As Lazio put in their first, second, and third goals within the first 18 minutes of their game against Parma Wednesday night, the reality of Juventus being able to celebrate Scudetto No. 33 in front of their hometown crowd pretty much went up in smoke. Poof! Just like that, it was essentially known that the title party was being put off until the next match day.
That didn't deter Juventus from showing Fiorentina who the top dog in Italy is.
Well, I guess giving up a clear and unquestioned first-half penalty while also not playing very well whatsoever in the opening 30 minutes woke them up, too.
The Beauty & The Beast striker partnership was in full force at Juventus Stadium, as Juventus' small and tall combo of Carlos Tévez and Fernando Llorente led the way offensively in the 3-2 win over Fiorentina. They're two strikers having two completely different kinds of seasons, obviously, but all three of the goals were as pretty as it gets. It was Llorente's first goal since Juve lost 2-1 to Fiorentina in Turin in the Coppa Italia back in early March.
And what about Tévez? Well, he was just out there being Tévez, really.
Gee, I wonder who we've also seen play the violin at Juventus Stadium this year...
Ah, right. That's a good one, Carlitos. Keep them coming.
So now all that remains for Scudetto No. 33 to be signed, sealed and delivered? One single point. That's it. One more point and Juventus get to celebrate a fourth consecutive Serie A title. It's unfortunate that it couldn't be locked up in Turin, but when you're closest competition is playing Parma, then it's a tough thing to have happen from the get-go.
No matter what, though, Juventus will be officially anointed Serie A champions sooner rather than later. That inevitable day we've been waiting for over the last two months is finally here. Let's just hope it's done in swift and concise fashion.
.@gianluigibuffon: "We’re extremely close. We needed to win and that’s what we did. Our destiny is now entirely in our own hands."— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) April 29, 2015
Random thoughts and observations
- Never ever ever leave Turin, Carlos. Never ever. (I know it will happen, but still.)
- Think about how many goals Carlos Tévez has scored as a Juventus player, then think about how much — or little at this point — Beppe Marotta paid for him a couple of years ago. I will never get over how Marotta just completely fleeced Manchester City for such a world-class striker. No matter what he does on the transfer market going forward, the swoop for Tévez will be one of the best deals he's ever made.
- What big night for milestone appearances amongst the Juventus ranks.
Gigi Buffon with his 529th appearance, moving him all alone into third place all time at the club. Too bad there was no clean sheet to go along with it. That would have been nice.
Claudio Marchisio with his 300th appearance, which was capped with another standout performance in a season that is basically filled with them. That assist to Tévez on his second goal was a thing of beauty.
That's a huge part of the Juventus spine both on the field and in the dressing room. And that's lot of games in a Juventus jersey between the two of them. Luckily for us, there's plenty more where that came from and a few more milestones are still to be rang in before it's all said and done. It's hard not to love them both.
- When was the last time we've seen Andrea Pirlo taken off at 55 minutes due to non-injury reasons? Max Allegri was clearly thinking of this weekend's trip to Sampdoria once Juve got a 2-1 lead. (It also probably helped knowing that Arturo Vidal was sitting there on the bench.)
- That cross from Patrice Evra on Tévez's first goal was one of the best cross a Juventus player has delivered not just all season, but in a couple of years. What an absolute gem with about two seconds left to go in the first half.
- Andrea Barzagli was as consistent as it gets against Fiorentina. Surprise, surprise.
- I guess Fiorentina must not have anybody better on the current roster when their best penalty kick taker is a center back and he subsequently ends up slitting his attempts from the spot.
- I know it's a small sample size, but this was easily one of the best games Stefano Sturaro has played since coming to Juventus in January. He finished up tied with Marchisio with a team-high four tackles despite being subbed off at the 76-minute mark. Good to see him be as relentless and active as ever.
- Llorente gaining some confidence entering the home stretch definitely isn't the worst thing in the world. He does know a thing or two about scoring goals against Real Madrid, you know.
- Just one last request: Get the Scudetto out of the way before Real Madrid. That last thing Juventus needs to have happen is a disappointing result with such a massive European contest looming.
I'm glad we agree about that, good sir.