After suffering a shock defeat to Monza before the international break, Juventus responded with a resounding victory against Bologna on Sunday evening.
Bianconeri coach Massimiliano Allegri changed his approach and the Italian giants secured a 3-0 win against the Rossoblu on Matchday 8 of the 2022/23 Serie A season.
Not only was the result a clear contrast to the 1-0 defeat from a fortnight ago, the performance and how the result was achieved represented a refreshing shift from how Allegri’s Juve are known to play.
The defeat to Monza on Matchday 7 was one of the most surprising results in recent memory, but it was baffling to see Juventus being pegged back by a newly-promoted team from Serie B in their first-ever Serie A campaign. Although the sending-off of Angel Di Maria did not help, La Vecchia Signora played like a team that feared the newcomers and failed to put the Brianzoli under serious pressure.
With Arkadiusz Milik returning from suspension, Allegri was able to pair him with Dusan Vlahovic in attack and the duo demonstrated against Bologna that they are more than capable of leading the line for Juventus.
Juventus expose defensive frailties of Bologna
Bologna were perhaps the ideal opponent given that they are near the relegation zone, and Juventus were able to capitalise on that, attacking with a verve that has been rarely seen from them previously in this campaign.
The Rossoblu ended the game with 52% possession, but the Bianconeri had ended the first half with 58.4% and were more dangerous when the game was in the balance.
Bologna would try to play high up the ground, but Juventus showed that they could pass the ball around and force the Felsinei back. Despite their ability to control possession for the first 60 minutes or so, the Bianconeri’s first two goals came from counter-attacks. Whether it was by running directly at the opponent or passing around them, Juve exposed a stretched Rossoblu defence that got caught out for playing too high up the pitch at times.
The third goal had some elements of luck as the Felsinei failed to clear a Leandro Paredes corner effectively, but Juan Cuadrado cleverly headed the ball to his far left and Milik hit a sweet volley to seal the win.
Despite Bologna’s efforts to score a consolation goal later in the game, Juventus should have added further gloss to the win. Unfortunately, Vlahovic sent a shot wide when it was arguably easier to score, and Milik was denied by the frame of the goal.
Allegri must continue with the attacking mindset
Juventus deployed the 4-4-2 formation and it worked this time around. Milik and Vlahovic gave the Bologna defence headaches while Kostic and McKennie were effective on the wings.
The performance against Bologna showed that the way Juventus play does matter. The Bianconeri might think that winning is the only thing that counts but this showed that the performance does matter. La Vecchia Signora did not win by playing defensively and they are capable of dominating opponents if they want to. They just need to believe that they can win by playing offensively.
Juventus face AC Milan on Saturday on Matchday 9 of Serie A action.