I didn't think that Hellas Verona's second visit to Juventus Stadium in four days could look a lot like or even come close to resembling the first one. I was proven wrong without a doubt. And not over the course of 90 minutes. It took about, oh, seven or eight minutes for Juventus to destroy Hellas' spirits once again.
How do I know this? Basically because this a picture of Hellas Verona manager Andrea Mandorlini reacting to how things are going against Juventus ... in the first half.
Hellas Verona game summary (via Getty Images) pic.twitter.com/zB5sDzJe1c— BWRAO (@JuventusNation) January 18, 2015
It was, again, a complete rout by Juventus against Hellas Verona in Turin Sunday night. Paul Pogba dazzled ... again. Carlos Tévez scored goals ... again. Gigi Buffon barely did nothing en route to a clean sheet ... again.
It was every bit of Thursday night's Coppa Italia victory transported into Sunday's Serie A fixture that officially signified the midway point of the season. I mean, when your Twitter feed starts filling up with everybody saying "I thought things would be a little different today..." 10 minutes into the game then you know not many people had any kind of idea Juventus — and to a lesser extent Hellas Verona — could replicate what happened just a few days earlier on the same ground.
But it happened.
And man oh man was it fun to watch. Again.
So how do you like Juventus' response to the hugely disappointing 1-1 draw with Inter to begin the new year?
A 3-1 win at the San Paolo against Napoli despite not playing all that great overall. A 6-1 beatdown against Hellas Verona in the Coppa Italia. And now, another dismantling of Hellas Verona, this time 4-0 with an accompanying poker face to go with it.
This is the way things are going right now. No matter who Juventus throws on the field, they are getting the job done. And above all else, Juventus' stars are playing like stars again. You see Pogba command the midfield once again? Because you should have. You see Tévez score his Serie A-best 12th and 13th goals of the season? Because you should have.
Not a bad thing to team with Roma dropping points against Palermo yesterday. Back to plus-5 in the standings, folks.
.@OfficialAllegri: "Credit to the lads. It wasn't easy to win after putting six past them before. We handled the game well." #JuveVerona— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) January 18, 2015
Juventus should play Hellas Verona every week. It has been decided. You're welcome.
Random thoughts and observations
- Juventus wins 10-1 on aggregate.
- Or maybe we should just wait until the next game against Hellas Verona to decide what the aggregate score will be? I don't know. There's going to be too many goals to add up anyways.
- Seriously, I'm starting to think Paul Pogba isn't human. This current form he's on right now, there's a damn good reason why the Juventus Stadium crowd gets a little louder whenever Pogba is on the ball. His goal once again reminded everybody about just how deadly he is when shooting from long range. But it was everything he did that showed why he's now becoming a true star in European football. He's just so fun to watch.
- Another really nice game from Álvaro Morata, whose only downfall is that he probably should have had a goal. But his build-up play was great, as was combination play with Tévez. We'll see if two straight starts ends up being something to actually write home about. But there's no doubting Morata's made a strong case to Allegri as to why he should start over Fernando Llorente on a regular basis going forward.
- It took Roberto Pereyra until the middle of January to score his first two goal with the club, but both of them have been really, really nice. If he continues to adapt to life as a trequartista, that gives Allegri just one more option heading into the next few months of absolutely craziness with the schedule.
- Not sure if Giorgio Chiellini or Franz Beckenbauer. That run and assist on Pereyra's goal was pretty slick.
Pogba Pogba isn't the only Juventus midfielder playing damn well right now. Claudio Marchisio, as he's done for a good portion of the season, was really good against Hellas Verona. He's just contributing in so many ways these days. Scoring chances of his own, setting up teammates, tracking back and defending, this is Claudio Marchisio at his best.
Just don't fall into his gaze, everybody. It will get you every time.
- How much fun is this Juventus team having right now? Usually when you blow a goal-scoring opportunity, you see players facepalming and/or screaming at themselves (or each other). Tévez and Morata are there cracking smiles and having a laugh. Good times, good times.
- Still trying to figure out why Frederik Sorensen can't crack this Hellas Verona defense. I mean, they looked just as bad on Sunday as they did Thursday night in the Coppa Italia.
- Max Allegri has Juventus in the knockout stages of the Champions League, five points up on Roma in the Serie A table, and officially grabbed the winter champion tagline Sunday. Not a bad opening six months.
- You know it.
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