It was a wonderful Wednesday for Juventus supporters, as La Vecchia Signora showed her very best side on a European night. Carlos Tévez scored early and set up strike partner Álvaro Morata for second before Roberto Pereyra put the number 10 in for a third. The bianconero center backs were rock solid, building on a display that saw Palermo fail to register a shot on target, and held the Germans to just two second-half efforts that Gianluigi Buffon could have saved with his eyes closed.
Altogether it was a dominant performance from Juventus, despite the possession statistic, as the Bianconeri were always dangerous and never threatened.
In terms of formations it was back to what the teams know best, with Dortmund in its now familiar 4-2-3-1 and Juventus in the 4-3-1-2 that has become Massimiliano Allegri's formation of choice. Kevin Kampl played on Dortmund's right, with Marco Reus behind speedster Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Andrea Pirlo and Nuri Sahin missed the match through injury, and with their influential midfielders missing, both managers opted for more steel in the center of the park — Jürgen Klopp bringing in Sven Bender and Allegri putting Claudio Marchisio in front of the defense. Klopp used Sokratis Papastathopoulos as a right back, perhaps to offer more security against Juventus' two strikers, but Dortmund's defense were again torn apart in space by the Old Lady's attack.
Juventus, as expected, largely controlled the dangerous space around their box and tried to get the ball into attack quickly, hopefully breaking into space with numbers. After Tévez's early goal, the Germans had to leave even more space, and still could never finalize a passing move against the well-organized, calm, and confident Juventus. A sore point was the injury to Paul Pogba, hobbled by a strong Sokratis challenge after an influential start to the match. Allegri brought in Andrea Barzagli, just back from a long injury layoff, and Juve if anything became more effective with their game plan. All three midfielders complemented the defense and created going forward, with the forwards very sharp and eager to run at goal. The second goal on 70 minutes finished the tie, then goal No. 3 padded the aggregate scoreline to a gaudy 5-1, nothing less than Juventus deserved.
It was a massive success on the pitch for Juventus, and absolutely deserved against what must be said was a disappointing Borussia Dortmund. After last year's Champions League disappointment, it was the kind of big win on a European stage that shows the team has grown under Allegri, and that Italy still has at least one European big gun.
Juventus had the first chance of the game almost as soon as it began, with Tévez running into space from Marchisio's pass, and just after it was 1-0. A throw-in from the left side wasn't cleared by Neven Subotić and eventually came to Tévez, who took a look up and blasted into the top corner. Both the defense and goalkeeper could have done better, but it was a fantastic strike with almost no backlift.
Dortmund always needed to score, and a goal down became even more insistent with the ball, pushing numbers forward and crossing from wide positions, but Juventus' defense was never troubled. With Buffon dominating his box and a line of five strung across the back, supplemented ably by the three midfielders, Dortmund got almost nothing from their attack. Aubameyang's limitations against a side that sits deep were apparent, with the striker hardly getting a touch of the ball.
A decent spell from BVB threatened to get Reus a shooting chance, but the midfield was always attentive with Evra and Pogba making clean tackles near the edge of the box. The French midfielder had started the game well, imposing himself down the left, and was unfortunate to go off after 27' following a hard challenge from Sokratis. Barzagli came on and made the defense even more secure, something like turning a bank vault into Fort Knox.
Dortmund continued to throw everything at the bunkered Juventus team, but there was absolutely nothing to be had. The center backs and Buffon grabbed everything in the air, while the density and organization of bodies proved impossible to get through on the ground. What may have Dortmund's best chance came when Aubameyang skewed a desperate shot well wide near the end of the half.
Klopp brought on Oliver Kirch for Marcel Schmelzer, and the second half continued the story with Juventus defending deep and clearing everything that had a whiff of danger. A fantastic header from Patrice Evra set the Italian champions on the break again, with Tévez powering through three defenders before playing in Morata (with shades of offside,) but Roman Weidenfeller was able to close the angle. Henrikh Mkhitaryan had a rare chance for Dortmund on the break, but Barzagli stopped him in his tracks with a fantastic tackle in space.
The 56th minute saw Morata with another chance, as Roberto Pereyra powered through midfield, but again he was unable to beat Weidenfeller. Dortmund made a double substitution, bringing on Adrián Ramos and Jakub Blaszczykowski for a 4-4-2, with the Colombian finally able to win some high balls against the Juventus defense.
This still didn't translate to good chances, although one hopeful effort from Subotić caught a tricky deflection that sent the ball just wide. Dortmund continued to press forward, and in the 70th minute another counter put the tie out of reach.
Marchisio clipped a ball over an unbalanced defense for Tévez to run onto, and the Argentine calmly set up Morata for a tap-in. It was certainly deserved for the quality of play, and just ten minutes later Tévez was celebrating again. Pereyra escaped the Dortmund midfield and played in Tévez, who took the chance himself this time and rounded off the 3-0 scoreline.
Alessandro Matri and Simone Pepe came on for Juventus in the closing stages, but had little to do with the result secured and the team sitting deep. Dortmund can at least take one moment from the match, as Kampl had a fantastic turn-and-nutmeg on Chiellini by the corner.
Pepe almost got Bonucci in trouble with a backpass, forcing the defender into a sliding clearance and maybe hurting his shoulder, while Aubameyang sent a header wide in the only minute of stoppage time. It was a complete team performance from Juventus, a necessary result, and the kind of thing to put smiles on Juventini around the globe.
Buffon: 7 Not many shots to deal with, but very strong in the air and always in command of his box.
Lichtsteiner: 7 Had some chances in space, but did his best work defensively to shut out Mkhitaryan.
Bonucci: 7.5 The center backs were completely dominant in this one, with Bonucci strong and quick to cut out any service to the forwards.
Chiellini: 7.5 A tower of strength, and a huge performance keeping Reus and Kampl from doing anything of note.
Evra: 7.5 Often targeted as Dortmund tried to get Reus the ball quickly, Evra was extremely strong in the air and calmly passed his way out of defense.
Vidal: 7.5 All over the pitch defensively, although his attacking impact was limited he was a huge nuisance to Dortmund midfielders who wanted to pick a killer ball.
Marchisio: 8 Showed just how confident he is in front of the defense, filling in perfectly in defense while providing both consistent distribution and occasional inspiration for the attack.
Pogba: N/A Had a strong start to the game, but had to be removed because of injury after just 27 minutes.
Pereyra: 8 At his best breaking forward on the counter, "El Tucu" was fantastic tonight, particularly in the second half. Set up one goal and maybe deserved another assist.
Morata: 7 Surely now established as Allegri's first-choice number 9, the Spanish striker helped out in defense and ran the last line of defense well. Scored a tap-in, but could have had more.
Tévez: 8.5 A brilliant performance from the Argentine international, with two goals and an assist absolutely deserved reward. Dortmund couldn't get the ball off him, and the finishing touch was picture perfect.
Barzagli: 7.5 It's like he never left. He's so cool under pressure, with the physique and technique to leave attackers hopeless.
Matri: N/A A late run-out for the one-time starting striker.
Pepe: N/A Another late substitution, Pepe did not have much impact other than a risky back pass that left Bonucci scrambling.
Allegri: 9 A fantastic European performance, the kind Juventus and her fans needed so badly. Tactically perfect, Allegri deserves massive credit for the performance tonight.
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