Juventus entered Sunday’s game at the Stadio Olimpico with champagne on ice. All they had to do was not lose. A win would have done it. A draw would have done it. Basically if you were on team Don’t Lose, then you were thinking along the right lines.
Then, even after getting a 1-0 lead, Juve went and did the only thing that would prevent them from celebrating on the Stadio Olimpico turf.
Roma answered Mario Lemina’s opener with a goal three minutes later and never looked back, as Juventus allowed three unanswered goals in a 3-1 loss that prevented any kind of Scudetto celebrations from going down on Sunday night in Rome. Instead of celebrating with said champagne and giving the traveling fans plenty to cheer about, Juventus were left to put all of their latest Scudetto-related plans on hold for at least one more weekend.
So now, the next chance to win a sixth straight title comes next weekend at home against Crotone. Just like this time around, they’ll need to avoid a loss to set the celebrations off. And based on who they’re playing, I like their chances.
But they’re going to have to play a whole lot better than they did on Sunday night if they want to have their final home game of the season be a Scudetto celebration.
The first of two straight visits to the Stadio Olimpico kind of resembled that of the first of two straight visits to the Stadio San Paolo earlier this calendar year.
Basically, it was crap.
Max Allegri clearly had an eye on Wednesday’s Coppa Italia final against Lazio. And hey, based on what his lineup selection was and how many days in between there were in between the second leg against Monaco and Sunday’s showdown with Roma, there’s nothing to really tell us otherwise. That’s fine, and I completely understand it.
But it doesn’t necessarily excuse Juventus from the no-show after getting ahead 1-0.
Would it have been nice to see Juve win the Scudetto on such a big rival’s home field? Well, yeah. Roma will celebrate this win like they just won the title while their actual title hopes rely on Juve suddenly becoming choking dogs like the they’re the Washington Capitals or something.
Poor Crotone. If they get angry Juventus over the weekend, it won’t be pretty.
RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
- There was a point about 15 minutes into the first half that all 10 of Roma’s outfield players were sitting back so deep they were all in their own defensive third. Juventus, of course, were more than happy to kick the ball around and possess it.
Basically what I’m getting at is that Roma, at home, were more than happy to just sit back like it was Juventus playing some kind of mid-table team. (Insert jokes here)
- Juventus’ defending on Daniele De Rossi’s goal ... not the greatest.
- Juventus’ defending on Stephan El Shaarawy’s goal ... not the greatest.
- Juventus’ defending on Radja Nainggolan’s goal ... not the greatest.
- Basically, Juventus’ defending — from the midfield all the way to the back four — on all of Roma’s three goals was not the greatest.
- Juventus allowing a total of six goals in their last three Serie A games is just something I’m not used to. At least during this six-year stretch of league dominance.
- This also sounds weird to say: Juventus have dropped six points in their last three Serie A games. Their last league win was nearly a month ago on April 23 against Genoa. It’s May 14.
- Stefano Sturaro had a beautiful pass to Gonzalo Higuain to set up Lemina’s goal. He was then never heard from again the rest of the game.
- Lemina scored the game’s first game. He was then never heard from again the rest of the game.
- If you were hoping that Medhi Benatia would put in a good performance after seeing his loan deal with Juventus made into a permanent deal, well, this probably wasn’t the kind of game that made you think happy thoughts.
- As I’ve seen a few people already say on the Twitter machine (and I’ll go right ahead and piggyback off of them), it’s not the result that is the upsetting part but rather the way that Juventus played. Just a disappointing kind of performance.
- As I write this final point, Juventus has just lost 3-1 to Roma and the Golden State Warriors are down 20 points at halftime to the San Antonio Spurs. I hate sports.