Football Serie A

SPAL 0-0 Juventus: Player ratings

Leaders Juventus saw their run of 12 consecutive Serie A victories grind to a halt, as SPAL more than earned their stalemate.

The Bianconeri went into the Stadio Mazza in Ferrara four points clear of Napoli at the top of the table, but Daniele Rugani stepped in for suspended Medhi Benatia with Alex Sandro moved into a more advanced role. Juan Cuadrado and Federico Bernardeschi are long-term absentees.

The Spallini had picked up seven points from their last three games, but Federico Mattiello was out injured with Marco Borriello. The last time Juventus played a top flight match in Ferrara was a 1-0 victory in May 1968.

It was all SPAL in the early stages, but when Juve did emerge from their own half it was with real danger. Douglas Costa dribbled past defenders and his slide-rule pass sent Alex Sandro through, but Filippo Costa made a decisive block.

Paulo Dybala also curled just past the far top corner, but Giorgio Chiellini needed a desperate interception on Costa’s cross after he went clear down the left.

A corner was cleared to the edge of the box, where Kwadwo Asamoah’s half-volley flew over the bar, but on the stroke of half-time, Dybala’s free kick skimmed the frame of the goal.

Douglas Costa forced the first real save out of Alex Meret after the restart, an angled drive beaten away, then Chiellini went on an unexpected charge from his own half to set up Dybala’s shot wide.

Juve still weren’t making a dent in SPAL’s defences, so Max Allegri threw on Mario Mandzukic and moved Alex Sandro to left-back.

It changed the momentum, as the Bianconeri started to swarm with extended periods of pressure, but it also left them open to the counter and Daniele Rugani intercepted the Antenucci assist for Paloschi alone in the box.

Chiellini limped off with a muscular problem and the visitors had one of their best chances, as Douglas Costa rode a tackle down the right and whipped the cross to the back post for a Mandzukic diving header wide.

When a period of Juve pressure finally got Alex Sandro into space, he prodded a harmless finish straight at Meret.

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