No Cristiano Ronaldo? No inspiration… At least that’s what Juventus have been displaying on the occasions that the number 7 doesn’t play. This time, the Portuguese legend did not play as Maurizio Sarri went for resting him up a little bit. Playing at the Stadio Via del Mare, in Lecce, Lecce and Juventus played the so-called ‘Penalty game’, as they ended up sharing points in the 1-1 draw, in which both goals were scored from the Penalty spot. Paulo Dybala scored for the Old Lady, as Marco Mancosu equalized for the hosts.
With the 1-1 draw, Juve reaches 23 points in the Italian Serie A and can be surpassed by Internazionale, who still plays in this Matchday 9 in the League, against Parma.
Sarri lined-up Juventus with no CR7, but with Gonzalo Higuain, Dybala, and Bernardeschi in the front-three. The Serie A leaders imposed their rhythm even away from home and had some good chances into the first half. However, both Bernardeschi and Dybala missed them. After that, the Old Lady reached their goal, through Higuain. The VAR was checked and the goal was ruled out for offside though.
Lecce wasn’t really aggressive into the first half and created little.
After the break, things started to get a little bit more interesting. At least in terms of goals scored. Early in the second half, Pjanic was brought down inside the area by Petriccione as the referee pointed out the penalty. Dybala was the taker and did not miss it. 0-1 Juventus, on 50 mins into the game.
It seemed like Juventus would build in from the opener goal early in the second half, but only six mins after, the referee awarded Lecce a penalty due to Matthijs De Ligt’s handball. Mancosu stepped up and equalized for the hosts. 1-1.
It doesn’t really matter the outcome of the match, but we need to talk about Sarri’s work, especially with Dybala. He literally recovered the Argentine player, who is clearly a great player, but due to lack of opportunities over the last season lost his confidence, self-esteem, and maybe even happiness into playing Football professionally. Maurizio saw in Dybala the great player he is and gave him opportunities. it’s the second game in a row the Argentine saves Juventus from a defeat, and Sarri is to blame for that. Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo will shine in Juventus.