clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

May’s Monthly Juventus Thoughts: A Bitter End

Why end the season on a positive note when you can just be terrible instead, right?

ACF Fiorentina v Juventus - Serie A Photo by Lisa Guglielmi/LiveMedia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

It’s that time of the year that you hear a lot of people say the same thing: Gee, I sure need a vacation. Or maybe that’s just what all Juventus players, management, and fans are saying.

For the second year in a row, we end the season on a real downer. Worse yet, for the first time in a decade, we’re going home with an empty trophy cabinet after Juventus failed to win a single title or cup competition this past season.

But I won’t let sadness get in the way of gratitude. On behalf of all the writers here at BWRAO, thank you for reading our articles, commenting in the threads, and listening to the podcast.

And most of all, especially in these difficult times in the world, thanks for being a community.

Are we there yet?

Juventus started the month with a hard-fought 2-1 victory against Venezia that, by day’s end, ended up clinching the team’s spot in next season’s Champions League. Birthday boy Leonardo Bonucci opened the scoring after glancing a header past the goalkeeper after Luca Pellegrini hit the crossbar with his shot. Juve dominated the game from that point as it seemed certain that the goals would come at any moment.

But they didn’t.

And as the game continued, Juve became more passive and allowed the now-relegated Venezia to grow into the game. Credit to them for taking their chance as Mattia Aramu scored a fantastically-executed half-volley in the 71st minute to equalize. Thankfully, though, Bonucci scored his and Juve’ second of the game five minutes later. It wasn’t pretty, but they all count! Final score: 2-1.

Juventus v Venezia FC - Serie A Photo by Matteo Bottanelli/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Knowing that top four was secured, Juventus traveled to Genoa with little to play for, even though their opponents were fighting for their Serie A survival. The first half was, frankly, quite boring as we had a team with a lot of spirit but little talent play against a team with little motivation and, honestly, not much quality either. It took a moment of individual quality from the departing Paulo Dybala as he buried a fantastic right-footed shot into the bottom corner.

But like I said, Juventus had little motivation to fight hard in this game, while Genoa had everything to play for. Unsurprisingly, the Bianconeri collapsed in the final five minutes of the game as Albert Gudmundsson equalized in the 87th minute and Domenico Criscito scored a late, late penalty — both instances due to Mattia De Sciglio mistakes — to give Genoa a 2-1 victory.

None of that mattered when Allegri’s side went to the Stadio Olimpico to face Inter Milan in the final of the Coppa Italia. It was Juventus’ last chance to win silverware this season. But alas, it wasn’t to be.

Juventus v FC Internazionale - Coppa Italia Final Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

In the sixth minute of the game, Nicolo Barella caught the Juventus defense napping (not the first time this season) and smashed a fantastic shot from just outside the box into the far corner to open the scoring. Inter were on top for most of the first half and went into half-time with a deserved lead.

But Juventus woke up in the second half and equalized through Alex Sandro and/or Álvaro Morata's toenail and then took the lead barely two minutes later through a lightning counter attack that Dusan Vlahovic finished on the rebound. The Bianconeri was dominating Inter and clearly on the ascendancy until Allegri decided that things were too exciting and positive for his liking. He switched to a 3-man defense in an effort to consolidate the lead but it ended up completely killing Juve’s momentum and handing the initiative back to Inter.

Hakan Calhanoglu scored from a penalty in the 80th minute after the referee gave Inter an extremely dubious penalty, so for the second time this season a game between Juve and Inter went to extra time. Perisic scored Inter’s second penalty of the game in the 99th minute but there was nothing controversial about his second and Inter’s fourth goal, which was a stunning strike from the edge of the box that goalkeeper Mattia Perin could do nothing to stop. A 4-2 victory after extra time for Inter and a bitter, trophy-less end to the season for Juventus as it ends one of its worst seasons in a decade.

TOPSHOT-FBL-ITA-CUP-JUVENTUS-INTER-FINAL Photo by ISABELLA BONOTTO/AFP via Getty Images

Next up was Juve’s final home game of the season, which was an emotional affair due to the departures of club legends Paulo Dybala and Giorgio Chiellini. The game itself was an afterthought as everyone recognized Dybala and Chiellini’s amazing contributions to the clubs over the last seven and 17 years, respectively.

Vlahovic and Morata put Juve 2-0 ahead in the first half, but an unfortunate own goal by Alex Sandro gave Lazio a lifeline in their quest to secure Europa League football next season. A clumsy piece of action by Juan Cuadrado deep into stoppage time then led to Lazio’s late, late equalizer as Sergej Milinković-Savić scored from tight angle on the rebound to deny Juventus the victory: 2-2.

The final game of the season summed up Juve’s misery of the last ten months or so. For the first time in a long, long time, the Bianconeri registered not a single shot over the course of 90 minutes.(Note: I’m sorry, but I don’t count a blocked shot as a shot.) It was a truly abject performance we deservedly lost 2-0.

Fiorentina scored both goals at the end of each half thanks to Alfred Duncan in the stoppage time of the first and Nicolás González (penalty) in the second half. La Viola will play in European continental football for the first time in ten seasons next season in the somewhat pointless UEFA Europa Conference League.

Juventus Women

Having thrashed Milan 6-1 in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semifinals in March, Juventus finished the job in the second leg in May with another victory, although this game was nowhere near as easy as the first one. Milan stormed to an early lead thanks to a goal by Lindsey Thomas and doubled the lead early in the second half through Valentina Bergamaschi.

Juventus hit back quickly thanks to a goal from Andrea Staskova — who will be leaving the club this summer — but Milan resurrected the faint glimmer of a remarkable comeback through another Bergamaschi goal six minutes later. This spurred the Bianconere to finally kick into gear and put the tie beyond doubt. Four goals in 20 minutes by Staskova, Barbara Bonansea, Caruso (penalty), and Lisa Boattin sealed a topsy-turvy 5-3 victory and ensured that Juve would progress to yet another Coppa Italia final.

AC Milan v Juventus - Women Serie A Photo by Loris Roselli/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Then came the title-deciding game at home against Sassuolo. Win this game and the title would be secured. Juventus understood the assignment and scored two first-half goals in six minutes through Bonansea and Cristiana Girelli. Sassuolo hit back with a Michela Cambiaghi goal just after half-time, but Boattin sealed the victory and the record-breaking fifth consecutive hashtag Scudetto with a goal in the 64th minute!

The Bianconere then faced Milan for the fourth and final time of the season. Unlike the previous two games, this one was less of a goals bonanza. Goals from Annahita Zamanian and Sofie Pedersen gave Juve the goals they needed to win the game. Milan grabbed a late consolation goal through Celeste Boureille. Another Serie A season comes to a close and, as is often the case, Juventus remain head and shoulders above the rest!

But the action wasn’t over yet: there was the small matter of a Coppa Italia final against AS Roma to deal with before the season officially ended. Andressa Alves put Roma in the lead from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute and it looked like it was going to be a sorry end to the season as we entered the final 10 minutes of the game. But Juventus got a penalty of its own in the 80th minute, which Girelli scored to bring the score to 1-1.

And leave it to Captain Fantastic, Sara Gama, to score the winning goal in the 84th minute, who pounced on a rebound from Julia Grosso’s cross-shot to put the ball into the back of the net: 2-1 final score. Another Coppa Italia title is in the bag to end a fantastic season for the Juventus women!

Juventus v AS Roma - Women Coppa Italia Final
Selfie time!
Photo by Danilo Di Giovanni/Getty Images

Transfer News

It’s that time of the year again: the transfer window madness has begun! Let’s take a look at the most interesting transfer news so far for Juventus: