Juventus put up an almost perfect display against an adventurous Malmo side at the Eleda Stadium, eventually winning the game by a comfortable 3-0 scoreline (thanks to goals from Alex Sandro, Paulo Dybala, and Alvaro Morata).
Not only did the victory mark a stainless start to Bianconeri’s UEFA Champions League campaign, but it was also the first triumph in a competitive game this season for Massimiliano Allegri’s men.
Malmo, driven by their recent success in the qualifying rounds, started the game brightly. Yet, they failed to better the quality of a Juventus team brimming with individual talents and returning South American stars.
Allegri chose to field his team in a 4-4-2 formation, with Danilo, Alex Sandro, Juan Cuadrado, Paulo Dybala, and Rodrigo Bentancur all starting following their absence in the Serie A fixture against Napoli last Saturday.
Now that Juventus have got their first win of the 2021/22 season and three points on the opening day of the Champions League, the Old Lady can breathe a little bit easier. Here, we take a look at the three key takeaways from the game.
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1. This was possibly Juventus’ best line-up on duty
Juventus will lock horns with AC Milan next Sunday. And it would be quite surprising if the set of players, who started the game against Malmo, weren’t to take the field from the very first minute of the match against the red half of Milano. Considering every aspect, this was a flawless performance from a perfectly lined-up Juventus side.
Wojciech Szczęsny remained fairly untested till the very last minute of the game. The coveted clean sheet will help the custodian strengthen his belief at the end of the day. Juventus centre-back pairing of Matthijs de Ligt and Leonardo Bonucci was also commendable. The only thing that went against de Ligt was the referee, who booked him at the 58th-minute of the game.
Two full-backs in Danilo and Alex Sandro did their job, with the former sometimes sitting deep and forming a back three with the designated centre-halves and the latter bombing down the left side to provide Juve with an extra body in and around the box. It was Sandro’s bursting run forward that gave Juventus the lead in the first half.
Juan Cuadrado, as always, was inspiring — perhaps the most important player on the pitch for the visitors after the goalscorers. To appreciate and analyse the midfield trio of Manuel Locatelli, Adrien Rabiot and Rodrigo Bentancur, we have prepared a separated segment. In one word, they were instrumental.
Then came the pair of Paulo Dybala, who was a bit frazzled at times but grew as the game went on, and Alvaro Morata, who, proving his ilk of being a poacher in front of the goal, scored a goal and won the penalty from where La Joya extended the lead.
A perfect night for Juve epitomised the perfect starting line-up for the Piedmontese side. If the same starting XI weren’t to get the chance to showcase their valour against AC Milan, it would be pretty harsh on the mentioned players. Even if Federico Chiesa is back and available.