An affair that promised to be low scoring turned out to be the opposite. We saw four goals, but the match statistics acknowledged only three. The last one scored was a true beauty, sadly it doesn’t count as it was disallowed. A clash of two of the hottest teams in the league didn’t disappoint. It’ wasn’t an all-out attacking match like in Bundesliga, but it truly was a chess game between two managers that know their craft well.
Juventus opened the match better, poor marking near the box mixed with an even poorer goalkeeper reaction allowed Cristiano Ronaldo to score on a rather week shot. It was the 2nd minute. The goals were followed by a period of not much action on the pitch. In the 33rd minute, we saw something which would be the focal point of the whole match. Emre Can touched a ball by hand which was ruled a penalty after assistance from the Virtual Referee Assistant better know as VAR. Fabio Quagliarella seized the opportunity and equalised.
The rest of the half both teams played carefully seemingly awaiting the whistle. It was the typical Juventus match, not many chances but the ones they had they seized. Such was the play when there was another handball but this time in Sampdoria’s box which again with the help of VAR was ruled a penalty. Cristiano Ronaldo had no issues converting it and it was 2-1 Juventus with about 25 minutes left. After that, both teams failed to realize their chances and the remained the same with a few minutes left. Then, Riccardo Saponara, who came on earlier scored an absolute beauty as the whole stadium was left shocked. It was 2-2 in a match where Juventus barely had any goalscoring chances.
Juventus players protested as did Allegri when the referee suddenly pulled his hand up and signalled VAR. Yet another decision after which it became clear Riccardo Saponara was offside before the goal which prompted the ref to disallow this goal.
Juventus again escaped from another blow to their historic season in a game dominated by VAR. A historic match indeed with 3 key VAR decision that directly impacted the result. Such a thing seemed unthinkable a few years ago but some would argue it’s for the better.