Juventus vs Benevento: Champions survive massive scare - FCNaija

Serie A By: Linus Onyeze | 05/11/2017

Juventus may not have a bad start to the season, but in many ways, it is looking like it will be a very long season for the Old Lady. Perhaps, it’s only physics at play; like they say, what goes up must come down. But then, physics or not, it still doesn’t explain how less than impressive they have been, by their own standards.

Still, it was the champions who started the game the better side, with Claudio Marchisio pulling the strings in midfield and they even went close in the 16th minute. Douglas Costa controlled the ball on the edge of the box, ran inside and thundered a shot, but it went against the crossbar. What an effort!

However, it is Benevento who would take the lead, against the run of play, when three minutes after that Costa effort, Amato Ciciretti sent a low shot from a 25-metre free kick and the ball went inside the left post. The visitors were in dreamland.

As expected, Juve went more on the offensive after that goal, but the Benevento defense were earning their pay. Thirty-five minutes in, Paulo Dybala forced a great save off Alberto Brignoli, as his attempt to beat the keeper with a close-range shot towards the middle of the target failed. Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain went close again just before the break, but both attackers missed glorious opportunities to level, as they went into the break trailing.

On resumption, the Old Lady went all out offensive. The fresh wave of attack startled Benevento a great deal, and resorted to committing errors and giving away fouls. But still, Juve couldn’t find a way through and obviously if it continued that way, they would get anxious.

But they needn’t wait too long after the restart, as in the 57th minute, Higuain would draw them level. The striker showed good awareness inside the box as he latched on to a brilliant pass and fired a first-time shot into the top right corner. Benevento have finally caved.

Juventus weren’t relenting on the back of that goal, as three minutes later, Juan Cuadrado went on a mazy run, skipped past two defenders and pulled the trigger in front of the keeper, but Brignoli made yet another great save to stop the effort going in.

The scoreline would change less than 10 minutes later, when Cuadrado would get his goal as he rose highest to plant a header past the Benevento goalkeeper. Juve were in the lead for the first time in the match.

With the second goal in the bag, Juve piped down the pressure, as they looked to retain their shape at the back. But the would hardly care less. It was a difficult game and stared defeat in the face, but a win is win and Maxi Allegri would take it all day.