Over the years, we know there have been plenty of games where Juventus should win with room to spare, yet the final outcome has been something that involved a lot more stress than there should have been. There might be too many of them to count at this point since we know Juventus makes things always a little more interesting than they should. That is, after all, our beloved Juventus in the Champions League.
That was not the case Wednesday night.
Juventus, in a game where they were far and away the better team played like the far and away better team. And that, my friends, was refreshing.
Led by another big-time Alvaro Morata goal-scoring performance in Europe, Juventus got three incredibly important points in Group G and kept pace with first-place Barcelona thanks to a 4-1 win over Ferencvaros in Budapest. There were two VAR checks for Morata’s goals just because that’s the thing these days, but there was no risk of actual offsides being called — they were clear goals, there was no controversy and Juventus was able to claim a win over Ferencvaros with relative comfortability.
Throw in a goal from Paulo Dybala — which could have been two if not for a change to his second time finding the back of the net being changed to an own goal — and it was a pretty good day at the office for Andrea Pirlo and Co.
That’s something that we can all get behind.
You know, the whole Juventus winning comfortably thing.
Sure, they didn’t get the shutout and a couple of boneheaded mistakes led to Ferencvaros actually scoring a goal on one of the few legitimate goal scoring chances that they had. But this was a game where Juventus needed a solid showing — and that’s what they got. They couldn’t afford to mess around and have Ferencvaros hang around for much of the game.
Instead, they got the lead early. They added onto that lead early-ish in the second half. They put the game away not long after that when Dybala jumped on one of two REALLY, REALLY bad Ferencvaros defensive errors. And that was that.
No stress against the worst team in the group.
That’s ... refreshing.
And, honestly, kinda un-Juventus-like from the last few years.
I understand that Andrea Pirlo had some choice words for his team after the game, and this wasn’t a great overall performance so I totally get it. But, when you compare how things were going just a few short games ago when Juventus couldn’t do much of anything right against a Barcelona team that is far from vintage Barca, this was a much-welcomed change for the better. This was good, not great, but good nonetheless.
For right now, that will play.
As time goes on, that will have to be better. For now, though, a win where Morata (or any of Juve’s other talented strikers like Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo) keeps scoring goals and Wojciech Szczesny rarely has to do anything until late in the second half is something I will take every single time.
RAMDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
- Will Juventus ever wear their away kit????? Serious question. (Kinda.)
- Juventus’ Twitter account said 4-3-1-2. My head said 3-4-1-2. This is basically just the social media people playing a game with all of us at this point, isn’t it?
- /pokes head around the corner/
Aaron Ramsey might not be somebody Juventus can rely on, you guys.
- This was Alvaro Morata’s 100th appearance in a Juventus jersey. I think that’ll do just fine.
- Morata has four Champions League goals this season. Lionel Messi has three. Clearly that means Morata > Messi, everybody.
- Also, a complete sidenote on Morata: Somebody find out what kind of product he puts in his hair because my man was looking fresh in this game even though it was pouring down rain in Budapest. Look no further than when Morata was subbed out and gave Pirlo a hug and a handshake as to what a tough night hair-wise in the rain looked like.
- CRISTIANO RONALDO PUT A FREE KICK ATTEMPT ON GOAL THIS IS NOT A DRILL, FOLKS.
- Weston McKennie won’t get the assist on a Morata goal like he did over the weekend, but that dummy he played before Juve made it 2-0 was slick as hell.
- Don’t know if this is a controversial opinion or not, but here it goes: I think the midfield trio of Adrien Rabiot, Rodrigo Bentancur and McKennie might be Juve’s best combination at the moment.
- I know it was a short appearance off the bench, but that’s the kind of game I want to see from Bentancur more often going forward the next few weeks after the international break. He was about as lively as I can remember him being of late — especially on the defensive side of things.
- Speaking of big defensive performances, Rabiot had seven tackles in the game, according to WhoScored. Ferencvaros, as a team, had 12 tackles.
- I mean, of course it was Federico Bernardeschi who committed the turnover that led to Ferencvaros’ goal. The guy just can’t get ANYTHING to go his way these days.
- Speaking of the group of Federicos who Juventus signed from Fiorentina, this felt like another tough one for Federico Chiesa.
- Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini COMBINED to make over 200 passes. That’s a lot.
- Chiellini completed more long balls than Bonucci did, so obviously we know who the best passer out of the back is now, right?
- Juan Cuadrado completed one cross in this game. It was a good one. He got an assist for it.
- As somebody who writes for this website, I am very glad I won’t have to write “Ferencvaros” all that much for the next couple of weeks after this game.
- In conclusion: Good win, now keep the good times going against Lazio this weekend. Finishing this big three-week stretch with three straight wins will be a pretty good way to go into the international break.