Juventus came away with all the points from Bologna’s Dall’Ara in a cold night in the Emilian capital, with a clinical performance.
Antonio Conte opts for a turnover scientifico (rotational line-up) ahead of the key match in Istanbul, making five changes in the starting line-up by inserting Ogbonna in lieu of Bonucci, Isla for Litchsteiner (returning from injury), Pogba for Pirlo (injured), and Vucinic and Quagliarella for Tevez and Llorente, respectively.
Juventus got right down to business, at the 12th minute as a through ball from Ogbonna reaches Marchisio who controls it, gets it past Curci but not Garics, who saves it on the line. However, the Austro-Hungarian’s clearing attempt is not proper, and seconds later Vidal traps Peluso’s lob and makes no mistake for the game’s opening goal, properly celebrating his newly-inked contract.
Bologna’s reaction produces little initially, and when they advance, Juventus press the ball and/or hit them hard. A challenge by Peluso earns him a yellow card at the 20th minute. Five minutes later, Diamanti’s free kick is swatted away by Buffon. Bologna starts to press on.
Bad news for Juventus: Vucinic re-injures his knee and is forced to come off at the 38th minute for Llorente, while Bologna keeps pouring on the pressure and gains free kicks outside of the box for Diamanti’s dangerous foot, which produces several dangerous crosses that create anxiety in their box. The first half ends with Juventus ahead.
At the restart, Juventus try the counterattacking game with Bologna showing great attitude by substituting attacking midfielder Lexalt for the holding midfielder Perez. On a break Marchisio zig-zags his way into the left side of the box but blasts his shot wide.
Llorente steps up once again, looking to extend his three-game goalscoring streak: first the Spaniard bullies his way around the Bologna defense and smashes a shot that Curci punches out in front of him. Then, at the 71st minute he’s sent clear on goal, but is coerced by his altruistic side and his pass is intercepted by Curci. Tevez, who had previously come on for Quagliarella (cramps) was lurking behind the Emiliani’s defence. At the 78th minute, Marchisio combines with Llorente, but his close-range shot is touched over the bar by Curci.
An anxious moment at the 81st minute for Buffon, who is awoken from his slumber as Diamanti crosses the ball in from the right for Morleo’s header, but he spikes it over the bar.
Llorente misses the second matchpoint on 85 minutes as he is sent alone on goal and misses a penalty shot in motion.
The viewer is left with the impression that Juventus is trying to economize their physical expenditure in view of next Tuesday’s Galatasaray game, and are content to keep possession, until Chiellini puts it beyond doubt at the 89th minute, scoring a striker-style header on the near post off a Tevez corner kick.
And that’s all the Old Lady wrote. Juventus looks forward to lick their injury wounds (Quagliarella and Vucinic) as they head to Istanbul for their final Champions League game on December 10.