On Saturday evening, Juventus returned from Bologna with all three points from their penultimate match of the year.
The fixture was marred by a foggy atmosphere that made it extremely difficult for the viewer to keep track of the action at some points.
Nevertheless, Alvaro Morata lit up the way from the Bianconeri at the Renato Dall’Ara stadium, scoring an early goal following a smart give-and-go with Federico Bernardeschi.
The Spaniard provided the assist for Juan Cuadrado who scored the second goal at a time when the match could have slipped up from the Old Lady’s hands.
So here our five takeaways from the Bianconeri’s 2-0 win against the Emilian opposition.
In the last few weeks, Bernardeschi has been taking his game up a notch.
In the absence of Federico Chiesa, the 27-year-old stepped up to become the team’s main creative force on the flanks.
Even though he can still commit mistakes at times – including lackluster passes inside his own area – his improvement remains undoubted.
Perhaps he won’t be the first choice on the wings once Chiesa and Danilo return (which would allow Cuadrado to play as an advanced winger), but the Italian is now a serious contender for a starting berth rather than an underwhelming benchwarmer.
Based on his performance against Bologna, one might feel that Arthur shouldn’t be the first name on the January exit list.
The Brazilian has been given very little playing time and is linked with a departure on a daily basis, but he seemed to be vibrant on Saturday, as he picked up his teammates with some smart passing while managing to advance the play.
Surely he still has to improve on several aspects, but in Juve’s current crop of midfielders, Arthur is far from being the worst.
Right Man, Wrong Position
When Juventus hosted Malmo almost ten days ago, Morata played as an outside striker, supporting Moise Kean who acted as a center forward.
As we mentioned, this proved to be a failed experiment. Therefore, Max Allegri decided to switch roles, thrusting Kean on the left side to support Morata.
Although the young Italian had played in this role on some occasions, he seemed to be a fish out of water and had little to no impact for as long as he lasted in the match.
Simply put, Kean is born to play as a target man inside the opposition’s box.
True Leader in the Making
Morata stole the headlines on Saturday, but Matthijs de Ligt deserve as much credit.
The Dutchman was one of the main reasons why the Old Lady kept a clean sheet, making one vital interception after another and keeping Marko Arnautovic at bay.
Moreover, the former Ajax man was seen repeatedly shouting at his teammates when some of them began to lose their focus during the second half.
He might only be 22, but de Ligt remains the captain in the making that Juventus can’t afford to lose.
Will We Ever Learn?
This weekend, the result was much more satisfying compared to the previous one, but the performance had some striking resemblance.
The Bianconeri took an early lead before dropping back and allowing the opposition to run the show. And of course there was the same lapse in concentration early in the second half.
Luckily for Allegri’s men, Bologna couldn’t find their own version of Mattia Aramu, someone who would drill the ball home.
Additionally, kudos should be given for de Ligt and Leonardo Bonucci who put up an impeccable display at the back to preserve the result before Cuadrado’s consolidation goal.
However, we simply can’t always rely on a clean sheet to maintain a slight advantage.
This might sound like a far cry, but Juventus must take a page from their previous versions, the ones that used to torment and burry the opposition before they return to haunt them.