First thought of the game: With two Bianconeri sides, why is no one wearing black-and-white? Tonight was a game far from vintage stuff, but it's 3 points against a spirited opponent and some interesting observations. Ratings and review after the jump.
Buffon: 6- Had little to do all night, until a great stop on Floro Flores. As I've said in the past, that's the mark of a great keeper, being attentive for 90minutes when little is coming your way.
Caceres: 6.5- A very good performance from the young Uruguayan, who surely must get an extended run out at right-back! Grygera is a decent reserve option, but we know we've seen his peak, more or less. Caceres has shown plenty of potential and he's still young and in his first few months in Serie A. Strong in the tackle, fast, and plenty willing to help out up front. Excellent volley for Grosso's goal.
Cannavaro: 5.5- Generally assured at the back, but he did have some nervy moments, ie- when he let the ball pass by him, unaware that Caceres/some Udinese player were coming at the far post, or when he thought Floro Flores wasn't near him after a poor Udinese through ball.
Chiellini:7- Yet again, an absolute beast in defense and had a good opportunity or two up front. My favorite part of todays performance was when he confronted Romero about diving. Little bitch.
Grosso: 7- Another good performance. Who ever thought we'd have a game where our two fullbacks played excellently?!? Confident in defense, and as always, willing to help up front. An extra .5 for his goal, that he started the move for, and decided to go into the box, and it payed off. I'd still like to see De Ceglie get some playing time, but Molinaro should move on if he doesn't want to be a reserve.
Poulsen: 7- A great game from Poulsen, in fact, he gets the Alessio's Man-of-the-Match award. Shielded well in defense, fought for every ball, won several back and actually had some terrific passes, such as the chip to Caceres for Grosso's goal, and a wonderful throughball that Amauri should have had but was outrun by Zapata. Who knows, maybe he's getting back to his Sevilla days?
Melo: 5- Unlike his center-midfield partner Poulsen, who excelled, Felipe Melo gets Alessio's Flop-of-the-Match. He didn't break up like normally, he didn't recover balls, and his passing was atrocious. Maybe he's paying for the fatigue of playing for Brazil internationally and then straight against Udinese, I don't know. All I have to say is this: Poulsen playing as our best midfielder over Melo and our fullbacks playing brilliantly? Is this the twilight zone??
Sissoko: 7- As Datasport said, his return was an "important recovery for Juventus." Absolutely beastly in midfield, winning balls back and chasing down opponents, this was vintage Momo. Let's hope he can keep the injuries at bay, and remember two words: simple passes.
Camoranesi: 6- Unlike the rest of our team, he played better in the first half. Our best player in the winger position, with some good runs and decent passes. Something wasn't clicking with the winger-trident though.
Diego: 6- Some decent plays, but it just wasn't really happening for him today. Several of his passes were just off by a few feet. The deference he payed to ADP in letting him take free kicks was very good to see.
Giovinco: 5.5- Udinese was playing hardball, and apparently the pitch at the Olimpico was very, very wet. Gio, and most of the winger trident was slipping a lot, and generally misplacing their passes.
Del Piero: 5.5- A disappointing display, for me. A few times he tried to dribble too much, and he had really very little impact on the game.
De Ceglie: s.v- Not enough time to impact the game, though he did have one great cross.
Amauri: 5.5- Blech. As I said after his game-winning goal against Siena, " Ironic now he’s scoring despite looking totally static up front." Except today he wasn't scoring. He needs to learn how to play as a lone striker, because there were several times where there was some nice passing going on in the winger-trident, and he was just kind of standing at the edge of the box. I kept thinking "Move, it, damnit!" Seriously, you've gotta give someone a target for a throughball pass or something. Really shoulda scored on his chance against Handanovic.
Here is where WordPress decided to eat the rest of my posting, so I'm going to post the other random thoughts I had, abbreviated.
ADP v. Diego- Today showed there is going to be a conflict. ADP, Diego, and the 4-2-3-1 cannot be on the pitch at the same time.
D'Agostino- Good set piece delivery...the way he whipped his crosses and passes in was impressive, even if the rest of the game wasn't.
Lastly, on the same day that Wigan was crushed 9-1 and ManU breezed by Everton 3-0, newly-promoted Parma beat Fiorentina at home 3-2, as well as Livorno defeated Genoa. Milan conceded 3 to an energetic Cagliari, and Juve triumphed at home 1-0 against a very spirited Udinese side. The EPL bills itself as "the most exciting league in the world." If you want lots of goals (poor defense) and predictable results, then yes, it's the perfect league. I can see it as a very "digestible" league to new fans, like those in China and America that the league so desperately whores itself out to aggressively markets to. But me? I'll take the best tacticians, the craziness of Zampa, the Lazio dissidents, the drama of newly promoted Parma and Bari travelling to Florence and the San Siro and getting a result, and the topsy turvy Serie A table. In short...give me il campionato piu bello.