SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 36 - 5 May 2018 (19.45 UK)
Juventus 3 - 1 Bologna
Verdi pen 30 (B), De Maio og 52 (J), Khedira 64 (J), Dybala 69 (J)
Juventus Stadium

Juventus had to come back from a Simone Verdi penalty to beat Bologna, as substitute Douglas Costa transformed the game with two assists.

The Bianconeri were four points clear at the top of the table and knew they would clinch a seventh straight Scudetto if they got two wins from their last three games, which were against mid-table Bologna, Roma and already-relegated Verona. Miralem Pjanic was suspended with Benedikt Howedes, Mario Mandzukic, Mattia De Sciglio and Stefano Sturaro injured. The visitors missed Blerim Dzemaili, Erick Pulgar, Filip Helander, Godfred Donsah and Giancarlo Gonzalez, while Rodrigo Palacio was not fit to start.

It took only a few minutes for Antonio Mirante to be called into action, sticking out a foot to parry Gonzalo Higuain’s angled drive on a Claudio Marchisio through ball.

Bologna weren’t holding back and Juan Cuadrado was booked for a foul on Andrea Poli, meaning he’ll be suspended against Roma.

Mirante performed another smart save on Alex Sandro’s header from a Paulo Dybala free kick, then La Joya didn’t make the most of a gifted back-pass from Simone Romagnoli.

However, moments later, Lorenzo Crisetig did pounce on a poor Gigi Buffon pass and was pushed in the back by Daniele Rugani for a penalty. After a very long wait amid VAR technical problems, Simone Verdi – the man who nearly joined Napoli in January – showed immense confidence to roll it down the middle and put Bologna ahead.

Juve struggled to mount a comeback, Higuain’s twisting header too soft to surprise Mirante. Douglas Costa was thrown on for Blaise Matuidi and made an immediate impact, his cross just past Cuadrado at the back post within 60 seconds.

The hosts benefited from a stroke of luck to equalise, as Cuadrado’s hopeful cross from the right was shinned into his own net by Sebastien De Maio in an entirely unnecessary gesture.

Douglad Costa transformed Juventus and squirmed between two defenders, turned on the turbo for an angled drive that Mirante got a finger to and Cuadrado couldn’t turn in the rebound.

De Maio’s nerves were getting to him and another awful error sent Higuain clear, but Mirante was alert to rush out and pluck it off his feet.

Buffon made up for his earlier error with a fingertip save to turn Emil Krafth’s effort on to the upright from six yards after a Verdi cross went past everyone.

However, Juventus turned the game around completely with yet another Douglas Costa cross, as this time it sailed over Mirante and found Sami Khedira unmarked for a tap-in at the back post. Cheick Keita complained he had been pushed in the back, but the referee allowed it.

Douglas Costa was simply tearing Bologna to shreds, this time using his strength to shake off a defender and pull back from the by-line for Dybala, who was ready for the tap-in from six yards.

Verdi limped off with an injury and Buffon smothered a Mattia Destro effort, but by this stage the momentum of the game had changed.

Douglas Costa was about to score a stunner in the final minute, his cheeky rabona chipped finish inches wide.

See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk


Juventus: Buffon; Barzagli, Rugani, Asamoah; Cuadrado (Lichtsteiner 72), Khedira, Marchisio, Matuidi (Douglas Costa 46), Alex Sandro (Bernardeschi 83); Dybala, Higuain
Bologna: Mirante; Mbaye, Romagnoli, De Maio; Krafth (Torosidis 60), Poli, Crisetig, Nagy, Keita; Verdi (Destro 73); Avenatti (Palacio 66)
Ref: Irrati