Apparently all Fernando Llorente needed to do to get back to his awesome goal-scoring ways was shave his beard, add some grease to his hair and comb it off to the side.
It definitely worked for one day, at least.
The Llorente of earlier this season was back in full force in front of the home crowd at Juventus Stadium on Monday night. Two goals from Llorente in a matter of just three minutes was the difference against Livorno, one of Serie A's relegation battlers. The first coming on a beautiful turn and left-footed blast into the roof of the goal, the second with a little help from Francesco Bardi.
Something tells me Mr. Llorente likes playing against Livorno. I don't know what it is.
And something else told me over the course of 90 minutes that this was the kind of thumping we were hoping Juventus would put on a side trying not to get relegated like Livorno currently is. Maybe it's the fact Juve had almost three times the amount of possession than Livorno. Or maybe it was because Juventus barely let Livorno out of their own half of the field in the first 45 minutes.
Yeah, something like that. It was certainly nice to not have that pull-all-your-hair-out feeling from the opening kickoff to the final whistle like what has been present the last couple of weeks. For the first time in many a game, Juventus' performance was miles ahead of their competition.
We haven't sung this in a little while, so let's get it going once more.
Ah, yes. Juventus wins with relative ease and Fernando Llorente scored a couple of goals. All is right in the world again.
Here's a pretty nice little fact: Juventus need 10 points in their last six matches to clinch a third straight Scudetto. Looking at the remaining schedule, I would like to think that's going to be pretty achievable in short order.
Random thoughts and observations
- Fernando Llorente good.
- Livorno bad.
- Gianluigi Buffon's save on Alfred Duncan's attempt from long distance? Really, really good.
- Livorno's attempt to not let Andrea Pirlo run the show and take complete control of the midfield? Pretty bad.
- Remember when I said Juventus should maybe turn to Mirko Vucinic because Llorente wasn't playing well? Fernando knows how to shut me up. That had to be a big-time confidence-building game for El Rey Leon because it hasn't come easy for him since his last goal in early March.
- That was the exact kind of game you want to have against a team like Livorno that is fighting for their Seire A lives. Get the goals early, put it away early and then just kinda sit on cruise control in the second half. Maybe a scare here and there — which Buffon helped save us all a little stress with the save on Duncan — but it was pretty smooth sailing after Llorente's second goal.
- Juventus' midfield trio — Paul Pogba, Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio — were all involved early and often. All three had very good games. Then again, it wasn't like any of the players in Juventus' starting lineup had a bad game on Monday.
- If Sebastian Giovinco wanted to build off his strong showing off the bench last Thursday against Lyon, he will probably want to press the restart button. Both him and Vucinic were relatively quite in their appearances against Livorno. Although, to be fair to Vucinic, he basically came on at the same time that Livorno started warming up their bus.
- Not a bad way for Martin Caceres to celebrate his birthday, eh? Other than one slip-up in the first half, it was yet another solid game for Mr. High Socks. Happy 27th to you, Martin, and keep up the good work.
- Back to plus-8 over Roma. Sorry, but we're not sorry.