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Juventus 3 - Roma 2: Initial reaction and random observations

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Maurizio Lagana

Just a nice, clam evening at Juventus Stadium. No drama, no reason for anybody to be heated after the game. Simply a nice and relaxing night to watch some football at the nicest stadium in all of Italy.

Or maybe it was just the complete opposite of that.

The first half of Juventus-Roma featured this: One manager getting sent off for sarcastically playing the violin on the sidelines; four goals scored — three of which just so happened to be converted from the penalty spot; six yellow cards getting handed out by ever-card-happy referee Gianluca Rocchi; a handful of calls that should have been made but never were; and a partridge in a pear tree.

So I guess the meeting between the clear-cut top two teams in Serie A that was filled with complete madness from start to finish, it was fitting that in the 86th minute Juventus got the game-winning goal on a volley from ... Leonardo Bonucci of all people.

Yep, in a game that saw cards of both colors come flying out of Rocchi's pocket, fights, controversial penalties galore, and just about everything in between, it was a right-footed volley and a subsequent golazo in the 86th minute from one of Juventus' three central defenders to keep the bianconeri perfect in Serie A this season.

Just like we all thought would happen. I mean, after the way the first half went, there was no way that game was going to end in a 2-2 draw, right? But it took nearly the entire second half to decide what was one of the wildest and most drama-filled Juventus games we've seen in quite a bit of time.

As a great man on Twitter wrote after the final whistle blew: "Impossible to analyse such a game."

I agree.

It wasn't the perfect game, but it kept Juventus perfect in Serie A after six games. Hey, that works for me.

Random thoughts and observations

  • Before you accuse me of being a blind Juventus homer who only sees things through black and white goggles: The referee was terrible for both teams. That ain't my fault. Why the league didn't have Nicola Rizzoli — who was at Empoli-Palermo, by the way — officiate this match is beyond me. You know it's going to be intense, you know it's going to need somebody to keep control of things, so why not have the best ref in Italy preside over it? Then again, it's Italy, so common logic gets thrown right out the window.

  • Max Allegri's record in Serie A to start his Juventus managerial career: Six games, six wins. Just like we all thought would happen in the days following his hiring.

  • I'm worried about Fernando Llorente, guys. It was another game with relative anonymity that is becoming all too familiar for the big Spaniard. We can't chalk it up to him being rusty after a season of inactivity and no game action this time around. Hopefully Llorente is able to clear his head a bit during the international break and get back to resembling the player we saw most of last season.

  • In turn, what a bad time for Álvaro Morata — no matter if it was justified or not — to get sent off and suspended. The way Llorente is playing right now, Morata should have been in line to start one of the first few games coming out of the international break. That is, before he went and got sent off. But nice header that clanged off the crossbar, though, kid.

  • Carlitos Tévez goal scoring update: Seven games in all competitions, eight goals scored. That boy good.

  • With Martín Cáceres' hamstring going all "TWANG!" in the closing stages of the insane first half, Juventus are now down to three healthy center backs. Andrea Barzagli isn't going to be back for at least a month, and who knows how serious Cáceres' injury is (the way it looked wasn't good, though), but Juve can really ill-afford any injuries at the back right now. Maybe, just maybe, this will mean a switch to a four-man defense. I'm not banking on it, though.

  • We saw it on his goal, but man Juan Iturbe has some serious ability. You think Juventus could use some of his skill and pace in the final third right now? Yeah, I'm pretty sure we all know the answer to that one.

  • Who saw Bonucci's face in the moments after the game ended? It was almost like a sense of relief that game was over. Or maybe he was still reeling from Claudio Marchisio bashing him on the back of the head over and over again after the fifth and final goal of the night. Either one seems applicable.

  • And then, we exhale.