You know how on a voice recorder you have three different settings on the speed of how your audio will sound? On one end, you have the option to play things in half speed. Then there's normal speed. And then there's the sped up audio, which makes you sound like you've just inhaled a balloon full of helium in about three seconds.
In the first half of Juventus' game against Empoli, it's pretty safe to say things were going in half speed, with absolutely no imagination or creativity being displayed. Or maybe we can use a gif to describe Juventus' first-half performance.
Yeah, that seems about right, doesn't it? They just looked lost. They generated only eight shots against an Empoli side that had one of the worst goal differentials in all of Serie A through nine rounds this season.
But for all the offensive ineptitude and frustration in the first half, Juventus actually looked somewhat competent after the halftime break. It started with another free kick masterpiece from Andrea Pirlo, it continued with Álvaro Morata's absolute thunderbolt, and it resulted in a 2-0 win for Juventus to ease at least some of the anger from the Genoa loss midweek.
We know it wasn't perfect. We know it wasn't even close to a good showing against a squad Juventus should have beaten with plenty of room to spare on paper. It's not like we can completely throw out that waste of a first half and just consider this a good performance.
But, in the end, Juventus needed a win and they got the win. And with it, Juve are once again three points clear of Roma atop the Serie A table. It wasn't pretty, but hey, sometimes that's what you gotta do against provincial sides. Better than seeing another stupid loss, right?
Random thoughts and observations
- There will be a longer post in the near future about him, but here's the general idea of what I'll be writing about Álvaro Morata: Start him. Start him no matter who is available for selection, Mr. Allegri. He's just playing too well right now not to start every game. Juve's attack just has a completely different element to it when he's in there.
- If Morata continues to play well and gets the opportunities to do so, how intriguing is the partnership with Carlos Tévez going to be down the road? Morata brings so much more pace and direct play to Juventus' forward line.
- I was totally okay with Allegri going with Sebastian Giovinco as Morata's compliment in the Juve attack simply because Mr. Atomic Ant has a history of doing quite well against the provincial clubs. Outside of drawing the foul that led to Pirlo's free kick goal, it was pretty much a night to forget for Giovinco.
- Still waiting for Arturo Vidal to be Arturo Vidal again. With his yellow card against Empoli, he will miss Parma's visit to Juventus Stadium next weekend. The way he's playing, maybe that isn't such a bad thing.
- Juventus left the field Saturday night with two healthy central defenders and two injured left wingbacks with Kwadwo Asamoah having to be subbed off in the second half. That's not exactly what you want to have going on with a Champions League contest on the horizon.
- Simone Padoin, you guys. Not a bad showing in emergency left wingback duty, eh?
- Gigi Buffon had two saves to make. Both of them were simply fantastic. He's just the best.
- Juventus had to win on its birthday. I mean, they had to. There was no other option.