You see Juventus simply dominate in the first half and figure they'll only continue to do so going forward. Why? Because it's logic, and that's the way a lot of us use to put our thoughts together. Then, the second half arrives. And with it, Juve not only looks like a shell of their first-half selves, but sees a lead absolutely disappear and risk throwing away a victory.
That happened exactly the way we feared it would go for Juventus against arch-rivals Inter Milan on Tuesday night. What started so brightly for Juventus ended with a thoroughly frustrating 1-1 draw in the Derby d'Italia. That's just what happens when your second-half play resembles a dumpster fire.
3 games in a row, Juventus have been in control, dominated long stages, not put the game beyond doubt and been pegged back— James Horncastle (@JamesHorncastle) January 6, 2015
History is starting to repeat itself, boys and girls. Over and over again. And not in a good way, either. It's not just the past three games where Juve have either drawn or lost like in the Supercoppa. This is a common thread for this entire season and beyond. You can't just pinpoint one event where things went wrong. It's starting to become a long list.
Is it the manager's mentality once his team gets the lead?
Is it the players' mentality and approach to the game once they get the lead?
Is it the opposition adjusting at halftime and Juventus unable to counter the initial changes?
Is it all of the above in some kind of sick and twisted mixture that results in absolute frustration?
Let's ask noted goalkeeper and Juventus goalkeeper Gigi Buffon we he thinks.
"In my view the same thing happened in other games, which is that we go from great confidence/arrogance of being the best team with excellent potential to seeming fearful at the first sign of difficulty.
"It happened against Sampdoria, Torino and Napoli. We need to mature definitively if we want to take an important place in the Champions League as well as Serie A.
"It isn't a worry as such, but it is something we need to analyse and pick apart. There are moments during the game when Juventus are absolutely dominant and create a huge number of scoring opportunities, but must remember that if it's 1-0 then we need to keep our eyes open."
(Source: Football Italia)
That's brutal honesty, folks. And for good reason.
Juventus were so good in the first half it looked like they were going to cruise to an easy win and remain three points ahead of Roma. There was just one huge problem in the opening 45 minutes — they couldn't add a second goal to extend their lead further. There were chances. Oh, man, there were plenty of them. But the totally ineffective-in-front-of-goal Juventus we've seen so many times the last few years reared its ugly head again.
Because of it, no second goal, no manageable lead, no three points at the final whistle.
I'll just continue to shake my head at this team until they fix this. Let's just hope they actually do.
Random thoughts and observations
- Seriously, how the hell did Juventus score one goal against Inter in the first half? That defense was just a total mess in the first half. Outside of Samir Handanovic, they were just all over the damn place with no kind of organization whatsoever.
- What I totally spaced on putting in the match preview: If there is one person on this current Inter roster to score a goal against Juventus that will devastate us all, who other than Mauro Icardi to do it?
- Post-game rumors of Inter potentially signing Xherdan Shaqiri by the end of the weekend has really improved my mood greatly. Thanks a lot, guys.
- I feel safe in saying that Tuesday night's first half was some of the best of Arturo Vidal we've seen all season. The assist to Carlos Tévez was beautiful, his contributions were plentiful, and he was just all over the field like the Vidal of old. It was great to see once again, let's just hope it continues rather being something we only see every couple of weeks.
- Lenoardo Bonucci's second-half game film should be burned and destroyed. Or maybe it should be kept around to show people how not to play as a defender. He got absolutely toasted by Mauro Icardi on Inter's goal and then had a couple of huge mistakes that could have cost Juventus the lead.
Like the entire team in general, Bonucci's first half was great. The second half was just so forgettable.
- Paul Pogba putting Inter defenders on skates. Oh boy.
- Eleven goals in 16 Serie A games for Carlos Tévez. What a wonderful player. Cherish him.
- Buffon had one save, in the 83rd minute, and it was absolutely brilliant. Rinse and repeat. Class is class.
- It doesn't matter how Borussia Dortmund is playing in the Bundesliga these days. If that Juventus from the second half shows up in the Champions League next month, then it's going to be a pretty salty reaction. Even more than the one to this game is.
- Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Inter Milan
- Juventus vs. Inter Milan Preview: Round 17 — Let the games begin ... again
- OFFICIALLY OFFICIAL: Sampdoria striker Manolo Gabbiadini joins Napoli
- Expectations and wishes over the next 12 months for Juventus
- Juventus reportedly falls out of the race to sign Bayern Munich's Xherdan Shaqiri