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Juventus 3-1 Bologna: Champions cruise to first Serie A victory at home

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Brilliant performances from Sami Khedira and Alvaro Morata inspired Juventus to the first domestic win of the campaign, cancelling out Bologna's early opener.

Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Perhaps surprisingly, although much welcomed, Max Allegri decided to line up exactly the same starting lineup used for the midweek Champions League encounter against Sevilla, when things couldn't have worked any better in the favour of Juventus.

Same team, similar result. The Old Lady finally registered the first domestic win of the season at Juventus Stadium, but because of Bologna's early goal, it didn't come without half an hour of stress and what ifs. In the end, it turned out the red lantern of Serie A was only a sparring partner, as Alvaro Morata, Juan Cuadrado, Sami Khedira and Paulo Dybala ran the show for the hosts.

But besides the three points won, which magnificently propel Juventus all the way up to 12th position in the table, the best news of the day was without a trace of the doubt the return of Kwadwo Asamoah, who has managed to recover and — hopefully — put behind him the injury woes. And it wasn't just an ordinary return — he did it in astonishing manner, registering a perfect passing accuracy in the 30 seconds he was on the pitch. Welcome back, Kwadwo!

Although "back to winning ways" also seemed to be the case after consecutive victories against Manchester City and Genoa, before the team failed miserably in the company of Frosinone and Napoli, this time there has to be more truth in it. Not just because Juventus have managed another two wins in a row, but more because of the manner in which those victories came, namely complete and utter domination of the opponent. First Sevilla, now Bologna.

Inter up next.

But before then, a two-week international break during which Allegri has a single job to do: Keep up the momentum and come back to the old good level of bossing Serie A.

MATCH SUMMARY

Morata wasted Juventus' first chance of the game in the fifth minute as he dribbled past his opponent down the left flank but instead of playing the ball for an unmarked Cuadrado, he tried to surprise Antonio Mirante with a shot at the near post. Useless.

It turned out to be a costly miss as, just a few seconds later, Juventus conceded. Adam Masina played a lofted ball behind the defence and Anthony Mounier was quick to take advantage of Giorgio Chiellini's poor positioning and volley the ball in. Buffon attempted the save but he could only parry the ball behind the line.

Morata missed another chance in the ninth minute when he connected with a ball from Dybala just outside the box and sent a first time shot that sailed wide of the left post.

Juventus besieged Bologna inside their own half in the following minutes, with crosses flying in from both flanks, although there was no end product.

Chiellini's attempt to redeem himself for the mistake at the goal conceded did nothing but to further annoy the home fans, as his right-footed shot from a long way out flew high in the stands just as the game entered in its 20th minute.

On the half hour mark, Buffon was quick off his line to prevent Mattia Destro from reaching a low cross from Mounier. It was the first time the visitors came close to threatening Juventus' goal after they opened the scoreline.

The pressure kept mounting on Bologna's defence and Morata deservedly equalized for the Bianconeri in the 32nd minute. Khedira found space once again down the right flank and his ball in was fortuitously deflected straight at Morata who headed the ball past a helpless Mirante from three yards.

Five minutes before half-time the assistant referee made a second grave error flagging Morata offside as he broke free one-on-one with Mirante, after making a similar wrong call against Cuadrado early in the game.

Juventus' siege was cramming all the visiting players inside their own box as referee Domenico Celi blew the last whistle of the first half, sending the two teams to the locker rooms.

The hosts imposed the same high tempo after the break and in the very first minute of the second half Khedira played a perfect long ball that found Cuadrado inside the area. The Colombian cut the ball back for Morata who, despite having all the time in the world at his disposal, inexplicably put the ball wide of the left post.

In the 51st minute, Morata won a penalty as Alex Ferrari brought him down in an aerial duel following a cross from Andrea Barzagli. Dybala stepped up to take the spot kick and made no mistake, sending Mirante the wrong way and coolly placing the ball near the left post.

Morata was once again at the centre of another chance for Juve, as he got past his man with a delicate first touch and forced Mirante into making a save at the near post. Little came out from the resulting corner kick, just as was the case with the previous ones in the game.

Juventus doubled their advantage in the 63rd minute as Morata returned the service for Khedira, finding the German at the far post with a sublime cross. The former Real Madrid midfielder placed a perfect header from six yards, scoring his first goal in the Bianconeri shirt.

Five minutes later, following a good ball through from Paul Pogba, Dybala saw his effort blocked by Mirante. Bologna managed to keep the deficit within sight, as Morata's follow-up was also cleared by the defence.

Cruise-control mode was easily enabled by Allegri's men, who had little problems in passing the ball around in the opposite half and keeping Bologna at safe distance from Buffon's goal.

By the time Celi blew the full-time whistle, the visitors lost even the very little interest they had in threatening Juve's backline and the notification "Scrambled channel" that persisted on bothering me throughout the game finally managed to drive me mad.

LE PAGELLE

Buffon: 5 - Could have done better to prevent Bologna from scoring with their only shot on goal in the first half. Very little to do otherwise.

Barzagli: 7.5 - Effectively advanced in the opposite half every single time the opportunity arose. Perfect at the back.

Bonucci: 6.5 - Another clean performance. Very steady at the back whenever needed.

Chiellini: 5 - Poor positioning at the goal and a very shaky first half. Improved in the second part, but the harm was done by then.

Cuadrado: 7 - As active and lively as ever, taking defenders on at ease. Absolutely bossed the right flank.

Khedira: 8 - Supreme performance, creating Morata's goal and scoring one as well. Very often out of position creating superiority in attacks.

Hernanes: 6 - Decent display in the centre of the park, distributing the ball around with ease and also making the occasional surge forward.

Pogba: 6.5 - A solid match from the Frenchman who had little to do defensively and managed to play several useful balls inside the final third of the pitch.

Evra: 6.5 - Had very few problems defending on his side, spending the majority of the time in the opposite half. Good understanding with Pogba.

Dybala: 7 - Coolly slotted the penalty into the bottom corner. Often dropped deep to see more of the ball and created spaces. Started to develop a good chemistry with Morata.

Morata: 8 - Continued the good form from Champions League scoring his first Serie A goal of the season, assisting one and winning a penalty.

Subs

Lemina: 6 - Replaced Hernanes in the 67th minute and took on his duties very confidently. Booked for a useless foul

Zaza: s/v - Came in for Morata with 15 minutes left. Barely touched the ball

Asamoah: s/v - HE'S BACK! HE IS BACK!

Coach

Allegri: 6.5 - Found the winning formula against Sevilla and stuck with it, which paid off in the end.