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Juventus v Spezia Live Commentary, 2022/08/31

2 - 0
D. Vlahović (9)
A. Milik (90+2)
Allianz Stadium


That's all from Turin today, so thank you for joining us and goodbye!
After facing Fiorentina in Serie A on Saturday - and they are sure to receive a hostile 'welcome' at Stadio Artemio Franchi upon Vlahovic's latest return - Juventus then visit Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League next week. Spezia, meanwhile, host Bologna on Sunday.
Though, for the second time in less than a week, an early Vlahovic free-kick was the most spectacular moment of their game, Juventus do enough to get over the line against well-organised opponents. Spezia certainly held their own against often passive hosts, but a distinct lack of nous in and around the Juve area meant that they rarely threatened to equalise. It wasn't pretty, but Allegri won't mind - the Bianconeri are back on track with a win and remain unbeaten this term.
90' + 4' In the fourth of five minutes indicated for stoppages, Spezia are frantically trying to advance the ball into the final third - but it's all too late now, the points are lost.
F. Miretti
90' + 2' Miretti showed great awareness to get his head up and pull back a ball from the right wing for Juventus score their second goal.
A. Milik
90' + 2' MILIK MAKES IT TWO! Making another telling impact, Miretti pops up on the right flank and fires in a low cross, which rolls dangerously through the area. Milik takes control - neatly turning Hristov and then firing home from near the penalty spot! 2-0 to Juventus, and that's game over!
89' Substitutes Kostic and Di Maria combine on the left, but Spezia manage to scramble the ball behind for a corner.
87' Spezia are applying some pressure in pursuit of an elusive equaliser, but fail to make the most of a corner conceded by Danilo. Then, Agudelo is penalised for attempting to win the ball back from Rabiot - that will help Juve run down the clock.
Alex Sandro
85' Bremer is replaced by fellow Brazilian Alex Sandro.
A. Milik
D. Vlahović
85' With potentially the winning goal to his name, Vlahovic comes off for the final few minutes. New man Milik will fill in up front.
M. Ellertsson
E. Holm
85' Holm is also withdrawn by Gotti. Ellertsson takes his place.
Leandro Sanca
M. Bourabia
85' Another change in the Spezia midfield sees Bourabia make way for Sanca.
82' MISS! Di Maria picks out Danilo, who storms forward on an overlapping run, but the Brazilian blasts over the bar from inside the box. He had to hit the target there!
81' Summing up his match, Nzola stumbles inside the Juventus area, just when the chance to strike opened up. An opportunity wasted!
79' After being outdone in terms of possession before the half-time break, Spezia have shaded that metric since the interval, with 52 per cent so far. However, they cannot make anything of it when they get to the final third.
77' Bourabia loses the ball on the right, and is a little fortunate to see Miretti's challenge to be judged as a foul. However, from the free-kick, Spezia waste their opportunity to get the ball into the box.
75' After Reca plays a tired ball nearly out of play on the left byline, Strelec battles well to keep it in under pressure, but is then penalised by a referee just as it seemed he could force an opening.
E. Holm
Yellow Card
73' A late sliding challenge on Miretti sees Holm booked by the referee.
J. Sala
S. Bastoni
72' Bastoni's shift in midfield is over, and Sala will be his replacement.
72' From the latest corner, Danilo heads well off target. Now they've cleared the immediate danger, Spezia are set to make another change.
71' After Hristov heads wide following the corner - conceding another - he goes down clutching his already bandaged head. Following some medical attention, he is judged fit enough to continue.
70' Again showing some impressive initiative, Miretti drives forward from midfield and has an effort blocked behind by Kiwior.
68' Spezia are not out of this game at all, but they are still lacking any kind of clarity in the final third: only two goal attempts throughout the match, and none on target so far.
66' OFF THE LINE! A corner is forced by Vlahovic, who chases a lost cause and forces Hristov into a panicked clearance. From the set-piece, which is tossed into the six-yard box from the right, Dragowski has to get down low to keep out Vlahovic's header on the line! That's the closest we've come to a second goal!
64' Danilo concedes a free-kick on the left corner of the area, for a foul on Strelec, but Agudelo's subsequent effort to cross the ball into the box is comfortably cleared away.
62' Using all his power and will to drive past Nikolaou into the box, Vlahovic belatedly tumbles to the turf claiming a penalty. There was plenty of shirt-tugging from both men, but the referee is disinterested. So, it seems, is the VAR.
D. Strelec
E. Gyasi
60' A frustrated Gyasi is clearly displeased to be withdrawn, but Strelec comes on in his place; joining Nzola up front.
K. Agudelo
V. Kovalenko
60' Gotti responds to Allegri's changes by making two of his own. First, Kovalenko is replaced by Agudelo in midfield.
