BLOG ITALIA
Wednesday October 3 2012
A silent Juventus

Juventus could only claim a draw at home against Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday. Luca Cetta assesses their performance and standing in Group E.

If the point gained at Chelsea in the opening Champions League fixture can be considered as good a draw can be, this was the opposite. The black to Juve’s white in London. The Bianconeri drew 1-1 with Shakhtar Donetsk to leave qualification evenly poised, even if the group stage is just two games old.

The performance was subdued and matched the atmosphere at the Juventus Stadium. Fans were put off by high ticket prices and those who did attend protested the fact with silence. They were not helped by what was produced on the pitch, nor gave the players a lift. The roar from the faithful which has aided Juve over the past year was absent. Whatever the issue, this outing runs close the Fiorentina contest a week ago for worst showing thus far in 2012-13. Juventus at times rode their luck in the face of Ukranian ascendancy.

“We went on to the pitch a little too timid and allowed them to control the tempo. We cannot afford that, as nobody gives you an inch in the Champions League,” said goalscorer Leonardo Bonucci. “Juve must always control the game from the first to the last minute. When we attacked them, we put Shakhtar under a lot of pressure.”

Stephan Lichtsteiner was fortunate not to concede an early penalty, while Willian struck the crossbar with virtually the last kick of the game. In between, the side from Ukraine’s east created the better chances. They were especially dangerous on the counter-attack, with their attacking quartet leading the charge. Henrikh Mkhitaryan did not have his shooting boots on, whilst Alex Teixeira caused the Old Lady constant headaches.

There was an immediate response from Juve after conceding, pleasing Massimo Carrera. Teixeira netted after 23 minutes, but, in a move straight from the training ground, Andrea Pirlo drilled a low corner across for the backpedalling Bonucci to curl superbly into the top corner three minutes later. A tried and tested set-piece, it has yielded goals for Juve in the past. Last season against Genoa and Fiorentina they managed a similar trick.

For the final 20 minutes of the first half and for 20 minutes after the interval Juve were the better side. Yet they were unable to capitalise, with Mirko Vucinic, Claudio Marchisio and most glaringly Alessandro Matri, all missing opportunities. As Shakhtar recovered a foothold on proceedings Juve looked out of sorts. The long balls pinged in the direction of Sebastian Giovinco highlighted that things were not going according to plan.

Two points from two matches sees Juve trail group leaders Chelsea and Shakhtar. Carrera noted afterwards: “We know our group is tough and we will fight it out to the end with another two teams. Every opponent is strong in the Champions League, so we must do our best to go as far as possible in this competition.”

The upcoming dual meetings with Danish champions Nordsjaelland take on added significance for Antonio Conte’s men. They must claim six points. Should that occur then Juve will set up a mouth-watering finish to Group E. They will likely need to gain at least four points from the final two matches – at home to Chelsea and in Donetsk – to advance. The Old Lady has been given a European wake-up call by the Ukranians, now it is up to Juventus to show their mettle and pedigree in the competition.

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Have your say...
It will be another Iain talian job , the oppoition will be lulled into a false sense of security and then punished on the couter.

Juve will win the champions league !!
on the 23rd October, 2012 at 3:32am
Ive just read we are looking at Willian of shaktar
on the 4th October, 2012 at 9:27am
just buy this damn striker!!, if we had trezeguet we would have scored 3 in the first half, ahhhh i miss him too much FORZA JUVE we will qualify!!
on the 4th October, 2012 at 7:36am
@ Andy, my friend ive been watchin Juve and Serie A religiously since the early 90s. My point is there use to be noise alot of it, drums, chants flares the lot which u occasionaly see in the rome derby why has it all stopped?! is my point i know the new stadium is packed in serie a and has atmosphere but the club could do a bit too and make it more of an event for the fans as they do in the bundesliga and bring back that red hot serie touch. Forza Juve and happy Milan won too
on the 4th October, 2012 at 7:25am
juventus dont break quick enough with the 352 they have loads of width sometimes pirlo slows the game down for me he will go round in a circle and go back when really juve need some one who takes the ball from the back and can drive with it and the team breaks quick.juve dont use their width enough they should be switching more and really pulling teams to pieces most teams play so narrow these days with no width and juve are the only team that does they dont use it well enough for me.
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 9:48pm
i personally think juventus should of put shaktar under a lot more pressure than they did,433 is such a poor formation 3 forwards never works all they do is get in each others way juve let shaktar have so much ball thats why it worked for them ,juventus let them play 433 gets crushed in so many ways the forwards are out of the game for long periods and you get dominated in the middle or you should do.personally for how good pirlo is juventus could do with a DM like yaya toure or that ilk.
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 9:44pm
that's the thing juventus shouldn't be exposed to a 433
they are playing 5 in the middle 433 should never get so much ball against 5 in the middle the forwards in a 433 should of been out of the game for most of the match due to lack of possession.juventus forwards gave the ball away cheap and so did the midfield videl gives away sloppy balls 3 against 5 should never have so much of the game and juve should of had a lot more width than shaktar.
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 9:34pm
For the first time I believe we really missed Conte. Carrera is doing a great job in the Championship, but it is a big ask for him replicate that standard in the Champions League. The 3-5-2 works well against the Italian style, but Shakhtar are a class act and when they broke with speed and skill the defence were exposed. 4-3-3 would have given more stability and Pepe is proving with his absence, how important a player he has become. We still have a lot to play for, so keep the faith guys.
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 8:06pm
veratti is playing in France not hard is it in that league lets be honest jokes a side i think i could play in league 1,Paul pogba has all the assets to become a great player Ive watched him at youth level hes got everything there it just needs bringing a long he wins so many headers as well that's why juventus probably didn't persue veratti when they picked up pogba for free, pogba has all the ingredients to be a great player if he develops the way he should do veratti 12 million pogba for free
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 4:49pm
@ JuveFanatico there is a problem with the forwards in a game like last night when you are under pressure you need your front two to hold the ball up and let the midfield and back 3 push as a unit they simply couldn't hold the ball up and when this happens your constantly being pulled around the pitch vucinec is so wasteful with possession at times its a joke he really should see when the team is under pressure taht he needs to hold onto the ball win free kicks and take the pressure off
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 4:44pm
Am I the only one who thinks Juventus need to go back to the 4-3-3 during games like yesterdays? The 3-5-2 they are playing is inherently a defensive formation lacking some attacking potency. Against a strong attacking side this is ideal, but it does lack an attacking edge. With say, Giovinco-Quags-Vucinic in a trident attack I feel Juve would have a beter chance of winning a game such as yesterdays. Juve seemed more tactically diverse last season, and the 3-5-2 might hold back their attack.
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 3:40pm
The mistake was not yesterday, was on Sat with Juve already up 3 goals on Roma at the half, Pirlo should of been taken off.

