On an evening in Bologna where the fog rolled into the stadium in waves making watching the game on television quite challenging, Juventus did well to score twice and hold off a home side that pushed hard and gave them a challenge of their own.
Despite the absence of Paulo Dybala, the Bianconeri were able to get back on track after a draw away at Venezia last weekend with an early and well-taken goal from Alvaro Morata and a deflected shot from Juan Cuadrado sealing the three points. Wojciech Szczesny was certainly kept busy making saves as the hosts pushed hard for the equalizer late in the first half.
Speaking after the game, coach Massimiliano Allegri was much happier by the team effort for the clean sheet.
“Everyone collaborated when defending, which is how it ought to be. Compared to Venezia, we had a better attitude from the start, but need to do more going forward.
“Bologna have a lot of quality, so it’s natural they were going to have some chances. We did well here, but cannot lower our guard now, as there are many head-to-head clashes coming up in January before the Champions League resumes.”
Midfielder Arthur was taken off in the second half after a lacklustre showing and the Brazilian did not seem happy with Allegri’s decision.
“We still need to improve our reading of the game and various moments of the match, for instance just before half-time Arthur made this vertical pass when it was the time to hold on and control the possession.
“It’s different at Barcelona, he was in a three-man midfield and not accustomed to sitting in front of the defence.
“He also is used to taking a lot more touches than we do here. I think if he plays in front of the defence with the right mentality and his technique, he can do well. His head was wobbling as he ran, so he seemed tired and I took him off.”
New Bianconeri CEO Maurizio Arrivabene has already mentioned a couple of times that the side will not be active during the January transfer window, and Allegri is onboard with that thinking.
“The Juventus squad is excellent and we’ll continue with them until the end of the season. These players can certainly improve in their confidence, form and desire to achieve objectives. We can improve tactically, technically and in terms of results.
“It is a good result that keeps us in the running for fourth place, but we mustn’t lower our guard now. It’s a long journey, with many young and inexperienced players. We knew from the start it would not be easy to finish in the top four or challenge for the Scudetto.
“We’ve got one game left in 2021, then we look forward to these exciting clashes in January.”