Yeah, it was one of those games.
One of those stupid, stupid games where Juventus dominate in terms of possession, go on and create plenty of chances in the final and then do absolutely nothing with said scoring opportunities because they're nothing even close to clinical. One of those games where the only fictitious purpose of Juventus' existence is to frustrate the living hell out of all of us. And one of those games where Juventus probably should have won, but didn't truly come close to winning because of how ineffective in front of goal they were.
This wasn't the same kind of scoreless draw like the one that was played out over the weekend in the Derby d'Italia against Inter Milan. Nope, Juventus actually played relatively well in that game. What about in this one? Not really, and I feel pretty confident in saying that. This was more 2015-16 Serie A Juventus rather than 2015-16 Champions League Juventus.
Basically, they needed something to spark some consistent offense, but it never really got there.
You look simply at the stats and see that Juve outshot Borussia Monchengladbach 22-4 on the night and think everything is wonderful. Then you see that only two of those shots tested Gladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer and it pretty much shows how ineffective Juventus were in front of goal.
Shots went high. Shots went wide. Shots went even more wide. They tried side volleys, Giorgio Chiellini tried to send himself flying through the air to put something on frame. They did just about everything except really trouble the opposing goalkeeper in a game that was very much a winnable one. That's not exactly the goal of the game, you know.
Never have truer words been spoken before. Not a surprise it's from somebody like Gigi Buffon, either. There were chances, but none of them equated to anything. And thus the reason Juventus were sent to a draw rather than extending their perfect record in the Champions League this season.
Heck, the way that game went, Juve probably just sent a couple of more shots 15 feet wide of the Borussia Monchengladbach goal while I double checked that I got the spelling of "Borussia Monchengladbach" right in this post.
Amen, Claudio. A-freaking-men.
Random thoughts and observations
- Paul Pogba needs a day off. Like, a complete and outright day off where he does nothing but sit on the bench that allows the Frenchman to give himself a break both physically and mentally. It's evident that he's pressing and trying to do too much. And when he does that, the tricks and flicks and everything else he usually does so well become the wrong kind of thing to do.
- Juventus clearly needed a creative spark in the second half and Max Allegri waited until there were 10 minutes left to bring on Paulo Dybala. I usually don't rag on substitution choices, but this time around Allegri waited way too long to bring on his best asset from the bench.
- It makes you wonder what, exactly, Allegri's plan for Dybala is over the next month or two. We know he's got the talent to truly lead the line alongside Álvaro Morata. And while some may think Allegri's integrating Dybda into the squad the same way he did with Morata a year ago, it's two completely different situations outside of their big transfer fees. I want to see Dybala play regularly, everybody wants to see Dybala play regularly. The only thing is, Dybala isn't playing regularly ... unless you count substitute appearances in the second half as playing regularly.
- Andrea Barzagli is a treasure and he should be appreciated like one. He is playing unbelievably well right now. It's come to the point where if I see a player making a run on the right side of Juventus' defense I'm not even worried. Why? Because Barzagli's got it covered.
- It's kind of a shame that this kind of performance will put a damper of Buffon achieving yet another milestone at Juventus. So many minutes, so many saves, so much awesome thanks to one player.
- Who else was surprised Alex Sandro got the start against Gladbach? I don't think many people were predicting that one. I know I wasn't.
- It would be really nice if Juventus scored a couple goals against Atalanta over the weekend. And win. Score a couple goals, get a clean sheet and win. That's a three-part plan that everybody who wears bianconero should be in favor of right now.