Three takeaways from Juventus 1-1 Bologna: Bianconeri need to keep Vlahovic, positive signs from Pogba

His future is still uncertain, but Dusan Vlahovic is seriously showing his worth to Juventus this season. Against Bologna, he again made it clear that the club can't afford to let him leave, at whatever price.

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Juventus returned to the Allianz Stadium for the first time in the 2023/24 Serie A season with a 1-1 draw against Bologna on Matchday 2. Even having had a goal ruled out, it would be easy to argue that the Bianconeri were lucky to escape with a point. 

VAR intervened and thwarted the Bianconeri by ruling out a Dusan Vlahovic strike before the Serbian later levelled, but a bizarre decision not to award Bologna a penalty at 1-0 would have had the Old Lady exhaling a sigh of relief.

Bologna were bright in spells and showed signs to suggest that they could have another good season under Thiago Motta. With a trip to Juventus following a season opener against AC Milan, they’ll be relieved to have two tough games out of the way early, and pleased to have caused problems for their opposition in both.

Vlahovic is vital to Juventus – the Bianconeri need him to stay

Dusan Vlahovic celebrates for Juventus. (@juventusfc)

It has been known throughout the 2023 summer transfer window that Dusan Vlahovic is up for sale, largely due to Juventus‘ financial issues. With three goals in two Serie A games to start the season, though, it’s clear that Vlahovic will be pivotal to any Juventus successes this season and beyond. The club surely have to keep hold of their No.9.

He could well have had four goals already this season without the intervention of VAR, with a goal against the Rossoblu being ruled out due to Adrien Rabiot being in an offside position. For the strike that counted, though, there was no question. A pinpoint cross from Samuel Iling-Junior was perfectly placed onto the head of Vlahovic, who powerfully headed home. 

The Bianconeri looked almost reliant on the former Fiorentina forward. Everything against Bologna either went through or to Vlahovic.

After passing up on the option to sign Romelu Lukaku, Juventus cannot afford to lose the 23-year-old. The club are in need of funds, but they must keep hold of Vlahovic

Dusan Vlahovic celebrates for Juventus. (@juventusfc)

Pogba shows positive signs

One of the main talking points surrounding Juventus through the summer was the Paul Pogba situation. After returning to the Old Lady after the expiration of his contract at Manchester United, many hoped that Pogba‘s first season back in Turin would go better than it did. 

Without lighting things up, Pogba showed signs of what he can offer to Allegri and his side after coming off the bench against the Veltri. Now, the big question again remains over his fitness. Having not played more than 60 minutes in a competitive fixture since April 2022, there are huge doubts.

“I miss playing,” Pogba told DAZN after the game. “I feel good physically and I want to get back on top. I’m as hungry as I was in the early days, I’m hungry to work and to win. I’m only 30 and I want to give trophies to these fans.” 

Zirkzee can help Bologna to forget about Arnautovic

Bologna’s Jesper Karlsson and Joshua Zirkzee embrace. (@BolognaFC1909en)

After Marko Arnautovic left the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara to join Inter, the question was posed about how Bologna would cope with the loss of the Austrian. These doubts may have been answered already, in the form of Joshua Zirkzee

Zirkzee has always had questions about how far he could go, since his time at Bayern Munich, and there has always been a lot of expectation around him. Whilst his first season in Bologna didn’t set the world alight, there are signs that he could have a breakout season this term. 

Zirkzee offered both a goalscoring and creative threat. Assisting Lewis Ferguson’s goal, he received the ball from the Scottish midfielder before drawing in two defenders and then releasing a perfect pass at the right time.

The 22-year-old has a point to prove after two underwhelming seasons in Serie A under his belt with Bologna last term and Parma in in 2021/22. But if his performance against Juventus is anything to go off, then maybe being entrusted to be the Felsinei’s starting striker is the push he needed.

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