Classic Turin. Juventus beat Freiburg in the round of 16 of the Europa League
KIN INSTEAD OF CHIEZA
The Europa League is Massimiliano Allegri’s last chance to salvage a disastrous season. Insistent rumors are also circulating about the coach’s possible resignation, even if their authors do not seem to take into account the absolutely mediocre composition of Torino and the fact that, according to the purely sporting results of the matches, he would have finished second in Serie A. penalty of 15 points.
So the “old lady” arrived in Freiburg to solve the serious problem of maintaining the minimum advantage obtained at home. The composition of the team was appropriate. Of the notable players on base, only Federico Chiesa and Angel di Maria didn’t come off the opening minutes, and Moise Keane and Dusan Vlahovic made up a pair of forwards.
There was no need to wait for help from the Germans, because they have a very experienced team. The average age of Freiburg’s main squad that evening was 28.6 years, one year older than that of their opponent, who is also quite elderly. To a wider audience, perhaps the most familiar in this team are centre-back Mathias Ginter and right winger Ritsu Doan, who shone at the 2022 World Cup, in which he scored against Germany and Spain. But he will remember this game without nostalgia.
Juve defenders dominate both free-kicks
The match initially seemed very difficult and viscous for the crowd, since both teams are famous this season for their efficiency, not for their appearance. And not very good at positional attacks. At the same time, Juve wanted to take the lead as a stronger team and Freiburg wanted to win back. So the first half was in a generally even fight.
Perhaps the hosts looked a little more interesting because they acted more familiar thanks to vertical attacks, during which almost any player from the midfield or forward line could get into a shock position. Their activity allowed Bremer to draw attention to himself. He won many horse fights, thwarted a couple of dangerous runs into the box and blocked a dangerous finishing move by Michael Grigorich at half-time.
In such a game, standards and individual mistakes often come to the fore. Both teams are known for their ability to take a corner or free kick, and Juve were almost lucky in this respect. After a free-kick, Bremer headed the falling crossbar, and Vlahovic finished the ball from a few meters after Moise Keane’s rebound, but in offside.
However, at the end of time, the Italians were radically lucky. Federico Gatti, also the author of an excellent game, joined the attack, received an elegant pass from Nicolo Fagioli and hit the arm of Manuel Gulda, who rushed towards him, with a shot in the farthest corner. As the defender already had a book, he was sent off (for the first time in six seasons at Freiburg), and Vlahovic, though not the most confident striker in centre, opened the scoring. As a result, Juve went into the break in a chocolate scenario, mostly topping the bill.
Allegri wouldn’t have been himself if Torino hadn’t come out buttoned in the second half. They gave the ball to the opponent and from the side of five defenders they saw how he suffered in positional attacks, scaring the Freiburg players more than Mohamed Salah’s Real Madrid.
Christian Streich tried to speed up the team’s game at the expense of new players. From the 62nd to the 74th minute, he changed all three forwards, but his players were really close to scoring only once, when Ginter quickly overcame the turmoil in someone else’s penalty area and shot hard into corner, but Wojciech Szczesny was able to fight back . The goalkeeper hit the ball in front of him, and the falling Manuel Locatelli rolled in his hands, but for some reason the referee did not see this as a violation of the rules.
The end of the match came with Freiburg’s lead in possession, but it was Juventus who controlled the match, confidently advancing to the quarter-finals of the Europa League. He will recognize the opponent on Friday, but no matter who the Turints get, it should be more difficult than with the German upstart.
Europa League. 1/8 final. return match
Freiburg – Juventus – 0:2 (0:1)
Goals: Vlahovic, 45 – from the penalty spot – 0:1. Church, 90+2 – 0:2.
Freiburg: Flecken, Kubler, Ginter, Gulde, Sildija, Eggestein (Schmidt, 46), Hoefler, Günther (Weishaupt, 74), Doane (Salai, 62), Heler (Griffo, 62), Gregorich (Petersen, 74).
Juventus: Szczesny, Gatti, Bremer, Danilo, Cuadrado (De Sciglio 84), Fagioli, Locatelli (Barrenechea 84), Rabiot, Kostic (Ealing-Junior 70), Vlahovic (Chiesa 70), Keane (Soule 90+1).
Warnings: Gulde, 26. Vlahovic, 56. Ealing-Junior, 82. Salai, 88.
Removal: Gulde, 44 (2 LCDs).
Judge: Gezubuyuk (Netherlands).
The first match – 0:1.