Sassuolo vs. Juventus: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

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Sassuolo vs. Juventus: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction
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Juventus moved within sight of their third consecutive Serie A title with a comeback victory, 3-1, at Sassuolo on Monday evening at the Stadio Citta del Tricolore.

Simone Zaza gave Sassuolo the lead in the ninth minute, finishing from the impressive Nicola Sansone's through ball after an early spell of dominance for the hosts. Carlos Tevez equalised for Juventus in the 35th minute before Claudio Marchisio scored the winner early in the second half. Fernando Llorente sealed the victory with the third, a fine back-heel flick in the 76th minute.

With the win, Juventus moved onto 93 points, eight ahead of second-placed AS Roma with three matches remaining. Victory at home to Atalanta next Monday would clinch Juve's third straight Scudetto while a draw would ensure the Bianconeri could finish no worse than level on points with Roma.

It was a fourth straight league win for Juventus, who still have the chance to become the first Italian side to finish a league campaign with 100 or more points. Two victories and one draw in Juve's final three league matches would be enough to hit the century mark.

Meanwhile, the Bianconeri are also chasing silverware in Europe, though they trail Benfica, 2-1, following the first leg of their UEFA Europa League semi-final. The second leg is set for Thursday at Juventus Stadium, where Antonio Conte's side have won all 17 league matches this season.

Sassuolo, who had won two of their previous three league matches before Monday, remain in 17th place, level on points with Bologna but out of the relegation places by virtue of a superior head-to-head record.

The hosts started brightly and were ahead within 10 minutes. Sansone gave Juventus a scare in the second minute, flashing a low shot just wide of Gianluigi Buffon's left-hand post. Before long, Sansone was at it again, providing the assist as the hosts took the lead.

Marco Vasini

In the ninth minute, Sansone played a through ball to Zaza along the edge of the box. Zaza cut to his left and fired back across his body, his shot taking a slight deflection into the bottom corner past Buffon.

Sansone created yet more danger in the 17th minute, dancing through a crowded box before directing his shot just wide.

Juventus missed a big chance to equalise in the 22nd minute. Following a failed clearance from the hosts, Giorgio Chiellini laid off an inviting pass for Carlos Tevez inside Sassuolo's box. Tevez made good contact but missed the target with his volley.

The hosts continued to grow in stature and drew level in the 35th minute. After receiving a pass from Marchisio along the edge of the box, Tevez dribbled to his right and hit a powerful shot that took a slight deflection on its way into the net.

Marchisio shot off target in the 39th minute as Juve looked to take an instant lead. Two minutes later at the other end, Zaza came close to scoring a second, forcing Buffon into a fine save.

With the score level at half-time, both teams had chances early in the second half. Tevez shot on target for Juventus in the 52nd minute, but Gianluca Pegolo saved low at his near post. Four minutes later, Sansone shot over the bar after playing a one-two with Zaza.

Juventus then took the lead in the 58th minute after a moment of magic from Marchisio and Andrea Pirlo. Latching onto the ball after Tevez won possession with a sliding tackle along the edge of Sassuolo's box, Pirlo played a pass over the top for Marchisio. The latter timed his run perfectly, sweeping in his first-touch finish on the volley to put the visitors ahead.

Zaza appealed for a penalty after going to ground along the edge of Juventus' box in the 66th minute. Instead, the referee ruled that Zaza had dived and booked the Sassuolo for simulation. One minute later, Pegolo saved Marchisio's shot from outside the box to keep the hosts within touching distance.

Marco Vasini

The visitors came close again in the 73rd minute when Tevez hit the bar with a first-time shot after good work from substitute Stephan Lichtsteiner. Three minutes later, Juve had their third.

Paul Pogba started the move, spotting Lichtsteiner's well-timed run with a weighted pass on the right. Lichtsteiner crossed into the middle for Llorente, who turned his back to goal and finished with his heel to make it 3-1.

Sassuolo continued to threaten Juventus' goal, with Sergio Floccari forcing Buffon to save low at his near post in the 81st minute and Sansone shooting off target moments later. In the end, though, the hosts were unable to slow Juventus' march to what increasingly appears to be yet another league title.

 

Grades

Juventus Player Ratings
Player Half-Time Full-Time
Gianluigi Buffon 7 7
Andrea Barzagli 6 7
Angelo Ogbonna 5 4
Giorgio Chiellini 6 7
Mauricio Isla 5 5
Claudio Marchisio 7 9
Andrea Pirlo 6 8
Paul Pogba 6 7
Kwadwo Asamoah 5 6
Fernando Llorente 6 7
Carlos Tevez 8 8
Substitutes Half-Time Full-Time
Stephan Lichtsteiner (for Mauricio Isla, 63') N/A 8
Leonardo Bonucci (for Ogbonna, 74') N/A 7
Arturo Vidal (for Pirlo, 80') N/A 7

B/R UK

 

Post-Match Reaction

 

Up Next

Sassuolo play at Fiorentina in the league next Tuesday.

Juventus host Benfica in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League semi-final on Thursday. Next Monday, the Bianconeri host Atalanta in Serie A.

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