Just who can cease Juventus in the moment?
Just who can cease Juventus in the moment? It’s a query which has been repeatedly asked by followers of Serie A given that October, when the Bianconeri embarked on their relentless run of 18 wins in 19 League matches, and we are able to now rule a plucky Sassuolo side out of the operating.Barring their prolific winning streak, Juve had also gone nine games without the need of conceding a goal, but Sassuolo had assembled three consecutive victories of their very own and considerably in the build-up focused on them getting the final team to defeat the Old Lady in Serie A (gain fifa 16 coins).All of the ingredients for an upset, you might say, but Max Allegri and his troops ensured that was in no way around the cards. From the 1st whistle, Juve – adopting their tried-and-trusted 3-5-2 system – took control of proceedings, with plenty of width becoming provided by Alex Sandro and Juan Cuadrado.
In fact, Paulo Dybala needed barely a minute to come a whisker away from firing Juve into the lead, but it was a blessing in disguise for what followed, the Argentine playing a quick one-two with Cuadrado, before curling an unstoppable finish past Andrea Consigli in the edge of your box.However, Dybala’s wonder strike aside, what drove Juve to victory was a mix of Allegri’s tactical nous and his squad’s siege mentality. The Coach instructed his group to probe patiently and press high when their opponents were in possession on the ball.And when Sassuolo enjoyed their best spells in the game, Juve made sure they were completely focused on containing any attacks which went their way, before regaining their grip around the ball – and subsequently the result – once Eusebio Di Francesco’s men had run out of ideas.The match also served as a throwback of sorts to the Antonio Conte era, with the side becoming renowned for such performances in their treble of Scudetti under the Italy CT.
As the cliché goes, champions must be able to grind out wins, and Friday was evidence of that.Despite it hardly getting vintage Juve, the club still achieved a Serie A record 10 clean sheets in succession and Gianluigi Buffon came out in the match with Italy’s second longest top-flight shutout of 903 minutes, ousting the legendary Dino Zoff in the process and leaving him just four away from former Milan goalkeeper Sebastiano Rossi.Of course, with Juve not getting at their brilliant best, questions had to be asked after the game. Mario Mandzukic led the line over Alvaro Morata, but his ability to do so was marred by what Allegri labelled “generosity’in operating off the ball too substantially and not directly immersing himself through the middle.
Neither did Allegri’s decision to opt for a 3-5-2 formation avoid scrutiny after the team had sustained such high levels of performance with a four-man backline in recent months, and Sassuolo indeed exploited the flanks on occasions as their wide men eventually learned to double up on Alex Sandro and Cuadrado.It really is easy to argue what could’ve been had Juve faced a stronger team, such as Bayern Munich – their opponents in the Champions League final 16 on Wednesday – or if Sassuolo were able to count on talisman Domenico Berardi, but the truth is Friday night couldn’t have panned out any better for the Turin giants.Their result has left Napoli under significant pressure to match their exploits against Sassuolo, and with a fifth straight Scudetto seemingly around the way, plus everything else still to play for in the Coppa Italia and, to a lesser extent, Champions League, here’s Juve doing what they do best–lifting trophies.