For 85 minutes, Juventus had barely put anything on frame, essentially giving Torino goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic little to do despite the fact that the black and white side of Turin had much of the second-half possession. It was
But like so many times in recent Derby della Mole matchups, one late-game moment has allowed Juventus to get the three points and send little brother home disappointed.
The boyhood Juventino was at it again Saturday night. Just when you think Juve’s attack was unable to do much of anything right, Federico Chiesa and Manuel Locatelli were there to save the day. One simple pass by Chiesa and a calm-as-hell kind of finish into the bottom right corner of the goal by Locatelli in the 86th minute allowed Juventus to capture a 1-0 win in this edition of the Derby della Mole at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino.
Juventus with game-winning goals in the second half of the Turin derby.
You can’t stop it from happening. And neither can Torino, I guess. It’s just one of these unwritten rules that seems to happen over and over and over again. But you won’t find me complaining. Not one bit.
This is not one of those derbies in which you will be talking about Juve’s overall performance and say that it was all that good. The second half was better than the first, but at the same time it’s not like Juventus’ improved showing after the break was resulting in a lot of action in front of the Torino goal. Instead, it was essentially a test of Juve’s patience and ability to not let their penance for game-changing errors to hurt them once again. (Translation: not allowing a dumb goal to see more points be dropped against a mid-table team.)
There were times when it didn’t look like much of anything was going to happen simply because Juve’s attack was either not taking advantage of the chances they had — hi, Weston McKennie! — or simply not generating much of anything on a consistent basis. Things improved as the game went on, but you could still count on one hand the amount of times that Milinkovic-Savic was truly tested in goal. Juve had more possession after the break, but it wasn’t like they were peppering the Torino goal and giving off the impression that a goal was simply on the way.
But, as you might expect these days, it always helps when you’ve got Chiesa on your side because you know he’s always capable of being a part of that game-changing moment.
Same goes for Locatelli, who is starting to become a big-time contributor for this Juventus team despite the fact that he’s been here for all of about six weeks or so.
But with these two leading the charge of Max Allegri’s new-look Juventus that is still very much a work in progress and missing some important pieces, things are looking a little bit better as compared to the last time we saw Juventus go into an international break.
Not a bad way to start the weekend, either, if you ask me.
RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
- A SHUTOUT IN SERIE A. A SHUTOUT IN SERIE A. A SHUTOUT IN SERIE A. A SHUTOUT IN SERIE A. A SHUTOUT IN SERIE A. A SHUTOUT IN SERIE A. A SHUTOUT IN SERIE A. This is not a drill. It actually happened again. What a time to be alive.
- Rolando Mandragora, currently on loan at Torino from Juventus, captained Torino against Juventus. That’s certainly a twist to the rivalry we haven’t seen the last few years.
- Those two misses by Weston McKennie in the first half ... not great.
- The overall performance by McKennie ... not great.
- Juventus with less than 40 percent possession against Torino at halftime. Just like we all thought, right?
- Sure glad that didn’t continue, though. I think it’s safe to say that Juve’s second-half performance was a whoooooole lot better than what we saw in the opening 45 minutes.
- Max Allegri’s best move of the night was bringing on Dejan Kulusevski. With how well he played maybe you wish Allegri did it a little sooner, but things definitely changed for the better once Kulusevski and his energy came onto the field.
- I’m worried that Federico Chiesa is going to sleep right on through the entire international break with how much energy he’s spent over the last couple of games. My man has worked HARD in this now advanced role, and you could see it on his face when he came off the field after Locatelli’s goal — dude was spent.
- ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!?!?!
- Those Giorgio Chiellini runs forward toward the end of the second half were something. I don’t know if they were always a good idea, but they definitely were something.
- But, man, was Chiellini good defensively in this game. You can tell that the way Allegri has managed his workload the first month and a half of the season is paying off. (I really hope I didn’t just jinx the guy. Please don’t make me look bad, Cap.)
- Matthijs de Ligt the last couple of games has been the kind of Matthijs de Ligt that can be one of the best defenders in the world. You combine de Ligt playing this well and either Cheillini and Bonucci playing like they have the last couple of games and it’s no wonder Juve’s got a pair of shutouts in their last two outings.
- Juan Cuadrado came on at the start of the second half and led Juventus in key passes. That says something about how Juve were playing in the first half, but also what kind of impact he can make and how important he is to this team. (Very, very important!)
- I still don’t know what to think about Adrien Rabiot playing out wide on the left. Sometimes it makes sense, other times it doesn’t, but I don’t know if I want this to become a regular thing once Allegri is able to play his wingers as wingers again.
- Juventus are undefeated in games in which Kaio Jorge comes on as a second-half sub.
- After all that Juventus is now in ... eighth place. Ah well. This is why I suck at math.
- But it was all worth it to see that kind of celebration, as a team, after Locatelli’s goal. This team is starting to show its got a nice spirit about it and that it can work as a unit again.
- Oh, and one more thing: TORINO È BIANCONERA.