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Juventus 2-0 Cagliari: Kean and Bernardeschi help Juve close gap
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Moise Kean (r) celebrates scoring for Juventus against Cagliari
Moise Kean (r) celebrates scoring for Juventus against Cagliari

Federico Bernardeschi played a part in both goals as Juventus edged past Cagliari 2-0 to extend their unbeaten run in Serie A to five matches and make up ground on the top four.

Massimiliano Allegri's men had defeated Cagliari in nine of their previous 10 league meetings but were unable able to seriously assert their authority and were nearly made to pay before killing off the game late on.

Having earlier gone close with a header against the post, Moise Kean opened the scoring for Juve five minutes before half-time in their final match of a disappointing 2021.

Juve survived a couple of big scares in the second half before Bernardeschi, who created Kean's opener, struck in the 83rd minute to seal a win that moves the Bianconeri within four points of fourth-placed Atalanta, who drew 0-0 with Genoa elsewhere on Tuesday.

Kean headed Juan Cuadrado's right-sided cross against the upright with a thumping header 10 minutes into what proved a frustrating first half for the hosts.

However, the breakthrough duly arrived shortly before the interval when Kean adjusted his body to guide Bernardeschi's deflected cross past Alessio Cragno.

Cagliari, who have now conceded in 23 successive away league meetings with Juve, wasted a big chance to equalise before the hour as Dalbert steered wide from seven yards.

Joao Pedro did at least manage to test Wojciech Szczesny eight minutes later with a header down the middle that the Juve keeper tipped over.

But Juve made certain of the points through Bernardeschi's angled drive at the end of a counter, the winger ending a run of 513 days without a goal in Serie A.

What does it mean? Juve find some form

Juventus have now won six home league games in a row against lowly Cagliari by an aggregate 18-1 scoreline.

Even accounting for a rather underwhelming draw with Venezia recently, the Bianconeri can be happy with their return of 13 points from the last 15 on offer in Serie A.

With this latest victory, Allegri equals Fabio Capello for the number of wins as a manager in Serie A (252 excluding play-offs), doing so in 40 games fewer.

Moise the main man

Kean struggled in Juve's win over Bologna at the weekend as his scoreless streak in Serie A stretched to a sixth game, but he was Juve's liveliest player against Cagliari during his 72 minutes on the field.

The Italy international found the net from one of his three attempts and has now scored in three of the six league games he has started this season.

If at first you don't succeed...

It was looking like being another one of those days for trigger-happy Bernardeschi, whose six shots was double the amount of any other player on the field.

But the versatile forward did finally find a way through as he ended a run of 45 shots without finding the net in Serie A.

Key Opta Facts:

- Since the beginning of November, Juventus have collected 19 points in Serie A, level with Atalanta and Inter (one game less for the Nerazzurri)
- Cagliari have not scored in six of the eight Serie A away games under Walter Mazzarri (3D, 5L).
- Juventus have won seven of the eight Serie A games in which Bernardeschi scored (1D).
- Kean scored the 37th goal of his club career (all competitions). Among the players with at least this number of goals scored in Europe's top five leagues, only Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland are currently younger than him.
- Juve forward Kean has scored two goals in two Serie A games against Cagliari; against no opponent he has scored more (level with Milan, Fiorentina and Udinese).

What's next?

Juventus return to action on January 6 with a home match against Napoli, while 19th-placed Cagliari travel to Sampdoria the same day.

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