In the business that I have chosen, we have a say that three things of the same ilk is most definitely a trend. It’s something I’ve mentioned over the years in posts, but when it comes to how it applies to Juventus, it’s very much easy to figure out at the moment.
Juventus beat Chelsea 1-0.
Juventus beat Torino 1-0.
After Sunday night, Juventus can officially say that three’s a trend.
In another sign that Max Allegri is starting to put his stamp on this team, Juventus recorded its third 1-0 win in as many games in all competitions, holding down the fort after Moise Kean’s 16th-minute goal and surviving a controversy-filled first half to hold off Roma. It was another classic kind of Allegri game where he manages his teams through the ebbs and flows of a big match with a narrow lead and comes out on top. He did it against Chelsea. He did it in the Derby della Mole against Torino. Now he’s done it against Roma, as Juve’s now won four consecutive Serie A fixtures and heads into next weekend’s Derby d’Italia with the chance to crack the top six.
And, just for kicks, Allegri’s pre-match comments about how Juventus-Roma is always great but always seems to be filled with controversy ... well those were just extremely on point.
There is no denying one of the biggest moments in the game came during the penalty kick call late in the first half. Do you play advantage? Do you just completely ignore the fact that Henrikh Mkhitaryan handled the ball as he was falling to the ground after (kinda-sorta) jumping over Wojciech Szczesny? Do you just think it was all just completely stupid and want to just be happy about Szczesny saving said penalty and breaking Jordan Veretout’s previously perfect record from the spot?
I’ll take the last option, please.
And I’ll also be happy about being able to watch Moise Kean dance after a goal again. (Even though that goal was a pretty good hint that this game was going to be a stupid and completely confusing yet wonderful all at the same time.)
But when it was all said and done, Allegri and Juventus basically did the same thing they’ve done the last couple of games — get the shutout, get the win and move up a few spots in the Serie A table. It’s not difficult to see why Juve has been successful over the last few weeks, and this is exactly the way you would expect Allegri to get this team back on track.
He’s also done it with a winger playing forward, a right winger playing on the left wing and so many other issues to try and work his way through when it comes to injuries and a lack of options.
This game, Juve’s third shutout in a row, just shows us again that Allegri needed just a little bit of time to get things right and the results will finally come. It’s not always pretty, it’s not always going to be something that has us writing 1,500 words about how great Juve just played, but it’s becoming a pretty effective recipe to stabilize a team that was winless all of a month ago.
Now, they’re all of one point behind a Roma team that started the 2021-22 season as well as anybody in the whole damn league.
Another 1-0 win is a good feeling. Another clean sheet is a good feeling. Seeing Juventus play a solid-yet-unspectacular game is a good feeling. Allegri’s making this work, and the results are coming as a result of it all. That’s how it’s done.
RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
- Pre-match lineup thought: How do you strike fear into your opponent? Roll out a left wing that has Mattia De Sciglio and Federico Bernardeschi out wide. Now that, ladies and gents, is what I call dangerous.
- And then of course De Sciglio goes out and delivers a cross like that for Juve’s first goal.
- AND THEN WE GET A BERNARDESCHI OVERHEAD KICK THAT WAS ALMOST A GOAL.
- This is a picture of an actual goal being scored:
- I am never not going to laugh when watching the replay of Kean’s goal mainly because his follow through of a missed header is the reason he scored it. Throw in that it was MATTIA FREAKIN’ DE SCIGLIO who sent in the cross just adds to the hilarious nature of it all. It’s just so damn good, man.
- Federico Chiesa had 11 touches in the first half. That’s unacceptable.
- Through 69 minutes, Chiesa had a not-very-nice 19 touches.
- With Chiesa coming off in the 72nd minute, his final total was 21 touches. That just ain’t it.
- I think we can all agree that, no matter what side your rooting interests were on during this game, Daniele Orsato is a terrible referee and there’s no reason why he continues to get these big-time matches with big-time implications. (Oh, I think I actually know why — it’s because we’re rooting for teams in Italy and Italy gonna Italy.)
- Watching this team celebrate with Szczesny after he saved the penalty kick right before halftime like it was a Champions League final just shows you how much it meant to them. Szczesny’s struggles this season have been well-chronicled, but that was a great moment for him, for the team and for the crowd at Allianz Stadium. And it’s a big reason why Juve got the shutout, too.
- I know I bagged on De Sciglio just a couple-hundred words ago, but he was pretty damn solid in this game. I don’t know why Allegri keeps selecting him, but hey, it worked this time.
- Speaking of unexpected performances, how about that dude Fede Bernardeschi? That was about as well as we’ve seen him play this season, and that includes the performance he had against Chelsea. That bike attempt just shows where his confidence is at right now. It’s not wonder Allegri keeps going to him, right? Strike while the Berna iron is hot, I guess.
- I will never not be impressed during these first few months of him being a Juventus player with the angles and pass attempts that Manuel Locatelli does. Whether it’s putting some serious english on the ball to get it around somebody or just seeing a hole to get the ball through that those of us watching at home can’t see — it’s all just impressive as hell. He’s fun.
- Juan Cuadrado, fresh off getting back to Italy all of 48 hours ago after Colombia played on Thursday, played a full 90 minutes and led Juventus in tackles. That’s some serious effort.
- Danilo! How about Danilo!
- Seriously, Juventus’ starting fullbacks were pretty damn good in this game.
- I’ve said it a few times here over the last couple of weeks, but it bears repeating: Rodrigo Bentancur still has plenty to work on, but Locatelli’s arrival has allowed him to do what he does best — just be a hound defensively and make some runs forward. He’s back in the kind of position that suits him best, and his improved form is reflective of that.
- Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini combined to attempt 33 long balls. They completed 21 of them. Not too bad.
- Speaking of Chiellini, he had a towering header over Tammy Abraham about a minute before the final whistle sounded. It made me smile. The old dog still has a little bit left.
- As Jose Mourinho was berating the officials in the final few minutes, the camera panned to Max Allegri with a little smirk on his face his he took a walk down the Juve sideline. I laughed.
- Also, my birthday is on Friday, so if anybody wants to buy me the same kind of jacket that Allegri was wearing during the Roma game, it would be much appreciated.
- Juventus finding some solid form right before they head to Milan to face Inter next weekend. I don’t know if that was all in Allegri’s plans, but it’s definitely nice to see.