Monday, February 6, 2023

Juventus vs. AS Roma takeaways: Dybala assist rescues draw, Vlahovic scores stunner, Miretti’s surprise start

Massimiliano Allegri and Jose Mourinho shared the points in Turin after Juventus and AS Roma drew 1-1 on Saturday. It was a tactical and intense match, and Juventus didn’t take advantage of a very good first half, scoring only one goal thanks to a stunning second minute free kick from Dusan Vlahovic, while having a second from Manuel Locatelli ruled out thanks to VAR. Jose Mourinho re-organized his team at halftime and changed two starters to have more quality in the offensive end of the pitch. Juventus didn’t push too much in the second half and letting Roma take control and score an equalizer with a very nice assist from former Juventus striker Paulo Dybala for Tammy Abraham’s header. 

Both teams that remain unbeaten after their first three matches of the Serie A season but neither side will be happy about the result. Jose Mourinho said to DAZN after the match, “My team was so lucky in the first half, this is what I told Allegri as well. It was a coincidence that we only conceded one goal in the first 45 minutes. At halftime I told the players I was ashamed for the way they played, then we did better in the second half.” 

Let’s look at some takeaways:

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Vlahovic’s stunning free kick 

It took only sixty seconds for Juventus to score the opening goal of the match thanks to an incredible free-kick scored by Vlahovic. After scoring in the opening match against Sassuolo, there was some criticism around the player and the rest of the Juventus attack after last week’s draw against Sampdoria. Vlahovic proved once again to be one of the best strikers in the competition and also showed that he’s an incredible technical striker of the ball. Having him out there gives Juventus more options this season. Vlahovic, however, was also the reason why the second Juventus goal of the match  was disallowed, since he touched the ball with his left hand and forced the referee to intervene and overturn the decision after Manuel Locatelli scored. 

Paulo Dybala’s comeback 

Paulo Dybala return to Turin against his former club lasted 77 minutes. The Argentinian striker was the most anticipated man of the day at the Allianz Stadium, after he left Juventus over the summer at the end of his contract and decided to join AS Roma after talks with Inter Milan fell through. Dybala was welcomed positively by the home fans, who definitely understood that it wasn’t just up to Dybala and the ultimate decision to leave the club was mutually agreed upon. And they definitely appreciated the fact that he decided to join AS Roma instead of rivals Inter Milan. When his name was announced by the speaker, the whole stadium applauded him. The Argentinian striker had a difficult first half but then improved in the second half until he provided the key assist for Tammy Abraham’s equalizer. This was the 50th Serie A assist for the striker, who a few minutes later, Jose Mourinho opted to take off the pitch to establish again a more defensive team. 

Fabio Miretti, the unexpected starter

While Allegri is waiting for the return of Paul Pogba, who is expected to be back at the end of September, the Italian coach opted to start with young talent Fabio Miretti. The 19 years-old midfielder played well and showed that he can be part of the squad’s rotation. Miretti played in the role Pogba will play once he’s back, the most advanced creator of a midfield three, but he can also play in other positions as well, and it’s likely that Allegri will test him in the coming weeks, especially considering the schedule that awaits the Italian club between Serie A and the upcoming Champions League’s group stage. Miretti was a good surprise for the Juventus fans last season, but this year his role inside the club can grow again and he has the potential to become a starter in the coming years. 

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