58' In his first significant act since coming on, Kostic gives away a free-kick for fouling Hristov inside the Spezia half.
56' Though they still lead, and have rarely been too troubled by Spezia, Juventus have won only two of their last six home matches in Serie A. The Allianz Stadium is no longer the fortress it was, so today's visitors can justifiably hope for an equaliser.
Á. Di María
M. Kean
54' Another disappointing day for Kean ends early; Di Maria receives a warm welcome from the fans on his introduction from the bench.
F. Kostić
J. Cuadrado
54' Allegri has seen enough, and makes a couple of changes up front. First, Cuadrado makes way for Kostic.
53' Showing superb touch and a sharp turn, Miretti spins his man on the edge of the box and shoots at goal. His effort is heavily deflected, though, and spins behind for a corner.
52' Never fully set to take on the strike, Nzola tries his luck from more than 20 yards out, in a central position: it bobbles several yards wide of Perin's right-hand post.
50' Coolly as ever, Bremer stands his ground to block out a chance for Gyasi, as the Spezia skipper tries to turn the ball goalwards from near the penalty spot.
48' Challenges are flying in from several Juve players, as Spezia struggle for rhythm in the opening stages of the second half - Allegri has clearly had some words of advice for his men during the interval.
46' Driving forward, Kean starts the half with some positive intent, but crashes a shot well over the crossbar from 20 yards out.
46' We are back under way at the Allianz Stadium!
Lacking a bit of lustre in the first half, Juventus could perhaps have done with the midfield drive of new signing Paredes, who has been paraded before the Bianconeri faithful during the break. Certainly, they will be glad of any recruits, as their injury problems don't seem set to abate: now Szczesny could be out for a while.
Mirroring Saturday's match against Roma - also hosted in Turin - Juventus took the lead through an early free-kick special from Vlahovic then gradually retreated as their opponents grew in confidence. Other than his blockbuster set-piece, Juve's star striker has barely had a kick - in fact, Bremer recorded nearly three times as many touches in the first half; demonstrating the hosts' approach to the game. Meanwhile, Spezia are still in this, and have suggested they can at least threaten to equalise after the interval.
45' + 2' On the counter, Juve burst into the box on the left side, through Cuadrado. The Colombian draws contact from Hristov, who is merely standing his ground. No penalty is awarded.
45' Spezia are totally on top now, as Nzola and Kovalenko both have shots blocked from the edge of the box. It seems Juve are just waiting for the half-time whistle.
M. Perin
W. Szczęsny
43' Having only recently returned to action from injury, Szczesny must come off before the first half is done. The goalkeeper is brought to the touchline on a stretcher; Perin will be his able deputy.
42' From the corner, Szczesny spills the ball inside his six-yard box and lands awkwardly. He looks in some pain, and will require medical attention.
41' CLOSE! A delicious flick in midfield by Bourabia releases a Spezia attack down the right, and Bremer then has to intervene with a last-gasp clearance as Nzola prepares to turn the ball home at the near post!
39' Shortly after Bourabia sees a speculative shot blocked, Gyasi is brought down by Gatti 30 yards out from goal, and Spezia have a free-kick.
37' Nzola is left in a heap by the halfway line, but after the referee shows no interest in his claims for a foul, the Spezia striker slowly returns to his feet and gets on with the job at hand.
35' Bastoni strides forward from midfield and lets fly on an optimistic long-range shot. It is heavily deflected, then spins behind for a Spezia corner - their first of the match.
33' Juventus have had a 60 per cent share of the ball so far, and their tally of six shots at goal contrasts with Spezia's tally of none.
31' Gotti has his Spezia side well organised, as they shuffle from side to side to deny Juve clear access to their area. The hosts are getting nowhere fast.
29' From a second corner in quick succession, Cuadrado sends in an inswinger from the right, but Vlahovic steers his header wide of the target on the stretch.
27' Vlahovic picks up the ball on the right flank, drops his shoulder and throws in a couple of stepovers, before zipping a dangerous cross along the six-yard box. Dragowski only flaps at it, but the alert Kiwior manages to clear the ball away for a corner.
25' A long, hopeful ball up from the back by Danilo falls to Miretti 10 yards out side the box. The teenager steps inside and unleashes a powerful shot, but two Spezia defenders get their bodies in the way and it is blocked.
24' Not that they were exactly tearing into their opponents before, but Juve have totally dropped the pace and are content to pass around the back.
22' With De Sciglio threatening to get to the left byline and sling in a cross, Holm does well to track back and shepherd the ball out of play for a goal-kick. Aside from conceding the opener from a set-piece, Spezia have been relatively untroubled so far.
