Juventus managed to weather a heavy Bologna storm to escape with a 2-0 win in Serie A on Saturday.
Massimiliano Allegri’s men were second best for much of the game but ultimately found the goals they needed to in order to return to Turin with the three points.
Juventus took an early lead with the first shot of the match, with Federico Bernardeschi playing a cute pass between the Bologna backline and Alvaro Morata smashing home at the near post.
That early goal allowed Juve to play more comfortably on the counter, with Morata going close on the break around the 15-minute mark.
At the other end, Marko Arnautovic’s looping header was well held by Wojciech Szczesny, and Mattias Svanberg’s acrobatic overhead kick went just wide.
Bologna were causing plenty of problems for their visitors, stripping Adrien Rabiot of the ball and Musa Barrow fired over.
The Bianconeri managed to get into half time just about in the lead, but the hosts continued to apply heavy pressure after the break.
Bologna created a chance almost identical to Morata’s opener, but Nicolas Dominguez was denied by Szczesny.
But against the run of play, Juventus found their second after Juan Cuadrado’s unstoppable strike from the edge of the area found the top corner.
At long last, Juve were finally purring and creating chances more freely, with Bernardeschi and Rabiot both going close as the game entered the closing stages.
Allegri’s men held on and moved to within five points of a top-four place in the Serie A table.
Wojciech Szczesny (GK) – 8/10 – Made a number of decent stops.
Juan Cuadrado (RB) – 6/10 – Pushed further back and struggled defensively, but scored an outrageous goal in the second half.
Leonardo Bonucci (CB) – 6/10 – Made a vital interception in the opening minute but was then dominated in the air by Arnautovic.
Matthijs de Ligt (CB) – 7/10 – Another week where the 22-year-old looked the most senior of Juve’s defenders.
Luca Pellegrini (LB) – 6/10 – At least looked competent at either end.
Arthur (CM) – 3/10 – Dominated physically and played a yard slower than everyone else.
Adrien Rabiot (CM) – 4/10 – Similarly bad and you wouldn’t believe he was playing for the winning team.
Weston McKennie (CM) – 7/10 – Broke forward with endeavour and offered a more physical presence.
Federico Bernardeschi (RW) – 7/10 – Super assist for Morata and looked much more creative than in recent weeks.
Alvaro Morata (CF) – 8/10 – Another strong performance leading the line, but lacked the supporting cast needed to take the game to Bologna.
Moise Kean (LW) – 6/10 – Didn’t look too comfortable out wide but was effective regardless.
Alex Sandro (LB) – 6/10
Manuel Locatelli (CM) – 6/10
Dejan Kulusevski (RW) – 5/10
Rodrigo Bentancur (CM) – 5/10
Kaio Jorge (CF) – N/A