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Malmö FF v Juventus Live Commentary & Result, 14/09/2021, UEFA Champions League

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With Juventus finally up and running for the season, that’s all from Malmo today – so thank you for joining us and goodbye!

Old rivals Milan are next up for Juve at the weekend, who will host Chelsea when the Champions League resumes, while Malmo have a top-of-the-table clash with Djurgarden to attend to on Saturday – before a tough trip to St Petersburg, where they meet Zenit at the end of the month.

Ultimately it was a stroll for Juventus today, which certainly did not seem likely midway through the first half. The Bianconeri were able to use their nous and attacking quality to extend a barely deserved lead into an insurmountable advantage at the break. Though Malmo battled gamely in the second period, they rarely threatened to pull even a single goal back and were well beaten upon their return to the European elite.

90′ + 3′ FULL-TIME: MALMO 0-3 JUVENTUS

90′ + 1′ Juve are playing out time now, rotating the ball around midfield as they wind down towards the game’s conclusion.

89′ Almost a fourth! A tremendous flick by Kulusevski plays Kean in again, but the Italy striker is denied by Diawara’s stop at point-blank range. The giant goalkeeper has acquitted himself well today.

88′ Kean attempts a cute lob, but his contact is just a little heavy and the attempt clears Diawara’s crossbar without causing much concern.

87′ De Ligt jogs off for Rugani to get a brief run-out, as the clock ticks down towards the final whistle.

85′ Having been starved of opportunities today, Colak steers a header wide of the left post, as Malmo seek a deserved consolation goal.

D. Kulusevski

J. Cuadrado

83′ Cuadrado is rested for the final few minutes, with Kulusevski given the chance to feature in his homeland.

82′ After an excellent display, Dybala is rested for the last 10 minutes, as Ramsey continues his return from injury with another cameo role.

79′ Though Nanasi finds a pocket of space just inside the area, Locatelli is quick to intervene and take the ball off his toe just as the Malmo man is about to strike. The corner comes to nothing though.

76′ Tomasson withdraws Rieks, with former Blackburn defender Olsson on in his place.

75′ Innocent is now replaced by young Nanasi, who has broken into the Malmo first-team squad this year.

73′ Today’s scoreline reflects a trend for Malmo, as they have only scored three goals throughout their last 10 Champions League games – failing to score in eight fixtures during that run. Furthermore, the Swedish side have conceded a total of 34 goals across those matches, at an average of over three per game.

71′ Malmo have a rare chance to get a goal back, but Szczesny again does well to block Christiansen’s attempt for a corner, which the home side then fail to take advantage of.

69′ Coming into form now – perhaps inspired by the captaincy – Dybala effortlessly works some space and his left-footed curler is repelled by Diawara’s fists.

68′ Bentancur is replaced by McKennie in midfield for the visitors.

68′ Ahead of the weekend’s game with Milan, Allegri withdraws Morata; offering Kean a chance up front for the final 20 minutes.

65′ Berget almost latches on to an in-swinging cross from Christiansen out on the left, but the recently under-fire Szczesny deals with it decisively – punching well clear.

63′ In keeping with today’s performance, Juventus have lost only one of their last 11 away games in the Champions League grpup stage, with that lone defeat coming against Young Boys back in the 2018-19 campaign. In fact, the Turin club have won each of their last five group stage games on the road – scoring at least two goals in each.

61′ Delightful football! Morata plays in Cuadrado, whose ball finds Dybala on the edge of the area. The mercurial Argentinian flicks a wonderful return into Morata’s path, but the striker’s first-time effort is sharply saved by Diawara, low to his left. Great stuff by Juve!

M. Abubakari

V. Birmančević

59′ Birmancevic is brought off now, with Abubakari on in his place.

59′ Malmo are seeking fresh momentum, so throw on Nalic for Rakip, who has been overrun in midfield today.

58′ De Ligt is the first Juve man in the referee’s book, having been cautioned for a foul on Rakip.

