Saturday, December 4, 2021

Juventus 1-2 Sassuolo: Lopez steals stoppage-time winner to stun Bianconeri

SoccerNews in Serie A 27 Oct 2021

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Maxime Lopez struck for Sassuolo in the 95th minute at the Allianz Stadium on Wednesday to deal Juventus a 2-1 defeat, their first reverse in 10 matches in all competitions.

A stunning finish brought an end to a frustrating encounter for the Bianconeri, whose season has hit another stumbling block after six straight wins heading into Sunday’s draw at Inter.

Lopez’s breakaway winner decisively put Sassuolo – previously without an away Serie A victory at Juve – in front for the second time, having earlier led through Davide Frattesi.

Weston McKennie’s thumping header got Massimiliano Allegri’s men back on terms and seemed to set the stage for a second home goal, but it was Sassuolo who were celebrating deep in stoppage time.

The game ended as it began, in breathless fashion. The visitors recovered from a rocky start to go close through Domenico Berardi, whose curling effort tested Mattia Perin, and came through another strong Juventus spell to lead on the stroke of half-time.

Paulo Dybala had hit the post and Federico Chiesa lashed over in the 10 minutes before the break, but an incisive move at the other end gave Frattesi a chance he would not pass up, finishing coolly past Perin.

Giacomo Raspadori was not so accurate when he might have doubled Sassuolo’s advantage in the second half, a scare that stirred the hosts.

Juan Cuadrado’s blast was cleared off the line by Kaan Ayhan, before Andrea Consigli beat away Dybala’s drive and got back to his feet in time to see Chiesa nod over.

McKennie appeared the unlikely saviour, meeting Dybala’s free-kick with a fine header that flew beyond Consigli.

But Juve’s pursuit of a second left Lopez in the clear to run onto Berardi’s sublime pass, hold off the recovering McKennie and dink over Perin for a memorable Sassuolo triumph.

What does it mean? Milestone to forget for Max

This was Allegri’s 200th Serie A match in charge of Juventus, becoming only the third coach to that mark after Giovanni Trapattoni (402) and Marcello Lippi (258) as the Bianconeri slumped to a first ever league home defeat to Sassuolo.

It proved an occasion Allegri will not want to mull over for too long, however, as his side lacked fluency in the final third and again left gaps at the back. Juve’s 13 goals conceded after 10 matches are their most at this stage of a league campaign since 1988-89.

Chiesa cannot finish

Allegri acknowledged he made a mistake in starting with Dybala and Chiesa on the bench against Inter and so recalled both to the XI. However, Chiesa was guilty of some particularly wasteful work, even if Dybala offered an assist to McKennie.

Chiesa did not create a single opportunity for a team-mate, having four shots himself – the most of any player on the pitch – but failing to hit the target with any of them.

Berardi decisive

Berardi did not trouble the scoresheet either, now with only a single strike in 10 against Juve, but he was far more impressive than his Italy team-mate Chiesa.

The Sassuolo star, who had four goals in his prior five league games, teed up the winner – his second Serie A assist versus the Bianconeri – and got through plenty of other work, too. He contested 19 duels and won five fouls – two highs.

Key Opta Facts

This is only the third time Juve have lost at least three games of their first 10 of the season in the three-point-a-win era: four defeats in 2015-16 and three in 1995-96.
With three goals and three assists, Dybala has been involved in 43 per cent of Juventus goals in this Serie A season (6/14).
McKennie scored a Serie A goal for the first time since April: 14 games without goals before tonight.
Sassuolo have scored in their last six Serie A games, after they have failed in two of the previous three.
Leonardo Bonucci made his 400th Serie A appearance on Wednesday, while Dybala started a 150th league game for Juve.

What’s next?

Juventus must get back on track at Hellas Verona on Saturday, the day before Sassuolo host Empoli.

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