It’s almost because custom whenever you fire up your television or streaming service whenever another Derby della Mole arrives — you’re ready for the grind and a low-scoring affair because that is simply what you’ve become conditioned to.
On Tuesday night, the second Turin derby of the 2022-23 season was far from what we’ve seen in previous ones.
It took all of 90-something seconds for Juventus and Torino to match the goal tally from the season’s first Derby della Mole in October. By the time halftime had rolled around, it was already one of the highest-scoring games of the season involving Juventus, although half of that total was not exactly the good kind of goals you want to see scored. But thanks to second-half goals from former Torino man Bremer and Adrien Rabiot, Juventus was able to complete the comeback and pick up a 4-2 win in an absolutely roller coaster ride of a Derby della Mole at Allianz Stadium.
It went totally against the grain of what we’re used to in the Turin derby.
The two teams combined for 21 shots. And while Juventus might have been significantly out-possessed by Torino, the sheer ability to create quality chances ended up being the biggest thing Max Allegri’s squad was able to to ensure that falling behind after less than two minutes was not going to be their end game.
In fact, it might have been the thing that forced them out of their usual slow-play comfort zone.
This proved to be one of the more wide open matchups between the two Turin rivals that we’ve seen in quite some time. It was most definitely end to end at times, with Juventus trying to counter Torino’s possession game — seriously, Juve was out-possessed 62-to-38 in the first half! — and it was working quite well. Juventus didn’t have to grind out this one simply because they were forced to play, forced to chase the game for much of the night.
Then, thanks to Bremer hitting his former team, a lead was secured.
This is a game that really could have gotten away from Juventus. There is no denying that maybe in previous months or previous seasons they let that kind of deficit truly impact the team and then they’re struggling to even tie the game rather than doing what they did. Juventus had to fight back to even the score twice before getting the lead on Bremer’s perfectly-placed header with 20 minutes to go. (Bremer definitely giveth to Torino and then taketh away the chance of his former club getting a point, didn’t he?)
That’s the kind of fighting back you want to see.
That’s the kind of fighting back that Juventus showed after going down all of 90 seconds into Tuesday night’s derby.
And now Juve’s all of six points off the top six — which, in the days following the 15-point penalty coming down last month, I didn’t really expect to happen so soon. There’s still plenty of work to do and more sporting penalties to sweat about, but Juventus is starting to look like a team that could go on a nice little run again. That’s also something that we didn’t necessarily think was possible with how things looked five weeks ago after the Napoli dismantling and then the 15-point penalty.
Seventh place or second place, Juventus looks like a team that’s found some kind of mojo.
RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
- Pre-game thought No. 1: It’s Enzo Barrenechea time!
- Pre-game thought No. 2: Sure glad I wrote about Leandro Paredes in the preview post for this here website. Yep, that turned out to be a good decision.
- Pre-game thought No. 3: In case you needed another sign that Paredes is very much not in Max Allegri’s plans for the rest of this season, I feel like giving a 21-year-old his debut in the Turin derby rather than start a very experienced player is a pretty notable development.
- Mid-second half thought No. 1: POGBACK!
- Mid-second half thought No. 2: What a sub that Allegri rolled out there, by the way, with Pogba, Federico Chiesa and Mattia De Sciglio coming on all at once. De Sciglio was the first player to come on, by the way, because your most important player always comes on first.
- Mid-second half thought No. 3: I sure wish Dusan Vlahovic had scored that goal instead of blasting it off the crossbar because that was some pretty slick combination play between the big Serb and Nicolo Fagioli.
- Vlahovic should have scored, sure, but his hold up play in this game was really, really good.
- Seriously, just take a minute real quick and let’s just look at something that we haven’t seen (outside of a Las Vegas friendly back in July) for quite a lot of years:
- If Pogba had scored on that left-footed volley he tried just a few minutes after coming on, Allianz Stadium would have absolutely exploded with noise. It wasn’t a sellout crowd Tuesday night, but they would have made it sound like one if there was a Pogba goal.
- One Pogba note since 25 minutes after not playing in a competitive match for over 300 days deserves some attention: You forget how physically large Paul is until you see him out there on the field. He is just a big dude and as we saw that can be something that we haven’t seen from another Juventus midfielder in quite some time.
- Fagioli’s passing numbers weren’t great and he turned it over more than you would have liked, but he sure was involved in a lot of good things that Juve did going forward.
- Wojciech Szczesny’s 200th appearance in a Juventus shirt was greeted with his defense completely crapping the bed about two minutes into the game. Nice, huh?
- The marking on Torino’s opener was ... not great. But that is the problem with zonal marking, isn’t it?
- You will not see two more powerful and well-placed headers off set pieces than what we saw from Danilo and Bremer for their respective goals.
- Also, the overhead camera that the Paramount Plus stream kept going back to was such a great replay for Bremer’s goal because you can see him smartly work his way into an open position to get on the end of the cross from Federico Chiesa.
- Enzo Barrenechea showed to be quite comfortable despite being thrown into his first Serie A start in the Turin derby. Was he great? No, but for a 21-year-old kid in that environment, I’m definitely down for Allegri rolling with him a few more times than Leandro Paredes. It was a solid 69 (nice) minutes for the young Argentine.
- Turns out Juventus don’t need Angel Di Maria to score a hat trick every game to win.
- Juventus dropped four goals against a Torino squad that was one of the best defenses in Serie A. That will certainly not go unnoticed by the guy writing this post.
- Filip Kostic was a menace on the left wing against Torino and the dude who sends crosses in with reckless abandon was pretty good with his crossing. That’ll play, folks.
- It was the 94th minute with Juventus closing out a big derby win and there’s Mr. Chiesa just bursting forward yet again and trying to break a Torino defender’s ankles. You gotta love how the guy has one mode and it’s to destroy whoever is wearing the opposing jersey.
- Leonardo Bonucci’s last three appearances have totaled about 10 minutes.
- Juventus has gone on this unbeaten run at the same time in which Max Allegri has ditched his traditional suit for a very nice turtleneck ensemble. Coincidence? I think not.
- In conclusion, Juventus would be alone in second place if not for that 15-point penalty. Sure would be nice if things are successfully appealed and Juve can move up a few more places in the standings and go back to where they should be.