SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 37 - 19 May 2019 (19.30 UK)
Juventus 1 - 1 Atalanta
Ilicic 33 (A), Mandzukic 80 (J)
Allianz Stadium

Josip Ilicic’s goal was cancelled out by Mario Mandzukic, but although Juventus got a point, Atalanta will be in the Champions League if they beat Sassuolo.

Emotions were running high in Turin, as it was the final home game for retiring Andrea Barzagli and departing Coach Max Allegri. To mark the occasion, old friends like Gigi Buffon and Fernando Llorente, as well as new signing Aaron Ramsey, were at the Juventus Stadium ahead of the Scudetto presentation ceremony.

Giorgio Chiellini, Sami Khedira, Douglas Costa and Mattia Perin were out injured. Atalanta needed a win to retain fourth place and risked fatigue after Wednesday’s 2-0 Coppa Italia Final defeat to Lazio. Jose Luis Palomino was suspended, with Rafael Toloi injured, so Hans Hateboer readjusted to fill in at the back.

Cristiano Ronaldo missed a sitter in the opening minute, ballooning an Emre Can pull-back over from 10 yards relatively undisturbed.

However, Atalanta emerged with two massive scoring opportunities in quick succession. Wojciech Szczesny did well to get down and palm away a Remo Freuler daisy-cutter, then on the corner he parried Robin Gosens from point-blank range, the rebound clipping the crossbar from Hateboer.

The referee needed a VAR review for potential handball on an Atalanta corner, but it was a double ricochet off Barzagli and Alex Sandro, so difficult to call that voluntary.

Duvan Zapata saw his angled drive beat Szczesny only to scrape a coat of paint off the base of the far post, as it rolled across the empty net.

Atalanta did get their breakthrough after a series of dangerous corners, as Papu Gomez’s set play was flicked on by Andrea Masiello to find Ilicic totally unmarked for the tap-in at the back stick.

That was a very special goal indeed, as it was Atalanta’s 100th in all competition this season, a campaign that started in July in the Europa League preliminary rounds.

Szczesny again came to the rescue with a reaction save low on Duvan Zapata’s flick, with deflection off Barzagli, while Papu Gomez flashed a dangerous ball across the face of goal with nobody to meet it.

Alex Sandro was already on a yellow card and ran several other risks, so was hauled off at the break for Federico Bernardeschi, moving Cuadrado into defence.

Paulo Dybala fired a free kick into the wall and Hateboer risked an own goal with a wayward clearance, but Atalanta were visibly tiring as the game wore on, having played the Coppa Italia Final against Lazio on Wednesday.

Andrea Barzagli was given a moving send-off and burst into tears during his standing ovation, with hugs from his teammates both old and new.

Juve laid siege to the Atalanta goal and eventually found the equaliser with substitute Mario Mandzukic, who came sliding in to meet a Cancelo cross at the back post with the outside of the boot, steering it through Gollini’s legs from point-blank range.

Marten de Roon was visibly exhausted in stoppages and failed to make the most of a poor Szczesny clearance. Federico Bernardeschi had no such excuse when he went sliding into a reckless studs-up tackle on Musa Barrow and received a straight red card.

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Juventus: Szczesny; Cancelo, Barzagli (Mandzukic 61), Bonucci, Alex Sandro (Bernardeschi 46); Emre Can, Pjanic, Matuidi (Kean 85); Cuadrado, Dybala, Ronaldo
Atalanta: Gollini; Hateboer, Djimsiti, Masiello; Gosens (Mancini 62), De Roon, Freuler, Castagne; Gomez (Pasalic 74); Ilicic (Barrow 78), Duvan Zapata
Ref: Rocchi

Sent off: Bernardeschi 93 (J)