“You are losing your mind.”
It was a reasonable assessment of my mental state by my girlfriend as I mentioned to her that I had turned to re-watching old Olympic events to pass the time. It was also a resourceful turn by your truly for what it’s worth. Turns out if you don’t know/remember who placed first in the 200-meter men’s freestyle final in the Athens Olympic Games in 2004, you squint a little and avoid the comment section, reruns make a passable alternative to live sports.
In the grand scheme of things, losing live sports is the least of the world’s problems when it comes to the developing COVID-19 pandemic which has caused the sporting world at large to screech to a complete halt.
(Except, apparently, for ... football in Belarus? Pretty irresponsible first of all; second, do you all happen to know where I can catch these games?)
It’s exceedingly clear to me this is meaningless — people are suffering, people are dying and hospitals are overrun in some parts of the world. Odds are things will still get worse before they get better. If we have to sacrifice something that, for all intents and purposes, is entertainment and nothing else in order to try and stop this thing. You do it, 10 times out of 10.
Now that we all agree this is the best thing to do that still leaves us with a problem for all of us fans and that is how to fill that sports shaped hole in our lives. Well, fear not, as your friendly neighborhood blog BWRAO has you sorted out. Taking a page out of my Olympic game’s loophole, I have compiled the most entertaining Juve moments of the past five years. It’s not as good as the real thing, but we all have to make it due.
UEFA Champions League Round of 16, 2015: Juventus vs. Borussia Dortmund
Personally, this is the first moment where I considered this Juve team might be really special. A 3-0 thumping at the Westfalenstadion in Dortmund against a Borussia team wasn’t exactly the same squad that had made the Champions League final a couple years back, but they were still a formidable team that came out of the first leg with a favorable 2-1 result in Turin.
This was Carlos Tevez at his best, as he scored twice and assisted on the other goal scored by Alvaro Morata. Watch for the goals, stay for Tevez almost falling over himself in his excitement after scoring a screamer to open the score.
UEFA Champions League Semifinals, 2015: Juventus vs. Real Madrid
You’ll forgive me if I add another game of that squad, a sentimental favorite of mine. Juventus was wildly overmatched on that tie, barely getting out of Italy alive with a 2-1 score and as far as experts were concerned, ready to bow out against the mighty Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.
A bend-don’t-break defense held on for the entire game after Cristiano Ronaldo scored an early penalty kick. A never-say-never attitude. A goal by Real Madrid loanee Alvaro Morata and the one good game of Stefano Sturaro’s career who not only held his own but was actively good for Juve in a Champions League deciding match, wild stuff.
I will never not love this team.
Serie A Matchday 25, 2015-16: Juventus vs. Napoli
Simone Zaza played for Juventus one season, was mostly a bench player, scored the most important goal of the entire campaign and left.
What a guy.
Serie A Matchday 35, 2017-18: Juventus vs. Inter
Lost amidst one of the most exciting comebacks of the last few years for Juventus is the fact that minutes before, it was shaping up to be an all-time choke job by the Bianconeri.
Playing against a 10-man Inter, Juve coughed up the lead and were suddenly looking at a 2-1 scoreline in the dying minutes of the second half. Juan Cuadrado managed a seemingly impossible shot (Deflected by an Inter player, but whatever) to tie it up and Gonzalo Higuain scored the winner of a pinpoint perfect cross by Paulo Dybala.
Inter remain, consistently, frauds.
UEFA Champions League Group Stage, 2015: Juventus vs. Manchester City
Another tie where Juventus was supposedly a massive underdog only to come out victorious at the other end.
Few thoughts about this one:
- Peep Gianluigi Buffon making a ridiculous double save to keep Juve in the game at the 5:50 mark, incredible.
- Those black kits might be the sleekest jersey’s Juventus has worn in the last decade, which is why it pisses me off so much that they always played with the home shorts when wearing them – notice the fact that the shorts have white stripes and white numbers? – How hard is it to have matching freaking stripes Adidas?!
- Hernanes was taking free kicks in Champions League games for Juve not that long ago, what a time to be alive.
- Biggest frauds in European football: PSG, Manchester City or Inter Milan? Compare, contrast and discuss.
Serie A Matchday 23, 2017-18: Juventus vs. Sassuolo
This was not a particularly meaningful or important game in the grand scheme of things, but a 7-0 drubbing is always fun to re-watch.
Coppa Italia Final, 2017: Juventus vs. AC Milan
Morbidly fun to watch Gianluigi Donnarumma complete lose confidence in himself after badly missing a save on Douglas Costa’s shot. He made a number of impressive saves before that blunder and then ... total collapse.
Also morbidly fun? Wrecking the Leo Bonucci led AC Milan in a final, adding to it is the fact that Bonucci’s direct replacement Medhi Benatia was one of the heroes of the game scoring twice.
UEFA Champions League Round of 16, 2019: Juventus vs. Atletico Madrid
Truth be told, this was the very first time since Cristiano Ronaldo’s signing that I fully drank the CR7 Kool-Aid. It was a banner performance by Ronaldo — which despite not playing in La Liga anymore, still had another nightmare on deck for Atletico Madrid.
It was a true joy to finally be on the right side of a Ronaldo masterpiece, he has a way of playing that stops making you wonder if, but rather when he will actually break your team’s heart. Unstoppable.
Aided by great performances by Federico Bernardeschi, Leonardo Spinazzola and Emre Can, it’s insane to think how different this team is now compared to what they were like a year ago. Spinazzola and Can are already gone, and Bernardeschi might be next.
We’ll always have this game, though.
Serie A Matchday 7, 2019-20: Juventus vs. Inter
Just a few months ago, and before we had any idea this was all going to happen, we witnessed one of the most charged up Derby d’Italia matchups in recent memory.
Inter was looking like a legit contender early in the season and Juventus seemed more vulnerable than ever with Maurizio Sarri’s appointment. With an early season date in Milan, this game was absolutely electric from the time it kicked off until the very end. A screamer from Dybala and a great piece of fluid play that ended up in Higuain’s go ahead score were all that Juve needed to claim the win.
UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals, 2017: Juventus vs. Barcelona
This was Dybala’s coming out party, and some measure of payback against Barcelona after the Berlin final. A Giorgio Chiellini goal and a shutout of a Lio Messi led-team which is significantly easier said than done.
So much fun stuff to re-watch in this one, that team deserved so much better than whatever horror show we got in the Cardiff final.
Are there any moments you think I’ve missed? Let us know.
Stay safe and stay healthy people, cheers.