Not so fast Juventus Nation. Yes, Juventus did play on Friday which now, just two days later, feels like ages ago. And yes, the deciding match of our Champions League campaign is scheduled for this Tuesday in Istanbul.
Regardless, we have some recapping to do. And like the previous 6 matches in Serie A, the anthem of this legendary Juventus group continues to the same tune.
The statistics really speak for themselves. 7 games unbeaten, 7 victories, 7 games without conceding a goal, all in a row. On top of that, our "latest signing" King Arturo Vidal continues his fine form in front of goal, giving Juventus the early lead against Bologna with his 33rd goal for the club.
Rounding off the stat sheet is Gigi Buffon's 640 minutes played without conceding a goal. That would be the longest streak he's had in an already illustrious Serie A career.
As for the Bologna match, it really was one of flashes. Juventus scored on both ends of the match to make for an interesting 70-some minutes in between.
With Galatasaray in mind on everyone including Conte, five new players were brought into the starting line up in an attempt to rotate starters and give them rest before Tuesday's showdown. Ogbonna was selected as the anchor in the middle of our defense, Peluso and Isla marked the flanks, while last season's partnership of Quagliarella+Vucinic started in attack. Pogba got the nod as the regista over Vidal in replacing the injured Andrea Pirlo.
Despite all the changes, Juventus played beautiful first 20-25 minutes. Marchisio was a lot more active in helping the two attackers, Peluso and Isla pushed really high, and Juventus scored its opener through Vidal in just the 12 minute. A stone cold Peluso played a nice cross to Vidal who controlled the ball to perfection right outside the 5-meter box and slotted home from close range.
As with most 1-0 leads we've had this year (in spite of me always complaining about it), Juventus took a breather and let Bologna start building their confidence back. In the second half, Bologna's quest for an equalizer was on full blast and they did come close on a couple occasions. Diamanti, when he found time between his acting antics, was quite the threat to Gigi's goal. Jonathan Cristaldo also had several opportunities to equalize once he came on in the 65th minute.
Eventually, Juventus found that second and crucial goal. No, it wasn't Fernando Llorente nor Carlos Tevez - despite the fact that these two had a couple brilliant chances right in front of goal. It was Giorgio Chiellini, a few minutes from the final whistle, whose header off a corner finally beat Curci and sealed the game.
Buffon: 7 - Bologna weren't the same threat as Udinese a week ago, but Buffon still had work to do. Diamanti was always a threat from long range and set pieces, while Cristaldo and Morleo proved to be tricky at times with their swift movement. A good effort from Gigi to extend his current streaks of clean sheet games and total minutes without conceding.
Barzagli: 7 - As solid as always. Took no chances and cleared any Bologna opportunities very effectively.
Ogbonna: 7.5 - It was refreshing to see the youngster come into his role more during the match. Just like Bonucci, quite comfortable on the ball and played the offside trap very well with Chiellini and Barzagli even though he hasn't partnered with them a ton in matches. His long ball passing was excellent too.
Chiellini: 8 - Defensively, he was EVERYWHERE. There were so many times during the game where I caught myself saying, damn, Chiellini is bossing around right now. Then, he scores the second goal off a corner at the end for the trademark gorilla chest thumping. Great game for Giorgio.
Isla: 6 - Why do I still have to write ratings for players like Isla and Padoin? They do not make Juventus better!
Vidal: 8.5 - Another marquee performance from the guy who recently signed a new Juventus contract saying being our captain is a dream of his. Can his rapport with fans be any better right now? He's scoring goals left and right, gives his damn-all in every aspect of the game, and is literally the leader of this team in most every game. Man of match, easy.
Pogba: 7 - I even think the 7 is generous. I've said this before and I will say it again - right now Paul Pogba is a lot better suited playing in Marchisio's or Vidal's position than a deep lying playmaker role. He is not aggressive enough as a regista, doesn't pose a threat offensively, and has yet to really learn how to make the most out of the position. Games like the ones against Bologna are exactly where he needs to get his practice, yes, but in big matches like the upcoming one against Gala, we will need more from him. A lot more.
Marchisio: 7.5 - Many flashes of the Marchisio we all fell in love with once. Very aggressive, made many excellent runs, had some great chances, and was very motivated to get a goal. I really wish he did, as I think that would be a turning point for him. Disappeared at times during the game but against Bologna, it's accepted.
Peluso: 7 - Did very well to set up Vidal for the goal, you have to give him that. Had a few other brighter moments, but could've done even better I thought. There was plenty of space to exploit, especially in the second half.
Quagliarella: 7.5 - Played 70 great minutes. Moved great with and without the ball, had some great turns, was really up for the game. It was good to see him get a start, even though Llorente and Tevez are both playing well recently. Six shots, all off target, are the classic Quags stat.
Vucinic: 6.5 - Struggled mightily in the first 40 minutes, then was subbed off due to a knock. He's obviously been off for a while and will need time to get his rhythm back.
Llorente: 7 - I thought he changed the game when he came on. We are really feeding off of his target man role well as a team now, and he does such a great job protecting the ball. Yes, he was wasteful, and he really should've put the game away in the second half. How about he makes amends on Tuesday?
Asamoah: sv -
Tevez: sv -
Conte: 7 - A ballsy move to make so many rotations, but it paid off. We often criticize him for not using our depth - well, on Friday he did a great job doing so. He'll need to work on making Pogba more of a threat offensively from the regista role somehow.