Lazio and Juventus played a back-and-forth, intense match in the Italian Serie A this Sunday. Despite grabbing the lead in the second half thanks to an own goal from Emre Can, Lazio couldn’t hold on and they ended losing against a Juventus side that remains undefeated in the league after 21 matches (W19, D2). Joao Cancelo and Cristiano Ronaldo scored second-half goals for The Old Lady.
Here are three things we learned from this thrilling Serie A contest.
Juventus’ Portuguese players sparked the team’s comeback
Juventus might have secured the three points in this one, but they didn’t play as well as they could have done it. And they certaintly didn’t look like a team that is yet to drop a single game following 21 Serie A matches (W19, D2). However, it is often said that good teams usually find a way to win. And that’s exactly what happened with Juventus in this match. And the biggest reason why they sparked the comeback was due to what the team’s Portuguese players did here.
First it was Joao Cancelo who netted the team’s first goal in the 74th minute. The former Valencia left-back, who entered the game in the 70th minute and operated as a winger, took advantage of a rebound from Lazio’s goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha to find the back of the net. And then Cristiano Ronaldo – who else? – scored the winner with a penalty kick in the 88th minute. It’s safe to say that Juventus could have easily lost this game hadn’t it been for their two Portuguese stars.
Lazio wasted an incredible chance to get closer to a Top-4 spot
It’s undeniable that Lazio put up a huge fight against Juventus in this match. In fact, Lazio scored the first goal and were up until the 74th minute, when Joao Cancelo evened things up for The Old Lady. But Lazio knew they NEEDED to win this game. And based on how things happened, it’s likely that they won’t have another opportunity such as this one against Juventus.
The Roma-based side can’t keep wasting opportunities. Losing to Juventus shouldn’t be something to worry much about, but the team’s current three-game winless run (D1, L2) should cause concern on the management. Due to this, Lazio have now fell to eighth place in the standings, but at the same time remain just three points away from the Top 4.
Juventus remain a few steps above the rest of the competition in Italy’s top-flight
Sure, Juventus didn’t look good in this game. But the facts can’t be erased. They remain undefeated after 21 matches – which is an incredible achievement per se – and that run does not look as if it’s going to end any time soon. If they didn’t lose here, they’re not likely to drop a game any time soon.
Juventus’ depth, talent level and ability to solve difficult situations remains unmatched by other teams in the league. Sure, Napoli and Inter also boast impressive squads, and we could also mention other sides such as Roma, Lazio and AC Milan on a similar category. But no team gets closer to Juventus when it comes to turn complicated situations around. And the standings back up that statement.
Lazio: Strakosha (5); Bastos (5) (Pedro Neto (-), 90′), Walace (6), Radu (5); Lucas Leiva (6); Parolo (5), Milinkovic-Savic (6), Luis Alberto (7) (Berisha (-), 81′), Lulic (4); Immobile (5) (Caicedo (-), 82′), Correa (7)
Juventus: Szczęsny (6); De Sciglio (5), Bonucci (5) (Chiellini (6), 41′), Rugani (6), Alex Sandro (5); Betancur (6), Emre Can (4), Matuidi (6) (Bernardeschi (5), 60′); Douglas Costa (4) (Joao Cancelo (7), 70′), Ronaldo (7); Dybala (6)
Goals: Emre Can (OG, 1-0, 59′), Joao Cancelo (1-1, 74′), Ronaldo (PK, 1-2, 88′)
Referee: Marco Guida (ITA)
Yellow Cards: Lucas Leiva, Milinkovic-Savic (LAZ); Emre Can, Matuidi, De Sciglio, Rugani, Chiellini (JUV)
Red Cards: None
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