A Leonardo Bonucci brace on his 35th birthday saw Juventus beat Venezia 2-1 in a hardly-fought Serie A contest on Sunday.
Juve were rewarded for their high-octane start as Bonucci headed home his first from the second phase of a set-piece. From that moment on, though, it was the away side who looked the likelier of the two teams to score the second of the contest.
They eventually equalised midway through the second half through Mattia Aramu, who had previously come close on three separate occasions. Venezia were on level terms for just five minutes, however, as Bonucci bundled home his second from a Bianconeri corner.
Juventus were once again unconvincing – and outright poor for large swathes of the contest – in victory, but their lunchtime triumph means they closed the gap on Napoli in third to a point.
Here are our Juventus player ratings from the 2-1 win over Venezia in Serie A.
Goalkeeper & Defenders
Wojciech Szczesny (GK) – 6.5/10 – Aramu beat Szczesny at the fourth attempt after Juve’s number one had twice smartly denied the Venezia man. I don’t think there was too much Tek could do to prevent the visitors from equalising. Aramu was given far too much freedom to let fly from range.
Danilo (RB) – 7/10 – This was a typical under the radar Danilo performance. The Brazilian was secure in possession, he provided final third support, and it was his triumph in the air that allowed Bonucci to score his second. Proper player.
Leonardo Bonucci (CB) – 8/10 – The birthday boy strikes twice! Bonucci was in the right place at the right time from a pair of Bianconeri set-pieces to ensure his side claimed all three points.
Matthijs de Ligt (CB) – 6.5/10 – De Ligt started the contest like a man possessed, teeing up Bonucci for his first with a brilliant nod down from Fabio Miretti’s free-kick. The Dutchman handled the tricky assignment of Thomas Henry pretty well.
Luca Pellegrini (LB) – 6.5/10 – Substituted before the hour due to the booking he picked up in the first half. Pellegrini was otherwise impressive in this one; offering thrust when he ventured forward.