Juventus defeated Crotone in Serie A

Juventus 3-0 Crotone: 5 talking points as Bianconeri get back to winning ways | Serie A 2020-21Β 

Ume Elvis
ANALYST
Modified 23 Feb 2021

A first-half brace from Cristiano Ronaldo, coupled with a second-half strike by Weston McKennie, helped Juventus to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Crotone on Monday.

Advertisement
Ad

Manager Andrea Pirlo made three changes to the side that lost to Porto in midweek, with Gianluigi Buffon, Merih Demiral and Aaron Ramsey all handed starts. The visitors also made three changes to the side that lost to Sassuolo last weekend.

The first big chance of the game fell to Crotone, as Danilo's slip on the edge of the box allowed Arkadiusz Reca have a shot at goal. However, the 25-year-old shot wide off the post.

That was as good as it got for the visitors, with Juventus dominating the rest of the first half. However, the Bianconeri lacked the penetration to truly test Alex Cordaz in goal.

The hosts' first big chance came in the 20th minute when Danilo sent in a cross to Ramsey. Unfortunately, the Welshman skewed his left-footed shot wide. The former Arsenal man missed another good chance before being booked for a rash challenge.

Federico Chiesa was Juventus' brightest spark in the opening minutes and showed great skill to beat his marker before sending a pin-point cross into the box. However, a slight touch by Cordaz meant that a charging Ronaldo could not sort his feet out in time to hit the ball in his stride.

Chiesa sent in another delightful cross soon after but Ramsey could only send his header crashing off the bar.

Juventus got the opener that their dominance deserved when Cristiano Ronaldo outjumped his markers to nod home an Alex Sandro cross with pristine precision.

Advertisement
Ad

A lengthy VAR check decided that the Portugal international was marginally onside in the lead-up to the goal.

The Juventus number 7 doubled his side's advantage just before half-time. His initial shot from distance was parried out by Cordaz but the 36-year-old still showed great anticipation to run into the six-yard box and get on the end of a cross.

Incredibly, Ronaldo still had another chance to get a hat-trick in the first half when a well-worked team move found him unmarked in the area. However, he could only shoot wide from six yards to his own amazement.

Advertisement
Ad

The second half continued in the same pattern as the first, with Juventus asking all the questions and Buffon being nothing more than a mere spectator.

Crotone forced the 43-year-old into his first meaningful action in the 65th minute but Juventus went three goals ahead less than a minute later.

A corner kick was not properly dealt with by the visitors, and McKennie blasted into the roof of the net in the ensuing melee.

Alvaro Morata came on with 15 minutes to go, and the Spain international helped add extra verve to the hosts' attack. However, despite fashioning some good chances late on, Juventus failed to add to their lead.

Advertisement
Ad

The victory moves them up to third on the table. Here, we shall have a rundown of five talking points from the game.

#5 Poor Crotone looking likely candidates for instant relegation

Crotone did not offer anything against Juventus

Crotone and Juventus played out a 1-1 draw when the two sides met earlier in the season.

However, there were no repeat heroics from the Calabrians. A pathetic showing ensured they did not give themselves any chance of getting something against the Turin giants.

In total, Crotone fashioned just two shots on target, with the rest of their efforts coming off wayward shots from distance.

Advertisement
Ad

Giovanni Stroppa's side were at the bottom of the standings heading into this clash, eight points away from safety. They had lost seven of their previous eight games, with just two goals scored in four consecutive losses.

Their performance against Juventus highlighted exactly why they are in their current predicament, with no hopes of survival.

The hosts practically had a field day in midfield, with next to no resistance offered, while Buffon had nothing much to do throughout the game.

Another defeat leaves Crotone reeling. At this rate, they are surefire candidates for immediate relegation back to Serie B.

#4 Juventus take advantage of rivals' slip-ups to reinstall themselves in title race

Juventus are third on the Serie A table

The last weekend in Serie A saw several of the top guns falter. AC Milan lost further ground in the title race after they endured a harrowing 3-0 loss to Inter, Napoli were soundly defeated by Atalanta, while Roma were tame in a goalless draw with a 10-man Benevento.

This offered a window of opportunity for Juventus to boost their chances of a 10th consecutive Serie A title.

Advertisement
Ad

In what was their 250th match at the Allianz Arena, the Bianconeri did not falter and overwhelmed Crotone en route a convincing victory.

The win sees them usurp Roma into third place, with eight points separating them from Inter Milan at the summit. They also have a game in hand.

Despite the victory, there is still considerable ground to cover. However, Andrea Pirlo will be pleased that his wards made use of their window of opportunity.

Advertisement
Ad
1 / 2 Next
Published 23 Feb 2021, 06:31 IST
 
See more comments
 
 
Γ—