What we learned from Juventus vs. Roma
This was a statement win, much needed cementing a good run of form into a key moment in the season. Roma is one of the best teams in the league and Juve took care of them, so we can check them off the board. This was also a statement win to establish Pirlo's style. His stamp was all over this win, seeming at times to take a page from the old Allegri victories, the team was sound defensively and provided great danger when going forward on counter-attacks. Roma was given the ball and grew frustrated, while Juve made the most of its chances.
36 and 36, both Ronaldo's and Chiellini's age, both aging like fine wine. They are truly proving that age is just a number, providing much-needed crosshairs of experience and efficiency. Both of them in their best form over the last month or so. Ronaldo providing his 16th goal of the season, tearing down the early Roma possession taking a well-placed chance onto his weaker foot. Two more chances escaped for him with a shot off the post and forcing a great save on the other. Providing a constant source of danger, his performance was largely marked by his excellent first touch on many occasions, keeping Roma on their heels. Chiellini proved once again to be a lockdown center back. While Bonucci often struggled, it seemed like Chiellini was always there to push him on. A true inspiration to those playing around him, each clearance, block, and header cleared marked by the constant fist bump and embrace with the defense. That's now three shutouts in a row in Serie A, they should be cheering.
A quiet game for the midfielders: McKennie, Rabiot, and Arthur went about doing their job quietly and efficiently. While they weren't creating many chances, they did enough on the defensive side to keep Roma at bay. It seemed like a game with not much risk-taking out of midfield, reserving that for Chiesa, Ronaldo, and Morata.
It was a bit of an oddity not seeing Cuadrado start from the beginning, given his recent run of form. Roma seemed to notice this especially early on and seemed fixated on attacking a much more lack of pace fullback in Danilo. However, Danilo did a good job of holding his ground and not letting Mhkitarayan or Spinazzola create anything of note. Rabiot did a good job as a week in tracking back to help as well. Once Cuadrado came on in the second half, his blistering pace served Juve well and he quickly made a key pass to Kulusevski to produce the second goal of the game.
The substitutes came in to seal and finish the game. Cuadrado provided key passes and tracked back on the right, Kulusevski essentially provided a half goal and De Ligt/ Demiral served to close off any attempt by Roma at getting back into the game. A well-coached game by Pirlo in which he clearly out managed Fonseca from start to finish. Again, it seems like the players are starting to build and adapt towards his playing style which seems to be trying to re-establish Juve's defensive might of old.