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Manu’s Grab Bag: Ruined Sunday

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We talk gaffes, Paulo Dybala’s moment and Shopee (SHOPEE!)

Gianluigi Buffon of Juventus FC reacts during the Serie A... Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images

Watching Juventus play badly is always dispiriting. Watching Juventus play badly at 5:30-freakin-a.m. is horrible. Watching Juventus tumble down to second place in the league by breakfast time just ruins your entire Sunday.

Well, my Sunday was thoroughly ruined by a Juve team that not only managed to tie Sassuolo at home — that’s 14th-place Sassuolo, by the way — but that was honest to goodness ghastly in most facets of the game.

I don’t even want to talk about it, or think about it ... but here we go.

MVP: Paulo Dybala

It’s hard to name an MVP when the effort as a whole was kind of lacking and the result was not there. But, in all of the general badness that this game gave us, Dybala was far and away the best performer on the pitch. As soon as he was subbed on the attack came to life, as he continues to be the most in-form attacker in the squad by a mile.

I can sort of understand the reasoning behind him starting from the bench, with Dybala playing two grind-fests against Atalanta and Atletico Madrid, but as Juventus continue to tick at Dybala’s beat, every minute he is not on the pitch feels like chances wasted for the Bianconeri.

Runner Up: Rodrigo Bentancur

Trending Down: Emre Can

Oh, buddy, what are you doing man?

At this point, I just feel really bad for the guy. I completely understood him being upset at how the Juventus management handled leaving him out of the Champions League squad and I can’t imagine being happy about falling out of favor with the new manager. However, he was given a shot on Sunday, and completely blew it.

Can missed a sitter that could have been a much-needed boost of confidence, played just terribly in all aspects of the game and was an early sub. I get being out of form, but my guy, you have to put up when you actually get a shot after all the complaining you have been doing, you just have to.

It was an all-around dreadful performance by a guy who more and more looks like he’s on his way out of the club in the upcoming January transfer window.

Tending Down: Mathijs de Ligt and Gianluigi Buffon

Talk about a howler.

Both the young starlet and the veteran legend made key mistakes during Sassuolo’s second goal. De Ligt, in particular, looked pretty rough during the entire match, misplacing passes and just looking uncomfortable. After stellar displays in his last few matches, the 20-year-old Dutchman came back to earth in a hard way.

Blame it on fatigue or just letting your guard down against a lesser opponent, but not one of the finest displays we’ve seen from the young defender.

And as for Buffon ... yikes. Look, he could allow five goals every time he started from here until the end of his career and it wouldn’t put a dent on his GOAT status, but that was a stop that he has to make and unfortunately for Juventus it cost them dearly.

Things I Google’d during the game

  • Sassuolo place?
  • Stefano Turati
  • Emre Can estimated transfer value
  • Inter Milan Schedule
  • Sassuolo league table
  • Turati transfer Juventus

Most Random CR7 Ad of the Week

Cristiano Ronaldo, as most of the squad, was largely ineffective on Sunday. He did manage to get himself on the scoresheet via PK and had a half-decent free kick attempt which I cannot believe is the curve we are grading one of the greatest players of all time but them’s the breaks.

However, this space is not to discuss his football exploits, this place exists to poke fun at his – admittedly very lucrative- endorsements.

This had to be in like the €20 to €25 million range, right? I mean, it’s like you really need the money at this point, so the only reason to put yourself through something like this has to be an outrageous amount of money, right?

In case you can’t watch the ad, let me describe it to you: Ronaldo scores from a free kick — I find the ad unrealistic already — and as soon as he prepares to do his iconic celebration he realizes that the entire stands are too busy to appreciate his goal because they are on Shopee.

Apparently, the mere fact of shopping on Shopee, grants you a magical orange Shopee branded t-shirt, which if it’s true is just a fantastic deal all around, because, hey, free shirt.

Ronaldo is baffled and confused by the Shopee branded stands, which I believe is a very reasonable reaction by the Portuguese all things considered.

That is the last second the ad attempts to make any sort of sense and the last moment Ronaldo maintains a shred of dignity during the ad. What happens afterwards goes off the rails fast as a bald ref — who I think I have seen in something else but I can’t quite put my finger where — cards him with a Shopee card

Which grants Ronaldo, both a phone and a Nike-branded Shopee shirt, and I gotta tell you I kind of want one of those now if we are going to be honest

After Ronaldo is properly dressed in his Shopee kit, the pièce de résistance comes along, and readers, a screen grab cannot do it justice but here it is

The five-time Ballon D’Or winner proceeds to do the most stilted, awkward and uncoordinated Baby Shark dance I have ever seen. Four other backup dancers join him, who I have to assume were told that they had to do the dance mere seconds before the shoot started. It’s glorious.

Bear in mind, this is a guy who is coordinated enough to do this on a Champions League game. I know dancing and footballing are not the same skills, but still, something has got to translate right?

After really analyzing that ad, I take it back; it had to be at the very least 30 million. No less.

Things I Google’d during the game (REVISED)

  • Sassuolo place?
  • Stefano Turati
  • Emre Can estimated transfer value
  • Inter Milan Schedule
  • Sassuolo league table
  • Turati transfer Juventus
  • Shopee-branded Nike kit

Parting Shot of the week

To be fair, Juventus had flirted with a result like this for a while now. It was bound to happen sooner or later, and you can be saved by a late goal only so many times before you come up short.

All things considered, his is far from catastrophic. Yes, Inter is now one point clear in the Serie A table, but with more than half a season remaining and a head-to-head matchup at Allianz Stadium remaining, it hardly seems like an insurmountable lead.

Hopefully the only thing this game accomplishes is a much-needed wake-up call for Maurizio Sarri’s Juventus and a dominant win next weekend.

See you Saturday.