Federico Chiesa had a dramatic Juventus debut, providing an assist for Alvaro Morata and getting sent off in the 1-1 draw away to Crotone.
The Bianconeri were forced to revamp, as Cristiano Ronaldo and Weston McKennie had COVID-19, Alex Sandro, Matthijs de Ligt and Aaron Ramsey were injured, while Paulo Dybala was not 100 per cent fit yet. Federico Chiesa was therefore thrown straight into the starting XI after his deadline day transfer from Fiorentina, with Manolo Portanova a surprise pick. Crotone missed Denis Dragus, Ahmad Benali, Koffi Djidji, Emanuel Riviere and Niccolò Zanellato.
Simy had the first chance, scuffing his finish wide from the edge of the area, and a bright Crotone start also earned them a penalty for Leonardo Bonucci’s mistimed tackle on Arkadiusz Reca. Simy converted by sending Buffon the wrong way with a stuttering run-up to give the Squali the lead. It was not a good way for Buffon to mark his 650th Serie A appearance.
However, Chiesa immediately made an impact on his debut, running on to a Dejan Kulusevski through ball to roll it across for Alvaro Morata’s tap-in from six yards.
The equaliser sparked a period of Juventus dominance, increasingly pinning the hosts back, but without truly testing goalkeeper Alex Cordaz until the 42nd minute. Kulusevski danced on the ball, Morata immediately threaded through for Portanova, who fired straight at on-rushing Cordaz.
However, Crotone came very close to restoring their lead on the stroke of half-time, Reca flying down the left to put in a cross and Pedro Pereira testing Buffon at the back post.
Straight after the restart, Rodrigo Bentancur’s volley skimmed the upright from the edge of the box, but Messias also failed to make a strong connection from eight yards on a knockdown and Luca Cigarini horribly wasted a huge chance by blasting wide.
Chiesa was having a good debut until the hour mark, when the referee opted for a straight red card as he left his foot in on Cigarini. It seemed harsh, as he went in late, but it did not seem to be intentional.
Nonetheless, Juve almost scored moments later, Morata’s glancing header on a Kulusevski free kick bouncing off the inside of the far post and into Cordaz’s arms.
Morata had the ball in the back of the net on 76 minutes, opportunistic to redirect a wayward Juan Cuadrado angled drive in from close range. However, after a very long VAR check, it was ruled offside by the slimmest of margins.
That also prompted seven minutes of stoppages, during which Crotone came closer to winning it than 10-man Juve, but played out a tense 1-1 stalemate for their first point of the season.
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Sent off: Chiesa 60 (J)