These were Giorgio Chiellini's words leading up to Juventus' game against Genoa on Sunday.
"Despite the defeat in Madrid, we realised that we can battle it out with the top clubs. We emerged with our heads held high and it sparked something within us, something that had recently been lost. Now the step up in quality will be repeating that performance against Genoa, Catania and Parma. We must begin again from Real Madrid and forget the final 15 minutes against Fiorentina, where something completely unpredictable happened."
After Juve's 2-0 win at Juventus Stadium, I think it's safe to say Chiellini and his teammates were able to back up the industrious defender's words.
It was a dominant Juve, one that certainly played with a purpose and showed it was the better team from pretty much the opening kickoff onwards. Even when they went up by two goals — the most dangerous lead in football to have — Juve never really wavered at all. There were no defensive breakdowns that caused a Genoa goal like we've seen against other teams some of the other games this season.
No, this was a Juve that was solid in just about every area other than the finishing in front of goal. They entered as the vastly superior team, they showed that during the game, and they left the field with a much-deserved victory.
It's a simple formula, you guys. And over the last couple of games, Juve are starting to show that they're getting back to who they really are. That's pretty good news to hear. Having a boring second half was perfectly okay with me.
Conte: It was a good performance. The difference from the last two fixtures was that we got what we deserved this afternoon. #JuveGenoa— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) October 27, 2013
Random thoughts and observations
- Carlos Tevez was fantastic — again. Contributing defensively to win the ball back, creating scoring chances for himself and his teammates, the guy just works his tail off. Just how involved? Tevez had 71 touches in the game, Genoa's two strikers — Alberto Gilardino and Andrea Bertolacci — had 81 combined. Just another great game by a guy who has had a fair share of them to begin his Juve career.
Five goals in nine Serie A games (eight starts). I'd say that's a pretty good return on Juve's investment.
- Speaking of strikers, Fernando Llorente deserved a goal. He's continuing to build on each performance and his rapport with Tevez is beginning to develop as well. He was patient and waited for his opportunity and now that he's getting it, the results are starting to show up.
- I kept thinking to myself, "If Mattia Perin can play like this consistently, he's going to turn into one hell of a goalkeeper." The overwhelming majority of Perin's seven saves against Juventus were very good. But as we've seen in the early stages of his career, the moments of brilliance can easily be replaced by moments of, well, not very good. He's still just 20 years old, so there's plenty of time for him to develop. It's just hard not to think about how good of keeper he could be if he figures it all out in the next couple of years.
- On the other end of the field, Gigi Buffon had to barely do anything at all. I guess that's a sign that it was a vintage, dominating performance by Juventus.
- Andrea Pirlo: 129 touches, 94 percent pass completion. Genoa gave him room to operate and he took full advantage of it.
- How nice was it to have Kwadwo Asamoah making his presence be known on the left wing? Even with a penalty that looked to be outside of the box, the Ghanian was damn good the entire game. He was very involved, put in some dangerous crosses, and his assist on Tevez's goal was only proof of that.
- Saw this question posed on Twitter: Who would you rather have take your penalties, Arturo Vidal or Mario Balotelli? Pretty good one to think about.
- A Juventus clean sheet, huh? It's nice to see you again. It's been awhile, my friend.