‘Chiellini substituted himself!’ – Captain Returns As Juventus Climb To Serie A Summit

‘Chiellini substituted himself!’ – Captain Returns As Juventus Climb To Serie A Summit

By Jerry Mancini.

Juventus returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory against Brescia. Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado each got themselves on the scoresheet for the Bianconeri who delivered a strong performance after their recent disappointing defeat to Hellas Verona.

Cristiano Ronaldo was rested, but it didn’t make a difference, with manager Maurizio Sarri adjusting his tactics accordingly.

“We decided to let Ronaldo rest today, as he cannot play every single game, so we came up with this system of this game,” Sarri told Sky Sport Italia.

“At this moment, we are playing more with a trident than a trequartista. That’s because Aaron Ramsey has made it clear he prefers to play in midfield rather than as a trequartista and Dybala prefers to be more advanced.”

Brescia were forced to play with ten men after Florian Aye received two consecutive yellow cards in the span of four minutes.

Juventus were awarded a free-kick just outside of Brescia’s box just before half time, which Dybala converted, delivering a beautiful shot past the goalkeeper and finding the back of the net.

“We did what we had to do,” added Sarri. “It was a decent start, once we broke the deadlock, we showed patience, hit the woodwork three time and more than earned the victory.”

Brescia’s third-choice goalkeeper, Enrico Alfonso, entered the match early as Lorenzo Andrenacci was forced to leave the game with a head injury. Alfonso started shakily but settled down, making some timely key saves from Dybala and Leonardo Bonucci.

The score was 1-0 for nearly three quarters of the match and Brescia were defending for most of the second half. Juventus sealed the win when Cuadrado converted following a brilliant backheel flick from Blaise Matuidi.

Miralem Pjanic came into the match to replace Ramsey, yet only played for nearly ten minutes before exiting with an injury.

“We don’t know the extent of the problem,” Sarri said. “He felt pain in the adductor and will have the tests tomorrow.”

Juventus centre back Giorgio Chiellini made his return with a late appearance off the bench — his first action since picking up a knee injury back in August.

The captain received a standing ovation from the crowd, and the club will be happy to have him back as the Champions League returns next week.

“To be honest, Chiellini substituted himself!” revealed Sarri.

“I turned around and he was there in my face with his jersey on asking: ‘Mister, how long?’

“He’s been going on about it since yesterday, wanting the last 10 minutes, so I couldn’t’ resist.”

With the win, Juventus pass Inter Milan and Lazio into first place in Serie A, with both challengers still to play their match at the Stadio Olimpico.