Juventus continue to aim to return the Scudetto to their trophy cabinet after beating Fiorentina at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Sunday, having not won it since 2020. The only goal of the game came from Fabio Miretti, less than 10 minutes after the first goal. whistling.
Fiorentina showed attacking intent from the start, but Juventus showed good play from Catenaccio and sealed the game with an early goal. So it’s no surprise that the Viola had the ball at their feet 69% of the time and took a total of 25, yes 25, shots but failed to score. Juventus, on the other hand, hit Fiorentina goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano just four times, committed 21 fouls, missed a third of their total attempted passes – and still won the game.
Lined up in a 3-5-2 formation by Massimiliano Allegri, the visitors had Gleison Bremer commanding a back line also consisting of Daniele Rugani and Federico Gatti, the midfield trio of Manuel Locatelli, Adrien Rabiot and Fabio Miretti flanked by Filip Kostic on the left. and Weston McKennie on the right, with Federico Chiesa supporting Moise Kean up front with Dusan Vlahovic and Arkadiusz Milik both waiting on the bench. But the most important part of the team was perhaps Wojciech Szczesny in goal, who made several difficult saves to prevent the home team from scoring.
On the other hand, Vincenzo Italiano deployed his players in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Lucas Martinez Quarta and Luca Ranieri were in the center of defense, Fabiano Parisi on the right and Cristiano Biraghi on the left. Juventus loanee Arthur Melo partnered Rolando Mandragora in midfield, with the trio of Nico Gonzalez, Antonin Baraka and Christian Kouame playing just behind striker Lucas Beltran.
Despite their midfield consisting of five players in a line, Juventus never really challenged for dominance in midfield, but the way they closed ranks whenever Fiorentina moved into the attacking third was really impressive. This forced the home team to try their luck from distance quite often, but nothing came towards Szczesny with enough power or precision to beat him. Gonzalez and Biraghi were the closest but the Poland international was ready for their efforts and made excellent saves on both occasions.
As the second half progressed, Italiano tried to make some changes, updating his attacking ranks. Riccardo Sotill, Jonathan Ikone and Mbala Nzola were given chances to shine from the bench, but Juventus were unable to do anything on the night.
One thing worth noting about this match is that Rabiot earned a yellow card in the 43rd minute, his fifth of the season. It means he will be suspended for the upcoming game against Cagliari, but will then be relieved of that burden when his side travel to face table-toppers Inter after the international break. It seemed like a smart way to clear his record, although it was also quite risky as he played the entire second half on a yellow card.
Juventus currently sit second in the Serie A table, two points behind Inter, four points ahead of Milan and five points ahead of defending champions Napoli.
As for Fiorentina, whatever their pride may say, they shouldn’t be too hard on themselves after this game. Their performance was far from bad and very few teams (if any) could have scored against Juventus in a game like this.
However, there is no hiding the fact that Italiano still has a lot of work to do to turn this team into worthy contenders for a top-four finish. They are currently eighth, four points behind Napoli in fourth, two points behind Atalanta in fifth, just one behind Bologna in sixth and on the same scoreline as Roma “in seventh place.
Obviously, a lot can change after the next round, especially since Bologna will come to Artemio Franchi, but before that Viola faces the task of meeting the Serbian minnows Cukarički in the Europa Conference League.