Juventus creep closer to Scudetto with narrow win against Bologna
Juventus got one hand on a third straight Serie A crown thanks to a 1-0 win over relegation-threatened Bologna on Saturday evening.
Paul Pogba’s 64th-minute goal was enough to take the Bianconeri one step closer to a title which could be theirs next weekend, if Roma fail to respond.
With four games of the season to go, Juve also still have the chance of breaking through the 100-point barrier, having moved on to 90 with this win, while Bologna have a battle on their hands to stay up with Sassuolo now level on points with Davide Balladrini’s men.
The game was dominated by the hosts, even if the final result failed to reflect Juve’s superiority.
That was largely down to a strong defensive performance by Bologna, who often had 10 men behind the ball and frustrated the defending champions with a Pogba header in the 11th minute and an Andrea Pirlo free-kick the best Antonio Conte’s men could offer in the first 45 minutes.
The hosts stepped up their efforts in the second half and they were rewarded with the goal which unblocked the game in the 64th minute.
Pogba’s first touch set him up to sweep a low shot in from 20 yards for his seventh of the season.
Two minutes later, Gianluca Curci got a hand to Mauricio Isla’s shot to push the ball over for a corner, which was only given after the Bologna goalkeeper admitted to the referee that he had touched the ball.
The game then lost its way with Juve clearly happy enough with the single goal, and Bologna unable to put them under any serious pressure.
Lazaros Christodoulopoulos gave Gianluigi Buffon his first save to make – in the 82nd minute – with a shot from outside the penalty area, but there was never any fear that the Italy goalkeeper would be beaten.
Pogba seemed the only player who still wanted to add a second, but, whenever one of his team-mates gained possession, the tempo of the game was reduced.
With one eye on Thursday’s Europa League semifinal against Benfica, Juve did not want to do any more than they had to in taking three points which leaves them unlikely now to relinquish their grip on a third straight Scudetto.