SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 16 - 15 Dec 2018 (19.30 UK)
Torino 0 - 1 Juventus
Ronaldo pen 69 (J)
Stadio Grande Torino

Cristiano Ronaldo converted a penalty to give Juventus the Derby della Mole and their 5,000th Serie A goal, but Torino had their own spot-kick appeals.

This is always a bitter rivalry and Toro were pushing for a Europa League spot, while Juve had dropped points in only one Serie A game all season. Iago Falque failed a fitness test, so Simone Zaza started against his former club. Rodrigo Bentancur sat out a ban with Sami Khedira, Joao Cancelo and Juan Cuadrado injured, so Emre Can got his first start since October.

Juve have lost only one of their last 13 Serie A visits to the Granata side of town, drawing two and winning the other 10.

Salvatore Sirigu fell awkwardly after a push and needed treatment for several minutes on his hip. Still in clear pain, he got down on to the same hip to perform a stunning save on Cristiano Ronaldo’s volley at the near post and aggravated it further. After several more minutes of trying to continue, he eventually accepted the injury was too serious and made way for Ichazo.

Torino were dangerous from a set play, as Andrea Belotti knocked it back from the by-line for a Mattia Perin one-handed save, but Armando Izzo was unable to finish it off from point-blank range.

Zaza fired straight at Perin and Cristiano Ronaldo’s free kick came off the wall, while Ichazo smothered a Giorgio Chiellini header at the near post.

Straight after the restart, Blaise Matuidi stumbled as he tried to get on the end of a Dybala cross, but Torino began to pile on some pressure.

Miralem Pjanic and Emre Can were both booked for taking down Belotti on the counter, so from set plays Armando Izzo’s header floated over the bar and a Belotti strike was deflected to skim the woodwork. Zaza had strong penalty appeals waved away after he was manhandled by Alex Sandro, but there was no VAR intervention.

At the other end, Matuidi was again wasteful, failing to finish an Alex Sandro low cross from six yards, as Ichazo parried from point-blank range.

Dybala should also have done better, his timid half-volley on a Mandzukic knock-down charged down from 12 yards by Daniele Baselli.

However, there was a decisive error when Zaza under pressure gave a terrible back-pass to Ichazo, Mandzukic pounced and the goalkeeper brought him down. Cristiano Ronaldo converted the penalty, although Ichazo did get his hand to it and the ball squirmed under the glove. CR7 then went to mock Ichazo and was booked for this bad sportsmanship.

It was an historic goal, the 5,000th scored by Juventus in Serie A.

Soon after, Mandzukic had the ball in the back of the net from a Pjanic free kick, but it was disallowed for an offside position.

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


Torino: Sirigu (Ichazo 20); Izzo, Nkoulou, Djidji; Aina (Berenguer 85), Meite, Rincon, Baselli, Ansaldi (Parigini 75); Zaza, Belotti
Juventus: Perin; De Sciglio, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Emre Can, Pjanic, Matuidi; Dybala; Ronaldo, Mandzukic
Ref: Guida