SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 17 - 17 Dec 2017 (14.00 UK)
Bologna 0 - 3 Juventus
Pjanic 26 (J), Mandzukic 36 (J), Matuidi 64 (J)
Stadio Renato Dall’Ara

Miralem Pjanic scored a cheeky free kick, set up one for Mario Mandzukic and Blaise Matuidi got his debut Serie A goal to batter Bologna.

This result allows them to leapfrog previous leaders Inter and go into second place.

The Bianconeri were missing injured Gigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Benedikt Howedes and Juan Cuadrado, with Paulo Dybala dropped for the second game running due to poor form. The hosts had Rodrigo Palacio and Federico Di Francesco out of action, so gave teenage supersub Orji Okwonkwo only his second Serie A start, while Andrea Poli returned from suspension.

Bologna have won just two of their last 38 meetings with Juventus in all competition (2-0 in February 2011), but the last home victory was incredibly back in November 1998, followed by only five draws from 17 attempts.

Mario Mandzukic had early penalty appeals, but the VAR silent check cleared Ibrahima Mbaye of handball. Godfred Donsah surged forward, his low drive smothered by Wojciech Szczesny, but Juve broke the deadlock with Miralem Pjanic.

The Bosnian had a free kick on the outside corner of the box and waved his teammates forward, but just used them as a diversion to curl into the near top corner, surprising Antonio Mirante.

Pjanic was involved again for the second goal, his cross-field pass not read by Mbaye, as Mandzukic chested it down and placed the angled drive across Mirante into the far bottom corner.

Filip Helander risked an own goal to stop Gonzalo Higuain meeting the Alex Sandro cross, but Blaise Matuidi got his first Serie A goal when a poor clearance found him on the edge of the area for a powerful half-volley at the near post.

Higuain tested Mirante and blasted another over the bar, but Mandzukic went off with a cut to the back of his leg, allowing Dybala some playing time. La Joya ran from the centre-circle on a Higuain back-heel flick, but blasted over rather than give it back to Pipita.


Bologna: Mirante; Mbaye, Helander, Gonzalez, Masina; Poli, Pulgar, Donsah (Falletti 65); Verdi, Destro (Petkovic 53), Okwonkwo (Krejci 70)
Juventus: Szczesny; De Sciglio, Benatia, Barzagli, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic (Marchisio 86), Matuidi; Douglas Costa (Bernardeschi 70), Higuain, Mandzukic (Dybala 75)
Ref: Banti