We have seen over these last five incredibly seasons that when Juventus doesn’t take advantage of the chances it almost always seem to come back and bite them right in the backside. Missed chances lead to missed scoring opportunities and the only team that is left celebrating isn’t the one that we have seen lift the Scudetto the last five seasons.
On Saturday night at the San Siro, Milan were the ones celebrating while Juve were simply left to yell at the referee just like they did as they headed into the locker room at halftime.
Manuel Locatelli’s absolute stunner past Gigi Buffon proved to be the difference on a day where Juventus were certain they’d finish the game with at least one goal after Miralem Pjanic’s free kick found the back of the net in the first half. Instead of it being counted and giving Juventus the lead, center referee Nicola Rizzoli ruled, after talking to his assistants, apparently ruled that Medhi Benatia — who wasn’t even involved in the play — was offside and thus Pjanic’s strike was taken away.
After that point, Juve never looked the same.
There were scoring chances, but nothing that truly troubled Donnarumma. And once Locatelli’s right-footed hammer whizzed past Buffon, it was an uphill battle that Juve’s second-half performance wasn’t capable of overcoming.
So now, as we sit here on Oct. 22, Juventus haven’t given us their best game yet. They’ve provided us with plenty of frustrating moments and a couple of memorable wins, but nothing to truly say that this team is fulfilling the massive potential that it has. Some could say that there’s still room to grow, and there most certainly is. But with the way this team has played — especially against both of the Milan sides — it’s not like we can sit here and be happy that Juve’s form is wonderful and everything is as good as gold.
We can only hope that things do start to get better soon. And that Claudio Marchisio comes back soon. I miss you, Claudio. I also don’t want to deal with Paulo Dybala being hurt for very long. Things need to kick into gear, folks. It may be a marathon, but it’s not like Juve are totally bursting forward performance-wise out of the gate.
RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
- No, really, you’re telling me Juventus doesn’t get all of the calls? I mean, that’s really hard to believe. I thought every ref was in their back pocket.
- Max Allegri said in his pre-match press conference that he was going to use a four-man backline with Patrice Evra on the left. In truth, Allegri went with a 3-5-2 and Alex Sandro on the left. Sneaky, sneaky, Max.
- PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DON’T BE SERIOUSLY HURT, PAULO DYBALA.
- In hindsight, maybe cracking a smile after Dybala tried to beat Gigi Donnarumma from the midfield line was the wrong move at first glance. Little did I know at first that the long shot by Dybala caused his hamstring to go twang and end his game before halftime.
- I must confess, I am still getting used to Dani Alves pushing so far inside on the right that he essentially becomes a central midfielder. I guess it’s the fact that I’m so used to Stephan Lichtsteiner bombing up and down the right wing like a madman.
- I really miss when Sami Khedira was getting forward all the time and being involved in a lot of Juventus’ attacking movements. I miss Sami’s early-season form, too.
- Pretty sure the Juan Cuadrado sub didn’t work as well as it did on Tuesday night against Lyon. Maybe it’s the fact that he was playing out of position, but I’m just a guy sitting here in a recliner.
- A sidenote to the Cuadrado-as-a-stirker comment: Why did it take so long for Mario Mandzukic to be subbed on?
- Straight swap of Stefano Sturaro for Hernanes. Not Max’s best night.
- In conclusion, Juventus’ midfield was total crap against Milan.
- Of course Donnarumma makes that kind of save in the final five seconds. Of course he does.
- Thanks for a nice birthday present, Juventus. Can we ban Juventus games being played on my birthday going forward? That would be great.