Before the Rome derby tonight between Roma and Lazio (8:45 p.m.), Italy offered us another equally prestigious shock this afternoon. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus, holder at kickoff, welcomed Inter, already champion. The latter therefore had nothing more to play unlike the Old Lady, 5th before the start of the match, who had to win to continue to believe in a possible qualification for the Champions League, while a little earlier in the day Atalanta had recovered a ticket for the cup with big ears. The 3 points or nothing therefore for the men of Andrea Pirlo. The Italian technician decided to renew his usual 4-4-2 with the tenures of Szczesny in the goals, Danilo – De Ligt – Chiellini – Alex Sandro behind, Cuadrado – Bentancur – Rabiot – Chiesa in the middle and the duo Ronaldo Kulusevski in front. Pirlo found his former mentor in Turin Antonio Conte, who decided to align his starting team: Handanovic in goals, Skriniar – De Vrij – Bastoni in defense, Hakimi – Barella – Brozovic – Eriksen – Darmian behind the tandem Lautaro Martinez – Lukaku .
At the start of the match, it was Juve who put their foot on the ball and who obtained a first opportunity through Dejan Kulusevski whose head, on target, was diverted into the box by the defense of Inter . The Bianconeri continued to embed themselves in the opposing area but struggled to find precision in the last gesture, like this long possession streak in the area of Samir Handanovic in the 20th minute of play. The young Swedish striker Another opportunity came with a narrow-ended strike from De Vrij. On the corner, Matteo Darmian blocked Giorgio Chiellini and Gianpaolo Calvarese, the match referee, awarded Juventus a penalty after watching the VAR. Cristiano Ronaldo appeared in front of Handanovic and had to do it twice to push the leather into the net. 1-0 for the Old Lady (24th). Logical score in view of the domination of the Bianconeri in the first minutes, but the penalty seemed clearly severe.
Juventus victorious after questionable arbitration
In the 33rd minute of play, Lautaro Martinez had his ankle caught by Matthijs de Ligt in the box and Mr. Calvarese returned to check the VAR before whistling a penalty, for Inter this time. Romelu Lukaku took care of it, did not tremble, and took Wojciech Szczesny on the wrong foot. 1-1 in this Italian derby in the 35th minute. Just before the break, Juan Cuadrado inherited a ball entering the box and did not hesitate to send a cannonball into the goal of Handanovic. 2-1 for Juventus in the 45th minute of play. First period generally dominated by Pirlo players who had provided the most opportunities. Upon returning from the locker room, Antonio Conte decided to bring out Mattéo Darmian, in difficulty in the first 45 minutes, to bring in Ivan Perisic. In the 50th minute, Lautaro Martinez entering the box attempted a sumptuous strike that passed just above Szczesny’s uprights. First alert for Juve in this second period. Five minutes later, Rodrigo Bentancur received a second yellow card and was therefore excluded from this meeting, leaving his partners ten against eleven. To redensify his midfield, Pirlo brought in Weston McKennie in place of Dejan Kulusevski (57th). In this second half, Inter dominated, kept the ball but could not improve it. In the 69th minute of play, Cristiano Ronaldo, ghostly in the game today, was replaced by Alvaro Morata. Scorer on penalty, the Portuguese had not shown much apart from that.
In the 81st minute of play, Matias Vecino, who entered a few moments earlier, had a superb opportunity with this head at close range, masterfully deflected by the Polish goalkeeper Juventus. Not even three minutes later, Mr. Calvarese was due to return to watch the VAR. Following a cross on the left, Romelu Lukaku was pulled by the shirt by Giorgio Chiellini who, falling, pushed the ball into his own goals. The goal against his own camp was finally validated and Inter came back to the score (2-2) in the 83rd minute of play. Five minutes later, Juan Cuadrado in the box was struck by Ivan Perisic. Penalty said the referee, the third of the meeting, the second for Juventus. Cuadrado, who had just obtained it, transformed him and allowed the Piedmont team to come back in front of the score, 3 goals to 2 in the 88th minute of play. In the 91st minute, Marcelo Brozovic was also excluded after a second yellow card. The two teams therefore finished at ten. Absolutely crazy match in the scenario with an arbitration which will cause much ink to flow, in view of the multiple questionable decisions. The score finally remained there despite the clear domination of Nerazzurra. Victory for Juventus, after spending almost the entire second half on the numerical side, in a very lively match. Success was required to continue to believe in qualifying for the Champions League. With these three points, Juventus provisionally returns to 3rd place in Serie A.
The Serie A standings can be found here