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Serie A
6 January 2018
Game week
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Sardegna Arena (Cagliari)


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74' F. Bernardeschi (G) (assist by: Douglas Costa)


Minute   Description
That's all for our live coverage, thanks for following along. Goodbye!
Juventus leave it late but Federico Bernardeschi secures them maximum points in a wildly entertaining and hard-fought contest at the Sardegna Arena, but it comes at a cost for the Bianconeri as they lose Paulo Dybala and Sami Khedira to injury. Chances were plentiful for both sides and Cagliari will feel they deserved more, but Juventus pull back within a point of leaders Napoli in the end.
90'+4 Juventus with a professional display here as they try to see this result through. Cagliari are struggling to win back possession, let alone break into the final third.
90'+2 Not the type of start to stoppage-time that Cagliari would have hoped for as Juventus win a free-kick inside the attacking half, one they will be in no rush to take. Precious time winding down here as tensions continue to rise.
90' A roar of approval as the board goes up to indicate there will be six minutes added on at the end of this match.
89' Juventus down to 10 men for the moment as Chiellini's head-wrap has come off and needs to be redone. Can Cagliari take advantage? It shouldn't take the medical staff more than a minute, though.
88' A final Cagliari change sees a striker on for a defender as Niccolo Giannetti replaces Pisacane.
86' Second Cagliari change here sees Gregory van der Wiel replace Barella.
85' Plenty of questions being asked here by Cagliari as they have Juventus working hard in defence. Pavoletti is the clear target for these countless deliveries into the area, but the likes of Barzagli, Chiellini and Benatia are doing just enough to keep them out at the moment.
83' Cagliari enjoying plenty of possession as they gear up for a final push. It's unlike Juventus to sit back and defend a lead, but it looks like, at least for the time being, that's the approach they're taking here.
81' STAT: Cagliari have lost all of their matches this season against Serie A's current top-five clubs, by a combined score of 13-1 (L5).
79' Stephan Lichtsteiner replaces Bernardeschi with Juventus' final change.
78' After a relatively quick review, the referee gets word that it's not a penalty, and Cagliari will have to settle for a corner. The hosts are far from happy, and they'll no doubt be looking for every decision to go their way over the final 12 minutes.
77' PENALTY? Fervent claims of a Benatia handball from Cagliari as they swarm the referee looking for a spot-kick, and after a bit of hesitation, it looks like he will consult with VAR...
75' Pavoletti is disgusted with the referee and lets him hear it, which sees him booked for dissent.
74' Douglas Costa softens the blow of Dybala's injury as he provides an assist off the bench, after replacing the Argentine.
JUVENTUS HAVE FOUND THE BREAKTHROUGH! It's a simple tap-in for Bernardeschi from six yards following a sumptuous low cross sent in by Douglas Costa, and Cagliari hearts a broken! This one doesn't come without a bit of controversy, however, as Pavoletti took an elbow to the head and went down about 30 seconds earlier, with the home supporters urging the referee to halt the match.
71' Into the final 20 minutes now at the Sardegna Arena and it's brilliantly poised. Cagliari are defending with grace, dignity and poise as Juventus limp towards full-time. Will this match get the goal it deserves?
69' Cagliari's first change of the match, and it's a positive one, as striker Marco Sau replaces Ionita.
68' STAT: Juventus have scored the most away goals in Serie A this season (26 of their 48 league goals) – they have scored at least two goals in eight of their nine away games this term.
66' The warrior that he is, Chiellini is bandaged up and back on the pitch as play resumes here, meaning Allegri still has one change at his disposal. But the way things have been going, he may want to save it.
64' What in the world is going on here?! Juventus will be happy to get out of here with 11 healthy players the way things are going. Chiellini is the latest to pick up a knock after a clash of heads in the air, and he is gushing blood from above his left eye.
62' So that's two changes Juventus have been forced into tonight, and both seem like - on first glance at least - they will provide concern beyond tonight. The good news is Serie A goes on another mini-break, so Juventus don't play again until the 22nd, but who knows if either Khedira or Dybala will be available when they host Genoa.
60' Khedira is in fact unable to continue here, and will be replaced by Mario Mandzukic.
59' INCHES WIDE! Juventus short-handed at the moment with Khedira off the pitch, and they nearly score despite the numerical disadvantage! They break in numbers, with Higuain rolling a ball through for Pjanic, but the midfielder fires just wide of the near post! That was actually a disappointing effort in the end, as Rafael appeared to have it covered.
