The Serie A kicked off on Saturday and champions Juventus faced Chievo Verona. Much of the talk surrounding the game before kickoff was about Juve’s new signing Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese moved to Turin from Real Madrid in the summer making all the headlines in the process.
Juve’s manager Massimiliano Allegri also gave starts to fellow new signings Joao Cancelo and Leonardo Bonucci. An intriguing match ensued and the Old Lady prevailed 3-2, but the win did not come easily.
Sami Khedira opened the scoring early on but Chievo struck back, scoring twice to take the lead inside the hour. Juventus equalised by an own goal from Mattia Bani, but a win looked to be beyond them.
However, Federico Bernardeschi netted the winner in stoppage time to take home all three points. Chievo will definitely feel hard done by and it was a stunning start to the Serie A season.
On that note, here are 5 talking points from the game.
Ronaldo finds his feet slowly
Naturally, much of the attention was on Ronaldo’s debut, and it was a decent performance from the forward.His first sighter came after eighteen minutes, as he dragged his effort from Cuadrado’s layoff. A few minutes later he attempted a left-footed volley from a difficult angle which blazed over the crossbar.
Ronaldo grew into the game after the interval, especially after Mario Mandzukic came on which shifted the Portuguese to the left. He had a dipping shot saved and then headed straight at the goalkeeper.Another brilliant curling effort was matched by the keeper and a trademark free-kick met the same result. Chievo’s stalwart goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino put in a great performance, and he had to be carried off after colliding with Ronaldo.
Mandzukic appeared to have scored the winner but the goal was chalked off as Ronaldo had handled the ball. Thankfully, Bernardeschi had a trick up his sleeve.
Despite not scoring, Ronaldo looked sharp in his link-up play and dribbling. It will take time to gel with the likes of Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa but the signs were promising. Surely one can’t expect him to hit his mercurial form straightaway, right?
Cuadrado fails to impress
Juventus have a wealth of wide attacking options at their disposal, with Juan Cuadrado receiving the nod this time. The Colombian did little to make his case, as his performance was moderate at best.
He failed to create any decisive threat to the Chievo backline and was often seen playing sideways and backward passes. Arguably Joao Cancelo, the full-back on his side provided a better attacking contribution.
Cuadrado has the likes of Bernardeschi and Mandzukic competing with him for places and both of them impressed from the bench. In particular, Cuadrado had the ball on the counter-attack when Juve had a 4 versus 2 situation. He blazed over when better passing options were available to draw ire from his teammates.
Cuadrado did not even complete an hour Allegri may give another chance next week against Lazio but there is no guarantee of the same.