If you wanted flat out domination and a no-nonsense approach from Juventus in their second leg tie against Trabzonspor, that's exactly what you got on Thursday night in Turkey.
It may read as the same final score as the first leg in Turin, but it was anything but that. There were minimal heart-attack-inducing opportunities for all of us watching. Juventus came out flying to begin the game, rightfully taking the lead on Arturo Vidal's 18th minute goal and then having Dani Osvaldo put a bow on the neatly-wrapped Europa League present 12 minutes before halftime to put Juve up 4-0 on aggregate.
Done deal. Onto the Round of 16.
It was exactly the way you'd want Juventus to go about things in Turkey. There was no messing around. There was no funny business. There was no letting Trabzonspor make things even a wee bit interesting. Juventus put their foot on the gas, stormed into the second leg on Trabzonspor's home turf and put things away in a hurry.
You couldn't have drawn it up any better than how things went down.
Now, it's into the round of the sweet 16 where Juventus and Fiorentina will renew acquaintances. You think Antonio Conte will be reminding his players what happened in Firenze in the middle of October as a point of motivation? Oh you know he will. Why wouldn't he? This is Antonio Conte, master of the motivation and king of classic Juve grinta.
I guess we can just expect a calm, low-key tie between Juventus and Fiorentina is expected come a few
22 - There have been 22 meetings between two Italian sides so far in European competition. Juventus have played 11 of these. Derby.— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) February 27, 2014
Random thoughts and observations
- Say what you want about who the opposition was, but this was Sebastian Giovinco at his finest against Trabzonspor. He was just about everywhere humanly possible on Thursday night, racking up a WhoSocred rating of over eight — in the first half. That's flat out bonkers. Even crazier when you consider he hadn't scored a goal. Just a damn good, Man of the Match performance from the little guy, who hasn't had many opportunities to play this season. And he certainly worked his tail off to deserve it.
#Giovinco: A goal was the only thing missing, I wasn't able to score but a good display and qualification were the most important aims.— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) February 27, 2014
- Dani Osvaldo: Two Europa League starts, two Europa League goals. There seems to be a trend growing here, folks.
- The more Claudio Marchisio plays as a vice-Andrea Pirlo, the more I like it. Maybe that is because some of the best games he's had this season have been as a regista, but he just seems like a natural position for him. It fits his playing style well and he's adapted to it incredibly fast.
- Have we ever seen a faster non-injury-related sub from Conte like what he pulled with Paul Pogba and Simone Padoin in the first half? It's like Conte looked up at the scoreboard, remembered who was on the schedule this weekend and went to his human victory cigar a little bit earlier than we all anticipated.
- Trabzonspor total shots: 11
Juventus shots on goal: 14
Domination. Flat out domination.
- Arturo Vidal has 17 goals in all competitions this season. Here's to reminding you that he is a midfielder, no a striker. God I love that guy.
- Just because Fernando Llorente didn't play on Thursday didn't mean we don't get a celebratory post-game tweet. The guy is dedicated.
- Who's ready for a month of March filled with games against Fiorentina? This should be fun. Well, unless things go like they did the first time around. I've got a feeling they won't, though. This is an Antonio Conte-managed team after all.
- Europa League Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Trabzonspor, Leg 2
- UEFA Europa League: Juventus vs. Trabzonspor full match coverage
- Europa League Preview: Juventus vs. Trabzonspor, Leg 2 — Turkey Day, Part Deux
- Juventus 1 - Torino 0: Initial reaction and random observations
- Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Torino