Dusan Vlahovic shot Juventus to within one point of Serie A leaders Inter Milan with the decisive strike in Saturday’s 2-1 win at Frosinone, as Lewis Ferguson kept high-flying Bologna in the Champions League positions. Serbia forward Vlahovic headed home the winner with nine minutes remaining at the Stadio Benito Stirpe after Jaime Baez had equalised for the hosts following Kenan Yildiz’s opener early in his first Juve start. Massimiliano Allegri’s side now await the result of Inter’s home clash with Lecce, which Inter have to face without injured star striker Lautaro Martinez and Italy left-back Federico Dimarco.
Vlahovic, who has had a tricky season, is on six league goals and was unlucky to end the match without a brace when his precision 89th-minute strike was ruled out for offside.
“There was the desire to win, to help the team and make the fans happy in that goal,” Vlahovic told DAZN.
“A striker is obviously not happy when they don’t score, or not consistently, but I work hard every day to give something to the team.”
Teen starlet Yildiz become Juve’s youngest ever foreign Serie A goalscorer with his stunning near-post finish, which came after he weaved his way past three defenders.
German-born Yildiz, 18, a reported target for Arsenal and Liverpool, came in for injured Federico Chiesa and said he now has to take his teammates out to dinner to celebrate.
“For me, this is too great. Thanks to everyone. To the fans, they are crazy. Look at them!” he said.
The one negative note for Juve was Alex Sandro and Manuel Locatelli both suffering injuries.
Alex Sandro had left the field midway through the first half with cramp, the Brazilian defender has already missed most of the season with a hamstring injury.
It was Frosinone’s first defeat at home since they lost to Napoli in the first week of the season. They hammered the Italian champions 4-0 in the Italian Cup in midweek.
Eusebio Di Francesco’s side are 14th on 19 points, seven points above the relegation zone.
Scotland’s Ferguson thumped home the winning header with four minutes remaining at the Stadio Dall’Ara as Bologna continued their remarkable season with a 1-0 win over Atalanta.
Thiago Motta’s side will go into Christmas in fourth, one point ahead of Fiorentina after a hard-fought win, their sixth in a row at home in Serie A.
Ferguson’s bullet header was the fourth goal of what has been an impressive second season in Italy for the 24-year-old, who has been a key man for a Bologna team which also knocked out Inter from the Italian Cup midweek.
“It’s up there with the most important,” said Ferguson of his winner.
And Ferguson, who also has Euro 2024 to look forward to next summer, is bullish about Bologna’s chances of Champions League qualification.
“Of course it’s possible. It’s possible for anyone. But just now we’re in a good moment, we’re getting the right results,” he added.
“We work so hard… everyone is together at the club, and we’re all pushing in the same direction. There’s a real belief.”
Atalanta are now five points behind Bologna in seventh after their seventh defeat of an inconsistent season to date.
Ivan Ilic’s mishit cross gave 10th-placed Torino a 1-1 home draw with struggling Udinese.
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