56′ Malmo will be looking to Antonio Colak for inspiration in the final half-hour, after he scored five of Malmo’s 13 goals during qualifying – making the Croatian striker the top scorer of the entire qualification process.

54′ Increasingly influential, Cuadrado wins a free kick on the right wing, having been clumsily brought down by Birmancevic.

52′ Morata’s left-footed shot from out on the left side of the box drifts high and wide to the left of Diawara’s goal, following Alex Sandro’s through ball.

49′ A late tackle from Locatelli brings down Rakip in the centre of the pitch, but Malmo eventually concede possession from the resulting free-kick.

47′ A flick and turn from Christiansen has De Ligt beaten on the edge of the area, but the Denmark midfielder fires well over the bar with his off-balance effort.

46′ Malmo kick us off in the second half, with a steep mountain to climb!

Allegri will be delighted with how his first Champions League game since April 2019 is progressing so far. On that day, his Juventus side were eliminated by Ajax in the quarter-finals and they have since exited in the last 16 for the past two years – so their aim will be set higher this term.

Without applying much intense pressure on the Malmo defence, somehow Juventus are three goals to the good after 45 minutes. Alex Sandro’s opening strike clearly sent some much-needed confidence coursing through their veins, but the hosts’ generosity extended to conceding two avoidable goals late on, and now the Bianconeri are surely set to cruise towards victory on the opening day.

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45′ + 2′ HALF-TIME: MALMO 0-3 JUVENTUS

45′ + 1′ INCREDIBLE! Having earned a penalty just a few minutes previously, Morata then nets a third Juventus goal! Dybala’s attempts at latching onto a long ball cause confusion in the Malmo defence and the former Real Madrid man pokes his long leg out to steer the ball past Diawara. Remarkably, Juventus lead 3-0 at the break!

45′ JUVE DOUBLE UP! Dybala scuffs his penalty low underneath Diawara, but gets enough purchase to secure a second Juventus goal of the first half. Now it’s Malmo 0-2 Juventus!

43′ Nielsen joins Brorsson in the book, after his hands-on challenge on Morata in the centre of the area. 

41′ PENALTY TO JUVE? Morata is hauled down in the area with his back to goal; Nielsen is the guilty party. The VAR will have to consider whether the Juventus striker was onside!

39′ Brorsson receives the game’s first booking for a mistimed challenge on new Juve skipper Dybala.

37′ Locatelli’s right-footed shot from the left side of the box goes wide without troubling Diawara.

34′ Juventus are dictating the tempo and have now taken control of midfield – demonstrating the confidence-boosting effects that a one-goal lead can have.

33′ Malmo manager Jon Dahl Tomasson is taking charge of his first Champions League match as a boss today, though he appeared 42 times as a player between 1997 and 2005. His final game came in Milan’s famous final defeat to Liverpool, when he scored one of the Rossoneri’s two successful penalties in the shootout.

31′ Only recently established as Malmo’s number one, Diawara recovers his ground to stretch and stop Morata’s attempt at a lofted shot from just inside the area. He did well to make his presence count.

29′ A particularly ambitious free-kick attempt from Birmancevic – fully 40 yards from goal – flies comfortably over the bar. Perhaps not the wisest of set-piece selections.

27′ ALMOST A SECOND! Alex Sandro glides past Berget again on the left wing, bringing Bonucci’s long ball into his path, but then narrowly misses the right-hand post with a low shot which left Diawara stranded.

25′ Rabiot tries a left-footed pot-shot from a tight angle, but his speculative effort is well off target.

23′ Twice involved in the build-up, Bentancur got a faint touch after Cuadrado curled a threatening ball into the Malmo area for Alex Sandro to divert home.

23′ JUVE LEAD! Against the run of play, the Bianconeri are in front at Eleda Stadion! Back in the side after missing out at the weekend, the South American trio of Bentancur, Cuadrado and Alex Sandro combine to score – with the latter heading into the bottom corner from close range; latching onto Cuadrado’s dangerous cross. Malmo 0-1 Juventus! 

