The internet works in interesting ways when things go wrong. While cruising around the net after Wednesday's headdesk-worthy 1-1 draw against Lecce, I saw some pretty knee-jerk kind of headlines. "JUVENTUS THROW AWAY THE SCUDETTO!" or "BUFFON KILLS JUVE'S SCUDETTO HOPES."
I think you guys get where I'm going with this.
Here's the catch: Juventus is still in first place after San Gigi's no-so-smart clank of a first touch.
Wouldn't realize that based on those aforementioned headlines, though, huh? Yeah, that's what I thought.
Two games remain with a +1 margin. Not exactly the best scenario in the world, but not one where you need to go into the corner of the living room and sit in the fetal position until the season is over next Sunday. Forget what the result is in the Milan Derby. Seriously, don't pay much attention to it. Things are easy for Juventus. If the Bianconeri win two, they win the Scudetto.
See? No kind of rocket science needed. It's simple, simple math.
Destiny is still in the Old Lady's hands, and that's the way it should be.
Now it's just a matter of actually doing so.
Le Chiavi: One last road trip remains as Juve head off to Cagliari. Well, sort of. Instead of playing at the Stadio Sant'Elia (no, not Eljero), the match will take place at Trieste's Stadio Nereo Rocco.
Does it matter? I really have no clue. All I know is that it won't be played in a stadium within another stadium.
What I also know is this: Cagliari are mathematically safe from relegation, which could be a good thing compared to Juve's last couple of opponents who were fighting to stay in Italy's top flight. Then again, Cagliari might come out, figure that they want to screw up Juve's Scudetto hopes and finish in a respectable spot in Serie A, and actually give us one hell of an effort. It's basically a coin flip at this point.
Good news: If there ever was a manager you'd want to have bring his team back up emotionally after a disappointing result, it's Antonio Conte. If there's ever a goalkeeper that can recover after a terrible mistake, it's Gianluigi Buffon. We have a club Legend guiding our team and another one between the sticks, people. This is invaluable when something like what took place with San Gigi happens to a team. This squad has fought through frustrating results already this season, so there's no reason to think they can't do it again.
Want a nice looking stat to remind you how good Juve have been lately? Of course you do! Juventus also have serious mojo going away from Juventus Stadium. In its last four away games, Juve has scored 12 goals — and haven't conceded a damn thing. That, my friends, is how you (hopefully) win a Scudetto.
Bad news: Juventus' margin for error is gone. Done. Kaput. One more slip up and it could mean bye bye to Lo Scudetto. But as I said above, there's no better coach than Conte to make sure his team is absolutely prepared physically and, more importantly, mentally after what happened last Sunday.
Injury-wise, it looks as though Paolo De Ceglie's season has come to an end a little early, which is a huge blow considering how well he had been playing since becoming a regular starter. Just another speed bump to overcome.
My Starting XI (3-5-2): Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Estigarribia; Matri, Quagliarella
Translation: #GTFOVucinic (even though it probably won't happen)
Cagliari probable (4-3-1-2)*: Agazi; Perico, Canini, Astori, Pisano; Ekdal, Conte, Nainggolan; Cossu; Pinilla, Thiago Ribeiro
*Completely ripped from the GDS website.