Whether we believe it or not, there will be talk of players in their mid-30s not being able to be the difference makers they once were in the younger days of their careers. We've heard it about Gianluigi Buffon, we've heard it about Andrea Pirlo. And we'll continue to hear it for however long they walk out of the tunnel
Well, guess what?
The old boys won it for Juventus on Sunday night.
Buffon's saved penalty against Emanuele Calaiò kept the game scoreless with less than 20 minutes left, and then Pirlo's absolute beauty of a free kick just outside the penalty area were the difference between Juventus leaving the Luigi Ferraris with no, one or three points. Two crucial moments from two world-class players in a game that otherwise was one that Juve probably doesn't want to replicate very often the rest of the season.
That's just beautiful. Feel free to watch it as many times as you want.
In a game where Juve were rather poor in the overall picture, they needed a bit of magic to come home with all three points. Genoa were clearly the better side, and just like on Thursday against Fiorentina, it wasn't Juventus who created the majority of the chances. But Juventus got the one moment of brilliance they needed to get the victory when Pirlo stepped up to the ball with the clock just moments away from going into extra time.
The upper-right corner of the Genoa goal was almost like an open invitation for one of the best free kick takers in the world today. "Come on, Andrea. Bring it." Pirlo didn't shy away and went upper-V. Bang bang. Mattia Perin had no chance.
Not the prettiest three-pointer you'll ever see from Juve, but three points closer to a third straight title.
.@gianluigibuffon: We should all be proud with tonight's win. Even when we have to dig deep, we're able to do so. It's a good sign.— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) March 16, 2014
Random thoughts and observations
- No Tevez, (almost) no party.
- San Gigi has a thing when it comes to saving penalties against Genoa at the Ferraris. We take you back to 2006...
Just add tonight's stop to the highlight reel. Not a bad way to ring in his Dino Zoff-tying 476th appearance in a Juventus jersey.
- Good to see Paul Pogba have one of his better games of the last few months tonight. It had been a rough go of it for the recently-turned 21-year-old Frenchman, but Sunday was anything but a struggle like in previous weeks. Maybe the rest midweek against Fiorentina did some good, I dunno. But to see Pogba get pretty involved — the should-have-been assist to Dani Osvaldo was an absolute thing of beauty — was a pleasant change from how its been for Pogba in the second half of the season.
- Dani Osvaldo likes chips with his (disallowed) goals.
- And that brings us to the officiating, which might have effected Osvaldo more than any one single player on the field. The first Osvaldo no-goal was correctly called offside, but the second one — not so much. It's one thing to get one or two calls incorrect, but when it becomes a consistent thing over the whole 90-plus minutes of a match, then that's something to be annoyed with. Luckily God is between the sticks for Juventus and more than capable to make up for stupid referees doing stupid things.
Don't worry, though, guys. That "Juventus get all the calls!" narrative is still going strong.
- Plus-17. Sorry 'bout that, Roma.
- Please play better on Thursday, guys. That's not too much to ask of them, right?
- Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Genoa
- Juventus vs. Genoa Preview: Round 28 — Sunday night football at the Ferraris
- Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio says he's not seriously injured after thigh strain scare
- UEFA Europa League: Juventus vs. Fiorentina, Leg 1, full match coverage
- Juventus 1:1 Fiorentina - Mario Gomez's late goal bursts Juve's bubble