So something tells me this four-man defense is working well. Let's check and see if this hunch is actually the truth...
Bang, bang. How sweet that goal is. How sweet that whole game was.
We were wondering how Juventus was going to come out of the international break in the lead up to their first game in two weeks. I think it's safe to say we got our answer in pretty emphatic fashion, as Juve recorded a super impressive 3-0 win over Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Paul Pogba did classic and amazing Paul Pogba things, scoring a brace with two lovely goals. Carlos Tévez continued what he called the form of his life with his ninth Serie A goal of the season. And Juventus, which looked so incredibly average when they let in a stoppage-time goal against Genoa back in the final game of October, has now found new life with Max Allegri's switch to a four-man defense.
Yeah, I'd say things are going pretty well.
.@OfficialAllegri: "It was important to get straight back into our stride following Roma’s win. It was a tough game at a difficult venue."— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) November 22, 2014
You compare the Juventus we saw against Genoa to the one we saw against Lazio on Saturday night — two games separated by a little less than a months time — and it's night and day. That Juventus seemed to be lacking any kind of spark that was needed to get past even the most ordinary of teams. This Juventus is just a completely different animal, one that creates chances, puts them away, and just dominates the opposition. No messing around. Just all systems go on their way to three points.
Seriously, this team just looks reborn in such a short period of time. Amazing what a little much-needed tweaking and a kick in the backside can do to wake things up.
Oh, and one more thing...
RIP 3-5-2 for life.— BWRAO (@JuventusNation) November 22, 2014
As some like to say, "Onward and upward." That's certainly Juventus' trajectory these days.
Random thoughts and observations
- Seriously, how good is Paul Pogba? I mean, really, both of his goals were simply class. Like the whole team, he's really come alive with the switch in formations, scoring three goals in his last three games and has just been the Pogba we're used to seeing.
And guess what? He's locked up with a shiny new contract until 2019. I love being able to type that.
- So you're up 2-0 and you bring on Álvaro Morata for a so-so Fernando Llorente as your first sub of the game. That is Max Allegri putting his full foot on the gas and not settling for a two-goal lead.
- If you're Allegri, is it a no-brainer that you bring Arturo Vidal back into the starting lineup against Malmö on Wednesday night? I ask this because Roberto Pereyra has been really, really good in this 4-3-2-1/4-3-1-2 setup Juventus has used lately. And that assist on Pogba's second goal, oh man that was pretty. Silky smooth.
- That was one of the more interesting shutouts for Gigi Buffon I've seen as of late. He coughed up a couple of Lazio shots, and then made one heck of a save toward the end of the game after Juve went down to 10 men.
- Andrea Pirlo attempted 60 passes against Lazio. He misplaced three of them. Welcome back, maestro.
- This was a game where the brilliance of Claudio Marchisio was in full effect. He snatches the ball and then starts the counter that leads to Tévez's goal to make it 2-0. Oh, and he got the assist on the goal, too, which was pretty nice in its own right. You can't send him to the bench these days. He's just playing so well, and so consistent.
- Stephan Lichtsteiner recorded a game-high six tackles. I think he likes playing against his former club.
- Somebody get a sideline cam on Marco Storari all the time, please.
- Juventus is still undefeated when Simone Padoin is in the starting lineup. Juuuuuust throwing it out there.
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