SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 25 - 18 Feb 2018 (11.30 UK)
Torino 0 - 1 Juventus
Alex Sandro 33 (J)
Stadio Grande Torino

Despite losing Gonzalo Higuain to injury, Alex Sandro tapped in a Federico Bernardeschi assist as Juventus doomed Torino.

The Derby della Mole is always a tense affair and this was Walter Mazzarri’s first on the Granata bench. M’Baye Niang was dropped to the bench with Adem Ljajic for a new 4-1-4-1 formation with Cristian Ansaldi in a more advanced role and Tomas Rincon protecting the defence against his former club. Juve rested Gigi Buffon, missed Mario Mandzukic, Blaise Matuidi and Juan Cuadrado, with Paulo Dybala and Federico Bernardeschi not fit to start, so Alex Sandro was pushed into the trident attack.

Toro have now managed one point in their last eight derbies, home and away in all competition, since a 2-1 victory in April 2015.

There was a crisis point within three minutes, as Gonzalo Higuain ran on to a dinked Miralem Pjanic pass and Salvatore Sirigu rushed out to palm it away from his feet, but Pipita landed awkwardly on his ankle and was left limping badly. In usual circumstances, he’d be substituted, but there were no other options on the bench, so he limped on.

Toro should’ve scored moments later, as an error sent Joel Obi clear on goal two against one, but when rolling across, unmarked Andrea Belotti’s first touch was awful.

Higuain simply could not continue and gave up after 15 minutes, introducing not fully fit Federico Bernardeschi and moving Douglas Costa to centre-forward.

Douglas Costa burst down the right, his cross found Kwadwo Asamoah for a low volley that was cleared practically off the line by Nicolas N’Koulou.

Belotti’s volley on a very long Iago Falque cross hit the side-netting and Wojciech Szczesny plucked a Lorenzo De Silvestri header out of the air, while Miralem Pjanic tested Sirigu with a free kick.

However, Juventus took the lead when Bernardeschi flew past Cristian Molinaro down the right and rolled across for Alex Sandro to tap in from a yard.

Suddenly, the confidence evaporated from Toro and Juve started to keep possession for long periods. They managed precious little reaction in the second half either, though substitute M’Baye Niang was tripped from behind during a sprint to get Mattia De Sciglio booked.

Szczesny missed an Ansaldi cross, but so did the two Toro forwards in the box. Dybala came off the bench and almost scored with his first touch, turning wide. La Joya then shinned off target from an Alex Sandro assist.

Cristian Molinaro blasted wide from distance, but the Granata made no real impact on the Juve back line after going a goal down. Szczesny barely had to get down to smother a hopeful Iago Falque snapshot at the base of the near post.

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Torino: Sirigu; De Silvestri (Edera 80), N'Koulou, Burdisso, Molinaro; Rincon; Iago Falque, Baselli (Niang 54), Obi (Acquah 71), Ansaldi; Belotti
Juventus: Szczesny; De Sciglio, Rugani, Chiellini, Asamoah; Khedira, Pjanic, Sturaro; Douglas Costa (Dybala 66), Higuain (Bernardeschi 15) (Lichtsteiner 92), Alex Sandro
Ref: Orsato