Let me just make this as simple as it can be and show you have fast things changed in the Coppa Italia final on Wednesday night.
In the 54th minute, it was 0-0 and I was having some serious doubts about whether I’d get to work on time.
In the 63rd minute, Juventus were ahead 3-0 and all of those fears were gone.
To steal a line from my good friend and BWRAO cohort Hunter Sharpless, “And then Juve won!”
Of course, Juventus’ eight-minute blitz that carried them to a 4-0 win and their fourth Coppa Italia title in as many years under Max Allegri’s watch wasn’t as simple as just using up almost all of our fingers on our right hand. It involved Juventus actually taking advantage of their scoring chances rather than hitting their shots right at Gigi Donnarumma or 100 feet high and/or wide. It also involved Donnarumma reminding us that, even though he has all the talent in the world to be one of the best goalkeepers in the sport, that he’s still an error-prone 19-year-old who can be his own worst enemy at time.
Say what you want about the weather conditions, but you didn’t see the Gigi who was patrolling the other goal making any kind of game-changing blunders.
But let’s be serious: Juventus deserved this win. It wasn’t just Donnarumma handing them a win on a silver platter and Juve’s talented South American attackers saying thank you very much and running back to Turin. Juventus looked like a much-improved team after halftime — and the results showed. It’s not like they were even that bad in the first half, either!
It also helps when Medhi Benatia is scoring on headers in the box rather than allowing them, too. (Yeah, that line would have been much higher up if this game didn’t get completely out of control within a 10-minute span.)
This was as good as we’ve seen Juve play from start to finish against a domestic opponent in a good amount of time. We’ve seen glimpses of it over the last few months. But a complete beatdown where the opponent is absolutely crushed after the third goal isn’t something we’ve seen a bunch of this season.
I don’t know about you guys, but a 4-0 scoreline and what we like to call it seemed kinda fitting after the Milan curva at the Olimpico rolled out a tifo that included a hand with four aces. Poker this.
RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
- Our Gigi > Their Gigi
- It’s not even close, man.
- Seriously, Buffon might have one or two really bad mistakes a season. How many has Donnarumma had this season alone? I know of two right off the bat...
- This wasn’t a match where Buffon just sits back and watches for 90 minutes, either. WhoScored had him with six saves, and I can count that at least four of them were of at least the very good variety. That double save to cap the night was pretty damn special, too.
- Combined score of the two Juve-Milan games that Leonardo Bonucci played in this season: Juventus 7, Milan 1. I’m not sayin’, but ... OK, I’m sayin’.
- You think that the two-week break did Medhi Benatia some good? He was fantastic.
- You think Paulo Dybala can play like he did in the second half more often? He was fantastic (after halftime).
- You think we can close Douglas Costa? He was fantastic — and is really, fast.
- Fill in the blank: Dybala scores that goal from just outside the center circle, I would have ____________. (I know that my option would have involved waking the cat up from her nap in the sun, I can tell you that.)
- Juan Cuadrado’s night at right back: some good moments, some shaky moments, but not a total disaster like we might have thought it could have been a couple of weeks ago before this became a thing. Maybe the terzino-ing of Johnny Square just lasts a couple of more weeks, but if it’s something that Allegri is thinking of doing beyond just the month of May, then I guess I’m a little more OK with it than I was at the beginning of the month.
- It’s 4-0 in the 82nd minute and Allegri could have brought on whoever he wanted. He decides to take off Dybala and replace him with Gonzalo Higuain. Ruthless.
- Donnarumma errors be dammed, how many of y’all were sitting there saying “I wish they played like this when they had a lead for most of the season...” as Juve’s goal count went up and up and up?
- Never change, Mario. Never, ever change.
- Juventus will be back at the Olimpico on Sunday where they can wrap up their seventh straight Scudetto. I like winning titles at home, but doing the domestic double against Milan and Roma just adds a little extra spice to it. Plus a single point on Sunday will turn the season finale, which could very well be Buffon’s final game in a Juventus jersey, into an absolute party.