Juventus went into the Serie A’s two-week winter break in good spirits on the back of a 1-0 away win over Cagliari.

By 90Min
January 06, 2018

Juventus went into the Serie A’s two-week winter break in good spirits on the back of a 1-0 away win over Cagliari.

A controversial goal from Federico Bernadeschi was enough to seal the three points for the reigning champions, as a sub-par Juventus were matched by a brilliant performance from troubled Cagliari.

The game was a very scrappy endeavour, with both sides giving away a combined total of 18 fouls in the opening 45 minutes alone.

Despite the ill-discipline, there were also several good chances in which to convert across the game.

Juventus hit the woodwork twice in the first half, once from a Paulo Dybala free-kick and the other from an in-swinging shot from Bernadeschi. Miralem Pjanic also had a dead ball effort that sailed uncharacteristically over the bar.

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The hosts had their own chances to break the deadlock; Leonardo Pavoletti had an almost free header as he jumped over the Juventus defence only to head wide.

Cagliari’s best chance of the first half came with a break in which Diego Farias should’ve scored on the counter, as he danced through the champions’ defence only for his shot to be saved at the inside post by in-form Juve goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Cagliari fans had a worrying moment as crucial man Artur Ionita was taken off the field for treatment on an injury, but the Moldovan midfielder was quick to return to play.

Cagliari ended the first half the stronger side and started the second much the same, defending with purpose against a pressing Juve attack.

Juventus suffered a double blow during the contest with Dybala and Sami Khedira being substituted through injury; Dybala with a hamstring pull and Khedira suffering a nasty mid-air collision with Szczesny whilst defending a corner.

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But the attacking-mindedness of Massimiliano Allegri showed with both players being switched for forwards as Mario Mandzukic and Douglas Costa joined the game.

The switches seemed to pay off as the breakthrough finally came in controversial fashion.

After 74 minutes, Douglas Costa’s low cross was put in by Bernadeschi, despite Cagliari's Pavoletti staying down following an aerial challenge from Giorgio Chiellini.

Soon after the restart, Bernadeschi’s arm made contact with the ball inside the Juventus penalty area, but the referee waved play on, despite Cagliari’s requests for a VAR decision.

Despite the result, Cagliari played extraordinarily well, considering they started match only five points away from the relegation zone, as they asked a lot of questions of the Juventus defence and defended well for periods of the match themselves.

This was matched by a Juventus side that didn’t hit their high standards, as Cagliari gave a valiant last push for an equaliser in the dying minutes.

Cagliari, who remain in 16th place after the loss, will take great encouragement from their performance, despite the two-week rest period likely to dampen their current momentum.

The win for Juventus keeps them second in the Serie A, now only a point behind league leaders Napoli.

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)