Juventus have closed out a comfortable 3-1 win over Atalanta in their final preparation clash ahead of the new season.
The Old Lady started the match brightly, with Max Allegri finally fielded a starting eleven which looks worthy of competitive action.
It didn’t long before our side would break the deadlock either, with Federico Chiesa finding the in-running Paulo Dybala inside the box to place his effort home.
The lead was short-lived however with Leo Bonucci deemed to have fouled the striker’s horizontal run across him to concede a penalty, although I’m not sure there was any contact at all. Luis Muriel sent Wojciech Szczesny the wrong way with his placed effort to make sure the teams were level.
We didn’t seem overly phased by the scoreline, and looked to take a grip on the fixture once more, and the exciting front three of Ronaldo, Dybala and Chiesa is certainly looking exciting ahead of the new season.
The goal came from elsewhere however, when Federico Bernadeschi picked up the ball in space from outside the box, and took full advantage of the space he had been granted to fire a rocket into the net from distance shortly before the break.
The same XI came out after the half-time interval, but just 10 minutes later both Dybala and Chiesa were withdrawn and replaced by Alvaro Morata and Dejan Kulusevski.
We continued to stay on top in the second half, albeit with a number of disruptions due to changes being made, with as many as 10 subs being used spread across the 90 minutes, and I can’t say that any of those who came on settled enough to make a major impact.
That being said, the first two to enter after the break in Kulu and Alvaro did manage to combine late on to score our third goal, the fourth of the match, with the Swede breaking in behind the defence to tee up the Spaniard inside the area.
Today’s performance has been by far the closest I’ve seen most of these players from being fully match-sharp, and was also the first time the manager has played a full-strength side, and I’m a lot more confident ahead of the new campaign after watching this evening.
Did the team need this almost-competitive outing as their final preparation for the new campaign?