Goals: Juventus – SC Freiburg – Played on 03/09/2023
Angel Di Maria’s header in the first leg match between Juventus and Freiburg in the round of 16 of the European League made the difference.
The Bianconeri dominated the game right up to the goal, and it wasn’t until after that that the visitors began to gain possession of the ball. However, Juventus had the upper hand in the match as they had six shots on target to Freiburg’s one shot.
The aim now is to repeat the win in the second leg in seven days.
Juventus started the match strongly, and after only two minutes had passed, Angel Di Maria burst into the penalty area to shoot toward Freiburg’s goal, but none of the Juventus players succeeded in reaching the ball.
After that, the Argentine player sent a wonderful pass to Juan Cuadrado, and after a quick exchange of the ball with Adrien Rabiot in the middle of the field, the latter approached the goal, and Marc Flecken handled his shot poorly, as the ball approached the goal line before it was dispersed.
Leonardo Bonucci came on as a substitute for Alex Sandro in the 23rd minute, and the Bianconeri tested the Freiburg goalkeeper with two free kicks. Cuadrado executed the first, while Dusan Vlahović hit the second, and Flickin blocked both shots.
After Vlahović’s shot, Juventus continued to press, Fabio Meretti passed the ball into Manuel Locatelli’s path, but the No. 5 fired wide.
After more than half an hour had passed, Juventus almost scored the first goal. The danger came again from a corner kick taken by Di Maria, which feinted Flecken. Bremer tried to reach the ball and score the goal in the far corner, but he could not direct his header toward the goal.
Vlahovic was close to scoring in the last moments of the first half after Cuadrado hit hard from the edge of the area, and the goalkeeper blocked it, to bounce back into the area, but the Serbian striker’s header lacked accuracy.
But Di Maria’s header in the second half would make the difference.
Juventus continued to dominate the game in the second half. An attack by the team from the right flank faltered, but the players recovered the ball and tried to attack from the left.
Filip Kostić sent in a cross, which was skillfully received by Ángel Di Maria, and a powerful header hit Flicken’s net.
Freiburg almost equalized after nine minutes and with their first shot. A free kick taken by Vincenzo Grifo reached Lucas Holler inside the penalty area, and the latter fired the ball into the net.
After returning to the video referee, the goal was disallowed due to a player touching the ball with his hand while building the attack.
Freiburg managed to take control of the game and started to gain possession, but Juventus held their ground. In the last ten minutes of the match, Juventus launched a counterattack, as Rabio advanced, and the ball reached Federico Chiesa on the edge of the penalty area, but Freiburg’s defense dealt with his shot.
The match ended with a single goal difference, despite the large difference in the number of attempts – 19-1 in favor of Juventus, and the second meeting next Thursday will decide the identity of the qualifier for the next round.
Juventus 1-0 Freiburg (First half: 0-0)
Goals: 53′ Di Maria
Juventus: Chesney; Danilo Bremer, Alex Sandro (23′ Bonucci); Cuadrado, Meriti (46′ Fagioli), Locatelli, Rabiot, Kosic (77′ Kean); Di Maria; Vlahovic (66′ Chiesa). Substitutes: Pensolio, Perin, Gatti, Rugani, Soleil, Paredes, Barinice. Coach: Allegri.