Juventus are back to winning ways


Alvaro Morata scored four minutes after coming on to seal a much-needed 2-0 win for Juventus away to bottom side Salernitana in Serie A on Tuesday and ease the pressure on the struggling Turin club.

Paulo Dybala fired Juve in front midway through the first half, but Salernitana were inches away from an equalizer when Luca Ranieri hit the post after the break.

With the home side in the ascendancy, Morata came off the bench and doubled his side’s lead by deftly flicking a cross through the goalkeeper’s legs in the 70th minute.

“Juventus has given so much to all of us and there are moments in life when it is time to give back. Now we need to stay close to this club, and we will come out of it together,” Juve captain Giorgio Chiellini said after the match.

Juventus remain seventh with 24 points from 15 games, seven adrift of the top four and 11 behind leaders Napoli, while Salernitana are bottom with eight points.

It has been a difficult week for Juves on and off the pitch, as the team suffered two straight defeats and on Saturday Italian finance police searched the club’s offices as part of an ongoing investigation into player trading.

Dybala looked lively from the start, twice testing goalkeeper Vid Belec from distance, and opened the scoring after 21 minutes by arrowing a shot into the bottom corner.

Juve almost had a second before the break, but Chiellini’s effort was disallowed for offside in the build-up.

Salernitana started the second half stronger, however, and spurned a huge chance when Ranieri was left unmarked in the box but hit the woodwork.

The visitors’ nerves were settled after Morata cleverly diverted a low cross through Belec’s legs at the front post with a flick of his boot.

Max Allegri’s side had the better late chances, with Belec denying Dybala one-on-one before the Argentina international slipped as he took a last-gasp penalty, firing his effort well over the bar.

Atalanta rout Venezia

Mario Pasalic scored a hat trick to help Atalanta rout Venezia 4-0 Tuesday in Serie A.

Pasalic scored his first two goals in the opening 12 minutes and added the other in the 67th, shortly after Teun Koopmeiners had netted the home team’s third.

Atalanta moved level on points with third-place Inter Milan, four points below Serie A leader Napoli. Venezia remained five points above the relegation zone.

Atalanta got off to a fast start in Bergamo and took the lead in the seventh minute when Josip Ilicic threaded a pass through to Pašalić, who slotted the ball into the bottom right corner. Pasalic doubled his tally five minutes later following a one-two with Luis Muriel.

The Croatia midfielder almost got his hat trick early in the second half but Venezia goalkeeper Sergio Romero managed to block his powerful shot after another impressive pass from Ilicic.

Koopmeiners extended Atalanta’s lead in the 57th when he drilled the ball into the bottom right corner. Pašalić completed his hat trick 10 minutes later, gathering the ball with his back to goal before shooting into the back of the net.

Pasalic almost got an assist minutes earlier, but Muriel’s attempt came off the base of the left post.


Courtesy: Reuters and AP

Facebook Comments