WHAT WE LEARNED: TORINO 2-2 JUVENTUS
Coming off a long international break, we usually expect a refreshed team as many get additional time to rest, the week leading up to this game however was nothing ordinary. This game will forever be known as the party game, it hovered over the team from start to finish. At least coming from ESPN plus Spanish commentary, it seemed like they were interested in that the most. Nevertheless, regardless of what team Juve had out there or the distraction, they should easily be taken care of Torino. Yet they didn’t and somehow it could have been worse. What has become a troubling run of form sadly continues.
This is one of the most important rivalries in all of Serie A, a win against Toro means a lot to the fanbase especially for those in Torino. To therefore tie against a Torino team that has been known to be relegation dwellers is extremely frustrating. It seemed like Juve was not into the game at all today. Other than stretches in the first minutes of the first half and last ten or so of the second, we all clearly saw that Torino deserved much more than a draw. Juve was lucky to escape with a draw, in a result that now heightens the circumstances around the Napoli game up significantly. However, if we see players go completely invisible for large swaths of the Turin Derby, then what does that mean for the form upcoming in what is still a lot to play for, Juventus must play in the Champions League next season.
Another critical error that leads to a costly goal that ends up complicating the game. How many times have we’ve seen this movie play out? Time and time again we see this repeated mistake on this team. Kulusevski responsible this time with a careless pass back to no man's land. This was again one of those times when Chiesa and Ronaldo bail the team out because no one else seemed interested in playing this game. It seems like everyone was still hungover from the party news. The team continues to be one of the contrasts, while we have seen some on this team actually improve their form as the season continues (Mainly Chiesa and Ronaldo), others have completely disappeared. Kulusevski continues to be shocking and a shadow of his former self from just earlier on this season. I once again reiterate my call for him to be benched, limit his minutes so he can actually learn to appreciate them, he has been given far too much, far too soon. Tek has also ultimately disappointed me these last few weeks. Whether it was the failed freekick save effort vs Porto or the poor display in the save effort for Toro’s second goal, this is increasingly becoming a pattern.
This game could have easily gone either way and even though I believe Torino did a lot to deserve a win, Sirugu also did save a lot of chances he faced, but yet again what does that say about Juve’s efficacy in front of goal. This is still a team with a lot of questions on the pitch, when we go into each game we have no idea often what the lineup will be or how the defense will be set up. The disorganization in the back was more than evident in this performance and while I don’t completely fault the defenders themselves, it seems likes more times than not the zonal defensive scheme is simply all over the place. Sloppy clearances, no evident marking tactics, and no link-ups up the field. The eventual invisible pass creation led to cross after cross, and that pretty much summed up most of the second half. A lot of the mess we are seeing is indeed due to coaching/lack of experience, but with the way things are going there is no benefit in parting ways with Pirlo. However, I would not be surprised to see any action should things continue to disintegrate. Yet again, Juve just lost to Benevento and tied with one of the worst Torino teams in recent memory. How low can you go?