Monday, May 16, 2022

Juventus 1-1 Bologna: Vlahovic header denies nine-man visitors in stunning finish

SoccerNews in Serie A 16 Apr 2022

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Dusan Vlahovic netted a stoppage-time equaliser as Juventus rescued a 1-1 draw against nine-man Bologna in Turin, though the result still dealt a severe blow to their slender title hopes. 

Juve failed to create clear-cut chances during a dismal first-half display before Marko Arnautovic’s goal put Bologna ahead.

Yet the match sparked into life in the final stages when Adama Soumaoro and Gary Medel both received red cards amid remarkable scenes.

Juve made their numerical advantage count when Vlahovic nodded in on the line from Alvaro Morata’s acrobatic attempt to salvage a point that leaves them eight behind Serie A leaders Milan.

Massimiliano Allegri’s team failed to record a shot on target before the break, with Vlahovic heading over the bar when presented with Juve’s best first-half chance after 10 minutes.

Adrien Rabiot somehow diverted the ball wide of an open goal shortly after the restart and Arnautovic made Juve pay when he rounded Wojciech Szczesny to roll home the opener.

Danilo crashed a header against the inside of the post as Juve searched for an immediate response, but the match swung in their favour late on.

A long VAR check resulted in Soumaoro being sent off for denying Morata a clear goalscoring opportunity, with Medel following him after receiving two bookings for dissent in the aftermath of the referee’s decision.

Bologna repelled a series of attacks as the match moved into eight minutes of added time, but Vlahovic was in the right place to head in from Morata’s overhead kick and spare the hosts’ blushes.

What does it mean? Bianconeri bid surely damaged beyond repair

Coming into this encounter, Juventus had played their way into title contention after earning more Serie A points than any other team in the second half of the campaign (28), but they suffered from a dearth of creativity in a below-par display.

Despite Vlahovic’s dramatic equaliser, Allegri’s men are now well adrift of the Serie A summit with five games remaining, with their hopes of a 10th title in 11 seasons appearing to be all but over.

Vlahovic races to league landmark

Vlahovic has now reached 50 Serie A goals. The Serbia international has hit that landmark aged just 22 years and 78 days.

In Italian top-flight history, only one foreign player has reached this milestone at a younger age – Alexandre Pato (21 years, 220 days).

Arnautovic on a roll

Arnautovic’s composed second-half finish looked set to seal a historic win for Bologna until the late dismissals turned the tide of the game.

Although Arnautovic did not end up on the winning side, he has now scored each of Bologna’s last six Serie A goals, becoming the first man to achieve that feat for the club since Angelo Schiavio in 1933.

Key Opta Facts

– Bologna have avoided the Serie A defeat against Juventus for the first time since February 2016.
– Arnautovic became the first Bologna player to have scored 12+ goals in a single Serie A campaign since Alberto Gilardino (13) in 2012-13.
– Arnautovic has also equalled Engelbert Koenig for Lazio in 1946-47 and Ernst Ocwirk for Sampdoria in 1956-57 as the highest Austrian scorer in a single Serie A campaign (12).
– He is the first Austrian player to have scored a Serie A away goal against Juventus since Anton Polster in May 1998, for Torino.
– Juve failed to have a single shot on target in the first half for the fifth time in Serie A this season.

What’s next?

Juventus will turn their attention to the Coppa Italia on Wednesday, when they host Vlahovic’s former team Fiorentina after winning the first leg 1-0. Bologna, meanwhile, play Udinese in Serie A next Sunday.

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