Pinpoint marksman Vlahovic gives Juventus an edge in Scudetto race

Serbia international Dusan Vlahovic scored a magnificent freekick to help Juventus overcome Spezia and the striker is becoming something of a set-piece specialist


Juventus maintained their unbeaten start to the Serie A season when they overcame Spezia 2-0 at the Allianz Stadium on Wednesday, but once again had Dusan Vlahovic to thank for leading them to victory.

The Bianconeri have flattered to deceive so far this term but sit in fourth place on eight points from four games and within touching distance of leaders AS Roma, after the win over Spezia ended a run of consecutive draws.

However, Massimiliano Allegri‘s side made hard work of their far less illustrious opponents and by half-time had only registered a single shot on target, although it was some effort as Vlahovic blasted in a stunning freekick from range in the ninth minute.

It was almost identical to his early opener in the 1-1 draw against AS Roma on Saturday, with the Serbia international picking his spot from some distance and drilling in an unstoppable strike to cannon in under the crossbar.

Indeed, Vlahovic‘s prowess from set-pieces is becoming an important weapon in Juventus‘ armoury as they look unconvincing in attack from open play at times, particularly in link up between midfield and the forward line.

The former Fiorentina striker’s two goals from freekicks in the opening four league games is as many as Juventus as a whole have managed at this stage over the past three seasons combined, and it is increasingly apparent that opponents cannot afford to give away fouls within Vlahovic‘s considerable range.

Meanwhile, the 22-year-old has made the Allianz Stadium his own since his January arrival, becoming only the second youngest Bianconeri player to net in four successive home games, after Paulo Dybala.

Soccer Football – Serie A – Juventus v Spezia Calcio – Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy – August 31, 2022 Juventus’ Arkadiusz Milik celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

Milik proves his worth

Despite this, Juventus need to find greater rhythm in their play to ensure that they are not overly reliant on Vlahovic, although the arrival of Arkadiusz Milik from Marseille should help.

The Poland international stepped off the bench to slot home in stoppage time and round off the win, turning expertly in the box to create space and grab his first goal for the club.

An able centre-forward during his stint at Napoli, Milik is a low-cost but effective option to ease the burden on Vlahovic and give Juventus more variation in attack.

The 28-year-old also holds the distinction of being the Bianconeri’s 350th different scorer in the top flight, and will hope to chip in with more goals across the campaign as Allegri attempts to take the pressure of a first Scudetto in three years off Vlahovic.


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