Lecce 0-1 Juventus: Fagioli lifts dire match from doldrums with dazzling strike

By Sports Desk October 29, 2022

Nicolo Fagioli lit up a drab game with a classy winner for Juventus as Massimiliano Allegri's team scrambled a 1-0 victory at Lecce on Saturday.

The substitute made the breakthrough in the 73rd minute, turning in the penalty area after a short pass from the left flank by Samuel Iling before curling an exquisite shot in off the far post.

Juventus had all the pressure leading up to that, but they rarely threatened a breakthrough, with an injury-hit team playing with little confidence.

Amid their Champions League group-stage failure, this result, however scrappily it was obtained, gives Juventus a third successive win and clean sheet in Serie A.

The quality was poor in the opening half hour, but the tackles were thunderous at times, with four early bookings for the Juventus quartet of Juan Cuadrado, Federico Gatti, Arkadiusz Milik and Fabio Miretti.

Cuadrado, captaining the injury-weakened visitors, slashed a cross-shot well wide, before Adrien Rabiot's ambitious 30-yard attempt in the 32nd minute fizzed along the turf into the grateful arms of Wladimiro Falcone.

Rabiot had the best chance of the half in the 43rd minute, with his powerful header from Filip Kostic's left-wing corner pushed aside by Falcone, whose goal was coming under a growing threat.

Lecce, having won just four of their previous 32 Serie A matches against Juventus, carried next to no threat before the interval and last season's Serie B champions were almost behind early in the second half when Gatti's header from a free-kick nearly gave Milik a tap-in.

It was a game that was almost interesting, nearly distracting. A flick from Milik was gathered by Falcone as Cuadrado closed in, then Milik had a low shot from 20 yards that the goalkeeper had to dive to palm away.

Juventus substitute Moise Kean headed meekly wide when he should probably have scored, and Gatti nodded over, before Fagioli, on since the start of the second half, made his decisive contribution.

Lecce captain Morten Hjulmand hit the post with a skidding shot in the 89th minute as the visitors clung on.

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