Juventus Moves One Step Closer to Serie A With Crucial Win

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Juventus edged ever closer to another Serie a title with its win over Bologna. 

A stunning second-half cameo from Douglas Costa inspired Juventus to a 3-1 home win over Bologna. 

Second half goals from Paulo Dybala, Juan Cuadrado and an own goal from Sebastien De Maio were enough for Juventus to see off the struggling Bologna at the Allianz Stadium. 

As expected, Juventus dominated proceedings early on, penning Bologna back into its defensive third. La Vecchia Signora would spurn two chances from set pieces inside the opening 20 minutes. Both Daniele Rugani and Alex Sandro saw their effort on goal saved by Antonio Mirante.

These misses would prove costly on the 26th-minute mark, when an uncharacteristic mistake from veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon gifted the visitors a penalty. A weak pass out of the penalty area was latched onto by Lorenzo Crisetig, who was subsequently tripped up by Daniele Rugani. 

Simone Verdi would subsequently make no mistake from the penalty spot, coolly sliding the ball past the Juventus goalkeeper and into the back of the net. 

After going behind, Juventus continued to dominate possession, but rarely looked capable of threatening Mirante in the Bologna goal. 

At the start of the second half, Max Allegri made an immediate change, bringing Douglas Costa for the more defensive-minded Blaise Matuidi. Inside two minutes, the change almost paid dividends when the Brazilian curled the ball brilliantly into the path of Juan Cuadrado on the right-hand side of the penalty area. Cuadrado however, was unable to steer the ball goalward. 

On the 51st minute, the tide turned. A wonderful curling cross into the near post area was unfortunately sliced past the hapless Mirante by Sebastien De Maio and into the net.

Moments later, Cuadrado almost gave the home side the lead. After dribbling past two Bologna defenders, Douglas Costa rifled the ball along the six-yard box toward Cuadrado. However, a slight touch from Mirante re-directed the ball just out of the reach of the Colombian international. 

On the hour mark, Buffon redeemed himself after his earlier mistake with an astonishing save from an Emil Krath shot on goal. The Swedish defender’s sliding effort from just seven yards out was tipped onto the post by the 40-year-old goalkeeper. 

After a moment of brilliance from the Juventus number one, the future Juventus second-choice goalkeeper—potentially—would make a horrendous error to gift La Vecchia Signora a second goal. Yet more brilliant work from Douglas Costa on the left flank culminated in the ball being looped to the back post. A misjudgment of the flight of the ball, then allowed Sami Khedira to volley the ball into the roof of the net at the back post. 

Five minutes later, Juventus made their lead unassailable through Dybala. Once again, it was Costa how would be the provider, as he rifled the ball into the path of Paulo Dybala, who subsequently slide the ball into the bottom right corner of the net.  

The win extends Max Allegri’s men’s lead at the top of the Serie A table to seven points, with Napoli set to welcome Torino to the Stadio San Paolo on Sunday afternoon. 

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