And to think, Paul Pogba wasn't playing all that great for the first 60 minutes.
Yet, that's the beauty of Juventus 21-year-old French dynamo who can't be stopped by anything in sight these days. He can go from so-so to match-winner in the blink of an eye. And that's exactly what happened in Juve's 2-0 win over Chievo, with Pogba's fourth goal in as many games highlighting what was an otherwise average performance from Max Allegri's squad.
Need we say more?
Seriously, that's with his left foot, people.
This is just another example of the ever-growing brilliance of Paul Pogba. Just when you think he has run out of shots and/or tricks to make you go "WOW!" while watching a game, he pulls a goal like the one above out of his back pocket and helps Juventus secure another three points. The talk following this match will be about Pogba — and rightfully so. He's in such insane form right now that he's about ready to equal his amount of goals from last season (seven) and it's still January.
That's ... yeah. Pretty damn good.
And on a night where Juventus needed a momentum of magic, Pogba was there to deliver. Because of course he was.
That's a grand total of eight goals in 23 matches in all competitions for Pogba. Who, by the way, is a midfielder. And, who, by the way, is just 21 years old.
Don't you ever change, Paul Pogba. You are wonderful just the way you are.
Random thoughts and observations
- As a goalkeeper, I was always taught that one of the biggest cardinal sins was to get beat at the near post. But when somebody hits a shot with so much movement and ferocity like Pogba did, it's nearly impossible to actually make a save. Sometimes you just have swallow your pride and realize there are shots even the best keepers can't get.
Although, I gotta admit, if Pogba and Gigi Buffon have any kind of friendly competition in training, that would be pretty fun to watch. Just sit back and admire.
- In the seconds after Pogba scored Sunday's opener, the announcer on the broadcast I was watching immediately went to the "Pogba's price is going even higher!" kind of reaction. I guess we should be used to this by now considering all the rumors surrounding Pogba on a weekly — or even daily — basis. But, you know, sometimes I'd like to be able to watch Pogba do Pogba things without hearing about a potential bid from Real Madrid or Man City or any other super-rich European club. This is one of the best talents we've seen at Juventus in years and all some people talk about is Pogba leaving. It's tiresome.
- See what happens when Simone Padoin is brought onto the field? Not even a minute later he's delivering the cross that led to Stephan Lichtsteiner's goal. Pado-WIN at its finest.
- Not the best game for either Arturo Vidal or Roberto Pereyra. I'll give Vidal a pass considering he was in the hospital a little over a week ago.
- Based on what I wrote in the match preview, you could say I was rather surprised that Álvaro Morata got the start ahead of Fernando Llorente for the third straight game. And while Morata's impact wasn't close to the two starts against Hellas Verona, it was a nice sight to see from Allegri. Who knows if it will continue — there's bound to be squad rotation for the Coppa Italia midweek — but if Morata is set for a lot more regular playing time, I'm pretty intrigued to see what happens.
- One player who did have a good game? Giorgio Chiellini. WhoScored had him for only one tackle against Chievo, but I could have sworn it was quite a few more than that. He had some pretty crucial shot blocks, too. Maybe he's another player starting to find his form as we enter the second half of the season.
- While Juventus' defense had some brain fart-worthy moments against Chievo, Buffon was only forced into one save — an easy catch right into his stomach in the second half. With all their misfirings, it became pretty easy to see why Chievo has scored a Serie A-worst 14 goals in 20 games this season.
- The clash of heads between Nicolas Frey and Patrice Evra in the first half was another reminder as to why European football needs to adapt some kind of uniform and consistent protocol for head injuries. Obviously Frey got the worst of it, but you just hope that it's nothing more than just a really bad cut on the forehead.
- Martin Cáceres with a potentially goal-saving tackle in the second half after Juventus had gone up 2-0. The guy just works his tail off even when the game is basically over and done with.
- Have I mentioned that Paul Pogba is fun to watch?
- Plus-8 — for now, at least. Could be worse, I guess. Yet it's so pretty at the same time.
- Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Chievo
- Juventus vs. Chievo Preview: Round 20 — It's so nice to be home
- The Toronto FC perspective on Sebastian Giovinco's move to Major League Soccer
- Simone Zaza to replace MLS-bound Sebastian Giovinco at Juventus ... in January?
- OFFICIALLY OFFICIAL: Sebastian Giovinco signs with Toronto FC