Juventus – Bayer Leverkusen: A dominant second half from Juventus steamrolls a helpless Leverkusen (3-0)
Whereas the first half had sporadically shown what this Juve side is capable of, after the break Maurizio Sarri’s men stepped up to put the game to bed in dominant fashion. Leverkusen were unable to respond, as Juve outclassed them in every department, often seemingly without breaking a sweat.
Tactical analysis and match report by Kareem Bianchi.
Juventus and Bayer Leverkusen faced off for the second game in Group D at a time they went through similar patterns of form. After unconvincing performances against Fiorentina and Verona, Sarri’s verdict on Juve pushed him to make changes. The 4-3-3 shape that had slowly lost its core - having fallen to the injury of a crucial player in Douglas Costa - was abandoned in favor of a lineup that featured more technicians along the field. This saw Sarri trace back the footsteps that led to his origins, after which he lined up Paulo Dybala and Aaron Ramsey at striker and attacking midfielder in a 4-3-1-2 formation that guaranteed additional presence between the lines against Brescia and SPAL. For this Champions League encounter, though, the manager surprisingly benched Ramsey and Dybala for Federico Bernardeschi and Gonzalo Higuaín.
Peter Bosz landed in Turin after losses to Lokomotiv Moscow and Borussia Dortmund that strongly undermined his team’s certainties. In recent weeks though, Bayer Leverkusen seemed to have found its way back on track by winning their last two games. However, questions remain unanswered regarding their capabilities against stronger opposition, and the game against Juventus awaited a final reply. To do so, the Dutch manager brought the rested Jonathan Tah and Lars Bender back into defense while . . .