When your team doesn't record a shot on goal, it's hard to win a game against a good team like Roma. When you don't play well, it's hard to win a game against a good team like Roma. When your best players don't play up to their ability, it's hard to win against a good team like Roma.
All of those things are applicable in the aftermath of Juventus' elimination from the Coppa Italia on Tuesday night.
In total, there were two shots on goal at the Stadio Olimpico. One was Gervinho's 79-minute goal, the other easily saved by Marco Storari a few moments later. Two shots on goal, both by Roma, none by Juventus. Of Juve's six — SIX! — shots against Roma, five went flying into the stands, and the other being blocked. It was as lackluster as a Juventus attack as we've seen in awhile.
In fact, it was the first time that a Juventus team managed by Antonio Conte has failed to record even a single shot on goal. Seriously.
What's that highly analytical statement a good number of people say? Oh, that's right — ball don't lie.
It's pretty difficult to score goals when your best scoring chances are flying over the goal with plenty of room to spare. That was the case for Juventus on Tuesday night. Regardless of what the lineup did or didn't look like, those who played the majority of the match didn't deliver. Nothing more, nothing less.
#Conte: I'm happy with the performances of those who play less, it's a pity we conceded during our best moment of the game. #RomaJuve— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) January 21, 2014
Roma were the better team. They undoubtedly played the better game and had the better approach. They deserved to win and I won't hesitate repeating that over and over again. It's as simple as that. End of story. Now back to Serie A where Juventus is the team who is dominating the competition. I like those final scores better anyway.
Random thoughts and observations
- A lot, A LOT of the talk is going to be about just how serious Conte takes the Coppa Italia. I don't doubt that he thinks it's important. I mean, it is Conte after all and the guy wants to win everything possible. But the thing with the Coppa is that Conte has always played a squad with mostly reserves. So in that sense, he's consistent about what he is doing when approaching the tournament. The thing is, though, it wasn't a reserve-filled squad like we've gotten in the past. Juventus just played poorly. That's it. It's not like Simone Padoin was playing as a regista or anything. The squad that played Tuesday weren't good at all. Simple as that.
But if you doubt that he doesn't care about the Coppa Italia, I suggest you watch his post-match interview. Go ahead and report back to me.
- In the match preview, I put an emphasis on what a rested Andrea Pirlo can possibly do. What did he end up doing after over a week of rest? Not a whole hell of anything at all. This was one a those ever-so-often Pirlo stinkers. What's hard to believe is that it didn't come after he's played game after game for a month straight. It was when he was one of the most rested players on the field.
- Maybe in the match preview I should have concentrated on Sebastian Giovinco and Fabio Quagliarella might or might not do. Giovinco was one of the better players in a sub-par lot for Juventus. But Quagliarella was a lot like many Juve players — incredibly ineffective. A night to forget without a doubt.
- Juventus' game encapsulated in one simple gif.
Swing and a miss.
- Man oh man did Leonardo Bonucci get caught ball watching on Gervinho's goal. Oofa. Not good.
- Juventus is up eight points on Roma in the Serie A table. Let's just remember that when we're feeling the need to rant and rave about what Conte did wrong against Roma on Tuesday. Things aren't all bad...