Struck by tragedy, an injured Dusan Vlahovic scored twice as Juventus blasted Sassuolo 3-0 in their home opener of the 2022–23 Serie A season.
Although Vlahovic scored twice, it was the Allianz Stadium debutante Angel Di Maria who stole the show. Behind his Serbian strike partner, the Argentine was a free-flowing presence on the field, scoring on a spectacular volley and producing a lethal attacking showing.
Sassuolo started strong but faded after halftime, allowing Juventus to stamp their season opener with relative ease.
Juventus will worry about the health of Juan Cuadrado, Weston McKennie, and Denis Zakaria after they earned all three points despite playing without Paul Pogba and Wojciech Szczesny, all of whom were injured. During a water break at the hour mark, the American in particular appeared to be in discomfort, yet he stayed until he withdrew.
The Sporting News provided real-time updates, analysis, and highlights from the Juventus versus Sassuolo game.
New arrivals Di Maria, and Bremer are off to a great start
A lot of the new Juventus arrivals this summer ensured that the injured weren’t missed to start the season, despite Paul Pogba’s delayed comeback to the club.
Positioned in a wide open area behind Dusan Vlahovic, Angel Di Maria was totally magnificent. He primarily appeared on the right side of the field, where he provided crosses, took on opponents and added flair to Juventus’ play. His amazing goal came when he volleyed the ball into the ground in such a way that it bounced up directly over the goalkeeper’s head. A rabona pass so incredible that it had onlookers picking their jaws up from the floor occurred later.
In the middle of the defense, we have a newcomer. Bremer was also outstanding, as the team was able to keep Sassuolo at bay for the whole of the second half despite having the ball for extended periods of time. As he faced off against attackers with their backs to the goal, his physicality was crucial.
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Dusan Vlahovic shakes off early rust in season opener
Juventus’ best player Dusan Vlahovic probably would have gotten a pass for being rusty at the start of the season. The Serbian may be forgiven for needing some time to rediscover his shooting boots after missing a large chunk of the preseason due to injury.
Vlahovic had trouble scoring in the first half, but he was awarded a penalty and converted it expertly for the game-winner. He seemed off his game and squandered some easy opportunities.
Things changed, though, at the break. Brilliant body control was on display during Vlahovic’s second-half goal, as the Juve striker twisted his body to respond to a deflection and still managed to put the ball inside the far post.
After intermission, Vlahovic showed no signs of having trouble shaking off the summer doldrums, and the Serbian is off to a strong start this year. The importance of his goal-scoring ability to Juventus’ Serie A title ambitions cannot be overstated.
Juventus vs. Sassuolo final score
26th min — JUV — Angel Di Maria
43rd min — JUV — Dusan Vlahovic (pen)
51st min — JUV — Dusan Vlahovic
Juventus vs. Sassuolo live updates, highlights, commentary
FULL-TIME: Juventus 3-0 Sassuolo
The clock winds down to zero with Juventus already comfortably ahead. Sassuolo had opportunities early on but couldn’t capitalize, and the home team was the superior team in the second half. The Old Lady, led by star forward Angel Di Maria, make a case early on that they are once again title contenders.
It’s the 84th minute, and the game has slowed to a crawl because of all the replacements. Sassuolo have long runs of possession but are unable to get through Juventus’ defense. After a turnover, Kostic has a breakaway, but his shot is stopped, leading to a corner.
In the 74th minute, Sassuolo has a chance to score.
These guests refuse to leave! When Andrea Pinamonti came off the bench just before the water break, he took a shot from a difficult angle, but Perin blocked it.
McKennie and the booked Locatelli are taken off the field by Allegri, and they are replaced by Nicolo Rovella and Matias Soule, respectively. McKennie, who had received treatment earlier, appeared to be alright as he left the field. He was presumably taken out of the game to ease him back into match shape after an injury had cut short his preseason.
In the 70th minute, Weston McKennie limps off the field with the trainers, adding to Juventus’ injury woes. It seems to be a lower body issue, as the American returned from a dislocated shoulder sooner than predicted. His treatment provides a welcome reprieve. The position of McKennie is maintained.
Despite a brilliant first half, Angel Di Maria is forced to leave the field in the 66th minute due to an injury. The Argentine has been nothing short of brilliant, most recently making a rabona pass that had the commentators in awe. Fabio Miretti will now be taking his place.
In the 61st minute, Juventus made two substitutions: Alex Sandro was replaced by Mattia di Sciglio, and Juan Cuadrado was given the bench in favor of Juventus debutante Filip Kostic.
At the 50-minute mark, JUVENTUS scores!
It’s a poor mistake by Ayhan, who gives the ball back to Di Maria towards the top of the penalty area. As Di Maria’s pass is deflected directly into Vlahovic’s path, Juve capitalize on the defender’s blunder. The Serbian striker displays remarkable creativity by twisting his body to account for the deflection and make a devastating shot.