19′ Morata breaks up Malmo’s attacking rhythm, as he goes down easily after a shirt-tug from Ahmedhodzic.

17′ Nearly the opener! Rieks volleys just over the bar from a swinging right-wing Berget cross, with the Juventus defence left static. Malmo are definitely on top.

15′ Juventus have started tentatively in Sweden, with the home side apparently eager to capitalise on their visitors’ low confidence.

14′ Like Dybala, now Morata slips as he turns to shoot inside the area, but is ultimately ruled offside in any case.

12′ Dybala concedes a needless free-kick for a foul on Rieks on the left wing.

10′ Christiansen over-hits a drilled free-kick from a good position out on the left, wasting an opportunity to cause further problems for the visitors’ rearguard.

8′ Dybala streaks through on goal, having escaped the offside trap, but slips and skews his left-footed effort over the bar. A presentable chance missed by the Juve captain.

6′ A first attempt at building an attack founders as Malmo’s Berget plays a loose ball into Colak. Then, in the aftermath, De Ligt is forced to flick-head the ball clear for a corner.

4′ Morata is brought down in the centre circle by Rakip, but the Spain striker is then caught offside following the free-kick.

2′ Juve apply the first pressure in the opposition half, which ends with Alex Sandro heading well over the bar from an awkward angle.

1′ We are under way, with Malmo in their customary pale blue and Juventus wearing all black.

The players are out at Eleda Stadion, amid a lively atmosphere in Malmo!

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri welcomes back several men missing from the weekend defeat in Naples, as South American stars Juan Cuadrado, Paulo Dybala, Danilo, Alex Sandro and Rodrigo Bentancur all feature, having previously returned late from international duty. However, Italy winger Federico Chiesa remains sidelined because of a hamstring problem. The hosts, meanwhile, have paired Antonio Colak – a star of the qualifying campaign – with Veljko Birmancevic up front, after the Serbian striker netted in both legs of the playoff against Ludogorets.

SUBS: Mattia Perin, Carlo Pinsoglio, Weston McKennie, Giorgio Chiellini, Dejan Kulusevski, Mattia De Sciglio, Moise Kean, Aaron Ramsey, Daniele Rugani.

JUVENTUS (4-4-2): Wojciech Szczesny; Danilo, Leonardo Bonucci, Matthijs de Ligt, Alex Sandro; Juan Cuadrado, Adrien Rabiot, Manuel Locatelli, Rodrigo Bentancur, Paulo Dybala, Alvaro Morata.

SUBS: Johan Dahlin, Markus Bjorkqvist, Eric Larsson, Peter Gwargis, Malik Abubakari, Felix Beijmo, Sebastian Nanasi, Adi Nalic, Melker Ellborg, Martin Olsson, Noah Eile.

MALMO (3-5-2): Ismael Diarra Diawara; Anel Ahmedhodzic, Franz Brorsson, Lasse Nielsen; Jo Inge Berget, Anders Christiansen, Erdal Rakip, Bonke Innocent, Soren Rieks; Antonio Colak, Veljko Birmancevic.

A recent dip in form has seen Malmo slip off the top of the Allsvenskan in defence of their 21st Swedish title, but Jon Dahl Tomasson’s side – who claimed the club’s fifth national championship in the last eight years at the end of the 2020 season – now return to the group stage for the first time since 2015. Having beaten Riga, Nordic neighbours HJK Helsinki, Scottish champions Rangers and then Ludogorets to make it this far, they have certainly earned their place on the starting line.

Juve are without a league victory this season, after they lost to Napoli in their first match since Cristiano Ronaldo officially left for Manchester United – which followed defeat to promoted Empoli just before the international break. The Italian giants are, therefore, under pressure to address talk of a crisis, as they enter a group also featuring Chelsea and Zenit St Petersburg.

Following a second successive last-16 exit in 2020-21, Juventus only scraped into the Champions League on the final day of the Serie A season, while their hosts – who started in the first round of qualifying – are back in the big time after six years away.

Hello and welcome to live coverage of Malmo v Juventus in Champions League Group H!



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