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HomeSerie AFairytale farewell: Alex Sandro plays another starring role

Fairytale farewell: Alex Sandro plays another starring role

Juventus Turin celebrated a conciliatory end to their Serie A campaign: Alex Sandro, of all people, played a starring role once again in the 2-0 win over Monza

Six league games in a row without a win – and just a few days after the wild 3-3 draw against Bologna – Juventus were challenged at home against Monza in the Serie A finale. It was set to be a special evening for the home favorites, as Alex Sandro made his last appearance in a Juve shirt after over 300 competitive games and nine years for the Bianconeri. The Brazilian was allowed to crown it himself.

But first things first: Fagioli, who was also named in Italy’s provisional European Championship squad, celebrated his comeback in the starting eleven for the home side after serving a seven-month ban for a betting scandal. And the 23-year-old midfielder was to have the first big chance in an evenly poised opening period – his shot from outside the penalty area just clattered against the crossbar (17′).

Chiesa keeps on whirling

After around 25 minutes, Juve really got going. Seconds after Izza had saved from the line, Chiesa outmuscled opponent d’Ambrosio with a tunnel and shot into the far corner to take the lead (26′). Two minutes later, it was a scene worthy of the term “of all time”: Fagioli took a corner from the right with force and cut to the first post, where Alex Sandro actually headed into the far corner. His first Serie A goal of the season was to be his last for the Bianconeri.

Juve’s substitute keeper Pinsoglio also got a few minutes of action at the break. Monza came out of the locker room with great commitment, but the Juventus goalkeeper made a quick reaction save from Birindelli on the line (52′). They almost made it 3:0 on the counter-attack, but Chiesa’s shot only hit the far post (53′).

It was Chiesa who was set up perfectly by Fagioli – but this time Monza goalkeeper Sorrentino saved at the highest risk (61′). In the final half-hour, the 74th minute in particular was a highly emotional one: not because Tiago Djalo was making his Juve debut, but because Alex Sandro was making his well-deserved farewell

Rounds of honor before the final whistle

There was a standing ovation, all the players came for hugs and Alex Sandro was in tears. After his substitution, the left-footed player did a lap of honor along the touchline and clapped his hands with many fans. After the final whistle – it remained a deserved 2:0 – Alex Sandro proudly presented the Coppa Italia trophy to the fans

The fairytale farewell lifts Juve to third place for the time being. Atalanta (five points less) could still overtake them with two wins in the season finale. Meanwhile, 33-year-old Alex Sandro is already being linked with Brazilian clubs

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