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Manu’s Grab Bag: Juve bowls over Roma

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We talk sports humiliation, Juve’s hegemony, take of the week and a bitter guest.

Juventus v AS Roma - Serie A Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

Let’s get serious for a moment. Here at the grab bag and BWRAO, we pride ourselves in our journalistic integrity. Whenever I watch a game, I don’t do it at a bar or pub, I bunker down and watch the game alone, taking notes, making keen observations. Because I care about the craft.

With that disclaimer out of the way, I’m submitting this piece a bit intoxicated after witnessing Juve beat Roma at the Allianz Stadium with my new Italian friend who happens to be a Roma fan. Dude’s name is Giuseppe, so you know it’s legit. So, in the interest of full disclosure, my buddy will interject a few thoughts here and there. The bitter, slightly inebriated comments from a Roma fan made this rendition of the grab bag much more fun to write, hopefully it will make it fun to read too.

Plus, they do say write drunk, edit sober. That’s a thing, they say that, I’m pretty sure. (Best of luck, Danny.)

Winner: Kevin Olsen

What a game for the Roma keeper, and the score of 1-0 really doesn’t make it justice to how much better Juventus was. It could have, should have been a much higher score, but Olsen’s fantastic game helped keep the result respectable.

Bitter comment from Gui: “He’s awesome, I can’t wait to see where we sell him next summer.”

Loser: Davide Santon

The other day I was talking to a friend about what the worst, most humiliating thing that can happen to you while playing sports. Striking out on three pitches in baseball was brought up. Same for getting scored on a penalty Panenka style, getting trucked over by an oncoming ball carrier. They’re all valid answers. However, the clear answer for us was getting posterized in basketball.

It combines the physical aspect of getting bowled over, plus the psychological aspect of getting scored on, plus the humiliation aspect of being called for a foul.

Well, poor Davide Santon got the football version of posterized when Mario Mandzukic destroyed him on his way to scoring the winner with a brutal header. All power, all aggression. Santon was just on the way and he got destroyed, tough look for my guy.

Juventus FC via Getty Images

Winner: Alex Sandro

After what seemed like forever, Alex Sandro finally signed his contract renewal late last week and he celebrated in the best possible way he could, absolutely bossing the left flank and looking like vintage Sandro.

What a couple years back was considered a weakness, Juve’s fullbacks are now arguably one of the core strengths of the team, with Sandro, Joao Cancelo and Mattia De Sciglio, who also had a pretty decent game himself.

“God, he is destroying us. He is so good and he’s not even your best fullback. Cancelo is. I hate your team so much,” interjects a clearly deflated Gui, working on his 11th beer, by my count.

The “We are doing the whole VAR debate again, huh?” award.

Davide Massa, come on down to get your prize! The officiating was pretty shaky for both sides, but the truly worst call might have come around with the help of the VAR during what should have been Juve’s second goal.

I’m a supporter of VAR in general, I think it helps a lot and it brings more clarity and less controversy on a lot of 50-50 calls. However, the people who dislike the VAR have another argument after that debacle.

Let’s run down everything that was messed up about the call:

  • Blaise Matuidi definitely committed a foul, I think there’s no argument there. But did the foul affected the Roma player’s misplaced the pass that started the counterattack?
  • If you’re going to call the foul, then you also have to yellow card Matuidi, because that was a pretty reckless tackle. And he didn’t.
  • How late can you review something and still claim that it impacted the play? That foul happened way before the whole play developed, three players were involved after the foul and it really didn’t make a difference.

It’s going to have to be a judgement call by the ref most of the time, there really is no way to have a set rule that would make sense every single time. It sucks, but I still think VAR is helpful and it helps getting calls right more often than not, if we have to put up with this type of plays every now and then I guess we have to deal with it. Cost of doing business and what not.

Take of the week.

Matthew Toro writes in:

“As good as the record looks, shouldn’t Juve be scoring a few more goals in Serie A? Makes me a little nervous that we haven’t seen a complete domination of a game and a score to go along with it.”

Truly indicative of how dominating this team is that a legit gripe is that we don’t win by more. Matthew does have a point, though. Finishing has been hit or miss for Juve this season, however I think the shots and the plays are there and this game was living proof of it. Juve was all over Roma, but between Olsen’s great performance and just bad luck the score didn’t reflect it.

Song of the week … for AS Roma

Bank Account, by 21 Savage!

This was the eighth straight win for Juventus against AS Roma at home. The same number of wins as 21 Savage has of both M’s and shooters ready to gun you down, allegedly.

That’s it for the grab bag this week, we leave with Gui’s last bitter comment: “You’re going to win Serie A. It’s December, I’m so pissed off. What’s even the point? I hope you get eliminated in soul crushing fashion in the UCL. Print that, I don’t care.”

GIVE ME ALL OF YOUR TEARS, BITTER ITALIAN FANS.

Have a take? Write in to the bwraomailbag@gmail.com to get featured on the next grab bag.