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Kenan Yildiz makes his mark as Juventus battle past Frosinone

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 23 Dec 2023

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Teenager Kenan Yildiz scored his first goal for Juventus on his full debut to help his team to a 2-1 victory over Frosinone.

With Federico Chiesa nursing a knee problem, 18-year-old Turkey international Yildiz was given his first start, and, in only the 12th minute, he beat three Frosinone players on the edge of the area before drilling his shot inside the near post.

The hosts levelled six minutes after the break through Jaime Baez but Dusan Vlahovic headed in an 81st-minute winner.

The victory sees Juve close to within one point of Inter Milan at the top of the Serie A table ahead of their clash with Lecce later on Saturday.

Frosinone have been strong at home this season, losing only once previously to Napoli in August, while they went into the clash buoyed by a 4-0 hammering of the same side in the Coppa Italia in midweek.

The visitors would have taken the lead in the seventh minute but for a brilliant block from Simone Romagnoli to cut out Weston McKennie’s cross with Arkadiusz Milik waiting for a tap-in.

They did not have to wait long for the breakthrough, though, Yildiz showing his talent with some brilliant skill after Stefano Turati had been hurried into a clearance.

Both teams were forced into early changes, with Federico Gatti replacing Alex Sandro and Baez coming on for Pol Lirola.

Frosinone were growing into the game and they forced Wojciech Szczesny into his first save in the 36th minute after on-loan Juventus starlet Matias Soule broke into the penalty area on the right and shot from a very tight angle.

Juve then created a good opportunity at the other end but Filip Kostic shot wildly wide of the near post after being played in by Milik.

Six minutes into the second half, the home side drew level. Right-back Ilario Monterisi was the creator with a brilliant pass that allowed Baez to get around the back of the Juve defence and slot first time past Szczesny.

Soule then almost put the hosts ahead with a curling effort from the edge of the box that evaded his team-mates and went just past the far post.

Vlahovic came off the bench as the visitors sought a response and he nearly provided it after being set up by Milik but Turati produced a smart block.

Szczesny then pulled off a fine fingertip stop to deny Abdou Harroui while McKennie left the bar shaking with a thunderous leaping volley as both sides chased a winner.

It eventually came from Vlahovic, who met McKennie’s cross from the right with a perfect header into the top corner.

The Serbian thought he had scored again late on but it was ruled out for offside.

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