You wanted some style points, you got them.
And then some.
Holy cow. The goals Juventus scored against Genoa in Tuesday night’s 3-1 win at the Luigi Ferraris were both the moments of individual brilliance this team can show, but also the kind of “Whatever you can do, I can do better...” scenario where it seems like the bar for scoring goals in this game was set incredibly high right from the very first one.
The good part in all of this?
About five seconds before Paulo Dybala scored his weaving and winding goal through the Genoa defense, I was sitting down at my desk and firing up ESPN+. To that point, Juventus hadn’t scored a goal, but seemed like it wasn’t as terrible as some of the first-half performances we’ve seen in the Bologna and Lecce fixtures. (Those weren’t great!)
So, basically what I’m trying to say is that Juventus just needed me to watch. Obviously.
/reads the room/
This is what we wanted to see from this team knowing full well that when Tuesday night’s game kicked off, Lazio had just cut Juve’s lead down to one single point in Serie A. The pressure to answer Lazio was there, just as much as it was for Juventus not to shoot themselves in the foot (again) during a trip to the Marassi. It has been a house of horrors — there are plenty of other ways to describe it, trust me — for Juventus in recent years, and this was looked at as another potential place where Juve could slip up if they didn’t keep their act together.
Luckily for us, we saw three of the best goals we’ve seen all season.
Seeing as who scored those goals — Dybala, Cristiano Ronaldo and Douglas Costa — it might not be a surprise to see them doing those types of things. That said, to see three goals of that quality put forth in one game — hell, ONE HALF! — and have them come at a time in the title race where Juventus could have seen its margin for error almost entirely go up in smoke if things didn’t go right in Genoa, that’s what makes them even better.
Even though Genoa is a team that is not very good at all and in a battle to not get relegated to Serie B, Juve needed their big players to step up tonight. And with three moments of brilliance that led to goals, Juventus’ stars in attack did just that.
Harlem Globetrotters stuff from Juventus tonight. Every one of these goals has been a gem.— Nicky Bandini (@NickyBandini) June 30, 2020
Not a bad thing to see only a few moments after walking out of an hour-long work meeting. So, from me to you, Juventus, thank you for giving us something to be happy about. We need more of that these days, and if that means scoring pretty goal after pretty goal, then so be it, my friends.
The more they want to make that a regular thing, then go for it.
You won’t find any of us around here complaining about it.
RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
- If there were any thoughts from folks either here or in the Italian press about Miralem Pjanic losing interest now that he knows he’s going to Barcelona in a few months, let’s just check out how he reacted to Dybala’s goal, shall we?
Pjanic is a good dude who really does seem to love his teammates. Knowing full well that he had just secured a transfer to a new club 24 hours earlier, to see him celebrate like this was a nice reminder that he most certainly loves the current club he’s at.
- Oh, and by the way, Pjanic also did this against Genoa: 101 touches, 92.4 percent pass completion and he recorded his first assist in Serie A play since NOVEMBER. That’ll do just fine.
- There was a short discussion on Twitter between myself and fellow BWRAO cohort Hunter after the Ronaldo goal: Who wouldn’t want to celebrate their goal with Carlo Pinsoglio? If Gigi Buffon is basically the dad of the team, then Pinsoglio is the cool uncle who is just the life of the party whenever you seem him. Judging by how Pinsoglio acts on the bench and during goal celebrations, he’s probably the life of the party when he’s at home, too.
- Some more fun with stats, this is what Dybala finished at: goal, assist, 4 key passes and he completed nearly 95 percent of his passes. We don’t know whether Dybala has truly reached his full fitness levels after dealing with COVID-19 for a couple of months, but he damn well has come out of the suspension of play looking just as good as he did before it. (And I’m not just saying he’s handsome, even though he is very handsome.)
- One final nugget of stats: Juan Cuadrado had four tackles, four interceptions and led the team in touches (again) with 119. Remember, this is Juventus’ starting right back we’re talking about here, not a central midfielder like Pjanic or Rodrigo Bentancur. That’ll do.
- Of course you knew that Juve’s best fullback these days would be somebody who isn’t even a right back. This season is so stupid.
- I would love to know the radar gun reading on Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal. That has to be one of his best-struck shots of the season. Mattia Perin is a very reflex-y goalkeeper and even he had no chance at stopping that shot. It was perfect placement on top of having as much velocity as any goal Ronaldo has scored this season.
- And then you have Douglas Costa’s goal which is just rediculous and then some.
- It’s just that kind of insane ability that makes Costa the difference-making sub — you know, when the game is actually close — that this team needs right now. Is he the better player than Federico Bernardeschi? Yeah, probably. But when you see what Costa has done in the last two games off the bench compared to when he hits the wall after 50 or 60 minutes as a starter, it’s pretty easy to figure out that hitting the opposition with a fresh Costa as they really begin to tire is the way to go right now.
- And then you have Juventus’ defending on Genoa’s goal which was ... not great. First letting the cross come through the box untouched, then seeing Juan Cuadrado get shook out of his boots. Just not exactly something Juve will want to have on their end of season highlight film. At least they have the goals from earlier in the game to spotlight instead.