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Juventus 2 - Borussia Dortmund 1: Initial reaction and random observations

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Juventus had just seen their lead — and Giorgio Chiellini — slip away mere minutes after Carlos Tévez gave his team a 1-0 advantage. They looked every bit of a team that was shaken, giving away possession and while seeing Borussia Dortmund start to truly take over the game and impose their will and high pressure. It wasn't looking good for Juventus as the first half went on — their lead was gone, and so was their ability to command what was directly in front of them.

Then, on a quick counterattack, Álvaro Morata happened, with a tip of the hat to Paul Pogba and his beautiful assist.

And then, after a second half of defensive stands, a Juventus win happened, which is almost always a good thing.

What was expected to be a close tie is still exactly that. Juventus heads to Germany for leg No. 2 in two weeks with a slim 2-1 advantage after Marco Reus' first-half strike on Chiellini's massive blunder gave Dortmund the away goal they so desired. Juventus' goal was to keep Dortmund off the scoreboard, but when you have gift-wrap the opposition an equalizer as easy and simple as that one, all those hopes go flying out the window.

Honestly, I love that attitude. Carlitos knows. And after watching the first leg, so do a lot of us here.

Juventus rebounded nicely after Morata's goal gave them the lead for what proved to be for good. But Dortmund are dangerous even though they aren't the same kind of team they were a few years ago. They still have talented players, they still have Jürgen Klopp, they still have the second leg at home. Juventus got the first step mostly right, but there's still a second leg to be played in an atmosphere that's just as imposing as the one at Juventus Stadium.

It's not over, but it was never going to be because these two teams are both out there to prove a point. Tuesday night was a good win, but I won't truly celebrate until we get the chance to see Gigi Buffon giving out hugs to anybody willing after Juventus advances to the Champions League quarterfinals.

Hopefully we actually get to see that.

Random thoughts and observations

  • Because of the nine-hour time difference between Italy and where I live here in the U.S., all of the morning news from Italy pops up online right as I'm about to head to bed. Some predicted lineups had Fernando Llorente starting over Morata. Man oh man, I sure am happy that didn't happen. Morata continues to impress, continues to score goals, continues to prove why Allegri switching from one Spaniard last month to another was the right choice. This is a young player with tons of potential starting to truly realize it. That, my friends, can be a wonderful thing.

  • Watching this Morata-Tévez partnership develop has been fun. They both track back on defense, they compliment each other so well. And, as proven against Borussia Dortmund, they're setting up each other and causing all kinds of trouble in the final third.

  • Remember when people said Tévez couldn't get the job done in Europe? How's that working out?

  • There are few Juventus-related things that bring me so much joy as hearing the aftermath of a Juventus goal whenever they're playing a big game at Juventus Stadium. It's not just loud, it's defining. 

  • You know who was pretty reliable following Dortmund's goal? Giorgio Chiellini. A lot like the team, he could have crumbled. Instead, he was solid in the second half as Juventus defended their 2-1 lead.

  • Tonight was proof that Juventus can survive in the Champions League without Andrea Pirlo being a focal point in the team. A big reason for that was how Roberto Pereyra played after replacing Pirlo late in the first half. He's one of the few players that is able to dribble at players

  • One of my biggest worries was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and the jetpacks he has attached to his heels kicking it into full gear as he goes on a counterattack. For the most part, Dortmund's speed demon was pretty quiet against Juventus. That's in part because Patrice Evra was consistent as all hell at left back, but also because Jürgen Klopp decided, for some reason, to start Ciro Immobile and push Aubameyang out wide.

  • When Marco Reus ran at what looks like 80 percent or so, he was still able to blow past Juventus defenders. As scary as Aubameyang's speed is, Reus' acceleration is a close second.

  • If Juve were able to put away even one of their handful of second-half chances, going to Germany with a two-goal advantage would have me sitting so much more comfortably.

  • Just a reminder for everybody: Juventus is pretty good at home.
    Yeah, that's pretty good.

  • Anybody ready for Roma on Monday night? I like knowing that Juventus is heading into a big game after playing well the game before. That just so happened to be another big game.