KENYA BROWN - Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Weston McKennie made his return to Juventus' starting line-up and registered his first assist in the process as the reigning Serie A champions came away victorious.
Spezia 1-4 Juventus
A second-half surge helped Juventus to a confidence-boosting win over Spezia at Stadio Alberto Picco after a recent spell of indifferent form.
Weston McKennie would get the start for the Bianconeri and play an active 62 minutes on the right side of a four-man midfield. This would be the midfielder's first start since Sept. 27. This was also the first time for the 22-year-old to play extended minutes since returning from his COVID-19 isolation.
After several minutes of back-and-forth, Juventus were on the scoreboard in the 14th minute when Rodrigo Bentancur played a through-ball to McKennie in the area. No one would have blamed him if he decided to have a chance at goal, but he showed his unselfishness as he passed the ball to Alvaro Morata to slot home.
However, the referee would disallow the goal due to offside. That would be overturned later when the video assistant referee determined the play was good.
Spezia may have not been the favorites to win this game, but they were determined to give it their all. It paid off after the half-hour mark when leveled the score through Tommaso Pobega. Paolo Bartolomei teed up the Italian midfield as he put his shot past Gianluigi Buffon.
Juventus have struggled in the past weeks for goals, but that all changed with the return of Cristiano Ronaldo following his negative COVID-19 test.
The visitors retook the lead just before the hour mark when the Portuguese international was played the ball in the area before rounding the goalkeeper to score in the open goal.
Andrien Rabiot extended Juventus' lead eight minutes later as he dribbled around the goalkeeper himself to put his name on the scoresheet.
Juventus wrapped up the game in the 76th minute when Ronaldo converted a penalty following a foul in the area.
A good win for the Old Lady as they bounced back from their Champions League defeat against Barcelona. Now, McKennie and crew will look to carry that win over to their next European game when they take on Ferencvaros.
Down in Serie B, Andrija Novakovich started and played 69 minutes for Frosinone in their 1-0 win over Cremonese to move them up to third place in the standings.