Juve have a match-winner
Isolated for the opening 60 minutes, Vlahovic awoke from his slumber once Morata stepped onto the field. Before, the depth of Juve’s block and reliance on counter-attacks as a means to progress upfield inhibited the Serbian massively.
His side’s carelessness in possession and inability to pick him out with any accuracy also contributed to an initially frustrating display. The 22-year-old had had one clear sight of goal in the opening 60 minutes.
Nevertheless, we were able to enjoy much more of Vlahovic in the closing stages as Juve got their foot back on the ball and started to control proceedings. The Serb once again successfully combined with the impactful Morata and he came close to setting up the Spaniard for the go-ahead goal only for Gian Marco Ferrari to make a brilliant block.
Sassuolo’s resolve frustrated the Bianconeri and Pegolo’s heroics meant a less than ideal 30 minutes were on the cards for Allegri’s men, who visit Atalanta in a crunch Serie A clash on Sunday night.
Out of all the chances Juventus created in the final 30 minutes, the manner of Juve’s winning moment was pretty remarkable. Vlahovic, not revered for his channel running or beating defenders one-v-one, was innocuously fed by Dybala down the left touchline. With consummate ease, Vlahovic then outfoxed Mert Muldur to work his way into the Sassuolo box. The shot opened up and while his effort was erratic, a deflection off Ruan Tressoldi diverted the ball beyond Pegolo.
There was certainly fortune with the finish, but the sequence that preceded it was quite brilliant from the towering Serb. Brilliance of that ilk is rarely seen from the 22-year-old, but that is why the club paid the big bucks to bring him to Turin in January before the rest of Europe came calling.
Juventus now have a bonafide match-winner in their ranks and Vlahovic proved on Thursday night that he doesn’t need things to go his way in order to for him to have a profound impact. That’s the sign of a superstar.