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The Old Lady Speaks Podcast, Episode 112: Di Maria, Vlahovic steal the show in opener

Juventus’ season-opening win over Sassuolo provided some reasons to be optimistic about what could be on the way over the next few weeks, with the Bianconeri’s big-name players leading the way Monday night.

Juventus v US Sassuolo - Serie A Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

After some less-than-stellar summer performances over the last couple of weeks, we now get to the part of the program in which the games actually count for something more than just conditioning and picking up the tactics that the manager is throwing at them.

For Juventus, that meant being the last of Serie A’s 10 opening-round fixtures to take to the field Monday night.

And for a team that struggled mightily and was its own worst enemy at times during this point of the schedule last year, it was very much a change for the better during the 3-0 season-opening win over Sassuolo at a sold-out Allianz Stadium. It not only gave Juve their first win of the season four rounds before that same feat was achieved last season, but it also showed that hopefully a few things are different from a year ago.

Of course, it always helps when two of your best players, in this case Angel Di Maria and Dusan Vlahovic, are playing as well as they did against Sassuolo, too.

But as compared to last season, the vibes were a little bit different coming out of the first game. That’s a good thing because we definitely didn’t feel like having a Juve therapy session right off the bat when the games started counting for points again. That would have been pretty bad.

On this week’s episode of The Old Lady Speaks Podcast, we discuss:

  • We’re back, baby!
  • We mean the podcast talking about games that matter, not necessarily Juventus being BACK BACK after a season-opening win.
  • What else can we consider as back? The takeaways from Juventus’ season opener — including if this win over Sassuolo actually helps us figure out if we know anything new about Max Allegri’s squad, how Mattia Perin is pretty dang good regardless of being a backup goalkeeper and how nice it was to see the youngsters get a decent run out.
  • More discussion on Juventus’ season-opening win.
  • Like, there were some good things to happen, folks! Angel Di Maria was a leading man. Dusan Vlahovic scored a couple of goals. Bremer was strong. Heck, even Allegri himself was able to switch things up on the fly and make a very important first-half adjustment coming out of the cooling break that led to Juve taking the lead shortly thereafter.
  • How nice it was see Allegri make those early changes rather than try and stick with the original plan that wasn’t exactly working out all that well.
  • Thoughts on how the youngsters who came on in the second half — Fabio Miretti, Nicolo Rovella and Matias Soule — played in some extended minutes against Sassuolo.
  • Thoughts on the main transfer arrival rumors centering around Juventus regarding Barcelona striker Memphis Depay and Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Leandro Paredes.
  • Twitter questions — including if this opening-game performance changes any thoughts on the forthcoming season, how some of the young midfielders might fit into things with Paul Pogba out injured for the next month or so and a little game to wrap things up.

You can listen to Episode 112 of The Old Lady Speaks Podcast here:

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