Since losing Cristiano Ronaldo in the offseason, Juventus has struggled to replace the Portuguese star’s impressive goal haul. Ronaldo had an incredible ability to leap for headed goals in his three seasons with the Bianconeri. But this Weston McKennie goal vs Sassuolo showed the Old Lady still has a pretty good option when lobbing balls into the box. Unfortunately for the American, the rest of his team wasn’t up to his level on Wednesday.
McKennie outleaped the entire Sassuolo defense to score Juventus’ only goal in a 2-1 defeat to Sassuolo on Wednesday at the Allianz Stadium, the first time the Neroverdi have ever beaten Juve in Turin.
Davide Frattesi put Sassuolo into the lead against the run of play just before halftime and Maxime López scored in the 95th minute as Juventus plowed forward in search of a winner. The result was Massimiliano Allegri’s side falling further behind league-leading AC Milan, now 13 points ahead of the 36-time Italian champion.
Despite the defeat, McKennie had his moments, pulling his side back into the match with a soaring header in the 76th minute, his first of the Serie A campaign. His hangtime was reminiscent of some of the goals Ronaldo scored for the Bianconeri.
Weston McKennie Goal vs Sassuolo
PAULO DYBALA PUTS THE BALL IN AND WESTON MCKENNIE LEVELS IT UP pic.twitter.com/7UwKOnAHs9— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) October 27, 2021
Alas, McKennie is a mere mortal midfielder, and the Juventus attack still lacks a consistent goal threat at striker. Kaio Jorge, a promising 19-year-old Brazilian, replaced Álvaro Morata at striker in the second half but failed to make much of an impact aside from missing an acrobatic bicycle attempt.
McKennie played the full 90 minutes for Juve and showed some leadership when he shoved Mert Müldür away from Paulo Dybala, who was getting into it with the Sassuolo fullback for refusing to leave the pitch quickly while being subbed off late.
The Texan became a makeshift center back late in the match as Juve’s center backs pushed forward for a late goal. Though the American made a great block late, he couldn’t do anything about López’s last-minute strike as he was Juventus’ only man back on a counterattack.
MAXIME LOPEZ IN THE 95TH MINUTESASSUOLO DEFEAT JUVENTUS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN TURIN pic.twitter.com/J0xdNzAvXB
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) October 27, 2021
Maybe McKennie could have done more, but he didn’t exactly have a lot of support from his teammates.
Juventus now has 15 points from 10 matches, a return more on par with Arsenal than PSG. Personally, I think Weston McKennie should make a move to North London, because based on my FIFA 22 Career Mode with the Gunners, McKennie would have a great time at Arsenal.