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Cremonese 0-1 Juventus: Late Milik free-kick extends winning run
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Joshua Challies
Stats Perform
Arkadiusz Milik was the hero for Juventus as Serie A returned
Arkadiusz Milik was the hero for Juventus as Serie A returned

Juventus extended their winning run to seven successive Serie A matches after a dramatic 1-0 triumph at Cremonese.

Arkadiusz Milik hit a late winner for the Bianconeri at the end of a match in which winless Cremonese had created the better of the chances.

The Serie A strugglers were twice frustrated by the officials in the first half, while Cyriel Dessers then struck the post in the second period.

But Milik's free-kick crept past Marco Carnesecchi for another victory that moved Juve to within seven points of leaders Napoli ahead of their clash with Inter.

Cremonese earlier thought they had found the breakthrough when Matteo Bianchetti clipped a pass over the top for Emanuele Valeri to head past Wojciech Szczesny but Bremer rushed back in an attempt to clear close to the line before an offside flag halted home appeals for a goal to be awarded.

The hosts did have the ball in the back of the net shortly afterwards, only for Dessers to be penalised for a push on Danilo after smashing in from close range.

At the other end, Matias Soule forced a low save from Carnesecchi with a driven effort from distance and Filip Kostic whistled a fierce attempt wide of the target.

Dessers came agonisingly close to a winner with just over 20 minutes remaining, latching onto Valeri's header and unleashing a ferocious effort that cannoned off the post with Szczesny beaten.

A point was the least Cremonese deserved, but they were cruelly denied as Milik's low free-kick could only be helped onto the inside of the post by Carnesecchi.

What does it mean? Juve's solid foundations

Keeping Cremonese at bay, Juventus secured not only their seventh win in a row but also their seventh clean sheet in succession. They have conceded by far the fewest goals in the division (seven) — with Napoli (12) the closest to Allegri's side in that regard.

At the other end, Juventus have struggled a little in front of goal — only Roma (19) in Serie A's top six have scored fewer than Juventus (25) — but their solid foundations will be key in the second half of the season.

Milik free-kick king

Milik's name may not be the first that springs to mind when considering players you would like to have over a dead-ball situation but the forward's strike against Cremonese boosts a very impressive record.

Among players to have taken more than three free-kicks in Serie A since 2004-05, no-one has a better conversion rate than Milik's 33 per cent — scoring with four of his 12 efforts.

Dessers deserved goal

With three shots, Dessers was the most threatening attacking outlet for Cremonese and deserved a goal, even though none of his registered attempts were on target, coming closest when striking the post in the second half.

Cremonese were perhaps hard done by for the goal Dessers saw disallowed, too, with his push on Danilo seeing minimal contact.

Key Opta Facts

No team have scored more goals from direct free-kicks than Juventus in Europe's top five leagues this season (three, level with Lorient).

Milik is the only player in Serie A this term to have scored more than one goal in injury time.

Juventus have recorded 11 clean sheets so far, a joint-high in Europe's top five leagues this season (level with Barcelona).

Juve have kept a clean sheet in each of their last seven games in Serie A, their longest such run since January-March 2018 (10 matches in a row under Allegri).

What's next?

Juventus host Udinese in Serie A on Saturday, while Cremonese travel to face rock-bottom Hellas Verona on Monday in what could be a decisive game in the fight to avoid relegation.


Serie AJuventusCremonese
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