Lazio 2:1 Juventus - The Old Lady Crashes Out of the Coppa Italia

Paolo Bruno

And we are out.

I have had to write a number of game recaps and reviews, but this one hurts quite a bit. This team was built around an airtight defense, but, since Giorgio Chiellini's injury and Kwadwo Asamoah's AFCON departure, our defense has been anything but airtight. Juventus did play against one of the best teams in the league, but to allow thre goals in two matches is simply poor. Some may look at some poor refereeing decisions, but when the team defends in the way we did today, there is simply no excuse.

There is really not much to write about this game that hasn't been said before. Our midfield suffered without Andrea Pirlo, however Luca Marrone showed that he may be better at playing that position than Pual Pogba (it is never a bad thing to have competition). Our attack did little with the few chances created and our defense was abysmal. For this reason it is hard to pick a Man of the Match, if I had to pick one I would give it to Arturo Vidal for never giving up.

Also, one thing that was clear from this encounter is that the difference between our starters and our bench is very large. Simone Padoin, Emanuele Giaccherini, and Federico Peluso are no Asamoah, Claudio Marchisio or Chiellini (I know, thank you Captain Obvious). With that being said, those on the field played at the best of their abilities, the unfortunate part is that the shoes they had to fill were immense. You could see the increase in quality once Marchisio, Pirlo, and Vidal were on the pitch. This just shows that some players should be sold in the summer to make room for better reserves (notice that I am not calling for a mass exodus as that would be unnecessary). Also, my call to calm as I said before is that injuries are temporary, we just need to hold on until some of our starters return from injury (or AFCON).

The last thing I need to get off my chest is Sebastian Giovinco's constant flopping. The kid is small, so it is easy to push him off the ball. But when he is trying to milk that for every foul the ref is going to catch on. For a large portion of the match he was looking for fouls that would not be given under normal circumstances, let alone in a Coppa Italia semifinal. Today Giovinco was the boy who cried wolf too many times and the team paid for it. C'mon son, stay on your feet.

Besides that there is not much to add. Juventus could have sent the game into extra time and bought themselves more playing time, heck Giovinco or Marchisio could have sent us through in the dying minutes but it wasn't to be (who here thinks that Anelka could have finished one of those chances?). The best team over two legs was Lazio who will probably raise the trophy in May. Now Juventus' focus can return to the other two competitions. One good thing to look forward is that with Marchisio, Vidal, and Pirlo returning from injury this team is going to be looking a lot better.

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