points in the second half.
Abraham and Mkhitaryan are absolutely relentless in their efforts when their team are chasing a goal, but sometimes it seems like they run out of ideas much sooner than some of their peers at other top Serie A teams. It’s starting to hold Roma back in the big games and their quality of depth doesn’t appear strong enough to fix it.
As for Juventus, they have now won four Serie A games on the bounce and they’re rapidly putting themselves back in the picture when it comes to the Scudetto, especially with Inter dropping points against Lazio.
The timeless Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini were resolute throughout and they were excellently flanked by De Sciglio and Danilo. Manuel Locatelli and Rodrigo Bentancur were a calming presence ahead of them, which allowed the forwards to pick their moment to pounce.
Juventus fans may not be thrilled by their team very often, but they could see them put together a very impressive run now.