57' OUCH! Sczcesny flies off his line to try and clear another dangerous delivery from Cigarini, but winds up crashing into an unsuspecting Khedira. The midfielder took a nasty shot there, bearing the brunt of the contact with his head, and he didn't brace himself for it either. That might force Juve into a second change.
55' CLOSE! While everyone worries about Dybala, Costa works to make them forget, orchestrating a shooting chance with a lovely bit of dribbling and change of pace, but he flashes his strike just high of the far corner from the top of the box!
53' This match just seems to have that feel to it - the sort of unsettled feel from a Juventus perspective. Cagliari started strong and have only gotten better tonight, while everything seems to be working against Juventus. Napoli will be watching this wide-eyed.
51' Bernardeschi becomes the second Juventus player booked tonight as their frustrations continue to mount.
50' Douglas Costa comes on to replace Dybala.
Well this is a real worry! Dybala goes on a sprint forward before pulling up lame mid-run, immediately clutching his hamstring. He signals straight to the touchline and has tears coming down his face, visibly distraught as he makes his way off the pitch. This is a big blow for Juventus, especially if he is forced to miss an extended period of time.
48' Early warning from Cagliari as Pavoletti threatens with another header. The striker continues to grow in stature and confidence as he proves a dangerous target up top, while also holding the ball up well when given the opportunity.
46' Here we go again!
The sides head goalless into the interval, but let that not be a comment on the amount of chances created in that first half. Both teams came preciously close to finding a breakthrough, Juventus hitting the woodwork twice and having a goal called back for offside, while Cagliari also hit the frame of the goal and were denied by a terrific Szczesny save. All to play for in what's shaping up to be a thrilling second half!
45'+2 Benatia puts in a hard foul on Farias, though it looked to be a fair one, and tempers flair a bit following the coming together. Cagliari have come to play tonight and they're not backing down regardless of what Juventus throw at them.
45' There will be three minutes added on at the end of this first half.
44' HOW HAS THAT NOT GONE IN?! Pavoletti produces a terrific touch to tee up Farias, who does well to set himself up for the shot from in close and beats Szczesny, but not the woodwork! An inch to the left and Cagliari are in front!
42' A late challenge by Matuidi as he takes down an opponent from behind, sending him flying across the touchline. That earns him the first yellow card of the match.
39' The tempo has fizzled out a bit as we approach the interval, in what has been an entertaining watch at the Sardegna Arena. Juventus are coming up against stern opposition here and it's going to be anything but straightforward for them as they search for the three points they need to keep pace with Juventus.
37' STAT: Juventus have won each of their last six away league games against Cagliari; the Bianconeri have scored three or more goals in four of those six matches.
35' An injury concern for Juventus as Pjanic is in a ton of pain after having his hand stepped on. The grimace on his face says it all. He will require a bit of attention here, but it's unlikely to be something that would force him off.
33' ALL BUT THE FINISH! How about that running! Farago has been running his socks off tonight, and he nearly produces the opener here with a terrific individual effort, driving forward, twisting and turning as he tried to open up for a shot, but the ball was just knocked away from him in the end. That looked like something out of FIFA 18.
31' Juventus will certainly be wary of the threat of Pavoletti now, if they weren't already. Cagliari have a good width to their approach in attack and you can see why, as they want to send as many crosses in as possible for their target man. Four of Pavoletti’s five goals in this Serie A campaign have been headers.
29' Tame effort and a let-off for Cagliari as Higuain can only bounce a strike straight at Rafael following a threatening move down the left flank. Almost 30 minutes gone now and it remains goalless, but not for a lack of chances.
27' STUNNING SAVE! Incredible reactions from Szczesny to deny Pavoletti from point-blank range after the striker rose highest to meet Cigarini's corner!
25' They're asking questions! Another tidy attack from Cagliari ends with Pavoletti, who gets onto the end of a pass into the area, but Barzagli does just enough to prevent him from getting a shot off, forcing a corner.
23' STAT: Massimiliano Allegri, who took charge of 71 games in Serie A with Cagliari (W26 D15 L30), has never lost against the Rossoblu in the competition (W10 D2).
21' OFFSIDE! Benatia sneaks behind the defence to direct Pjanic's free-kick into the bottom corner, but his and Juventus' joy is short-lived as the linesman's flag is correctly raised. No need for VAR either, says the referee.
