On Saturday night, Juventus travelled to Sardinia for a meeting against a Cagliari side embroiled in a relegation dogfight.
But whoever thought this was going to be a walk in the park for the Old Lady was surely distressed by the opening sequence, as Joao Pedro gifted the hosts a shocking lead early on.
Nonetheless, Matthijs de Ligt rose in the air to nod home the equalizer just before the halftime whistle. The Bianconeri were adamant on returning to Turin with all three points, and after the all-too-usual wasted chances, Dusan Vlahovic grabbed the vital winner.
So here our three takeaways from the Old Lady’s slim but significant win at Cagliari.
A Short Tale
When Dybala walks away from the club at the end of the season, many at Juventus will miss him. Even though his partnership with Vlahovic is only few months old, the Serbian might be the one to feel the nostalgia for than any other player.
After all, it was the Argentine who provided him with the sublime assist 13 minutes into his Juventus debut, and the same pattern was repeated last weekend, with the two combining to score the winner against the Isolani.
Therefore, we can only hope that Dybala’s replacement (whoever it turns out to be) would be able to build a similar natural chemistry with the former Fiorentina bomber, otherwise, we’ll be left to rue what could have been a golden partnership.
The Familiar Messiah
After taking a surprising lead, Cagliari were more than happy to sit back and close their lines in the face of the Bianconeri’s desperate attacks. Walter Mazzarri’s men looked particularly solid at the back, while Vlahovic and company failed to disturb them.
But at the Old Lady’s darkest hour, we can always expect solutions from one man. Despite being generally overlooked, Juan Cuadrado is often the player who stimulates a comeback in the most delicate timings.
The Colombian effortlessly escaped his marker before sending a fabulous cross towards de Ligt. Following the timely equalizer, we simply knew that Juventus would go one to win the match, and La Vespa is the man to thank.
In the past, Juventus were always able to rely on their squad depth, which would always give them an advantage over their foes.
Now surely Max Allegri was missing some players due to injury while Alvaro Morata and Mattia De Sciglio were suspended, but one would have expected his bench to feature more prominent names.
Thus, the manager struggled to bring in substitutes who can truly influence the final outcome. Instead he took his time before introducing Federico Bernardeschi, Moise Kean and finally Leonardo Bonucci.
Luckily for Juventus, the players who started the match were able to make the difference, because the dugout can no longer offer the extra boost.