Controversial opinion: The second game within the last four days at the Stadio Olimpico went a whole lot better than the first. I’ve gotten confirmation of this, so no need to go ahead and check with your inside sources.
It sure was nice to see Juventus do what they couldn’t do against Roma over the weekend. Not just win, which thanks to first-half goals from Dani Alves and Leonardo Bonucci was made possible, but also take home one of the three trophies that was all of 90 or so minutes away from being hauled in.
Indeed, Juventus have secured the first part of the possible treble that is out there for the taking. The Coppa Italia has been Juve’s the last two seasons and it’s stay right where it is for a third year running.
Outside of scoring the game’s first goal, Juventus did everything the opposite of what happened just a few days earlier in the 3-1 loss to Roma. It was like George Costanza drew up the game plan for them or something. Juventus got the lead and didn’t cough it up. Juventus added onto its lead instead of seeing the opposition level the score just a few minutes after the first goal was scored.
It was what you wanted to see from Juventus.
And they delivered the goods all of three days after quite a disappointing showing on the same Stadio Olimpico field.
Is that good? Because I feel like being the first-ever team to do something that involves winning trophies is pretty good.
RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
- I’m just here for Max Allegri rage on the sidelines.
- I’m just here for Dani Alves embarrassing opposing defenders.
- If you ever find yourself in a bad mood, just go ahead and watch Alex Sandro’s cross on Alves’ goal. That is what happiness is made out of, my friends.
- Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala did a lot of things right against Lazio. The only thing they weren’t able to do was score a goal even though both of them probably deserved one. Maybe they’re saving them for that other final Juventus are playing in a few weeks from now...
- Dani Alves is playing his best football of the season at the perfect time. It seems quite a long time ago when we had the “Alves or Lichtsteiner?” discussion.
- It’s getting close to the end of the first half. Juventus has a 2-0 lead. Lazio are on a counterattack. Out of the bottom-right part of my screen I see Andrea Barzagli sprinting back on defense to cover his man as Giorgio Chiellini goes for the ball. The Lazio player crosses it and Barzagli cuts it off. I’m thinking he ran at least 50 yards on the dead sprint to get to where the ball was going to be. Ball cleared. Barzagli is good.
- As is the running joke around here, there are a decent amount of games where Juventus’ goalkeepers don’t have to do much of anything to pick up a clean sheet. This game was not one of those instances for Neto, who had arguably his best showing in between the sticks of the season. That one-handed save right in front of the goal line on Ciro Immobile’s header that ricocheted off the side of Barzagli’s head came at a crucial point in the second half when Lazio were starting to really throw numbers forward. This was Good Neto — and in a game where he needed to be just that.
- How many of you still get a little bit worried when you see Claudio Marchisio on the ground after picking up a knock? Because I do.
- One trophy down, two to go. What a fun final three weeks of the season this could be.