There would be no blowing of a 1-0 lead. There wasn't even a slight risk of losing the lead once Juventus got the game's opening goal, to be completely honest. It was the exact opposite Thursday night at Juventus Stadium. Just your average 6-1 beatdown of Hellas Verona is what happened, putting any doubt of a second-half meltdown waaaaaay out of question even before halftime arrived.
That's just what happens when Juve just don't dominate their opponent over the course of 90 minutes. That's what happens when they blow them out of the entire stadium.
Even with all the expected changes that came with the Coppa Italia curtain-raiser for Juventus, they were good — damn good. This wasn't a game where Juve scratched and clawed their way to a win over a provincial side like they have in the past. This was Juventus, with half of the starting lineup consisting of reserves, playing some darn good football and getting plenty of scoring opportunities — and putting them away — along the way.
.@OfficialAllegri: "An excellent performance tonight. We played with plenty of pace, running often towards the opposition goal." #JuveVerona— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) January 15, 2015
Juventus did exactly what they were supposed to do in their first game of the 2014-15 Coppa Italia. Maybe not in the manner that the 6-1 final score says, but in a game where there were plenty of changes and players coming in who hadn't played much lately, they just got the job done. You can't ask for much more than that.
I mean, what more can we say? Juventus played well and pretty much let us enjoy a game rather than having us gnaw off all of our fingernails. I think I know which game I preferred to have happen going into tonight.
(And that happened.)
Random thoughts and observations
- Paul Pogba is on fire right now. It's not just the silky moves he's busting out on opposing defenders what seems like every couple of minutes, it's pretty much everything he's doing on the field right now. He's just so scary-good at the age of 21 and becoming a true leader on this team. It's fun to watch — even from afar.
- I've always felt like Sebastian Giovinco can be a useful piece with the way the Juventus roster is constructed. Certainly not week in and week out or as a focal point of the attack, but he can play a some kind role within this squad. Maybe it's convenient to say this after he scores a couple of goals, but it's good to see him take full advantage of his first start in over two months.
- Kingsley Coman's first Juventus goal was ... beautiful. (insert crying emoji here)
- Same goes for the reactions after Coman's goal. Look at how much they love it.
- This isn't breaking news by any means: I would love to see Coman get more playing time going forward the next few weeks and/or months. Look, Juventus' schedule is about to get busy as hell at the end of the month and Allegri should be rotating the squad accordingly. There will be chances for Coman to play coming up, and it should happen. How can you not keep him on the bench for an extended period of time right now?
Oh, and here's a friendly reminder: Kingsley Coman is 18 years old and Juventus didn't have to pay anything for him.
- Also pretty: Roberto Pereyra's goal. Because there isn't enough to celebrate already, right?
- SIMONE PEPE BACK. Seriously, good for him. This hasn't been an easy two and a half years for him. He might not be anywhere close to the same role he had back under Gigi Del Neri, but he's always been a great teammate and never complained once again what's going on. So welcome back, Simone. And good on the tifo for giving him so much love as well.
- Seems fitting that Verona's lone goal came on terrible marking from Juventus, doesn't it? All the wonderful things that happened Thursday night ... and then there was that piece of defending.
- Claudio Marchisio was the captain's armband Thursday night, which is as natural a fit as anything that happened against Hellas Verona.
- Marco Storari made two wonderful saves before the Juventus defense cost him a clean sheet. There's your goalkeeper appreciation bullet point, folks.
- Nice little tactical shift by Max Allegri to go with a variation of a 4-3-3 to accommodate Pepe in the starting lineup. I wouldn't be opposed to seeing that kind of formation mixed in going forward as a variation to his favorite 4-3-1-2 setup. There's just something about this team when they have threats on the wings other than fullbacks.
- Juventus plays in the quarterfinals of the Coppa Italia. The same Parma they dropped seven goals on back in November. The same Parma team that is still sitting at the bottom of the Serie A table. Get your popcorn ready.
- Guess who Juventus plays this weekend? Yeah, Hellas Verona. Let's hope Juventus A can continue what Juventus B did midweek.
- That was fun. I like games when Juventus score lots of goals and wins games.
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- Coppa Italia Preview: Juventus vs. Hellas Verona — Welcome to Hell(as)
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