19' HAD TO BE BETTER! Cagliari produce yet another response in attack, Farago finding space on the right as he bends in an inviting cross. Pavoletti gets in front of his marker with relative ease, but directs his header harmlessly wide of the near post! You'd expect him to at least be working the keeper from there.
17' SOMEHOW IT STAYS OUT! Bernardeschi goes for the spectacular and nearly achieves it, cutting inside on the right flank, onto his left, and bending a stunning effort from an awkward angle off the inside of the post! The rebound stays alive for Khedira to knock towards goal, but Ceppitelli manages to see it clear off the line!
15' Nice response here from Cagliari as they soak up the pressure and get the ball back the other way in attack. They have been limited in the attacking half, but when they do get there they are showing plenty of quality as they incisively work the ball around in search of an opening.
13' Well possession is really starting to be dominated by Juventus, as they knock it around confidently in the attacking half. Benatia, who picked up a knock moments ago, appears to be fine to continue here.
11' Cagliari got away with one there, and what a blow that would have been after such a strong start. As the previous stat indicated, they have struggled with conceding early goals, so it's crucial for them to push beyond this spell with the game still goalless.
9' OFF THE WOODWORK! It's Dybala who takes instead of Pjanic, and the Argentine sends a masterful strike towards goal, rattling his effort off the crossbar with Rafael cleanly beaten!
Juventus manage their first good spell of pressure, winning a free-kick that Cagliari are able to deal with. The visitors are able to keep possession and keep the hosts pinned back, before Dybala wins a free-kick in a threatening position, about 25 yards from goal.
7' STAT: No team has scored more goals than Juventus in the first 15 mins of play in Serie A this term (six), whilst Cagliari have conceded the most goals in the same period (seven).
5' Confidence will be back up in Cagliari after they won in Bergamo on the last matchday, a place Atalanta were virtually unbeaten in. You can see that belief flowing through the side in the early stages here, as they're getting after the ball with plenty of energy and having success winning back possession.
3' Not the most adventurous start from either side, as the ball is largely contained in the middle third. Possession has changed hands several times as both clubs aim to get into more of a rhythm.
1' AND THEY'RE OFF! Juventus in their yellow away strip as they get the match underway, attacking right to left, with Cagliari in red and blue.
Allegri makes three changes from the victory in Verona, one in each phase of the pitch as Stephan Lichtsteiner, Rodrigo Betancur and Mario Mandzukic give way for Andrea Barzagli, Miralem Pjanic and Federico Bernardeschi.
Luis Diego Lopez makes two changes to his side from the victory in Atalanta. Fabio Piscane is on in defence at the expense of Marco Andreolli, while Nicolo Barella replaces the suspended Senna Miangue.
SUBS: Costa, Pinsoglio, Mandzukic, Asamoah, Rugani, Lichtsteiner, Sturaro, Bentancur, Loria.
JUVENTUS (4-3-3): Szczesny; Barzagli, Benatia, Chiellini, Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi; Bernardeschi, Dybala, Higuain.
SUBS: Van der Wiel, Andreolli, Dessena, Cossu, Giannetti, Capuano, Sau, Deiola, Cragno.
CAGLIARI (3-5-2): Rafael; Romagna, Ceppitelli, Pisacane; Farago, Barella, Cigarini, Ionita, Padoin; Farias, Pavoletti.
The next two matches are tricky for Cagliari, home to Juventus and AC Milan. Any points from those would be a bonus ahead of two massive six-pointers in the relegation scrap against SPAL and Crotone, the two clubs directly below them in the table.
Only two spots separate Cagliari from the relegation zone, but they do not appear to be under any direct danger, five points ahead of Crotone and seven up on Hellas Verona, each of whom lost earlier today.
It’s safe to say Massimiliano Allegri’s men have rounded into their title-winning form of last season, winning five of six in the league and conceding just one goal over that span – a run that doesn’t seem under immediate threat tonight.
Juventus are still playing catch-up as Napoli, winners again earlier today, have opened a four-point lead atop the table, meaning the Bianconeri need a victory tonight to keep the pressure on the current leaders.
Hello and welcome to the Sardegna Arena for live coverage of this Serie A match as Cagliari look to spring the upset when they welcome Juventus to town.


G. Chiellini
M. Benatia
M. Pjanić
S. Khedira
L. Cigarini
G. Higuaín
P. Dybala
Alex Sandro
F. Romagna
B. Matuidi
A. Barzagli
P. Faragò
Diego Farias
N. Barella
F. Pisacane
S. Padoin
A. Ioniţă
W. Szczęsny
L. Ceppitelli
L. Pavoletti
F. Bernardeschi

Additional info

G. Calvarese
G. Paganessi
Fourth official
A. Giua

Match Stats

Cagliari Juventus
45 Attacks (Dangerous) 42
5 Corners 3
17 Fouls 13
14 Free Kicks 18
13 Goal Kicks 6
1 Offsides 1
2 Shots (blocked) 1
3 Shots (off target) 10
1 Shots (on target) 1
1 Shots (woodwork) 2
15 Throw Ins 32

Regular Season

# Team MP D P

Sardegna Arena

Sardegna Arena