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Juventus 2022-23 Season Review: Top 15 goals of the season

Our yearly countdown returns!

Juventus v US Lecce - Serie A Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

My apologies to the community for the lateness of this post. I had intended it to be ready last week, but going through every single goal the team scored this past season is time-consuming work, and as the parent of a toddler I was unfortunately interrupted a few times as I was compiling my list.

Granted, I wish this season had required more of a time commitment on my part.

Juventus’ 2021-22 goal tally was 80 in all competitions. That was a precipitous drop from the 108 than Andrea Pirlo’s team had fired in the season before. After a summer in which much was made about how much better the Bianconeri needed to be in attack, the ‘22-23 team managed ... 80 goals. If you want to get really technical and take own goals into account, you can say this year’s attack beat last year’s 80-77, but that difference statistically insignificant, especially when you consider the team’s deep run into the Europa League, which packed a few extra rounds into the fixture list than we saw a year ago.

If there’s anything to point at to show just how stagnant Juve has gotten under Massimiliano Allegri, it’s that.

That said, there were a few beauties among those 80 strikes. As always, inclusion on this list doesn’t necessarily have to be pure finishing. If the assist, or general buildup play, is that damn good, a goal could wind up here as well.

So, without further ado, the top 15 goals of the season!

15: Dusan Vlahovic, Serie A Rd. 34 at Atalanta

The uncertainty around Juve’s place in the table during the second half of the year was certainly maddening. When Juve went into the Gweiss Arena, a place they have had a lot of trouble winning in over the last few years, the plusvalenza case had just been sent back to the lower court, giving Juve their full compliment of points in the standings and the opportunity to take second place with a win over Atalanta.

What followed was a tense game that didn’t see its first goal until 11 minutes into the second half, when Samuel Iling-Junior scored his first senior-level goal to put Juve in front. Atalanta went hunting for an equalizer right to the end, with Juve holding on for dear life until deep into stoppage time, when the home team’s last attack led to an excellent counterattack.

Filip Kostic’s clearance was headed down by Vlahovic perfectly into the feet of Federico Chiesa, who charged downfield. He returned the ball back to Vlahovic as they approached the box. The Serbian measured up the defenders in front of him and stroked an excellent top-corner finish to the near post that left Marco Sportiello absolutely no shot at stopping.

14: Filip Kostic, Serie A Rd. 27 at Inter

Doing the double on Inter this year was a sweet thing. Juve played some of their better games of the year against their hated rivals, winning 2-0 at home and 1-0 away.

(The less said about the second leg of the Coppa Italia semifinal the better.)

Filip Kostic was a key component in both of those games. We’ll talk about his contributions in the first game a little while later on this list, but this goal, the lone strike of the return, was quite nice as well.

A long pass over the top sent Adrien Rabiot and Vlahovic down the middle of the field. After a couple of clever interchanges between them, the Frenchman spotted Kostic out to the left. The wing-back controlled it perfectly and rolled the ball through a gap between Matteo Darmian and Denzel Dumfries, leaving Andre Onana completely flat-footed.

13: Dusan Vlahovic, Europa League semifinal leg 2 at Sevilla

This was a heartbreaker, for sure, but the goal Vlahovic scored to briefly put Juventus up 2-1 on aggregate was a sweet finish that reminded us, at the end of a long and difficult season, just how good a striker this kid is.

After a brief aerial fight for possession following a Sevilla throw, Rabiot tried to head the ball on to Vlahovic. The ball ran past the big Serb, but he was given gift by Loic Bade, whose weak attempt at a clearance dribbled right into his path. Yassine Bounou charged off his line, but Vlahovic calmly scooped it over him and into the net.

Alas, Sevilla couldn’t be kept at bay, because weird s&%# happens when they play in the Europa League. Depending on how the summer turns out, this could be Vlahovic’s last goal in a Juventus shirt, and if it is, it’s a sumptuous reminder of what could’ve been had he be put into better positions to succeed.

12: Federico Chiesa, Serie A Rd. 38 at Udinese

Federico Chiesa is one of several attacking players that was done a disservice by Massimiliano Allegri this season. Frankly, that’s gone back all the way to before Chiesa’s injury last year, when Allegri decided he could turn him into a seconda punta despite all evidence on the field stating this was a terrible idea.

Chiesa simply wasn’t used properly this season, often being deployed to sit in the hole behind the striker and, on one unfortunate occasion, being made into a wing-back. Still, his talent is prodigious enough that it will shine through on occasion despite being set up to fail—as his multiple places on the list this year will attest.

His first entry comes from the season’s final game against Udinese, when Juve were still battling for a potential place in the Europa League. With the game still scoreless, Juve were attempting to break through by creating something on the left-hand side. Chiesa, Iling-Junior, and Manuel Locatelli were all exchanging passes near the upper corner of the box on that side, until Locatelli turned, found an opening and fed Chiesa into the channel.

The young star took it from there, unleashing a trademark right-footed curler for the only goal of the game. Unfortunately, the help Juve needed in Rome fizzled at the last minute, and they ended up condemned to the Conference League next season (if they’re allowed to play in Europe at all). But that sweet strike was a reminder to all of us what this man can do when (stop me if you’ve heard this one before) he’s handled properly by the men on the sidelines.

