Juventus have scrapped a 3-2 win against Champions Inter Milan to keep their top-four hopes alive. But the Derby d’Italia went down the wires while witnessing plenty of drama. Ronaldo put the hosts ahead from the penalty spot – a consequence of Matteo Darmian’s foul – and not long after, Juve got the taste of their own medicine as VAR spotted De Ligt’s late foul on Lautaro Martinez. Romelu Lukaku successfully converted the penalty to get Inter back on level terms. Juan Cuadrado restored the lead with a belter of a striker at the stroke of halftime.
The Old Lady had a setback at the start of the second half after Bentancur was shown red. Nonetheless, they contained Inter Milan for long spells, but it was only until the 83rd minute as Chiellini scored an own goal. But the game didn’t end there as Juve went on to score their third goal after Cuadrado’s strike from the spot.
3 penalties, 2 red cards, 1 own goal and a controversial call against Perisic
Serie A hasn’t witnessed anything like this season as the clash between Inter and Juve had everything in it. Starting from Ronaldo’s penalty, VAR was called into action on three occasions, with all of them resulting in goals. However, the most dramatic of them will be the one that went against Chiellini, whose own goal counted eventually. Talking about the red cards, Bentancur and Marcelo Brozovic were the culprits, with the latter getting sent off in the stoppage time. The most controversial yet decisive moment of the game was the referee awarding a penalty for Ivan Perisic’s foul on Cuadrado. The call made by the referee was quite harsh as the Croatian didn’t make much contact with Cuadrado.
Disciplined Juventus defence despite being a man down
The credit has to be given for Juve’s defence, who were sturdy and disciplined to make life difficult for Antonio Conte’s men. They never felt as if they were a man down in the second half and successfully kept Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez at bay. Matthijs de Ligt made a crucial clearance to make up for his early mistake, while Szczesny made a top save.
Ronaldo substituted, watched last 20 minutes from bench
Cristiano Ronaldo was substituted at 70 minutes of the match with Alvaro Morata and Demiral was brought on for Federico Chiesa. Juventus’s most goal scoring talent and creator of most scoring opportunities were sacrificed for a defensive tactical change by Andrea Pirlo. Though his team could not limit the late drama, and it ultimately came down to individual brilliance and errors that defined the match.
Veteran Chiellini’s blunder could prove costly
Romelu Lukaku again showed what it takes for an opposition defender to mark him. His movement made Giorgio Chiellini awkwardly fall and score an own goal, while trying to impede former’s movement in front of the goal. The veteran striker cried foul, but Referee had a long look with the help of VAR, to allow the goal to stand.
Cuadrado was the difference-maker
Discounting the VAR drama, Juan Cuadrado was the real difference-maker as his double made sure Juve got over the line. Not only did the Colombian score a screamer, but he also made his presence felt in the defence. Most importantly, he won the penalty in the dying minutes and converted it successfully in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, who was substituted.
Juve’s top-four dreams aren’t over. But Napoli have to drop points
The Old Lady are back into the top-four of the table but only for the time being, as Napoli can push them down if they win their Sunday’s game against Napoli. And the worst-case scenario would be Juventus can still lose their bid for the Champions League should Napoli go on to win their remaining two games.