Cat’s sighs_ Juventus get a brutal actuality verify in Serie A from Sassuolo

For the primary time in two years, Massimiliano Allegri stopped tinkering. Since returning to Juventus in 2021, he had taken cost of 112 video games and altered his beginning XI in each single one. There was real shock within the press field on the Mapei Stadium on Saturday as journalists realised the group to face Sassuolo was the identical one which beat Lazio 3-1 every week earlier than.

Allegri has advised beforehand that his group alternatives depend on instinct greater than over-analysis, telling La Repubblica: “I can’t keep 24 hours looking for an answer, I’ve to attend for inspiration to reach.” It’s simple to know why his intestine may need informed him to stay, not twist, on this event. Juventus have been sensible in opposition to Lazio: exerting management even with out possession in opposition to final season’s runners-up.

For the primary time in a protracted whereas, there was a buzz about his group. Juventus weren’t terrible final season – with out the factors penalty imposed upon them for false accounting they might have completed joint-third – but the model of soccer was bleak: a grim low block accompanied by a imprecise hope that one of many group’s well-paid forwards would finally put the ball within the internet.

Proper from the opening weekend, this season felt completely different. Juventus beat Udinese 3-0 however greater than that they performed with tempo and aggression, taking the lead within the second minute after which going for the jugular relatively than sitting again.

Maybe it was the departure of a few of the squad’s oldest members – Ángel Di María, Leonardo Bonucci and Juan Cuadrado – the arrival of more energizing faces corresponding to Andrea Cambiaso and Timothy Weah, or the return of a completely match Federico Chiesa, however there was an power to Juventus’s play that had been missing. Allegri’s option to deploy the latter participant up entrance with Dusan Vlahovic, as an alternative of on the wing, was rewarded with devastating mixtures between them.

Juventus drew their second recreation, at residence to Bologna, however wins over Empoli and Lazio adopted. Beating Sassuolo on Saturday would have put them high of the desk for an evening a minimum of. A meaningless landmark after 5 video games however nonetheless one to gas followers’ perception that this might be their season to reclaim the Serie A title. Banned from European competitors, Juventus ought to have more energizing legs than their Scudetto rivals.

That, too, may need been a consider Allegri’s determination to call an unchanged facet. The identical selections, nonetheless, didn’t result in the identical outcome. Juventus’s unbeaten begin was curtailed with a brutal 4-2 defeat.

It was not the scoreline that burned a lot as the trail to get there. Sassuolo’s opening purpose arrived from a blunder by Wojciech Szczesny, who misjudged a shot from Armand Laurienté and parried into his personal internet.

Juventus equalised by means of an personal purpose – although right here it felt harsh to place an excessive amount of blame on Matías Viña. Chiesa’s cross from the left would have been poked in by Weston McKennie on the again publish if the defender had not acquired his toe in first.

Parity didn’t final lengthy. Szczesny made a nice save from a Ruan Tressoldi header however couldn’t hold out a bending shot from Domenico Berardi simply earlier than half-time. This purpose was extra painful for the information he may have been taking part in on the other facet.

It feels as if the Bianconeri have been attempting to signal Berardi for nearly his total profession. In his early 20s he rebuffed them, and different main Serie A groups, as a result of he most well-liked to remain at Sassuolo, the membership whose academy he had graduated from and the place he believed his improvement could be higher served by beginning commonly as an alternative of sitting on another person’s bench.

Now 29, Berardi says he has been open to a transfer for a minimum of the final 4 years however none has materialised. He agreed private phrases with Juventus this summer season however they have been unable to make a take care of Sassuolo. Each the price and the construction of the transfer have been reported to be sticking factors, with Juventus looking for to have an preliminary paid mortgage main right into a subsequent full buy.

Domenico Berardi is congratulated by his Sassuolo teammates after giving his facet a 2-1 lead. {Photograph}: Andrea Staccioli/Insidefoto/Shutterstock

This was Berardi’s three hundredth recreation in Serie A, and his 116th purpose – not unhealthy for somebody who traces up totally on the wing. That such a participant has solely performed 4 video games in Uefa competitions, all in Sassuolo’s 2016-17 Europa League run, when he scored 5 occasions, feels inadequate. Definitely, it’s simple to see why Juventus would need him. This was his fifth mixed purpose or help in opposition to them in six conferences.

Berardi ought to have been despatched off on Saturday, although, for a horrific studs-up problem on Bremer early within the second half. The choice by referee Andrea Colombo solely to award a yellow card was shocking however that of the VAR officers with entry to replays to not intervene was mystifying.

Nonetheless, Juventus seemed on the right track to assert a minimum of some extent when Chiesa fired in a deflected shot with 12 minutes to go. As a substitute, moments later, Sassuolo reclaimed the lead, Andrea Pinamonti heading residence after Szczesny parried a rasping Laurienté effort out into the center of the field.

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Sassuolo stored pushing. Grégoire Defrel hit the bar in harm time earlier than Juventus’s Federico Gatti completed the job for them: receiving the ball from Szczesny and panicking underneath strain earlier than taking part in a no-look go into his personal internet.

It was a humiliating mistake from a participant starting his first full season as starter at centre-back. Gatti’s surname interprets as “Cats” so, as multiple web wag identified, a minimum of this may not be the primary time that Gatti movies topped the viral viewing charts.

Fast Information Serie A outcomes Present Lecce 1-0 Genoa, Salernitana 1-1 Frosinone, Lazio 1-1 Monza, Sassuolo 4-2 Juventus, Milan 1-0 Verona, Torino 1-1 Roma, Udinese 0-2 Fiorentina, Atalanta 2-0 Cagliari, Empoli 0-1 Internazionale Was this beneficial? Thanks in your suggestions.

Allegri struck the fitting notice by taking part in down the incident. “Gatti has made errors earlier than and he’ll make extra sooner or later,” mentioned the supervisor. “That’s a part of a footballer’s profession, and his personal purpose didn’t change the outcome.”

The better questions going through Juventus are usually not about that mistake, nor Szczesny’s, however whether or not this group is basically prepared for the title push that some had imagined. Has Chiesa’s glowing type merely been obscuring unresolved points elsewhere within the group?

Vlahovic scored a pair of well-taken targets in opposition to Lazio, however he fluffed his traces when clear by means of on this recreation at 2-1 and nonetheless must show that he can resolve video games with the consistency anticipated of a participant who value greater than €70m.

Though Juventus’s attacking output has improved with Chiesa and Vlahovic collectively up entrance, the group nonetheless play with a comparatively low block which means that the Serbian typically receives the ball along with his again to purpose – a context through which he hardly ever seems his most comfy.

A loss to Sassuolo is hardly a trigger for panic, however this was a actuality verify for Juventus after their quick begin. On Tuesday they’ll search to bounce again in opposition to a Lecce group who, in contrast to them, stay undefeated. It will likely be the primary time ever that the 2 groups meet with the Salentini wanting down on Juventus within the standings.

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