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The wheels keep rolling for the reigning league champions as Juventus had another successful week. On deck for Juventus was a meeting against Sampdoria, who Juve opened their campaign with a 3-0 win in the season opener back in September and another Derby D'Italia matchup with Inter this time in the first leg of the Coppa Italia Semi-Final. Juventus got the results they were after which is ultimately all that matters but there are still some questions surrounding Pirlo's team in terms of being able to kill off opponents and being able to maintain the balance in play for a full 90 minutes.

While these questions may remain with some, one question was starting to be answered, for me anyway. Can Chiellini still be a key contributor for Juventus? In terms of key performers, Chiellini has without a doubt been one in terms of the turnaround after that loss to Inter back on January 17th and he has put in some good performances and it isn't a coincidence that there is a much calmer and organized feeling at the back when he is involved. Heading into this match with Sampdoria many fans were shocked at seeing De Ligt on the bench. While I admit I would've started him, I understood why Pirlo did this for not one but two reasons. We all know the struggles Bonucci has in defending as of late especially in 1v1 scenarios, we also know his strength of that long stretch pass. A simple shift of Bonucci is one of those side CB's when we shift into our offensive formation and we now gain another angle and element to our attack and while some see this exclusion of De Ligt as something negative from Pirlo, I see it as him understanding how important not only he is but also Chiellini and splitting the two up so one is always in the heart of that defense and with that in mind it's hard to disagree really.

So, we face Sampdoria and Chiellini put on another clinic, the highlight being a great intervention on a great opportunity to score from former Juventus forward Quagliarella to keep Juventus up by one after Chiesa had put us in front around the 20th minute. Chiellini celebrating this with his signature celebration and yell, hard not to feel the energy through our Capitano. We did let off the throttle in this but Chiellini and co. rendered Sampdoria toothless and kept the clean sheet. Ramsey added a second and we continue the winning ways heading into that midweek Derby D'Italia, in which we were sure to see De Ligt start but now the question was who else plays next to him? The answer to that was Admiral. We were about to see our young guns take the stage with the experienced ones on the outside in Cuadrado and Sandro.

The midfield saw the usual suspects in Bentancur and McKennie, however to the surprise of many myself included no Arthur. Instead, we see Rabiot start and up top, the lineup was rounded out by Kulusevski and Ronaldo. The latter starting to face criticisms that perhaps father time is catching up to him. Can you imagine betting against this serial winner and one of the best goal scorers of All Time? Everyone had to feel it was only a matter of time before he truly gets firing. While against Sampdoria many fans were frustrated in his play, he still unlocked Sampdoria twice to be a part of the goals we scored, with s great one-two with Morata and a beautiful long ball to find Cuadrado in stride which led to our second. So even in a down performance by his standards, he finds ways to contribute. Against Inter, he would do just that.

We fell behind very early to our bitter rivals through a Lautaro goal in the 9th minute. We would control the play, however, and in the 26th minute would receive a PK for a foul in the area on Cuadrado. Cristiano Ronaldo would step up and do what he does best and finish these and even up the tie for the Bianconeri. We continued to control play howe