SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 12 - 5 Nov 2017 (14.00 UK)
Juventus 2 - 1 Benevento
Ciciretti 19 (B), Higuain 57 (J), Cuadrado 65 (J)
Juventus Stadium

Amato Ciciretti’s free kick had given bottom club Benevento a shock lead in Turin, but Juventus fought back for the victory and move into second place.

The Bianconeri were fully expected to sweep bottom of the table Benevento aside and celebrate this week’s 120th anniversary of the club’s foundation. Miralem Pjanic, Medhi Benatia and Marko Pjaca were sidelined, but Benedikt Howedes was on the bench and Claudio Marchisio received his first start since the opening weekend. Le Streghe had lost all 11 Serie A matches and made the trip to Turin without Pietro Iemmello, Filippo Costa and Fabio Lucioni.

Douglas Costa’s cross-shot was palmed on to the upright by Alberto Brignoli, then moments later the Brazilian rattled the bar from a tight angle with his ferocious rising strike.

However, it was Benevento who took a shock lead at the Allianz Juventus Arena when Amato Ciciretti earned and converted a stunning free kick, curling it round the wall and into the near bottom corner with Wojciech Szczesny rooted to the spot.

Juan Cuadrado missed several good opportunities and Brignoli beat away Paulo Dybala’s solo effort at the end of a mazy run. Dybala also missed a sitter, although Gonzalo Higuain appeared to be offside in the build-up.

Dybala and Douglas Costa had chances with free kicks from just outside the area, but both were weak and straight at the goalkeeper.

After the restart, Higuain insisted on taking a free kick, which went off target, and Blaise Matuidi hit a fresh-air shot from six yards on a loose ball.

The siege eventually paid off when Matuidi nodded a Mattia De Sciglio cross back from the by-line for Higuain’s hooked volley into the far top corner.

Brignoli did well to parry both Cuadrado’s effort and the Higuain follow-up, but the goalkeeper misjudged an Alex Sandro cross, allowing Cuadrado to turn in at the back post.

It still wasn’t over, as Danilo Cataldi’s screamer from distance dipped not far away from the top corner. Higuain was furious when booked for simulation, as there did seem to be contact Luca Antei, albeit outside the area, but not enough to warrant his swan-dive.

Ciciretti had timid penalty appeals after going shoulder-to-shoulder with Giorgio Chiellini, while Rodrigo Bentancur’s shot was fingertipped round the base of the near post.


Juventus: Szczesny; De Sciglio, Rugani, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Marchisio, Matuidi; Cuadrado (Bernardeschi 81), Dybala (Bentancur 87), Douglas Costa (Mandzukic 77); Higuain
Benevento: Brignoli; Djimsiti, Antei, Di Chiara; Venuti, Chibsah, Viola, Lazaar (Lombardi 61); Ciciretti, Cataldi (Parigini 87); Armenteros (Coda 70)
Ref: Abisso