Despite being as talented as any goalkeeper who has come before him, El Grande Gigi unfortunately had no time for beauty sleep in the game against Lazio last Saturday. Coming fresh off of a dissapointing Champions League loss, the Biancocelesti peppered the Juventus goal with more shots than any other team we've played this season put together. That's right, more shots than any team we've played thus far put together. No good. I know a win is a win, and three points are three points, but this one could have easily ended differently. Put it this way, if Buffon and Del Piero weren't able to control other people's thoughts, move object's with their minds, or hover several feet above ground we wouldn't have won.
Scary isn't it? How good Buffon and Del Piero actually are. I mean Buffon's one-handed save was one of dirtiest things I've seen this season. Then there was Ale's little peach of a heel off of a 70 yard picture perfect ball from Zanetti. Yaaaa, no big deal. Who doesn't know that one? Then to top it all off, Zanetti and Del Piero decide to do it twice. I lost my shit. If I was the ref I would have called an end to the game. "Fuck it", I'd say. "There's no point, Lazio you had your chances". Of course, being that corrupt I'd never get work as a ref again, but I hear Pirelli's hiring so I've got upper-middle management written all over me.
Lazio definitely gets some credit for their performance here. They really impressed me with the way they moved the ball around the pitch. At times they completely outclassed us, plain and simple. Their passes were quick, well connected, and thoughtful. Fortunately for Juventus, a handful of them (Rocchi most notably) were firing blanks as the Biancocelesti could have easily added two more goals to their tally.
“We did not put in a good performance." (Ranieri)
No we did not. Our last two goals (you can forget about the first) came from counterattacks as by-products of Zanetti's forethought NOT from the desired methodical creativity Juventus is capable of. We weren't able to sustain our instances of possession due to the formidable amount of pressure Lazio applied. Therefore they dictated just about every aspect of that midfield.
A couple times I found myself having to remind, myself (?), of the scoreline. Truly a win with mixed emotions. What will we take away from this match you ask, aside from three points? Well, there's much work to be done and lots of room to improve. Before this Sunday's match against Siena, Tinkerbell will have some thinking to do as he was dissapointed with his club's efforts. Whether it's in the form of personnel changes, tactical adjustments or just plain ol' suicides at practice, Ranieri will want to see a substantial improvement in his side's style of play. Could mean more Tiago, could mean less Nocerino, who knows.
p.s. $500 bucks to anyone who finds that lock of Nedved's hair they'll cut off for his stitches! (ebay maybe?)
Highlights Serie A: Day 16 vs. Lazio
Next Match Serie A: Day 17 Juventus v Siena
When: Sunday, December 23, 2007 3:00PM (local time)
IERI... OGGI... DOMANI... SEMPRE JUVE!!!