Late Locatelli strike rescues Juventus derby victory

AFP , Saturday 2 Oct 2021

Manuel Locatelli's 86th-minute goal grabbed Juventus a hard-fought 1-0 derby victory at Torino on Saturday as Massimiliano Allegri's men made it three straight Serie A wins.

Juventus  Manuel Locatelli, 2nd left, celebrates scoring during the Serie A soccer match between Juv
Juventus Manuel Locatelli, 2nd left, celebrates scoring during the Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Torino, at the Turin Olympic stadium, Italy, Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021. Juventus won 1-0. AP

The visitors were poor for the majority of the match but improved late on and Locatelli netted for the second time in as many league games to continue Juve's recent resurgence.

Back-to-back victories in Serie A had got their season up and running after a nightmare start before a 1-0 Champions League win over holders Chelsea in midweek.

Allegri will also be delighted by a first league clean sheet of the campaign as his team moved up to eighth in the table.

He was brought back as coach to help regain the title Juve lost to Inter Milan last term and those hopes have been revived by the strong recent run.

But the Turin giants do remain seven points behind early pace-setters Napoli, who visit Fiorentina on Sunday.

Allegri named a more attacking line-up than the one which edged out Chelsea, with Moise Kean returning to lead the line up front.

But Juventus were sluggish in the first half, failing to register a shot on target as Torino dominated possession.

Away goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny had to make an excellent save from Rolando Mandragora to keep the match level at the break.

Juve gradually improved but Alex Sandro and Juan Cuadrado were both denied by Torino stopper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic.

Cuadrado had a strong penalty appeal waved away after being brought down by Tommaso Pobega just before the hour mark.

But Locatelli ensured that any controversy would not take the headlines, collecting Federico Chiesa's pass with four minutes remaining and curling a fine low shot in off the far post from the edge of the box.

Dejan Kulusevski almost added a second in injury time, but slammed a low strike against the woodwork after a fine run.

That will not matter to Juve, though, as they extended their unbeaten run against their city rivals to 15 matches.

Later on Saturday, Inter Milan could move within a point of Napoli when they visit Sassuolo.

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