Based on simply looking at the final scoreline, you'd think that Juventus dominated the match and pretty much cruised to victory, right? "A two-goal lead without giving up any away goals heading back to Turkey? Juve must have taken care of business, man!" Don't be afraid to admit it. That's what you might be thinking because of that deceiving little scoreline.
There was just one little problem, though.
Juve are making heavy weather of a simple home leg. They're the best team in the comp by miles&final is at home, shouldn't be messing about.— Michael Cox (@Zonal_Marking) February 20, 2014
Thank the heavens for Paul Pogba and Carlos Tevez.
Tevez's fantastic assist on Pogba's goal ended what was a nervy final 20 minutes for Juventus. Killing off the tie early? Bah, who needs that when you can give each the faithful around the world watching a couple of heart palpitations before the final whistle is blown. And if not for a couple of clutch Gigi Buffon saves and a few last-ditch clearances, then who knows what would have taken place in the dying stages of the second half.
But what could have been was awfully clear to the eye: Juventus were walking on thin ice — something between going to Turkey with a slim lead and a full-blown mess if Trabzonspor had gotten a late equalizer.
I guess the good thing is we're talking about a 2-0 win rather than another late equalizer that makes us all want to bash our head against the wall. So, yeah, in that respect there is a positive in all of this.
Random thoughts and observations
- I'd say it was a pretty productive first start in a Juventus jersey for Dani Osvaldo. He's shown some pretty good rapport with Tevez already, and that was even more of the case against Trabzonspor. He got himself the game's first goal and was easily one of Juve's best players on the field. Not bad, Dani.
#Osvaldo: It was a good evening, above all for the result but also because I got on the scoresheet, which I'm obviously delighted about.— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) February 20, 2014
- The assist on Pogba's goal just exemplifies the beauty of Tevez's overall game. Much like in the Champions League group stages, he couldn't buy a goal to save his life. But at the same time, he was one of Juve's best players. Just watch the pass to Pogba and you'll know why — the angle is crazy, with Carlitos essentially dishing it back to the French midfielder without even looking back over his shoulder. That's class, folks. Top-shelf class.
- Angelo Ogbonna was really, really good against Chievo over the weekend. In the first half against Trabzonspor? Not so much. Rumor has it Angelo owes Leonardo Bonucci dinner for cleaning up his mess. Hard to believe with the way his game started that he finished with a game-high seven tackles and a nice and shiny 8.0 on the WhoScored rating system.
- Federico Peluso was put on this earth to make sure your heart rate stays as high as possible for the entire time he's on the field. It's pretty amazing he made it 95 minutes without getting a yellow card.
- The switch to the 4-3-3 in the second half after Sebastian Giovinco replaced Claudio Marchisio might have created some facepalm-worthy play in Juventus' defensive half of the field, but it brought a bit of a spark to the offense. Giovinco was pretty lively down the left flank in his 20 minutes of action. Hopefully this wasn't just a one-time thing, either. Giovinco does have a place in this team — especially in a 4-3-3.
#Conte: We wanted another goal and introduced a third striker. We did well in the end, hitting the post before grabbing our second.— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) February 20, 2014
- Has anybody checked the weather forecast for next Thursday night in Turkey yet? Just curious.
- Just a suggestion: None of this second-half nonsense against Torino on Sunday. I don't really feel like watching Alessio Cerci or Ciro Immobile celebrating any goals at Juventus Stadium.
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