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Juventus 2-2 Hellas Verona: Bianconeri finish Serie A season with their minds in Berlin

Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images

Juventus went into this match with one major objective and two relatively minor ones.  The most important thing was to avoid injuries at all costs while keeping match sharpness.  Of lesser importance was Carlos Tevez's capocanoniere record and Pirlo's free-kick record.

In the end, no player was injured, Tevez and Pirlo didn't get their records, and Juventus suffered a meaningless 2-2 draw.  All of this in a game that clearly showed the Bianconeri minds were already in Berlin.


Juventus started the match strong, creating a few chances and making their physical presence felt.  With that being said, Verona did not want to be the sacrificial lambs and were determined to put up a fight.  A few minutes into the game, one of Verona's attacks resulted in an Angelo Ogbonna hand that was not whistled.  After that it was Juventus controlling possession but doing little with it.  This was until around the 30 minute mark when Fernando Llorente's volley was denied by the woodwork.  Llorente continued to have chances as he was a few seconds behind from scoring on an open net from a Tevez assist.

After all of this pressure, the goal really came out of nowhere.  Roberto Pereyra must have been watching Alessandro Del Piero's replays because he curled it just like Il Capitano.  The Argentine moved into the edge of the box and put the ball in the top right corner.  Seeing the young 24-year-old get into the score sheet more regular will make a case for Max Allegri to bench Andrea Pirlo more regularly in the future.  No, I don't mean the Champions League final but next season, but I digress.

Everything was looking up at that point, Juventus could now focus on giving Tevez his chance to be the league's top scorer.  Unfortunately, "young" Luca Toni did not get that memo and scored the equalizer shortly after the second-half began.  It was a potent strike on Gigi Buffon's near post from cross-range.  This goal would make it almost impossible for Tevez to catch-up with Toni.  This could be a great reason for Tevez to stick around for another year (maybe not).

Juventus will take the lead back a few minutes later courtesy of a beauty from Pirlo.  The Italian put the ball over the top of the defense into an unmarked-four-scudetto-winner Simone Padoin, who will calmly setup Fernando Llorente to score the Old Lady's second of the night.

At that point, you can tell that Juventus didn't want to run or risk injuries anymore and the game lost most of its momentum.  Verona tried with everything they had but it was Juventus who would come closest to scoring.  A Verona player clearly pushed Llorente in the area and conceded a corner.  Tevez stepped up in hopes of reducing the goal gap with Toni but could not put the ball past the keeper.  Rafael celebrated that save like he scored a match-winning goal himself.  Although I wasn't too impressed with the save, it was nice to see how tightly knit that team is around Toni.  Other clubs like Roma, Inter, and even Real Madrid should learn from the comradery in Verona's squad.

At the end of the match, Simone Pepe, who came on as a substitute, committed a harsh foul and was shown a straight red.  From the resulting free-kick Juanito will make it all level and 2-2.  It is unfortunate that Pepe's last game (I am assuming his contract won't be renewed) will finish in such a way.  It is also unfortunate that Juventus couldn't win and keep a clean sheet.  But if I look at the other alternative: Marchisio, Vidal, Bonucci, or Tevez suffering a serious injury and Juventus winning 10-0, I take the draw any day.


Who says Beppe Marotta is the only one who can hand bonuses, I also can hand end-of-season pagelle bonuses with the points that we didn't give away during the year.  So here we go:

Buffon 6 + 4 bonus. Could have done a little bit more today but his defense was not willing to give him a hand.  Plus-4 for organizing the best defense in Italy and one of the best in the world.

Evra 6.5 + 2 bonus. Solid in defense and had no blame in the scoreline.  If anything he was a threat up front.  Plus-2 for his major improvement as the season went on.

Bonucci 5.5 + 4 bonus.  5.5 for falling sleep on defense today.  With that being said, all of this happened after playing some solid 45 minutes at the beginning of the match.  Plus-3 for becoming, in my opinion, the most consistent defender in our squad.  Plus-1 extra for scoring in so many decisive matches.

Ogbonna 5.5 + 0 bonus. Same as Bonucci, played well on the first half and went to sleep on the second half.  The only difference is that Bonucci is a starter next week whereas Ogbonna may not even make the bench.  No bonus for you for your casual jogs in big matches.  Shape up or move on.

Padoin 7 + 2 bonus. You ask him to cover Lichtsteiner's spot he does it.  You ask him to cover Evra's spot, he does it.  You ask him to setup Llorente's goal, he does it.  Most importantly, plus-2 because we asked him to help us troll Roma and Totti? He does it.

Pogba 6.5 + 2 bonus. Fancy but not a game changer.  It is almost as though all this fame is getting to him.  He needs to focus to continue to grow.  Again, I don't blame him much because he will be playing the biggest game of his match in a couple of days.  Plus-2 for some wonderful goals this season.

Pirlo 7.0 + 2 bonus. What a pass today to setup the second goal.  He also had other great plays that unfortunately didn't amount to much.  Plus-2 for the free kicks and the Torino goal.

Marchisio 7.0 + 3 bonus. Seven for being Marchisio. Plus-3 for giving Juventus a genuine alternative in the regista role.

Pereyra 7.0 + 2 bonus. Dat goal! Oscar would be great, but with Pereyra and Coman we can make do.  Plus- for improving his finishing.

Llorente 7.0 + 1 bonus. Is it just me or has Llorente been consistently improving towards the end of the season? I am glad he finished the season with a goal.  Plus-1 for being such a dressing room presence and helping nurture Morata's talent.  A class act.

Tevez 6.0 + 4 bonus. Today was not his day, fair enough, but it wasn't all bad, if you forget about the penalty you will realize that he was involved and contributed to the team.  During the first-half he looked remarkably selfless.  +3 for carrying the team on his back. Plus-1 for the Parma goal.

Allegri 6.0 + 2 bonus. The job of motivating his players for this game must have been hard.  Whatever he told them in the dressing room worked for the first half, but the team was uncharacteristically distracted in the second half.  +2 for shutting me up and giving us all a great Serie A season.

BWRAO community 10 + 1000 bonus Isn't it great to have a place where we can all get together, chat, laugh, play Garcia's violin, make fun of Paolo's reply mishaps? For the last 9 months you guys and girls have made this place a must-visit site on a daily basis.  This Serie A season could not have been the same without all of you.  Let's do it all again next August.

Don't worry, there will be end of season pagelle later on in the summer.


I don't really have much else to add.  Juventus drew a game which they should have won, but walk away without injuries.  As long as Luca Toni wins the capocannoniere title, I am all good.