Everyone should know the outcome of the most recent ‘Derby d'Italia’. However not until now have we been able to put up a review that's worthy of said match. So ahead of the preview on our upcoming game against Lecce, we dive into some of the topics that made Sunday's victory at home so pleasurable to watch, for the most part.
In defense, we had Chiellini at left back, Bonucci at right-centre, Barzagli beside him and surprisingly, the young Sorensen at right back. In midfield Del Neri employed the usual foursome of Marchisio on the left wing, ‘Felipo Mele’ at left centre, Aquilani beside him and Krasic on the right wing. Then in attack, we had the partnership of Luca Toni and the only goalscorer, Alessandro Matri.
In the opening minutes, the first chance of the game went to Inter’s Pazzini who did nicely lose Barzagli with a dummy, but was timely intervened by the covering Bonucci before he could get a clean shot away. Meanwhile, the ever-watchful Chiellini, more than made up for his absence in the middle of our defense with countless runs into Inter’s half since taking over Fabio Grosso’s old spot. The seamless transition into his old position is a testament to his Giorgio’s abilities and should not be underestimated as his positioning never skipped a beat.
Defensively, the back-four played an incredible match on Sunday and did everything Del Neri asked of them to do, and perhaps more. At times in the first-half, it seemed as if Eto’o was on a different level than everyone else with incredible pace and clairvoyant-like passing, however Del Neri’s men did well to let the Cameroonian run about in front of them but never in behind. Juventus kept deep and narrow while defending with numbers not to allow too much space in between their rows, making it difficult for Inter to play their brand of football.
“Leonardo realised he needed more width, and took off Kharja to introduce Goran Pandev on the right, as Inter switched to a 4-2-3-1. Whilst Pandev and Eto’o played wider, Inter still lacked a true winger – someone who could go down the line and put crosses into the box. Pandev and Eto’o wanted time on the ball and to come into the centre of the pitch, and Juve shut them out well, minimising the space between the lines and dropping increasingly deep.” –Zonal Marking
Part of the reason for that was because of the work by Felipe Melo. He ran tirelessly to disrupt Inter’s play defensively, and to win back possession offensively, playing box-to-box very effectively. When Melo wants to be, he’s one of the premier footballers in that position, hence our collective frustration when he lashes out and forgets that his teammates depend on him so much. Nevertheless, Felipe and the rest of the squad did well to keep an eye on their assignments as evidenced by Sneijder’s disappearing act in the second half.
Before leaving the pitch, while being substituted for Iaquinta, Luca Toni received a standing ovation from the Olimpico faithful and rightfully so. Despite looking like a wildebeest tip-toeing through tulips while on the ball, Toni exceeded everyone’s expectations on Sunday masterfully holding up the play and evading tackles all-night, including a nice back-heel to spring Chiellini in on goal. Speaking with Mediaset Premium earlier this week, Toni explained his job in the team, “Here I play with very attack-minded strikers and I am here to help”. Gradually we’re beginning to understand why a few Giallorossi tifosi hold Toni in moderately high regard.
Obviously the outcome of this game could have been very different seeing as Eto’o missed an incredible opportunity to even things at one a piece. However football is like life- shit can happen. On the other end of the field, Ma-ta-ta-ta-tri and Chiellini each missed a few more golden opportunities to extend our lead and the ball sailed wide. Looking back, the scoreline was a fair result and Del Neri’s men can certainly feel proud of their efforts that were made that night, Iaquinta’s aside.
That said, there’s no telling how far these three points can go to help jump-start our campaign for some European revenue next season. Speaking of revenue, Balocco just renewed their contract to sponsor our entire youth team, and a third of the first team’s games, apparently only our friendlies. It’s not the mother of all partnerships, but it’s a start. Last Sunday was certainly a test for Juventus in many ways, one in which they came away with their character stronger than ever. Forza Ragazzi!
IERI... OGGI... DOMANI... SEMPRE JUVE!!!