20' Gyasi gets on the end of a long angled ball from Bourabia, but when he sends the ball high into the Juventus area, Bastoni is penalised for a foul.
18' After Kean and Vlahovic combine on the left side of the area, Hristov makes a good block and Spezia manage to get the ball clear of danger.
16' Hristov picks out Gyasi with a long throughball, but the Spezia skipper is caught offside. He turned the ball into the net very tidily by lobbing Szczesny, but it won't count.
15' Spezia are now growing into the game, as Juve inevitably sit back after scoring. Luca Gotti is encouraging them to go forward from the touchline.
13' Before today's game, Vlahovic had scored a goal every 84 minutes against Spezia, on average - a rate which has now improved further. In all, the Juventus striker has now scored five times against the Aquilotti - including his last Serie A hat-trick, in October.
S. Bastoni
Yellow Card
11' Desperately tracking back and then tripping Miretti in midfield, Bastoni is penalised with a yellow card.
D. Vlahović
9' JUVE LEAD! Incredibly, Vlahovic repeats his free-kick heroics from the weekend, as the Serb striker steps up to a 25-yard free-kick and curls it into the top-right corner with an unstoppable shot! What a strike! Juve 1-0 Spezia!
8' After Rabiot has a long-range effort charged down, the ball makes its way to Cuadrado 10 yards out the area, in a central position. Just as the winger is set to take it in his stride, he is upended and Juve have a free-kick.
6' It's more of the same from Juve, as they aimlessly cycle the ball around midfield, with little progress forthcoming; the visitors are happy to sit in and eventually spring on the break.
4' Juventus have had most of the ball so far, and Spezia remain camped inside their own half, where they could be set to spend much of the game.
2' Kean goes down after a challenge with Holm, in which he concedes a free-kick, and he is still rubbing his eye as he returns to his feet and continues.
1' The visitors, clad in a unique multicoloured shirt and yellow shorts combination, kick off - we are under way in Turin!
The players are out on the pitch at the Allianz Stadium, with kick-off now just moments away!
Spezia bring Holm and Kovalenko into their starting XI, with captain Gyasi switching from the right flank to form a front pairing with Nzola. Agudelo and Strelec make way, while midfielder Albin Ekdal was sent off as a substitute against Sassuolo so now serves a suspension. Daniele Verde, Salva Ferrer and Kelvin Amian miss out again through injury.
While Di Maria is back on the bench, after being withdrawn injured on his debut, Juventus still have Paul Pogba, Federico Chiesa and captain Leonardo Bonucci occupying the treatment room. In the latter's absence, Max Allegri offers Gatti his first Serie A start in defence, while teenager Miretti continues in midfield and Kean partners Vlahovic up front. Loan signing Leandro Paredes has not been registered in time to feature today.
SUBS: Jeroen Zoet, Petar Zovko, Jacopo Sala, Aimar Sher, David Strelec, Mattia Caldara, Julius Beck, Kevin Agudelo, Sanca, Mikael Egill Ellertsson.
SPEZIA (3-5-2): Bartlomiej Dragowski; Dimitris Nikolaou, Petko Hristov, Jakub Kiwior; Emil Holm, Viktor Kovalenko, Mehdi Bourabia, Simone Bastoni, Arkadiusz Reca; Emmanuel Gyasi, M'Bala Nzola.
SUBS: Mattia Perin, Carlo Pinsoglio, Matias Soule, Arkadiusz Milik, Filip Kostic, Daniele Rugani, Denis Zakaria, Nicolo Fagioli, Angel Di Maria, Weston McKennie, Alex Sandro.
JUVENTUS (4-3-3): Wojciech Szczesny; Danilo, Federico Gatti, Bremer, Mattia De Sciglio; Fabio Miretti, Manuel Locatelli, Adrien Rabiot; Juan Cuadrado, Dusan Vlahovic, Moise Kean.
Though they have lost each and every one of their top-flight encounters with today's hosts since promotion in 2020, Spezia arrive in Turin just a point behind Juventus in the standings. After drawing 2-2 with Sassuolo at the weekend, the Aquilotti's third top-flight campaign - each under a different coach - has seen them make their best start to a Serie A season to date, with four points from their first three fixtures.
After successive draws - with Sampdoria and Roma - Juventus have taken five points from three Serie A matches so far, and their quest to regain the Scudetto after finishing fourth for two years has got off to a sluggish start. Criticised for turgid performances, the Bianconeri have been hit by injury during the opening weeks - depriving them of their captain and both star signings. With a big week ahead at home and abroad, today Juve will aim to take maximum points against a side they have previously dominated.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of today's Serie A clash between Juventus and Spezia at the Allianz Stadium, Turin!