We all wanted to see how Juventus would respond to being dumped out of the Champions League. Would it be a Juventus that was angry as can be, or one that looked the part of a team that was incredibly disappointed with what just happened a few days before?
Based on Juve's 4-0 shellacking of Sassuolo on Sunday night at Juverntus Stadium, I think we got our answer pretty quickly.
Tevez: We spoke after Istanbul and knew a reaction was required. We're Juventus and know what we're capable of producing. #JuveSassuolo— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) December 15, 2013
Respond is exactly what they did.
Behind a Carlos Tevez hat trick, Juventus got back to what they do best — shutting Serie A opponents out and collecting win after win. Eight straight victories over league opponents, eight straight clean sheets as Gianluigi Buffon's goals against average keeps getting smaller and smaller. It's okay, I don't think he minds.
The hopes were that Juve would taken out the frustration on Sassuolo. The reality was that they took their frustration out on Sassuolo. It's what you wanted to see, and what we did see. Sunday's performance was the perfect remedy for a team that was as disappointed as they could possibly get just a few days ago.
After getting stuck in the mud in Istanbul, the train got rolling again in Turin.
In conclusion: W-W-W-W-W-W-W-W. There you go.
Random thoughts and observations
- Gigi Buffon stole another game check. You'd expect better from such a classy fella, right? But it's pretty easy to do that when all of Sassuolo's shots were either blocked or completely off target. Maybe San Gigi should've brought his iPad to the stadio so he had something to do while his teammates were out there beating up on Sassuolo.
Make it 730 minutes in Serie A since Buffon last allowed a goal. That's pretty good, you guys.
Juventus: After their 4-0 win over Sassuolo, Juventus have now kept 8 consecutive clean sheets, the longest run in Serie A this season #Juve— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) December 15, 2013
- Tevez has taken some heat since Juve's Champions League exit for obvious reasons. I'm not going to play armchair psychiatrist or anything, but you had to think he needed a game like this. He hadn't scored for a couple weeks, went 0 for 6 in the Champions League, and was seeing a bit of a dip to his hot start to the season. But when you score your first hat trick in a Juventus jersey, a lot of that will be forgotten. Don't look now, but Tevez is on pace for 20-plus goals this season. How about that for a guy Manchester City couldn't wait to get off the roster? Thanks, guys!
- Federico Peluso special: Get a yellow card, then score a goal. Okay, so maybe the first part is only applicable to every time Peluso steps on the field, but it's always entertaining to see the guy you least expect to score a goal actually find the back of the net.
- Can Juventus bring Luca Marrone back, please? I'd much rather have him be a vice-Pirlo than blowing a bunch of cash on somebody like Radja Nainggolan. That's just me, though.
- No, seriously. Would you rather have Juve bring a midfielder like Marrone or Simone Padoin off the bench right now? Answer that question for me.
- Just for the hell of it, here's a stat: Juventus had eight shots on target, four of those were goals. Efficient.
- I saw a couple people on the Twitter machine point this out: Sassuolo doesn't care who they are playing, they're going to roll with their style of play and nothing else. Other teams who are at the bottom of the table probably would have tried to sit back with 10 guys behind the ball and hit Juve on the counter. Not Sassuolo. For that alone, they deserve a round of applause.
- So you're telling me Kwadwo Asamoah played well as a central midfielder against Sassuolo? Who knew! I sure hope this isn't the last time we'll be seeing Asamoah in more of a natural role, but I have a feeling it's only because Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio weren't available. It'd be nice, though. Asamoah definitely adds a different element to the center of the midfield that can't really be replicated by some of the other options on the roster.
- Six points clear at the top. Your move, Roma.