For the second straight weekend, Juventus took the field knowing that a win over the opposition would see them jump up into second place after Lazio lost a few hours beforehand.
But for the second straight weekend, that opportunity was not taken advantage and Juve remain in the same exact position in the standings in which they entered the day.
There was a point gained Lazio, sure, but it was a Sunday night full of wasted opportunities on the field at the Renato Dall’Ara. The overall performance was improved over what we saw the last time Juventus took the field — honestly, it couldn’t have gotten much worse! — but a month full of dropped points was closed out with a 1-1 draw with Bologna in which Arek Milik scored the game-tying goal in the second half but also missed a first-half penalty that was truly one of the was PK attempts you will see from a Juve player.
Juventus created the scoring chances. This is because the xG confirms what my eyes saw.
But for as good as some of those scoring chances were, the opposite can be said about Juventus’ ability to put away those shots. It was not pretty in front of goal at all. You know, the kind of showing in front of goal that has you wondering how much work in front of goal they actually do in training.
It didn’t matter if it was the little Milik jump on his penalty attempt or Samuel Iling-Junior and Matias Soulé both blasting well over the crossbar on golden opportunities in the second half, the finishing just wasn’t there. (Which is kinda ironic considering arguably the toughest shot attempt of the night ended up being the one in which Milik tied the game. This game ... it sure is confusing sometimes.)
It also didn’t help that on two of Juventus’ best scoring chances, Bologna keeper Łukasz Skorupski turned into prime Gigi Buffon and made two great point-blank saves on Nicolo Fagioli. Maybe we should have known then it would be one of those nights in front of goal.
No matter how you spin it, this was more Juventus being unable to finish the multitude of scoring chances they had rather than what we saw a few nights earlier against Inter in the Coppa Italia. That was just Juventus playing absolutely terrible in about every imaginable way possible. This was Juventus being able to actually create something in the final third, but they couldn’t covert anything from open play.
And so we wait another game for Juventus to score more than one goal.
For a team like this with the talent they have in attack, that shouldn’t be an issue.
But for the better part of the last few months, it is. If it’s not the manager pulling fully on the emergency brake, then you have nights like this one in which they create plenty but just can’t convert when they need to. That’s the most frustrating part — and especially so when the chance to get back into second place is completely wasted once again.
RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
- Max Allegri’s first three subs: Iling-Junior, Soulé and Fabio Miretti. TAKE THAT, NARRATIVES.
- No, but in all honesty, now that Filip Kostic has cooled off and is not playing the same way he was to begin the calendar year, some more Iling-Junior minutes would be wise for everybody involved. He’s just the kind of change of pace that few Juve players can be.
- As good as a couple of those Skorupski saves were, this might have been one of Wojciech Szczesny’s best games of the season. Tek made five saves and almost all of them were high-quality ones. He sure is playing well these days.
- Nicolo Fagioli got yanked before the hour mark and looked quite confused about it on the bench when they showed him a few minutes later. I thought he was playing pretty solidly. I guess Max disagreed. (That seems to be happening a lot lately.)
- Another quiet night for Federico Chiesa. There was the tease of him playing out wide in a 4-3-3, but it became pretty obviously quite quickly that Chiesa was again playing as a striker, this time in a 3-5-2. I just want Chiesa to cook in his best position at some point, man. That’s not too much to ask for, right?
- Alex Sandro trying to mark people when the ball is in the air ... total gamble these days. If he doesn’t win it, he’s flopping and then look at what has happened when that takes place in recent weeks.
- Juan Cuadrado completed 79 percent of his passes.
- Filip Kostic completed 71 percent of his passes.
- When you’re getting that from two guys who are supposed to be two of your most influential players in both the build-up and attack, things might be a little tough at times.
- What if I told you it was that same Juan Cuadrado who led Juventus in interceptions? Because that was exactly the case.
- The moment he came on I somewhat sarcastically tweeted that on-loan fullback/wingback Andrea Cambiaso would score the game-winning goal. Just a couple of minutes before extra time arrived, Cambiaso almost did just that. Sometimes you are glad you’re wrong no matter how much the tweet was out of a joking manner. ( ... or was it?)
- Arek Milik jumping on that penalty kick ... I can’t. I just can’t. That’s Simone Zaza stuff, man.
- Since it’s on my TV right now: Steph Curry rules. Go Warriors.
- In conclusion, good riddance to the month of April. What a HORRIBLE month that was.