Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus Suffer Shock Loss to Young Boys Bern in UCL Match

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2018

BERN, SWITZERLAND - DECEMBER 12: Kevin Mbabu of Young Boys and Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus battle for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group H match between BSC Young Boys and Juventus at Stade de Suisse, Wankdorf on December 12, 2018 in Bern, Switzerland. (Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Young Boys Bern finished their 2018-19 UEFA Champions League campaign on a high note, shocking Italian giants Juventus at home. Guillaume Hoarau scored both goals in a 2-1 triumph.

The hosts took the lead in the first half from the penalty spot after Cristiano Ronaldo missed two good chances. Juventus, having already qualified for the next round, seemed to lack motivation and ran into a second goal on the counter.

Substitute Paulo Dybala pulled one back and had an equaliser controversially disallowed in the final minutes.

It was Young Boys' first win in the competition.

   

Bonucci Can No Longer be Automatic Starter for Juventus After Latest Error

Leonardo Bonucci returned to Turin from AC Milan in the summer knowing he would have a difficult job ahead of him. The fans were upset, something he understood, and only strong performances would turn the jeers into the cheers he received before he left.

The 31-year-old has shown his tremendous talent as a distributor and was key in the win over Manchester United at Old Trafford, but he's also committed several errors in key moments. The latest came on Wednesday when he was at fault for Bern's second goal, which took any momentum out of Juventus' comeback attempt.

Het Nieuwsblad's Vince Van Genechten was not impressed:

The Bianconeri are built around their defensive solidity, limiting chances to the opposition and scoring just enough goals to grind out wins. Errors are normally a rarity at the AllianzStadium, and Bonucci's form is a major worry.

He paired with Daniele Rugani on Wednesday as Giorgio Chiellini was rested for the key clash against Torino, but manager Massimiliano Allegri should reconsider Bonucci's role at this point. Chiellini has been the better of the two starters so far this season, and between the two, he's the one who shouldn't be dropped.

Medhi Benatia has been far from perfect this season, but he should deserve at least as many looks as Bonucci as long as the Italian keeps committing these errors.

   

Dybala's Creativity More Vital to Champions League Success than Ronaldo's Goals

Wednesday's outing was easily the worst Ronaldo has had in the Juventus shirt, as the former Real Madrid and Manchester United star wasted several early chances and ruined two more good looks during the late push for a goal.

To cap it all off, he erased Dybala's equaliser by trying to head the ball during its flight from an offside position. He didn't make contact, but the official decided he did enough to obscure the view from the goalkeeper. If he had stood still, the goal likely would have counted.

Every forward will have nights like these, but normally Juventus find ways to work around that. In Mario Mandzukic, Douglas Costa and Federico Bernardeschi, they had plenty of other capable scorers on the pitch.

Who they didn't have at kick-off was Dybala. The Argentinian hasn't enjoyed a great season so far, as he's played in a variety of positions already. Allegri continues to tinker with his formation in an attempt to get the most out of the former Palermo man, who is yet to find his groove in a system that includes both Ronaldo and Mandzukic.

As shared by blogger Arjun Pradeep, Allegri himself has discussed Dybala's importance to the team:

Juventus' biggest concern is creativity against talented, disciplined sides who dig themselves in, and things were no different on Wednesday. Without Dybala pulling the strings, the Bianconeri created few chances outside of the opening minutes. Their best chances and only goal all came after he made his way onto the pitch.

The Italian champions have made multiple Champions League finals without Ronaldo and will find goals elsewhere if he has another poor night. But without the creative impulses and flashes of brilliance from Dybala, they'll go nowhere in this year's edition.

Luckily for Allegri and Juventus, the team has a healthy lead in Serie A and plenty of time until the knockout stages of the Champions League. Expect the experimentation to continue until Allegri finds the perfect system that includes La Joya.

                   

What's Next?

Juventus visit Torino in the local derby on Saturday while Young Boys take on Neuchatel Xamax on Sunday.

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