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Juventus 1 - Crotone 1: Initial reaction and random observations

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In conclusion: Meh.

FC Crotone v Juventus - Serie A Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

Maybe it’s a good thing Juventus are almost done with relegation battlers for the season.

With Wednesday night’s 1-1 draw against Crotone, Juventus has recorded just two out of a possible six points against teams who find themselves in the relegation zone within the past month’s worth of games. Against Crotone and SPAL, two of the worst teams — and defenses! — in Serie A this season, Juventus managed all of one goal.

And with that, Juve’s six-point lead in league play is down to four.

That’s because Napoli came back twice against Udinese to record a 4-2 win at the same time Juventus were doing a whole lot of nothing in Calabria.

So basically the Scudetto race now comes down to Sunday at Allianz Stadium.

Fine. Everything is fine. Yep, just fine.

I’m not nervous, you’re probably nervous. (OK, I might be, too.)

If there ever was a case of a team completely looking ahead to a season-defining kind of game, this was probably it. Outside of a goal of moments — like, say, Alex Sandro’s opening goal — Juventus looked absolutely crappy. Gonzalo Higuain didn’t do much of anything. Paulo Dybala didn’t do much of anything. Name off the starting lineup Max Allegri rolled out there and there isn’t going to be a whole lot of them who would be considered to have good games. Nope, not much!

And then you have another bicycle kick being landed against Juventus.

God, I’m starting to really hate bicycle kicks being landed against Juventus.

(But, for the record, if Higuain had scored that kinda-sorta bicycle kick toward the end of the second half, then that would have been cool.)

So, instead of giving Wojciech Szczesny a nice birthday present with a win and a clean sheet, here we are wondering how Juve could only get all of four shots on goal against one of the worst defenses in Serie A this season.

I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t seem all that ideal. And, hopefully, by the time Juventus have to face Hellas Verona on the final day of the season, the Scudetto is already a foregone conclusion. Something tells me that the game against Napoli on Sunday will have something to do with that.

RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS

  • The way he’s going these days, if I asked Douglas Costa to assist with my love life he’d probably be able to find me my future wife.
  • Crotone was dropping their entire team into the final third of the field from the first minute onward. That might not be completely accurate, but it certainly felt that way.
  • Stephan Lichtsteiner has been good at crossing lately and we’re having fun at his expense.
  • I don’t know if you guys know this, but Stefano Sturaro might not be of the level to continue playing for Juventus. I know, I know — this is me going completely out on a limb, but I do think it’s true. I’ll fight you for it.
  • Completely unrelated note: Rodrigo Bentancur is going to be so good, you guys.
  • Rolando Mandragora, on the other hand, he’s got himself a future at Juventus. When it may be, I don’t know, but the boy can play — and, having appeared in almost every one of Crotone’s games this season, has gained some valuable experience over the course of the last eight months.
  • MAX SMASH.
  • As the players came out of the tunnel before kickoff, Claudio Marchisio hoisted up a little girl who looked to be no more than 4 or 5 years old. He gave her a little kiss on the cheek and then the girl proceeded to have a massive smile on her face as the camera panned across Juve’s starting lineup. I would like to think every one of us would act the exact same if we were that age and in that situation. Or maybe we’d act that way at our current age.
  • Juan Cuadrado came in and subsequently sent every cross he attempted right to a Crotone player. I don’t know if that’s the goal, but it doesn’t seem like an effective plan.
  • Who here thought Blaise Matuidi might have given Juventus the match-winner when he sent a rocket toward the top-left corner of the goal? If only Alex Cordaz hadn’t channeled his inner Federico Marchetti and made one hell of a save.
  • I’m not nervous about Sunday, you’re nervous.
  • Match recap: Meh.