Playmaker Sebastian Giovinco is confident Juventus have put a difficult month behind them after his stirring display helped the Bianconeri overcome a hard-working Maccabi Haifa FC 1-0 in their third UEFA Champions League Group A match on Wednesday.
The 22-year-old was thrown in by Ciro Ferrara after spending the best part of the Bianconeri's winless month on the sidelines as the Juve coach changed tactics for the crucial match. Forwards Vincenzo Iaquinta and Amauri were dropped and David Trezeguet brought in, with Giovinco and Diego included together for the first time this season to supply and excite.
A precocious talent who has been compared to Roberto Baggio, Juve have high hopes for Giovinco and, in the first half in particular, he showed why. Dribbling with abandon, his quick feet, body speed and low centre of gravity had Maccabi defenders mesmerised. Unable to stop him within the rules, three were booked for last-ditch tackles early on. "It doesn't matter if you play with one, two or three fantasistas," he added. "If you go into the match trying to win, that's how the game should be played."
Demonstrating their ability to play together, Diego and Giovinco combined to win the free-kick that led to Chiellini's headed 47th-minute winner, Juve's first victory in Group A and in all competitions for a month. "We are hoping to continue winning as we have done this evening," Giovinco continued. "All that is on our minds now is Sunday [at AC Siena]. We'll think about the next Champions League match three days before it takes place."
Giovinco also took the opportunity to vent his frustration after criticism of his early season performances. "You say finally a good performance, that I've come good and played a decent match but my own perspective is very different," argued the midfielder. "I've made contributions in important games previously this season. Diego and I have done our bit but because the strikers don't score you think we're playing badly. That's not on. But you're right, tonight was a good game."
With five points from three matches - two fewer than FC Girondins de Bordeaux and one more of FC Bayern München - another win in Israel in the return against Maccabi on 3 November will go a long way to securing Juve's qualification to the knockout rounds and answering La Vecchia Signora's demanding critics.
IERI... OGGI... DOMAN... SEMPRE JUVE!!!