"Monologue," this is the word that described Wednesday night's match at Juventus Stadium. Juventus literally destroyed Sevilla and, with this victory, they´re the absolute leaders of Group D, this season's group of death in the Champions League.
Again, this Champions League match began at Tuesday's pre-match press conference. Max Allegri sent a riddle to Unai Emery about his starting lineup. He said that he would start with Sami Khedira, he'd play with the BBC in defense and he'd keep to himself a mystery man — Max only named ten starters at the press conference.
Right now, I'm pretty sure that Mr. Emery is still looking for answers.
a classic 3-5-2 a hybrid 4-3-3/4-4-2 formation with Andrea Barzagli playing as a right back and the mystery man, Hernanes, in the middle of the park along with Paul Pogba and Khedira. On the other side, a depleted Sevilla, presented a 4-5-1 without former Juve striker Fernando Llorente (out injured) and with Ciro Immobile on the bench.
The match started right away with a great opportunity for the home team, when Pogba badly lofted over the bar a bouncing ball in Sevilla's penalty area. Once again, Juan Cuadrado acted as a catalyst for Juventus attack, as he was often involved and was a nightmare for Benoit Tremoulinas.
In the 17th minute, a sweet curled shot by Paulo Dybala went just wide of Sergio Rico's right post. Sevilla tried to hold the constant Bianconeri's pressure, however it looked like it was just a matter of time before Juventus scored.
Juventus took the lead minutes before halftime. A beautiful cross, executed by Barzagli — yes, Barzagli! — found Álvaro Morata, who placed a clinical header in the back of the net.
The second half also began with a chance for Juventus. An industrious Dybala moved quickly and forced a close-range save by Sergio Rico. Minutes later, Cuadrado and Dybala scorched Rico's gloves with two furious shots. The Old Lady was in control, but Frosinone's ghost was still present at Juventus Stadium.
In the final moments, Simone Zaza entered for Morata and gave his side a deserved second goal. Again, all started with Dybala, "La Joya" fought an impossible ball in the middle of the park with two defenders. As a result the ball rebounded to Zaza, who accelerated towards Rico and finished calmly.
Juventus earned another precious three points in the Champions League and a second chance to believe in themselves and their future as a team.
Buffon 6.5 - Easy night for San Gigi, who was tested only once in the match.
Barzagli 7 - What a game by the Italian express! Assisted Álvaro Morata and was an enforcer on the right flank. He fulfilled an unselfish performance.
Bonucci 6.5 - Nice game by Leo. Along with Chiellini, bullied Gameiro and Immobile. Also distributed the ball coolly from the defense.
Chellini 6.5 - He was always in control. Tracked easily the visitors' attacks.
Evra 6.5 - Rock-solid as always. The French legend erased the speedster Yevhen Konoplyanka from the game.
Pogba 6.5 - Played an excellent defensive game, however his side still needs his contribution on attack
Hernanes 7 - Kudos to "the prophet," who bounced back from a terrible game against Napoli. He was calm in the middle and passed the ball smartly.
Khedira 7 - Welcome, Sami. The World Cup winner is not a pitbull, but he definitely knows how to play the game. He set the tempo in the midfield and was the leader that Juventus has been missing on the pitch.
Cuadrado 7.5 - Once again the Colombian showed his value. He was very active and always kept Selvilla defenders on their heels.
Morata 7 - Mr. Champions League did it again. With his first-half strike, he tied Alesandro Del Piero's record of scoring five goals in five consecutive Champions League matches.
Dybala 7.5 - Don't let his boy band looks fool you. This kid is a fighter and my man of the match. The Argentinian fought tirelessly and never backed down. The Dybala goals will come soon.
Sandro 6 - Replaced Khedira and had little impact.
Zaza 7 - This guy has the eye of the tiger. In my opinion he´s not as talented as Dybala or Morata; However he has the determination to be a great striker. If he plays like this, he will return to the national team soon.
Rugani s/v - His first official minutes as a bianconeri!
Allegri 7.5 - He's such a fox. He fooled everyone playing Barzagli on the right flank. Playing Khedira was a wise and aggressive choice. He outsmarted Emery and put Juventus in a great position to advance to the knockout round.
Things I Think I think
- Juventus fulfilled my Fearless Forcast and I couldn't be happier.
- In Mad Max I trust.
- I can't wait to see Marchisio, Pogba and Khedira on the field together.
- Sevilla was toothless and looked like a Serie B team.
- Juventus Stadium was a volcano Wednesday. Juve definitely had 12 men on the pitch.
- Once again: Juventus is back. Fino alla Fine!
- Almost forgot: I wouldn't like to be Ciro Immobile.