Atalanta 1-0 Juventus: Malinovskiy's late winner downs Ronaldo-less Bianconeri

By Sports Desk April 18, 2021

Ruslan Malinovskiy's late effort consigned Juventus to a 1-0 defeat at Atalanta and struck a blow to their chances of qualifying for next season's Champions League.

Only four minutes remained of Sunday's Serie A contest when Malinovskiy's effort deflected past Wojciech Szczesny to secure the points for Atalanta, who leapfrog Juve into third place in the table.

The Bianconeri were without the injured Cristiano Ronaldo and his absence was acutely felt as Andrea Pirlo's side lacked a cutting edge in attack.

Juve have now drawn three and lost one of their games in Serie A this season where Ronaldo has been absent.

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    Massimiliano Allegri says Juventus will look to bring more experienced players into the squad ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.

    Juve's disappointing season ended with a whimper on Saturday as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat to Fiorentina at the Artemio Franchi.

    Alfred Duncan opening the scoring for a Fiorentina side who were far and away the superior team, before a late penalty from Nicolas Gonzalez finished the Bianconeri off.

    It was the first time Fiorentina have won a Serie A home clash against Juventus since January 2017.

    The game marked the end of Giorgio Chiellini, Paulo Dybala and Federico Bernardeschi's Juve careers, and Allegri acknowledged that the club, who have been linked with free transfer moves for Paul Pogba and Angel Di Maria, will need to replace their experience.

    "I am happy because we have unity of purpose," he told Sky Sport Italia. "We have many players, several will have to leave. Chiellini has stopped, Bernardeschi and Dybala are at the end of their contracts.

    "Then there is the transfer market, but everything must be done calmly and clearly. The team must be arranged calmly.

    "In the 11 there are already young people, we have five. [Dusan] Vlahovic, [Manuel] Locatelli, [Matthijs] De Ligt, [Federico] Chiesa, and then [Fabio] Miretti is playing well.

    "The team grows, it is normal that a mix is ​​needed within the team otherwise with all young people it is more difficult to win.

    "Experience is needed. We will need balance in the team."

    Juve ended the Serie A season with eight fewer points than they did under the leadership of Andrea Pirlo in his maiden campaign, yet Allegri believes that is not a true representation of what he has achieved since he returned to the club.

    "There is a psychological aspect because we had to chase from the start and knew once we lost to Inter and had secured fourth place, the results after that didn't entirely reflect the team and are somewhat false," he added.

    "After that push to get back, once the motivation was lacking, we lost intensity.

    "We also know that we need to score more goals, play with more intensity, we have to keep the good things from this season and improve those that didn't work as well."

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    Mauricio Pochettino's side relegated Metz by dishing out on a thrashing in their final game of the season after Mbappe signed a new contract.

    It was announced before kick-off at Parc des Princes on Saturday that France forward Mbappe had snubbed Real Madrid in favour of putting paper on a new three-year deal with the Ligue 1 champions.

    Meanwhile Di Maria, who left the field in tears when substituted late on, marked his final appearance for the club after seven years in the French capital by rounding off the scoring.

    Marquinhos told Prime Video Sport: "The tribute to Di Maria is deserved for everything he has done. Kylian [Mbappe] scores and announces his extension, it's a perfect evening."

    And the skipper is well aware of the significance of keeping hold of Mbappe following so much talk that he was on his way to Madrid.

    He added: "[Kylian] was strong; he didn't say anything, he showed nothing. When we were in the dressing room, this ceremony [when his new deal was revealed] boosted us for the game.

    "[His extension] is a big step, but there is still a lot to do, we have to analyse what has been good and not so good this season."

    Marquinhos also paid tribute to the outgoing Di Maria, who is heavily linked with a move to Serie A giants Juventus.

    "[Angel is] a great, he's a gentleman. He's a big game player," he continued.

    "He has always made a difference for us – me especially; he gave me a lot of passes. 

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    Juventus suffered one final indignation in a disappointing season as Giorgio Chiellini and Paulo Dybala ended their Bianconeri careers with a 2-0 defeat at Fiorentina.

    Although Juventus have finished fourth in Serie A, this has not been a campaign to remember and this was one more slog, with Alfred Duncan opening the scoring for a Fiorentina side who were far and away the superior team.

    The hosts had more to play for, admittedly, with this win securing a place in next season's Europa Conference League.

    But for Massimiliano Allegri and his Juventus team, 90 minutes of mediocrity was a dismal to finish, particularly with the long service of Chiellini and Dybala coming to an end at the Artemio Franchi. A late penalty from Nicolas Gonzalez finished them off.

    Fiorentina snatched the lead in first-half stoppage time when Juve failed to clear their lines from a ball hoisted hopefully into the box by Sofyan Amrabat

    Giacomo Bonaventura prodded the ball away from a cluster of defenders, and Duncan lashed in from 12 yards for his second goal of the season.

    Veteran defender Chiellini, having taken a blow to the face that saw blood pour from just above his left eye, was substituted at the break, replaced by Daniele Rugani. It was hardly how he would have wanted to bow out.

    Fiorentina had 71.5 per cent of possession in the opening 45 minutes as the Bianconeri turned in a drab display.

    Gonzalez then sent two shots just over the Juventus crossbar as Fiorentina pushed for a second goal early in the second half, while Bonaventura was denied a penalty after going down under a challenge from Adrien Rabiot.

    Substitute goalkeeper Carlo Pinsoglio, who played the entire second half, kept Juventus in the game with a double save in the 78th minute from Krzysztof Piatek's header and Bonaventura's shot from the rebound. In keeping with the rest of the game, they showed little sign of taking advantage of the lifeline.

    When Leonardo Bonucci tripped Lucas Torreira in stoppage time it was an obvious penalty, and Gonzalez made no mistake, finding the bottom-right corner.

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