This is it people: the turning point.
Tonight's match marks the customary "fork in the road" for our beloved Bianconeri, one where the team must choose whether to continue dvelwe in mediocrity, or soar in a collective show of cojones. A has been thoroughly evidenced in the Juve milieu this week, grinta (determination) is the only thing that will get us out alive of the Olimpico tonight. For when playing ability is at a record-low, grinta is all that is left. It saved our asses against Parma, here's to hoping it does the trick again. In friendlier ground, but against a far superior opponent.
I like to equate Juventus to a BOAT these days. A big transatlantic liner, soaring the great seas and going from port to port, in conquest of glory and good weather. Since its christening in 1897, our boat has enjoyed some really really good weather over the years. Sure not always, but the days of rain were rapidly followed by wonderful clear skies, days of sunshine for all the top deck passengers to enjoy, preferably by the pool and with an umbrella drink in their hand. Those were the days.
Well recently friends, our weather has not been so nice. In the cursed year of 2006 and until the liberatory one of 2007, we even got stuck in Davy Jones' Locker, only there was no Keira Knightley coming to save us. Well, we're out of the locker now, but we're far from being in clear waters yet. In fact for the past couple of months our boat has been stuck in a bloody cursed typhoon, and God knows how long it will be before we see blue skies again. The crew are getting restless, even more so the passengers, and God knows this boat's got many passengers on his decks...
At the end of tonight, the direction our boat takes will be decided. Are more clouds on the horizon? Or will we sail towards calmer waters? More importantly, will Ciro Ferrara still be sitting at the steering wheel? All questions to be answered, soon. At 20:45 CET.
Your passengers are waiting Ciro. Let's see where you take us.
(P.S. by the way, this is Marco P. writing and doing the liveblog.
I've hacked into alessio's account alessio kindly lent me is account for the proceedings, since he will not be able to do the liveblog himself. I'm sure he'll pop in for some comments though)
Below is roberto's non-preview, also displaying the two clubs' legends. And indeed I could not agree more: we could use ADP's goalscoring sideburns right about now..
Originally written by roberto:
Here's to a classy, entertaining game between two of the most admired clubs in Italy. Let's hope whoever wins, truly deserves the three points. Best of luck to Gianfranco and all the other Milanisti over on their board tonight, and may the best team win.
We could really use some of those sideburns right now...
IERI... OGGI... DOMANI... SEMPRE JUVE!!!
(LIVEBLOG continues in Comments section people. I'll be using my regular Marco P. alias for the 2nd half.)
Well, here's the jist of the first 45 minutes: a first decent half-hour, an horrendous mistake, followed by 15 minutes of messy mess. Sound familiar? Yes, you're watching a Juve game, circa 2009-10.
46 Borriello downm as time trickles down in foggy wasteland.
45 Long shot by Thiago Silva. This time Manny practiced his long-range parries (since Al Ittihad), and deflects into CK. Dinho header on CK, over.
45 We're into added time. Determined defensive work by Diego, except we lose the ball mere seconds later. Disheartening.
44' Push forward by Marchisio. Tries to do everything himself. Dangerous play edge of the box, and loses ball.
4 minutes till half. At which point our players will receive the illuminating HT speech of Ferrara. Who will turn the game on its hand by... NOT putting in Giovinco.
38' Brazzo cross. Speculative bike-kick effort by Amauri. Misses ball completely. Grosso cross results in CK Juve.
WOW!!! CLOSE chance for Juve! bouncing ball in the box, lands to Chiellini, central shot on Dida!!!!
37' Another ball lost. Brazzo tries to pass it deep for Amauri. Too deep.
35' Terrible 2nd CK by Diego. Milan counter.
34' CK Juve. To be repeated.
31' And the post-down-a-goal symptoms continue. Our play has just turned into an incomprehensible mess where no one seems to know what to do. Melo tries to dribble his way out of 2 defenders. Loses Ball. Now dangerous play on Gattuso. His mind is gone. Take him off.
30' Well, this is classic Juve people. A decent thirty minutes, followed by a horrendous instant of insanity.
The GOAL: wonderful double-play by Melo-Poulsen. A Pirlo CK swung in, and our two players let it bounce by like two pulcini. Horrendous. Nesta just taps it in on the 2nd post.
29' Goal Milan. Fark.
28' Chiellini once again on Borriello, after a good thru pass by Dinho.
26' Beckham cross, Chiellini anticipates Borriello. CK Milan. Cleared. Another cross. Manny saves it.
24 Juve are pressing really high up the field. If there's one thing Amauri can make himself useful for, it's just that. Diego's doing his fair share too.
20' Battling challenge by Diego on... Gattuso of all people. Ringhio gets off worse. Medics called, but he'll be alright.
19' Bad pass by Melo for Grygera on the right. Could have been a good opportunity. Meanwhile seems like De Ceglie is going to come on for Marchisio, who picked up a knock. FFS!!!
18' Brazzo closely called for offside. By 1 yard, it was.
16' Juve's defense is looking well in place so far. Milan's taking the initiative, but we're closing down our spaces.
14' Amauri nearly intercepted a very dangerous Pirlo cross pass in Milan's half. At least Amauri appears he wants to kick ass tonight.
12' PHEW! Good dribbling by Diego on the left. Moves towards middle, slams a ripper towards 2nd post. Wide by a 2-3 yds. Good chance tho.
11' King Giorgio imperially stops a penetration by Abate. Attaboy!
9' Nada on the CK. Foul by Brazzo on Gattuso.
7 Clumsy foul by Dinho on Brazzo. Yellow card spared. FK for Juve. Cleared by Thiago Silva into CK.
6' We're not looking completely awful today. Yet.
5' FK for Juve, 40 yards on the right. Diego delivery, Borriello clears.
4' Nothing happening for the moment. Both teams observing each other.
3' The SkyItalia commentator just said Gattuso's bday (32 yrs) was yesterday. No presents for you today Rino.
1' And we're off! Formation 4-4-1-1: Manninger - Grygera, Chellini, Canna, Grosso - Brazzo, Melo, Poulsen, Marchisio - Diego - Amauri
20:45 - Teams entering the Stadio Olimpico. It all begins in minutes. Let's do this boys!!!!!!!!!!!!