You see, I was all prepared to have this be the Champions League version of a post-game hype post. Juventus were causing us to love life. Things were great and Juve were absolutely shocking every single one of us with a two-goal lead over Bayern Munich on its home field. It was crazy, absolutely crazy.
Juve were so good for about 65 or 70 minutes. They were taking it right at Bayern Munich when the experts told you the tired clichés about how the Italian team would just sit back and defend. Then Bayern got a goal and put its foot not just on the gas pedal but through the freaking bottom of the car. And then the good vibes came crashing down.
It's hard to explain. Or, I can just sum things up in one short sentence like I did on Twitter when Kingsley Coman put the final nail in Juventus' European coffin.
This is stupid.— BWRAO (@JuventusNation) March 16, 2016
Okay, so it's more detailed than just that, but man, this one hurts.
Juventus had the game. Juventus were on the brink of eliminating Bayern Munch. Forget the missed chances, Álvaro Morata not being offside even though they said he was, the other bad calls by the ref, the save by Manuel Neuer right before halftime. Forget that stuff.
There's one thing that we should all look at and
Four UNANSWERED goals in the span of 37 minutes.
That's not going to get it done at any level. Doesn't matter if it's against a relegation battler or a team trying to advance to the next round of the Champions League like Juve were trying to do on Wednesday night.
Juventus' rock-solid defense suddenly looked more than just a little human. And even with Giorgio Chiellini being out injured, it was just about as full strength as you could have gotten. That was good for Juve, until it went completely bad. For one of the few times in his time at Juventus, Patrice Evra showed his age — two mistakes leading to two Bayern Munich goals, the first resulting directly in the strike that sent things to extra time.
And extra time, well, yeah. That was that after Bayern took the 3-2 lead on the night.
The whole #BeHeroes campaign was close to being exactly that. Then it all came crumbling down with a major dash of Bavarian red thrown into the mix. The underdog almost pulled the upset, then fell apart at the completely wrong time.
Random thoughts and observations
- I underestimated how Juventus would approach this game, and I am stupid.
- I thought Juventus were going to the quarterfinals, then disaster struck.
- As we found out, the injuries didn't totally kill the strength of Juventus' starting lineup. What it caused was Juve's options off the bench to be even that much more limited. Stefano Sturaro for Sami Khedira was the right sub in theory, but who could have predicted that the former would give Juve next to nothing after coming on? I know I didn't.
- Morata sure did live up to his Mr. Champions League billing Wednesday night. That run and assist to Cuadrado on Juve's second goal is something we'll probably not talk about as much as we should because of how the game turned out. He was fantastic, and that's the kind of player that we've been waiting to see for weeks now. Good on you for showing out on the big stage, Álvaro.
- A lot of folks will blame Allegri for taking Morata off when he did. It's not like it didn't take away the threat of Juve being that much more dangerous on the counterattack. I don't want to sound like an Allegri homer here, but did you see how hard Morata was working during his time on the field? Maybe, just maybe, his tank finally hit empty. And if that's the case, then I want to know why Mandzukic was preferred over somebody like Simone Zaza who can come close to matching Morata for pace.
- Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci really did have incredibly meh games. Wrong time for one.
- A lot like the team as a whole, Paul Pogba was GREAT for the vast majority of regular time. But he definitely fizzled out as time went on late into the second half and extra time. So much for having a happy belated birthday party that involved and spot int he Champions League quarterfinals.
- Four goals allowed in one game. Six goals allowed over two legs. Defense, where you at?
- I really don't know what else to say. I'm going to go somewhere and yell obscenities now. Lord knows I've done that enough already today. It just won't be at the television this time.