Let’s take a look at the Serie A Player Ratings from Juventus’ 1-1 draw against Hellas Verona.
Juventus took the field searching for their first Serie A win without their megastar, Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese forward is still out after testing positive for COVID-19 for the second time in a row.
With him in the squad, the reigning champions could only manage back-to-back draws with Roma at home and Crotone on the road. They were handed a 3-0 win over Napoli, but it was due to a coronavirus confusion.
Therefore, a match against Hellas Verona was a must-win affair for Andrea Pirlo’s side.
Juventus took control of the game firmly in their hands after Ebrima Colley’s goal was disallowed for offside in the 16th minute of play. The hosts enjoyed much of the possession and were able to create a few clear-cut chances from that.
Federico Bernardeschi was unlucky to see his well-placed effort thwarted by Verona’s goalkeeper Marco Silvestri before Juan Cuadrado’s shot rattled off the woodwork.
The Bianconeri even managed to put the ball in the net in the dying moments of the first half. However, after VAR’s intervention, Alvaro Morata’s goal was ruled out for offside.
But, Hellas Verona flexed their muscle early into the second half, completely overpowering their hosts all over the pitch. The visitors’ initiative came to fruition in the 60th minute after an outstanding team action.
It was Mattia Zaccagni, who smuggled the ball through Juventus’ defenders to set up Andrea Favilli one-on-one with the keeper. The former Bianconeri youngster was relentless, putting it past Wojciech Szczesny to give his team the lead.
Pirlo quickly reacted from the dugout, replacing out-of-sorts Bernardeschi with Dejan Kulusevski, which proved to be a match-changing moment.
Juventus intensified their pressure, pushing Verona deep into their opening third. They came close to leveling the score, but Paulo Dybala’s long-range effort deflected off the bar.
However, the substitute Kulusevski placed the ball into the bottom right corner only a moment later to put things back to square one.
Although only one team existed on the pitch for the remainder of the encounter, the hosts squandered numerous chances to complete the turnaround.
In fact, Hellas’ goalkeeper Silvestri turned into a hero for the traveling squad, making a series of sensational saves to help his side walk away from Turin undefeated.
Adding to Pirlo’s nightmare, Leonardo Bonucci limped off the pitch midway through the second half due to injury.
If it proves to be a serious one, the vice-captain will join the likes of Giorgio Chiellini and Matthijs de Ligt on the list of sidelined defenders.
With his entire backline now dealing with different physical setbacks, Pirlo will have to come up with something special in the midweek to avoid defeat against Barcelona.
Juventus: Szczesny (7); Danilo (7); Bonucci (6); Demiral (6); Cuadrado (7); Arthur (6); Rabiot (6); Bernardeschi (6); Ramsey (5); Dybala (7); Morata (6)
Bench: Kulusevski (8); Frabotta (6); Vrioni (N/A)
Hellas Verona: Silvestri (8); Ceccherini (7); Lovato (7); Empereur (7); Lazovic (7); Tameze (6); Vieira (6); Faraoni (7); Colley (7); Zaccagni (7); Kalinic (5)
Bench: Ilic (6); Magnani (6); Favilli (8); Barak (6).
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