Somewhere out there, somebody is probably crazily excited about Juventus having around 70 percent of the possession against Udinese on Sunday. And while possession numbers are perfectly acceptable and a good stat to use at times, here's a question to ponder regarding Juve having so much of the ball at the Friuli:
What, exactly, did Juventus do with all that possession?
Because it certainly wasn't leading to them finding the back of the net, that's for sure.
Juventus: Have failed to score in a Serie A match for the 3rd time this season, something they managed just once in the 2013/14 campaign— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) February 1, 2015
Juventus' somewhat-forced switch to a 3-5-2 formation didn't result in anything special against Udinese. In fact, it was pretty much the same kind of dour, uninspiring performance like we saw against Parma in the Coppa Italia earlier in the week. The Juventus attack didn't create much of anything despite having so much more possession than their opposition. Udinese goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis was barely troubled all game, with both of his two saves being as simple as simple gets.
There was a grand total of 13 shots — two of which were on frame — and nine corners from Juventus. And none of them, outside of Roberto Pereyra's screamer off the crossbar in the second half, were all too dangerous.
Yep, one of those days.
And I'm talking about the kind of game where Juventus creates a ton, finishes with 20 or more total shots and just can't finish anything to save their respective lives. Nope, Sunday afternoon at the Friuli was more about Udinese defending like a bunch of maniacs and Juventus having no kind of answer whatsoever.
The formation wasn't great, sure, but Juventus were just off — from start to the final whistle. Not even Simone Padoin being brought on in the second half could save Juventus in this one. It didn't matter how much of the ball they truly had, it was just a lackluster showing from Juve in a game that was a great opportunity to put a massive gap in between themselves and their closest competition in Serie A.
.@OfficialAllegri: "It was a fair result. Udinese played with great intensity, we made lots of mistakes from a technical standpoint."— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) February 1, 2015
Random thoughts and observations
- Still waiting for Max Allegri to make that third sub. Still waiting.
- Still wondering how Carlos Tévez missed that golden opportunity toward the end of regulation. That ball was served up on a silver platter and Tévez just blasted it high and wide with his left. Unbelievable.
Andrea Stramaccioni 1, Max Allegri 0. And it wasn't even close.
- I guess the secret to keeping Paul Pogba under wraps is to have Udinese midfielder Allan just completely keep the young Frenchman in his pocket. There's only one option for Man of the Match, and that's Allan. Much like the managerial matchup, this one isn't even close, either. Allan racked up tackles left and right, and he was basically involved in everything positive that Udinese did against Juventus.
- So when does Beppe Marotta call up Udinese and offer up a loan-with-option-to-buy package for Allan? The transfer market is still open, you know.
- It took Álvaro Morata all of about two minutes to show why he should have started ahead of Fernando Llorente. As much as I love Llorente, it's time for Morata to get the vast majority of the minutes from here on out this season. Llorente's form isn't getting any better and Morata is showing that he's the best option to partner with Tévez these days.
- Well, would you imagine that. If that's not Allegri giving himself a hint that he should play Morata more, I don't know what is.
Andrea Pirlo's corners and free kicks were a mixed bag of mediocre and just plain bad. I don't remember a game where just about every ball he sent in was just totally off the mark or no kind of threat at all.
- If you had to choose right now, who's your starting right back, Martin Cáceres or Stephan Lichtsteiner?
- Was Gigi Buffon the only Juventus to truly play well against Udinese? It definitely feels that way.
If Udinese had won that game, they would have thoroughly deserved it. They were clearly the better side on Sunday, and they really could have scored a goal or two if not for a couple of blown chances.
- One positive, I guess: Juventus' lead atop the Serie A table is back at seven points. It could be worse.
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