I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Antonio Conte's plan wasn't something along the lines of "Hey, guys, go ahead and concede a goal 30 seconds into the game so we have 89 minutes or so to mount a comeback."
But with Milan scoring the game's opening goal all of 24 seconds in Sunday's game, that was exactly the case, as Juventus fell behind once again in front of their home crowd.
Unfortunately, it's also one we've gotten used to seeing. Dammit.
Juventus were forced to once again come back as they've been forced to do a good portion of the time this season. Andrea Pirlo reminded us all — with a little help from Christian Abbiati — why you must always respect Zona Pirlo. And then, in a matter of six whole minutes, we saw Juve go from a drab 1-1 tie to a 3-1 lead on goals from Sebastian Giovinco and Giorgio Chiellini.
It was basically the same as Juve has been doing lately in Serie A — not much, but just enough to be able to get the win and three points to keep pace with Roma and Napoli. This team clearly needs to pick things up and notch or two, and maybe the international break is coming at a good time just so some players — even those on international duty — can reset and refresh a little bit.
Either way, I'll take the three points. It wasn't pretty by any means. It's not one Antonio Conte is going to keep and show his grandchildren in 30 years. But with the way Juventus started the game, it could have been a lot, a lot worse.
Conte: It was a good display against a decent Milan side, but we need to improve. We required another jolt to wake ourselves up. #JuveMilan— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) October 6, 2013
Random thoughts and observations
- You'd expect a five-goal game to be a little more entertaining and captivating, right? It's not like I was sitting on the edge of my seat or anything like that. Thanks, guys!
- Juventus have now conceded eight goals in seven games. For some clubs that'd be an acceptable figure at this point in the season, but for one that has been so good on the defensive side of the ball the last two years, it's just completely baffling.
- That brings us to the mandatory talk of how Juve shot themselves in the foot yet again. The opening goal was just an entire lackadaisical team effort. The second came off an incredibly bad turnover from Paul Pogba. It's just more of the same when it comes to the kinds of mistakes that are really starting to catch up with Juve. Maybe in previous years they were able to recover and not have the opponent kill them, but this season is completely different. If Juve makes a mistake in their own half of the field, it's coming back to bite them.
Just imagine how things would have been like if Juve allowed an equalizer in extra time and finished with a 3-3 draw going into the international break. Yeah, no bueno.
- Kwadwo Asamoah rediscovered a little bit of what made him so good in the first half of last season. It's been a while since we've seen him cutting in from the left wing and taking shots on goal like was the cas against Milan. And with his right foot, too. I know he's quite reliant on his natural left foot, but it was definitely nice to see a change.
- I'm happy for Sebastian Giovinco. You should be, too. Antonio Conte certainly is.
Conte: What interests me is that my men are always ready to make a contribution. That’s why I’m particularly happy for Giovinco. #JuveMilan— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) October 6, 2013
- Outside of the boneheaded turnover that lead to Milan's second goal, the use of Pogba as a wingback on the right flank was definitely an interesting choice by Conte. Who knows how much we will see of it going forward, but it definitely had a positive impact on a Juve side that was in need of a second-half boost.
- Max Allegri thinks Philippe Mexes didn't throw a punch, huh? Maybe he should drop this whole managing thing which isn't going so well right now and start a stand-up comedy routine.
- Chiellini scored his goal all of a minute after Mexes got sent off. If you want an example of poetic justice, there's the best kind.