MAPEI STADIUM (Reggio Emilia) – Domenico Berardi proved to be a thorn in Juventus’ side on Matchday 5 of Serie A, with the Sassuolo no.10 putting in a fine performance and scoring a sublime first-half strike that set the hosts on their way to a memorable 4-2 win over the Bianconeri. The win means Sassuolo have now beaten the Old Lady in three of their last five meetings, which is two more wins than they had managed in their previous 16.
An early fumble from Wojciech Szczesny saw him palm a long-range Armand Lauriente strike through his legs to put the Neroverdi – though playing in a bright yellow – ahead, but Matias Vina turned a Federico Chiesa cross into his own goal to level things up. Berardi scored a fine second for Sassuolo to restore their lead before the break. But, unfortunately for Juventus, Szczesny‘s early error set the tone for the evening.
In the second half, Chiesa did his utmost to restore parity again and eventually found a way to beat Alessio Cragno with just over ten minutes to play, firing home in a crowded box for what was a near-identical goal to his strike against Lazio on Matchday 4. But with Juventus pushing for a winner, it was Sassuolo who got their third of the game as Andrea Pinamonti headed in on the rebound after Szczesny parried into his path. To cap off a bad night for the Bianconeri, Federico Gatti passed the ball into his own empty goal to end any hopes they had of coming back for a third time.
Floodgates of Juventus’ fortress open
Prior to their trip to Reggio Emilia for Matchday 5, Juventus had won each of their two away games this season without conceding a single goal. Against Sassuolo, though, that stubborn backline was breached, with Alessio Dionisi‘s side looking consistently dangerous in possession when going direct or being more patient in their build-up.
Massimiliano Allegri‘s side had started on the front foot, too. Chiesa was alert from the off, and the supporting cast of Dusan Vlahovic, Weston McKennie, Adrien Rabiot and Fabio Miretti were all looking to get involved. Vlahovic wasn’t quite at his best though, and looked a little off the pace when chances fell his way – missing a big opportunity in the second half that likely would have been ruled out for offside had he converted.
Sassuolo can be an unforgiving side to play against on their day, and Saturday was one of their good ones. Lauriente‘s opener came their way through more than just a slice of good fortune, but Berardi‘s second was nothing but brilliant as he picked out the bottom corner from distance.
Juventus, mostly through Chiesa, showed some fight and looked as though they might have managed to take at least a point back home with them when the Italian fired in a second leveller in the 78th minute, but things were a long way from finished.
Pinamonti then headed home a rebound four minutes later when it had started to look as though Juventus would snatch a late winner, and then the worst moment of the visitors’ night came courtesy of Gatti, as he looked to find Szczesny with a pass after a defensive free-kick, only to mishit the ball and haplessly watch it bounce into an empty goal.
The loss comes as Juventus’ first of the season and leaves them fourth in the Serie A table with ten points from five matches at the end of play in Reggio Emilia. Sassuolo, meanwhile, climb temporarily to 11th with six points.