It’s the same kind of thought that pops into my head pretty much every time Juventus has taken a lead against a team as of late. I can’t help it. It’s only natural considering how up and down this team’s performances have been over the first couple of months of the season.
“Can Juventus put the opposition away?”
For the opening portion of the second half, it looked like Juventus was going to let Pescara hang around. But, thankfully, Mario Mandzukic and Hernanes were able to provide us with some much-needed ease and relaxation for a change after Sami Khedira gave Juve a lead late in the first half. Mandzukic and Hernanes scored within six minutes of one another and enabled Juventus to cruise to a 3-0 win over relegation battlers Pescara for their 23rd straight Serie A win at Juventus Stadium.
That lead allowed us to see Moise Kean to get his debut. That was cool, I’d say.
The first 50 or so minutes, not exactly the same kind of feelings, though.
Pescara did what pretty much every provincial side does when they roll into Juventus Stadium. There was about as much yellow behind the ball as there could be. And for as much as Juventus had the ball, the ever-present problem of not creating much with the possession they had was hanging over the first 50 or so minutes.
Case in point: When Gonzalo Higuain’s shot went clanging off the post after Bryan Cristante’s awful back pass gifted Juventus a goal-scoring opportunity, it was just Juve’s sixth shot in the entire game.
Six shots total. In 54 minutes. Against Pescara.
Yeah, it was definitely looking like one of those games.
A lot of it can be boiled down to the fact that Juventus’ squad was heavily rotated in advance of Tuesday night’s Champions League showdown against Sevilla in Spain. Juventus’ midfield was without Miralem Pjanic and Claudio Marchisio. Juventus’ attack was without the injured Paulo Dybala and all of the creativity and everything else he brings to the table. So, in that sense, it’s not like the lineup Max Allegri rolled out there was anything close to what you’d think as a group that would create chance after chance after chance and have goals flying into the back of the net.
But once Juventus resembled a dangerous team after about 20 minutes into the second half, the goals quickly followed. Funny how that always seems to work out, isn’t it? Yeah, funny!
RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
- OH MY GOD MOISE KEAN OH MY GOD MOISE KEAN OH MY GOD MOISE KEAN
- Juventus possession percentage in the opening 20 minutes: 73
- Juventus shots attempted in the opening 20 minutes: 2
- Yeah, as much as they head the ball, they didn’t really do anything with it.
- It took 36 minutes for Juventus to get a shot on goal. That shot on goal was a goal. Juventus should have done more of that in the first 36 minutes.
- A text that I kept getting from a friend who just so happens to be a regular reader here: “Why does Hernanes insist on shooting?” I had no reply for him.
- Mario Mandzukic with a goal and an assist tonight. Who does he think he is, Paulo Dybala?
- It’s kinda hard to believe after the kind of defenses Juventus has had over this lengthy title-winning run we’ve seen, but this was Juve’s first clean sheet in the last six Serie A games. Of course it had to come on a night where Gigi Buffon got the day off.
- Moise Kean is 16 years old and won’t be 17 until February. I just turned 30 last month. I’ve never felt so old in my life.
- Juventus gave three of their most important players the night off, got a comfortable win by a nice 3-0 scoreline and gave a debut to a kid we’ve been waiting to see for about a month now. Yeah, they didn’t play all that great, but all of those three things in the previous sentence happen so I guess I’m feeling a little better about myself than if they had grinded out a 1-0 win and looked absolutely lethargic for 90-plus minutes.
- It’s onto Sevilla and everything that is attached to that game. I’d say it’s a pretty important game on the fixture list.