You know that whole thing about Juventus not being able to beat Sampdoria last season? That was stupid, so incredibly stupid. It made a lot of us grumpy — and nobody likes it when we're grumpy. And the facts are facts: It was one of the few blemishes on what was Antonio Conte's second straight Scudeto-winning campaign at Juventus.
And now we don't have to talk about all that nonsense anymore because Juve have claimed their first win at the Luigi Ferraris since 2006.
Two competitive games for Carlos Tevez in a Juventus shirt, two goals scored. Two losses to Sampdoria last season replaced with one Juventus win over them this season. Those thoughts of Juve falling to a 10-man Samp side at Juventus Stadium or closing last campaign with a loss are now exactly what they've been the past three months — a thing of the past. Different seasons, sure, but it's always nice to enact a little bit of revenge on the only team to beat Juve twice last season.
And that's exactly what Conte and Juventus did.
A hard-fought, grind-out-it kind of result in the pouring down rain at the Marassi. Sounds like a Conte-style win to me. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm right. But these kinds of things seem to meet Conte's liking. Well, other than standing out in the rain for a couple hours. Then again, he did get to wear his favorite hat...
14 - Juventus have won 14 of their last 19 Serie A games in which they were 0-0 at half-time, losing just one of these. Tough. #SampJuve— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) August 24, 2013
Things I think I thought during the match:
- Let's talk about Juventus' goal. You know, that beautiful combination play between Mirko Vucinic, Arturo Vidal, Paul Pogba and Tevez? Yeah, that thing. I saw a few people point out on Twitter about how the short interchanges between a group of players is something that is different this year compared to the two previous ones under Conte and I couldn't help but agree. Once Vucinic sent the ball into Vidal from the left wing, the wheels started moving — quickly. After a quick one-touch pass to Pogba, things were looking even better. Then Tevez was there to bury Pogba's assist into a wide open goal. Four players, three passes, one beautiful collective effort for Juve's first goal of the Serie A season.
And just like it was in the Supercoppa, Tevez's goal brought one heck of an emotional celebration. I think it's safe to say Carlitos is enjoying his time in Turin so far.
- The rain was just ridiculous. But the Marassi field held up relatively well. It wasn't like Andrea Pirlo was running into any big puddles as he tried to spray balls to out wide to Stephan Licthsteiner or Kwadwo Asamoah. It definitely didn't allow both teams to probably play the way they completely desired, but with the amount of water that came down, the field could have been in a lot worse shape as the final whistle got closer and closer.
- I never want to be on the end of a Lichtsteiner death stare.
- Delio Rossi, despite seeing his fancy suit get absolutely drenched with the near-monsoon that was going on in Genova, had his team prepped very well. Sampdoria's 3-5-2 was a very effective anti-Juve tactic — especially in the first half of play. Samp pressed high and made things difficult for Juve. It worked well in the grand scheme of things, with only a brilliant team goal from Juventus being the thing that prevented Sampdoria from coming away with a point at the very least.
- Gigi Buffon and Juventus' three-man defense didn't have a whole hell of a lot to do, but Manolo Gabbiadini had a few bright moments against the team that co-owns him. There was the memorable nutmeg of Giorgio Chiellini in the first half that set up a free kick right outside the 18-yard box. And with Samp only having 31 percent of the possession, according to WhoScored, it's not like Gabbiadini had a lot of chances to really do much anyways.
- Who needs subs before the 86th minute anyway? Conte gonna be Conte.
- Paolo Castellini was on the field for seven minutes and then got sent of for an incredibly stupid tackle. Sampdoria did a decent number of things right to try and beat Juventus, that wasn't one of them.
- Good way to start the quest for three straight titles.