Duvan Zapata strike sinks sorry Juventus as Atalanta stay unbeaten on the road in Serie A and remain fourth
Serie A, Juventus Stadium – Juventus 0 Atalanta 1 (Zapata 28’)
TURIN, ITALY - NOVEMBER 27: Duvan Zapata of Atalanta celebrates with teammate Merih Demiral after scoring to give the side a 1-0 lead during the Serie A match between Juventus and Atalanta BC at Allianz Stadium on November 27, 2021 in Turin, Italy. (Photo
Atalanta beat Juventus 1-0 in a low-quality encounter at the Allianz Stadium.
Duvan Zapata's 28th minute strike was enough to see of the Old Lady, as Gianpiero Gasperini's men held on to a precious three points.
Massimiliano Allegri's side looked toothless throughout: they couldn't deal with the high-tempo pressing game of their visitors, who harassed and harried out of possession, and were clever when they had the ball.
Zapata's winning goal was something of real quality, but also proved the shakiness of a Juventus side who are badly underperforming in the Serie A, as this defeat leaves them rooted in 8th place, seven points off today's victors in the top four.
Paulo Dybala had a number of opportunities but couldn't convert, and Weston McKennie came close with a deflected effort off Berat Djimsiti that was well saved by Juan Musso.
Juve improved in the second half, but they struggled to get their forward players into the game as Atalanta defended valiantly to see out the victory.
For Gasperini and the visitors, they maintain their top four spot, but for Allegri's Juve, there's much work ahead.
Duvan Zapata e Alex Sandro durante Juventus-Atalanta - Serie A 2021-22
Image credit: Getty Images
TALKING POINT - GASPERINI'S GENIUS
It seemed that before the game kicked off, Juve's fluid 4-4-2/4-3-3 shape could cause their opponents problems, but in actuality, it was much the opposite.
Gasperini's 3-4-2-1 shape worked a treat, using two natural midfielders in a more advanced role, he not only got Atalanta's fair share of creativity and finding of space in the pockets between the lines, but out of possession, the two in front and behind created a box; a numerical overload that the two central midfielders of Juve, Manuel Locatelli and Adrien Rabiot couldn't cope with.
Zapata was excellent bringing others into play and running the channels, and both wing-backs Davide Zappacosta and Joakim Maehle were excellent in maintaining width.
Duvan Zapata esulta dopo il gol in Juventus-Atalanta - Serie A 2021-22
Image credit: Getty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH - DUVAN ZAPATA, ATALANTA
Who else could it be but the matchwinner?
A near-selfless performance from the Colombian target man as he occupied and terrified Matthijis de Ligt in the home defence, making the most of the Dutchman's poor positioning to net the only goal of an otherwise poor game.
The former Sampdoria striker linked play effectively and allowed for space to be created for Ruslan Malinovskyi and Matteo Pessina to orchestrate in the tight half-spaces; a key reason for Atalanta's victory here.
A performance fully deserving of a winning goal and three points.
Juventus: Szczesny 6, Cuadrado 6, Bonucci 7, de Ligt 5, Sandro 6, Chiesa 5, Locatelli 5, McKennie 6, Rabiot 5, Morata 6, Dybala 6, Bernadeschi 6, Jorge 6, Kean 6.
4': Good block! Zapata surges into the right channel and cuts it back for Malinovskyi who shoots, but a combination of de Ligt and Bonucci blocks well! Still 0-0, but an early chance for the visitors.
28': GOAL! Zapata finishes sumptuously, and it's his seventh in seven games, as the visitors take the lead, deservedly so. Morata the guilty party gave it away, and the Colombian finished emphatically.
60': Good save, Musso! A lovely ball was sent down the right for the pace of McKennie to chase, and Djmsiti nearly prods beyond his own goalkeeper, who blocks well.
90': Dybala hits the bar with the free kick and goes over! So close.