11: Dusan Vlahovic, Serie A Rd. 33 vs Lecce

Vlahovic had very much been on the schneid when Juventus welcomed Lecce to the Allianz on May 3. He hadn’t scored for 11 straight league games, and had only scored twice in the Europa League — and only once from open play—since his last league strike on Feb. 7.

The dude needed something to go his way, and he finally rubbed off some the tarnish and let his ability shine through against the Salentini.

The two teams had traded goals as halftime approached. Juve recycled the ball after a corner, eventually finding Kostic on the left side ready to throw in yet another cross. It was a beauty, and found his countryman, who had smartly checked his run and hung back in space behind the defense. Receiving the ball on a long hop, Vlahovic unleashed a smart half-volley back against the grain and into the net. It was the decisive strike in a 2-1 victory.

10: Danilo, Serie A Rd. 17 vs Udinese

There’s always at least one goal on this list where the finish was a simple tap-in made far more special by the way the ball got to the goalscorer. This year, it’s this one.

Chiesa victimized Udinese twice this year, as the goalscorer in the season finale and here, just before the end of the andata as the provider for Danilo with a sparkling assist four minutes from time.

Chiesa had cycled the ball backwards before weaving his way toward the left channel. He held his run perfectly and was met by a ball over the top from Leandro Paredes. Chiesa tracked the ball on the backpedal, then chested it down and volleyed the ball across the six-yard box with the top of his foot, laying it perfectly into the path of Danilo to tap it into the roof of the net for the game’s lone goal.

9: Dusan Vlahovic, Serie A Rd. 3 vs Roma

Man, to go back to the early days of the season, when all signs pointed to Vlahovic having a monster year.

The big striker had scored twice in the opener, and in the second minute of the third game of the year against Roma he stood over a free kick 25 yards from goal.

Direct free kicks have been a point of contention for Juve the last few years. After years of sporting two of the most accurate free kick takers in the sport, Miralem Pjanic and Paulo Dybala, handling dead balls, that Portuguese dude Andrea Agnelli signed co-opted free kicks for ego purposes, and a succession of managers let him despite the fact that free kicks are the one thing he’s really not all that good at.

With Dybala gone — and indeed, making his first appearance against Juventus as a Roma player in this game — there were questions as to who would take the DFKs. Vlahovic was a candidate, but hadn’t had many opportunities to do so at Fiorentina thanks to the presence of Cristiano Biraghi, a superlative free kick taker.

But he proved just how good he is on dead balls on this occasion, driving a beautiful free kick that gave Rui Patricio zero chance to even move, kissing the underside of the bar as it flew into the goal.

Roma would eventually find an equalizer, and the game ended in a 1-1 draw, but Vlahovic struck a carbon copy of this kick the next week against Spezia, announcing himself as a deadeye shot with his left foot. Alas, Vlahovic’s season soon stalled thanks to injuries and poor coaching, but at this point in the season it looked like there would be special things in store for Vlahovic’s season.

8: Adrien Rabiot, Serie A Rd. 13 vs Inter

Rabiot’s 2022-23 season was a revelation. After three years of deep criticism for not living up to his €7 million-per-year salary, Rabiot exploded for 11 goals in all competitions. Without his play in the midfield, Juve’s results would certainly have been a lot worse.

His tallies came in some big games, too — and few are bigger over the course of the year than the Derby d’Italia.

Rabiot opened the scoring in Juve’s 2-0 win over Inter in November, with a hefty assist from Filip Kostic. It was the wing-back who showed some impressive strength to hold off Nicolo Barella while chasing a clearance off a corner. He then forced Barella to eat his dust as he dashed downfield, with a rank of teammates charging hard to catch up and present themselves as targets. Rabiot was the one who kept the closest pace, and Kostic’s low cross found him in the left channel. Rabiot opened his body and, with his weaker right foot, guided the ball in at the far post.

The body control on display on this goal is deeply impressive, as was the shot itself. But it wasn’t even his best goal of the year...

7: Adrien Rabiot, Champions League group stage Rd. 3 vs Maccabi Haifa

Juventus came into their third Champions League group stage game in a really bad way. They’d won only one of their last six games, including losses in their first two UCL contests.

Juve labored through the first half hour of the game, to the point that whistles began raining down from the stands.

That was when Rabiot took things into his own hands. Recovering the ball after an errant cross from Juan Cuadrado, he passed the ball short to Angel Di Maria. The Maccabi defense completely lost him as he darted into the channel, and Di Maria split two defenders to return it to him. Alone in the box, Rabiot smashed the ball into the roof of the net at the near post to open the scoring and let off a lot of tension.

Rabiot would score a second late to put the game beyond doubt in a 3-1 win—what would turn out to be their only win of their dismal Champions League run.

6: Nicolò Fagioli, Serie A Rd. 35 vs Cremonese

Nicolò Fagioli was the true breakout of the 2022-23 season. Stuck at the end of Allegri’s bench until just before the World Cup break, when so many players were injured Allegri didn’t have a choice but to use him, the 22-year-old immediately cemented himself into the starting lineup from then until he broke his collarbone in the second leg of the Europa League semifinal against Sevilla.

