As the longstanding person who runs this space on the internet, it is my duty to provide some sort of thoughts after each game. I have been doing this here post-game thread for years, with I don’t even know how many thoughts hammered out with adrenaline pumping through my veins because of what I just saw Juventus do — both good and bad.
At this very moment, after what I just watched the last two hours, I feel absolutely spent.
Honestly, I got nothin’, folks.
Not because Juventus just faceplanted against a Roma team that was in its own world of struggles over the last couple of months. (Although, they were close to doing just that!)
Nah, because of the opposite. Because looking a 3-1 deficit right in the face in the 69th minute (nice, but not really), Juventus actually showed some cajones, some grinta. Instead of packing it in and heading back to Turin with their tail between their legs, Juventus responded. And not just to get a result, but to get a win. That’s right, folks. As their manager looked on from the stands, Juventus had maybe their best moment of the 2021-22 season, storming back from two goals down to claim a 4-3 win over Roma on Sunday night that didn’t look entirely possible whatsoever minutes before the ball started rolling.
It gave you flashbacks to the wild 4-3 win over Napoli in Maurizio Sarri’s first game as Juventus manager against his former team. Or maybe you thought of some of the other roller coaster rides that Juve have taken us on over the last decade or so.
No matter what, though, Juventus won a game in which, with a little over 20 minutes to go, they had absolutely no business winning. And they did so with some unlikely heroics.
These heroes on this given day in the Italian capital did not wear capes. In fact, some of them are probably ones you wish weren’t wearing bianconero come the end of the January transfer window.
You had the much-maligned young Swede scoring the game-tying goal after a little bit of a wait due to VAR. You had the much-maligned fullback who has become the butt of a whole lot of jokes capping a wild 10-minute span where Juve took the lead for the first time all night. Hell, you had the Polish goalkeeper who was an absolute mess form-wise the last time these two teams met saving a potential game-tying penalty against Roma — again.
From Dejan Kulusevski and Mattia De Sciglio scoring goals to Wojciech Szczesny denying Lorenzo Pellegrini from the penalty spot, this game hit it all. Seriously, it did. And, amidst all of it, it might be easy to foget that Juventus finished the game — and held onto a lead! — with only 10 men after Matthijs de Ligt was sent off for a handball in the box that led to the aforementioned PK that Tek ended up saving.
Shoot, this game even Giorgio Chiellini needing his head wrapped up because he was bleeding.
Like I said, everything.
It’s hard to really put into words just how wild of a ride those last 20 or 25 minutes were. I was preparing to put a nail or two into Juve’s coffin when they were down 3-1 and about to get all of one point out of their first two games of 2022. January 2022 looked to be a complete disaster, and maybe not getting any better knowing who is upcoming on the schedule over the next couple of weeks. But instead of folding, this team responded in the best way possible. They didn’t just flip the game in their favor, but they did so in less than 10 minutes and then hung on for dear life down the stretch and into stoppage time.
It was just a game in which you never want to see happen again but are very much thrilled that your team was the one that finished with the “4” on the scoreboard rather than being the one that blew the 3-1 lead in the final 20 minutes and change and extended their poor run of results.
Juventus might have pulled a rabbit out of its hat on this day, but at least this team still has a trick or two left in the bag when it looked like they might be out for good.
In conclusion, here’s Claudio Marchisio to sum things up for all of us.
1 - Quando lei ti dice che ha casa libera.— Claudio Marchisio (@ClaMarchisio8) January 9, 2022
2 - Quando la Juve la ribalta con @mattia_desci
RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
- Seriously, what the hell just happened.
- I am very confused yet totally happy with it.
- I screamed a lot — so much so my cat went running. None of it was directed at her, I promise. All she wanted to do was have a nice nap in the sun. Juventus-Roma obviously had differing opinions on that.
- 69th minute: Roma ahead 3-1.
- 70th minute: Roma ahead 3-2.
- 72nd minute: Game tied 3-3.
- 77th minute: Juventus ahead 4-3.
- Lo spirito Juve. It’s nice to see you again. I’ll drink to that.
- Boring, boring Serie A. I don’t know how people can still watch this league, ya know?
- This picture is a work of art. The more De Sciglio the better — at least on this day.
- This game definitely did not come without some carnage to it. Juventus will be without Juan Cuadrado and Matthijs de Ligt because of their respective yellow and red cards, and Federico Chiesa is almost certainly going to be out due to his first-half injury. If it wasn’t for this massive comeback, Chiesa’s injury and the severity of what it might be would be at the forefront of a lot of our minds. (It very well may still be.)
- At least before Chiesa got injured he was involved in one of the best goals of the night, assisting Dybala on Juve’s opener. Then we had a Chiesa-related sad. I hope we get to see you play again soon, Freddie.
- Speaking of that Dybala goal, that was the definition of a perfectly placed shot going right where you intended it. Dybala guided that thing in from the second it left his boot.
- And for a good chunk of this game, Dybala was one of the few — maybe only — bright spot wearing a Juventus jersey. Little did we know the rest of the team would wake up with 20 minutes to go.
Max AllegriMarco Landucci nailed the subs in this one. There was obviously no choice in bringing Kulusevski on, but the insertion of Arthur and Alvaro Morata changed things around in the second half, and they were two of the biggest reasons why Juve flipped the score in their favor at long last.
- Arthur’s in such a good mood he’s out here quoting Montell Jordan.
- I’m happy for Dejan Kulusevski. He gets a lot of gruff around here, but today ended up being a day where the young man got the last laugh. He deserves it.
- Right before Wojciech Szczesny saved Lorenzo Pellegrini’s penalty, I said what probably a lot of folks were saying: “Do it again.” And he did! How about that.
- I am very happy that Juventus had 2,500 meetings with Sassuolo for Manuel Locatelli. Not a bad late birthday present for the guy, huh? Guessing he’ll savor the glass of wine or two he has with his fiancee a little bit more now.
- Seriously, Mattia De Sciglio. MATTIA FREAKIN’ DE SCIGLIO.
- Juventus finished this game with five shots on goal. They scored four goals.
- All of this started with Daniele Rugani losing track of Tammy Abraham on a corner kick. See? He’s the gift that keeps on giving. Just setting Juve up for the massive comeback. Y’all playing checkers, but Rugani is out here playing chess.