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Juve-Verona: dream debuts for Vlahovic and Zakaria

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Juventus have won their first game after the winter break 2-0 against Hellas Verona. Both Dusan Vlahovic and Denis Zakaria found the net in their first game for the Bianconeri. Juve are now in fourth place in Serie A, after Atalanta, who still have a game in hand, lost earlier today.

Vlahovic and Zakaria, as expected, both made their debut at a foggy Allianz Stadium. The Serbian striker showed himself after only a few minutes. Juve had a great counter, with a backheel pass from Dybala in the build-up, and Vlahovic gave it a try from outside the box, forcing Montipo into a save.

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After only 13 minutes in the black and white shirt, Vlahovic scored his first goal. Dybala found him with a through ball and Vlahovic flicked it over Montipo, thus scoring on his debut. Vlahovic caused the Verona defence lots of trouble. Morata found Vlahovic in the box and he tangled with Günter before being able to shoot. The VAR looked at it, but no penalty was given. It wasn’t the first time Vlahovic had contact with a Verona defender in front of goal.

The Serbian came close once again not long after. Dybala gave it to Morata, who crossed the ball to Vlahovic, but he tapped it just wide. The other debutant, Denis Zakaria, had a strong first half, recovering lots of balls and playing well overall.

Double debut delight

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Verona started off well in the second half. First, Szczesny denied Lasagna, who tried to score from a difficult angle. Then, he tipped away Lazovic’ attempt. Verona grew stronger, but before they could equalize, Juve doubled their lead in the 61st minute. Morata made a fabulous run and found the other debutant Denis Zakaria, who left Montipo no chance one on one.

Juve got some opportunities to make it 3-0, but Montipo stood firm. He denied Dybala from close by and also saved Rabiot’s shot, who made a great run and gave it a go from far away. Vlahovic was close to getting a brace, but he was just unable to put his foot to a cross by Cuadrado.

Verona tried to pull one back, but Szczesny did excellent and tipped it away once more. Juve came close before the end of the match, after a combination between Vlahovic and McKennie, but Montipo saved the American’s shot.

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Player ratings

Szczesny 7;

Danilo 6.5, De Ligt 6.5, Chiellini 6.5, De Sciglio 6;

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Zakaria 7.5, Arthur 6.5, Rabiot 6.5;

Dybala 6.5, Vlahovic 8, Morata 7.5

Substitutes: Cuadrado 6, McKennie 6.5, Kean 6.5, Rugani (-)

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Jurre van Wanrooij is a writer and lead match analyst for Max Statman. He was born and raised in The Netherlands, where he still lives. He is studying journalism and that’s why he joined Max Statman, so that he could develop his writing. Apart from Juventus, he also support PSV Eindhoven, the club closest to his home. The goal is to give you guys the best information about Juventus in English and be as reliable as possible.