Substitute Juan Cuadrado struck in added time against his former club as Juventus finally broke down 10-man opponents Fiorentina to win 1-0 in Saturday’s Serie A clash.
Juve were on the verge of going a fourth league game without a victory when Cuadrado, on the field for just 13 minutes, beat Pietro Terracciano at his near post late on.
The hosts had struggled for large parts of the contest but momentum swung in their favour when Nikola Milenkovic was sent off 17 minutes from time.
After Federico Chiesa hit the bar and Alvaro Morata had a goal ruled out for offside, Cuadrado found a way through to lift Juve level on points with their opponents in eighth place.
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Both sides struggled to find their rhythm in a low-key first half that saw stand-in Juve goalkeeper Mattia Perin smother Giacomo Bonaventura’s header from the only save.
Riccardo Saponara failed to keep his acrobatic attempt on target from the best of the chances in the opening 45 minutes, but Fiorentina felt they should have had a penalty from the last act of the half when a cross into the box hit the arm of Danilo.
Juve were given a reprieve by VAR on that occasion and started the second period a little brighter, with Morata drilling inches wide with a well-struck volley.
A second yellow for Milenkovic for a silly lunge on Chiesa gave Juve further impetus to push for a winner and they nearly found it when Chiesa smacked the frame of the goal three minutes later.
There was further frustration when Morata had a goal disallowed, but Cuadrado bailed out his side with time nearly up by getting away from Cristiano Biraghi and driving a shot past Terracciano.
What does it mean? Juve rescued at the death
Cuadrado’s late goal could prove truly massive for Juventus, who were on the verge of making their worst start to a Serie A campaign after 12 matches in the three-points-per-win era.
Allegri’s side were poor up until Milenkovic’s dismissal, failing to register a shot on target, but that proved a turning point as they bombarded the Fiorentina box.
Fiorentina were minutes away from going three league games without defeat against Juve for the first time in 13 years, though ultimately they can have few complaints as they were the victims of their own demise.
Double ton for Allegri
It looked like being another day to forget for Allegri for large parts of the contest, but the late winner brought up his 200th victory for the Bianconeri in all competitions.
That makes him just the third head coach to do so with Juve since 1929-30 after Giovanni Trapattoni (319 victories) and Marcelo Lippi (227).
Cuadrado punishes latest Fiorentina red
Milenkovic’s red card was the fourth Fiorentina have been shown in Serie A this season – only Lyon (five) have been issued more in Europe’s top five leagues in 2020-21.
It proved the catalyst for Juventus to push on and Cuadrado, who spent three seasons with I Viola earlier in his career, fired in the winner from his only attempt of the game.
Key Opta Stats:
– Cuadrado scored his first Serie A goal as a substitute since November 2018, when he netted against Cagliari.
– Fiorentina have lost three Serie A away matches in a row for the first time since December 2019, in the last three away league matches under Vincenzo Montella.
– The late goal means Fiorentina have not drawn a single game in their first 12 matches of a Serie A campaign for the second time in their history in the competition, after 2015-16.
– Juventus have won 15 of the 16 Serie matches in which Cuadrado has found the net (D1).
– They tasted victory despite only firing their first shot on target in the match at minute 86 through Chiesa.
Juventus travel to Lazio on November 20 in their return to Serie A action after the international break, while Fiorentina host Milan the same day.