Juventus put up a professional performance to beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-0. It was professional because it was basically a dead rubber for them. Though the lack of motivation or the lack of key players through injuries didn’t stop Maurizio Sarri’s men. As they knocked out the German outfit in what was a must win match for them.
The Italian champions successfully put behind their below par results in the domestic competition. As they not only got a good result but also played some quality football. Something which has been missing since Sarri has taken over the reigns from Massimiliano Allegri. But this time around he was able to actually implement his system and showed why the Juventus hierarchy appointed him in the first place. Though with pressure mounting on him, he must hope this match was a first of many.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain, Juventus two strikers for the night, combined together to drown Bayer Leverkusen. With the Portuguese opening the scoring in the 75th minutes. While Higuain sealed it with an extra time goal. Though Juventus’s biggest achievement is to finish the match without any injuries. As the Serie A side just can’t afford any more injuries. Specially in the midfield with Sami Khedira, Aaron Ramsey and Rodrigo Bentacur already out with injuries.
For Bayer Leverkusen, it was always an uphill task. As they not only had to beat Juventus, but also required for Lokomotiv Moscow to avoid defeat against Atletico Madrid. None of it happened and the Bundesliga side were relegated to Europa League. For Juventus, they topped their group with 16 points, their joint highest tally. With the Serie A champions also scoring the same number of points in 1996-97 and 2004-05, under Marcello Lippi and Fabio Capello respectively.
While the match was a treat but with several incidents of pitch invasions by fans, it did turn a little ugly. Especially when one of them grabbed Ronaldo by his neck to get a selfie with him, which got the Portuguese visibly irritated. While the Bundesliga is usually pretty good with stadium security, they failed this time around.