Juventus slumped to a concerning 1-0 defeat away at Monza on Sunday, as their search for a first away victory since April rumbles on.
Monza played with aggression and intent from the first whistle and took the game to Juve all afternoon, creating chances from all angles but lacking the quality in front of goal to go ahead.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side very quickly looked out of ideas or belief as they were pinned into their own half throughout the game, and struggled even further following Angel Di Maria’s first-half dismissal.
Failure to put away big chances should’ve been the key to punishing an otherwise impressive Monza, but it wasn’t. The hosts deservedly took the lead inside the final 20 minutes and saw proceedings out well to clinch three hard earned points.
The hosts had an early chance to score blocked by Federico Gatti, but came mightily close to taking the lead after 18 minutes when Patrick Ciurria volleyed wide a brilliant cross from Dany Mota, which he ought to have done better with.
Juve looked shaken and couldn’t get put together a sustained spell of possession or even get out of their own half. A rare venture forward saw Dusan Vlahovic connect with a pass from Mattia De Sciglio after 28 minutes, but it was never beating goalkeeper Michele Di Gregorio.
Monza continued to create chances with Ciurria and Stefano Sensi both coming close to drawing first blood, but they crucially lacked the composure in front of goal to make good on their domination.
A poor start suddenly got much worse five minutes from the half-time whistle when Di Maria received a straight red card for reacting badly to a tackle from Armando Izzo, elbowing him in the chest. Suddenly, heading into the break goalless felt like a bonus for the Old Lady.
Worryingly for Juve, proceedings were rather similar in the second half. Monza were creating chances freely and knocking the ball around seriously well. And while the visitors were able to venture forward somewhat more frequently, they constantly lacked any real quality or urgency.
Poor finishing from Monza was becoming a common theme. Gianluca Caprari retrieved the ball on the edge of the box following Federico Gatti’s poor pass after 50 minutes, but blasted the ball over. Dany Mota then worked his way into the box and got onto the end of a smart pass moments later, but flicked the ball marginally wide of the net.
Outstanding hold-up play from Vlahovic saw him wrestled to the floor in order to create a rare, three-on-one counter attacking chance for his side after 68 minutes. But, bursting through, Danilo picked the wrong ball and his poor pass was intercepted to snuff away the danger; a summary of Juve’s lacking quality on the day.
Monza took a deserved and unsurprising lead after 74 minutes when substitute Christian Gytkjaer pounced on a brilliant, in-swinging cross from Ciurria, catching Juve sleeping.
Late substitutes couldn’t wrestle a point for the Old Lady, who are now winless in three Serie A fixtures and look all at sea. Here’s how the players rated.
GK: Mattia Perin – 5/10 – Would’ve been in for one hellish afternoon if not for Monza’s poor finishing. Thankfully, he watched a good number of shots whistle beyond his goal.
RB: Mattia De Sciglio – 6/10 – One of the few who were able to get on the ball and bring Juve forward. Unfortunately, De Sciglio wasn’t helped out by his teammates and had to sit in following Di Maria’s sending off.
CB: Federico Gatti – 4/10 – A shaky performance. Not always helped by his midfielders, but was ultimately bailed out by poor finishing. Misplaced passes and last-gasp defensive efforts were too frequent.
CB: Bremer – 5/10 – Not much better than his defensive partner. Booked early doors and also let off the hook by Monza’s poor finishing.
LB: Danilo – 4/10 – Didn’t do enough to stop teasing crosses from being played from out wide. Picked out the wrong pass on a rare venture forward that should’ve put Juve ahead. Poor.
CM: Leandro Paredes – 4/10 – Didn’t offer much in terms of stifling Monza’s attacks and lacked urgency when closing players down. Got to show some more spirit.
CM: Weston McKennie – 5/10 – Some bright spells in transition when trying to dribble the ball forward, but lacked conviction and quality.
CM: Fabio Miretti – 4/10 – Spurned a chance from a good cross in the second half when unmarked and lacked any quality when trying to pass the ball forwards.
RW: Angel Di Maria – 2/10 – Don’t throw elbows, and you don’t give the referee a chance to send you off. Perhaps a straight red was harsh, but Di Maria was asking for trouble.
CF: Dusan Vlahovic – 6/10 – Well, he tried. Starved of service, but fought tooth and nail for anything that came his way – which wasn’t a lot.
LW: Filip Kostic – 4/10 – Similar story for Kostic, who, playing higher up, wasn’t able to bring the ball forward quite so often. Some nice touches when he was involved, but lacked urgency.
SUB: Moise Kean (78′ for Kostic) – 5/10 – Almost levelled proceedings but couldn’t pick a corner with his header.
SUB: Nicolò Fagioli (86′ for Miretti) – N/A
SUB: Matías Soulé (86′ for De Sciglio) – N/A
Manager: Massimiliano Allegri – 2/10 – Allegri wasn’t the one on the pitch putting in such an abysmal performance, but he does coach and pick the players. Also didn’t trust his substitutes. Another aimless display without direction or intensity. Feels like he’s on borrowed time.