If you’d followed him last year when he was on loan at Cremonese, you wouldn’t have been surprised. He’d had a phenomenal season in Serie B — the kind of year that had made Sandro Tonali such a hot commodity at Brescia a few years ago. The only difference was that, being a Juventus player already, there wasn’t a mad transfer dash for him.

Fagioli scored three times in the ‘22-23 season, and two of those strikes made this list, starting with this one against his old loan club.

Fagioli both started and ended this move, whacking a long ball that was chased down by Chiesa. The forward made the first man to square him up look silly, then after encountering two more laid it back to Fagioli, who had followed his own ball. Fagioli met the pass first time with a first-time rocket that slammed into the roof of the net. It was placed perfectly under the crossbar, and hit so hard Marco Carnesecchi had barely started moving by the time the ball passed him. It was a sweet finish for a man who has announced himself as a foundational piece of this roster going forward.

5: Arkadiusz Milik, Serie A Rd. 8 vs Bologna

Upon arriving on loan with an option to buy from Olympique Marseille, Arek Milik went on a tear. He scored in three of his first six games, and looked as though the pickup of his option would simply be a formality, until he injured his thigh at the end of January, keeping him out for the next two months.

Of his nine goals this season, this one, which capped of a badly-needed 3-0 win over Bologna, is the best of the lot by far. As Cuadrado headed the ball back in after Bologna cleared a corner, Milik watched as it evaded the attentions of Leonardo Bonucci and took a tall bounce directly into his path. He smashed a brilliant half-volley that nearly ripped through the net, capping off the win in style real style.

4: Federico Chiesa, Coppa Italia Round of 16 vs Monza

Monza’s surprising double over Juve this year was, along with the embarrassing loss to Maccabi Haifa in the Champions League, the low point of a difficult season. The Bianconeri did, however, manage to get some measure of revenge (at least for the first game) by knocking Monza out of the Coppa Italia.

It was also something of a coming-back party for one Chiesa. The winger had come back to the fold from last year’s nasty knee injury just before the winter World Cup, but he’d still been searching for his first goal since his return.

That came with some emphasis on this night.

It was a solo effort from the young Italy international. He made Valentin Antov looks silly, forcing him to grab his jersey in an effort to haul him back, an action that would’ve sure gotten him his second yellow card had Chiesa not made a final cut and curled a shot that kissed the far post as it swerved into the net, giving Juve a 2-1 lead that would hold up for the rest of the match.

3: Moise Kean, Serie A Rd. 15 vs Lazio

Moise Kean is one of the biggest sparks of debate of anyone on the Juventus roster. When he’s bad, he’s really bad.

But when he’s on, he does stuff like this.

Kean was the focal point in one of Juve’s best games of the season, a 3-0 win over Lazio right before the World Cup break. He had come close to scoring before a this moment just before halftime. He was helped along by Rabiot, who stole the ball from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and then immediately launched the ball in behind, where Kean had a step on his defender. Ivan Provodel had come out to try to make a play on the ball, but Kean waited for the first bounce to come down and then flicked the ball over Provodel’s shoulder. The chip bounced off the goal line and came to rest in the net, the first two for Kean on the day as Juventus destroyed their rivals from the capitol.

2: Nicolò Fagioli, Serie A Rd. 12, at Lecce

Fagioli’s first goal as a senior team player for Juventus was a thing of sheer beauty. For a lifelong Juve fan and academy product, to pull out a goal like this, which was so reminiscent of Alessandro Del Piero.

With Juve trying desperately to open the scoring against a Lecce side that was increasingly hard to break down, Fagioli had been put on along with Iling-Junior. The two were the keys to the play, with Iling-Junior chased down a punched cross. He squared the ball to Fagioli, who had run into space just inside the box. The midfielder controlled, took once touch to tee himself up, then launched an incredible curler that found the top corner on the far side.

It was a truly amazing shot, worthy of the man whose many goals from that position created the name Zona Del Piero. But it wasn’t the season’s best. That honor belongs to...

1: Angel Di Maria, Europa League playoff round leg 2 at Nantes

This goal was destined for the head of this list from the moment it happened.

Several years ago, while watching the NCAA basketball tournament, my wife watched a player drain a ridiculously long three-point shot like it was nothing and, in awe, immediately remarked “I am short, and untalented.” (She is indeed somewhat short, but possesses great talent ... just not in basketball.) The sheer skill involved in Di Maria’s first-time shot from the upper right-hand corner of the penalty area into the top far corner likely elicited a similar reaction from us ordinary mortals when we were watching on our televisions. It was almost a humbling experience.

This was the height of Di Maria’s post-World Cup spike in form, a period of several weeks where he carried the team’s attack and was starting to make everyone forget about the first half of the season and the injuries, suspension, and general ineffectiveness that had marked the run-up to the tournament in Qatar. Unfortunately, it only lasted a few more weeks after this goal, and we never got a full season of a true Di Maria experience. But this goal reminded us all of the kind of talent and class that this man possesses even at his age, and was a treat to watch.