High flying Juve played match 19th at home against relegation contender Sampdoria. Everyone that follows Serie A thought this was going to be a beating of epic proportions. Things were looking up for the Bianconeri after only 45 minutes: 1 goal in the bag and numerical advantage... couldn't get much better for Juve, right?
No it couldn't get better, but I guess it could get much worse.
After the first 45 minutes, Sampdoria came back organized, aggressive, and ready to punish Juventus whenever they had a chance. Juventus on the other hand, came with their heads in the Coppa Italia match and lacking ideas to seal the win. In 45 minutes Sampdoria turned the tables by scoring two goals and handing Juventus their third defeat in Serie A since Conte took over in 2011.
Buffon 5.0 We are used to Buffon having one or two game winning plays every week, today that was not the case. Icardi got the best of him on both instances. His performace was so poor that he even apologized in public.
Barzagli 6.5 He had a few shaky moments but for the most part did his job well.
Bonucci 6.5 He also made some mistakes but had a few nice passes, specially one in the first half.
Peluso 5.0 Not the best game to start his Juventus career. His error in the first goal came from a rebound that could have ended anywhere on the pitch so I can understand that. In the second goal he was caught ball watching while Icardi created some space for him. More on him later
Padoin 6.0 Ok, he can't cross well, but the that was the least of Juve's problems yesterday. He kept the right hand side pretty tidy most of the game, and, unlike his teammates, he did what should be expected of him.
Pogba 6.5 He was the midfielder with most tackles last night. He doesn't have Vidal's numbers but he is a different player and that is what we get with him. When the team crumbled psychologically his age got the best of him. In a few years, I am sure he will carry the team out of a mess like this.
Pirlo 6.0 Had a game of two halves. Did fine in the first 45 minutes, but was lacking after that. Gave a few balls away unnecessarily. It didn't help that the team had too many new faces.
Marchisio 6.5 Did well enough to get a penalty in the first half. Had a few shots and run the whole match. He gets extra points for not injuring himself.
De Ceglie 6.0 Had a few good crosses but the goals also came from his side. During the first goal there were acres of space on the left. Again, it came from a deflected cross so it is hard to judge.
Giovinco 6.5 He gets 6.5 for being the only player in our roster who can take a penalty (albeit, Romero almost saved it).
Matri 6.0 Got into some scoring positions but couldn't pull the trigger (more on him later).
Conte 4.5 Looking back at Conte's tenure at Juventus, this has to be the worst game he has had as a coach. The initial setup was surprising and proved ultimately ineffective, the half time talk didn't prepare the players for the second half, and the substitutes did not change the match. Oh, and Marchisio should not have returned to the pitch. I will not get tired to sing his praises but yesterday was a bad day for him and consequently for Juve.
Things I think I think
- Oh, Antonio Conte, what happened? The bulk of the problem was the initial setup. Padoin has demonstrated lately to be a better RWB than Caceres and Isla, so I think he put the best player in that position.
My issue is with starting Peluso in a 3-men defense? Caceres has been with the team for almost 12 months. The Uruguayan knows the setup and has played on the right and left of defense. Why then play Peluso?
Also, Matri has shown time and again that the 4-3-3 suits him better. Why not then play a 4-3-3 with Caceres and De Ceglie on the flanks, and Giaccherini and Giovinco supporting Matri? I am sure Il Mister will learn from this experience.
- All in all Peluso did not perform that bad. He is still partly responsible for the loss but given that this is his first time with Juventus he did ok. Based on numbers alone, he has the highest ranking of all our players according to Whoscored.com. The problem was that his two lapses in concentration allowed Icardi to score. It was always going to be hard to slot into a defense that plays by memory at this point, to do so when everyone around you is not playing as well as the normally do then that becomes a big issue. If Conte doesn't rush him he will make a fine replacement for Chiellini.
- Matri is not a 3-5-2 striker. He got into a few scoring opportunities but didn't have the clarity to finish. Matri is a poacher that needs to be close to goal to put them in. That is why he works best in a 4-3-3 with other attacking players doing most of the running for him. I wish Conte would have left him on with Giaccherini and Giovinco instead of playing Quagliarella.
- Although the media is calling Juventus 3rd defeat of the season a crisis, this defeat is far from that. Conte's teams teams struggle during the winter months to then pick and and win. Remember last year? Juventus were 7 point behind Milan in early March. This same trend happened in Bari and with Siena. Defeats and ties will come, but Juventus has more than what is needed to win the Scudetto. This is not a crisis, surprising losses are why football is so interesting. But rest assured that surprises or losses are things that our Mister will not tolerate anymore.
Juventus 1 - 2 Sampdoria All Goals and Highlights 06/1/2013 HD (via bozosports4)