The talk during the week — non-Llorente category, of course — was that the squad rotation would continue. To what extent Antonio Conte would go to shuffling the deck we didn't exactly know, but the reality was that it was going to be a different lineup than the one we saw n Denmark.
We got our answer to the simple question and Conte kept his word because he's a good man.
Simple analysis to the simple question: I'd say it worked out pretty well.
Goals from Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente (!!) were the difference in a 2-1 win over Serie A newbies Hellas Verona on Sunday at Juventus Stadium. It was the first chance we got to see the 1-2 punch that Juve brought in during the summer transfer window we've been waiting all summer to see — well, unless you were at AT&T Park on the final day of July like yours truly — and it didn't disappoint at all.
It was the perfect response to what was another wonderful episode of "Watch Juventus Not Defend a Set Piece" on the game's opening goal by Hellas Verona. Juventus were always going to dominate possession because of how many players Verona were putting behind the ball. It was just a matter of putting away the opportunities that came their way for Antonio Conte's side.
While the finishing was far from perfect, there was no goalkeeping masterclass like there was against FC Copenhagen to drive us all up the wall. And the ability to get the 2-1 lead right before the half was the way to grab the momentum right by the neck was exactly what the doctor ordered. It was only fitting that Tevez and Llorente, two of Juventus' best players on the day, were the ones who got the goals.
Conte: Tevez is an example to everyone, Llorente also did well today and there’s more to come from him. This goal will give him confidence.— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) September 22, 2013
Random thoughts and observations
- Let's talk Fernando Llorente. Why? Because after getting a goal in your first Juventus start and having it be the difference on the scoreboard, you deserve to be talked about.
It was almost poetic justice that Llorente scored a goal after all the talk during the course of the past week. "Will he or won't he play?" "Well, why isn't he playing?" "Is he actually regretting his decision to come to Juve?" All that nonsense went right out the door the moment Llorente put his head on Arturo Vidal's cross and it found the back of the net. He obviously needs to still work himself into top game shape because of the circumstances we're all aware of, but this was something he can build off of, something that will definitely take a lot of pressure off his shoulders and get some confidence going.
You were saying, Tuttosport?
- Let's talk about Carlos Tevez. Why? Because he was awesome yet again.
I've seen it said here and on the Twitter machine before, but it bears repeating: Tevez wasn't the best overall striker on the market this summer, but he certainly was the perfect one for Juventus and Antonio Conte's system. And that price looks more and more like a bargain with every game that passes.
- The game Mauricio Isla had reminded me of his days at Udinese. He made his presence felt down the right flank and was nowhere close to, in a good kind of way, the player he was a year ago. You can tell he's much healthier and that the knee is feeling pretty good these days. That extra bit of pace is back.
- Marco Storari stole a game check.
- How good were Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli today? Yeah, pretty darn good. Angelo Ogbonna was pretty solid, too — and that's definitely a good sign after his first couple of official appearances in a Juventus shirt looked a little shaky to say the least.
- Not exactly one of Mirko Vucinic's best games off the bench. It started with his first touch being a turnover and never improved. On a day where Llorente scores his first Juventus goal, Vucinic was about as useful as Marco Motta.
- When was the last time, if any, Juventus absolutely dominated back-to-back matches with Andrea Pirlo on the field and doing absolutely nothing? You won't need a second hand to count the amount of times, I can tell you that much.
- Kwadwo Asamoah's yellow card was a Mauro Bergonzi Special. Tell your family and friends.