In reguards to the 3-5-2 system. It works, but if your in need of a goal, Conte would quickly switch to a 4-3-3, and putting Pepe on. Both are not available due to injury and bans.
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 2:57pm
If they made the CL tickets reasonably priced then maybe they will get a better crowd. They are simply too expensive for an average fan to afford.
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 2:47pm
I agree with Gio, Veratti is needed in Turin... I believe we(JUVE) are feeling the affects of this crap betting scandal. It costs us RVP, if he was the answer we will never know..In the end, it is what it is...I hope there is 8 or 9 points left in the CL... FORZA JUVE
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 2:44pm
Juve has not been rotating the squad enough to keep the key players fresh enough for big games. the depth of the squad is being wasted and more faith needs to put into players like Marrone etc during the week. Juve also need to have a plan B like they did last season instead of sticking with 352 for 90+ mins.
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 2:21pm
The most deciding factors why they didnt put a good performance was:
1. Tired players
2. They simply dont have enogh CL experience(exept pirlo/buffon). This WILL effect them
Psycologically
3. Lacking support from their fans this night.
4. They met an experienced and drilled Shaktar with 25 straight wins.
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 1:36pm
For some reason Juve are again trying to play long-balls, which is not our strength to play. We play better with the ball to our feet in a passing game. But too often this season I've seen this long-ball play. Pirlo should be rested the game before a UCL match. Additionally, the failure to find a finisher in the summer will start costing points. Letting Veratti go was a huge mistake for Juve. Can't believe Marrotta is praised in certain circles.
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 1:32pm
We didn't play a good game at all. Someone mentioned earlier that we were missing Conte on the sidelines and I totally agree. During the half time we needed a tactical change as well taking vucinic off. The game is over now, but Juve have to be aware that shaktar almost caused a shock yesterday. The players lacked motivation and when other teams have higher possession we suffer. We needed a striker who is always dangerous like RVP. You can't miss chances in cl when you get them.
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 1:13pm
Juve need to find an alternative to the 3-5-2 formation because teams are starting to figure them out. Bonucci and Barzagli tend to drift high on the pitch and they are getting exposed on the counter attack. First Fiorentina and now Shakhtar - they were really fortunate not to lose these games. The 4-3-3 worked well at some stage last season perhaps they need to go back to it.
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 1:00pm
I also agree with Magik, one game doesnt change the fact that we have a strong team capable of playing with the best, last night we were to timid which is something i agree with Carrera on, but also players like Pirlo & Vucinic should be rested at times, Pogba is more than capable to cover for Pirlo & Quag. along with Matri deserve more playing time in Serie A. Last night i think was more of an issue of tactics and tiredness than anything else. For me as a fan though the draw felt like a loss
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 12:22pm
I think its utterly ridiculous for any of you to suggest we are not ready for the champions league after that one performance. Considering the guys are not used to the 3 day match fixture and not having a star striker Juve COULD of won/lost last night. Our finishing was poor yes, but to suggest we are not of the same quality is idiotic. If we can match THE EUROPEAN Champions, run undefeated then we DESERVE to be here. Its a matter of resting key players, more circulation in the league.
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 11:53am
There was also a transit strike yesterday in Italy, so getting to the stadium was tough, as I read, and yeah, ticket prices were/are brutally high. But the lack of a crowd aside, Juve were awful. I've been a solid fan for a decade, but I'm not blind. :-) They were awful. No excuses. Marotta is a failure with transfers too, which doesn't help.
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 11:48am
About the performance, I personally dont think that we were bad because of our forward line, I know we need a world class striker but not even Messi would have made a difference last night, because we were pushed around too easily, there was to much space between the Defense & the Midfield which allowed Shakhtar with their speed & strength to exploit the spaces to easily, up front i would have gone with Vucinic and Quag. because Giovinco is way too weak & against Shakhtar he shouldnt have played
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 11:44am
@Manni No support/atmosphere in Serie A at all? Not true. Juventus Stadium has been sold out for Serie A games since the inauguration. The support has been great. You have clearly not watched any of Juve's Serie A matches. It's an old myth that Juve doesn't have any supporters in Turin, but true that there were problems in the Delle Alpi days. That stadium didn't do Juve or the fans justice. Why the fans didn't show up for the Shakhtar match doesn't relate to Serie A games.
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 11:37am
Totally disappointed with the fan outcome, the excuse at the Delle Alpi was that the stands were to far away from the field and thus not many people wanted to come, Now its the prices, i get the economy is tough on everyone but seriously for one game and especially because this was the first match at home in the CL after a long absence.. it should have been filled to the max. Embarrassing is the perfect description for what we saw at the Juventus Arena!!!
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 11:33am
It was evident to the club that a top class finisher was required for an assault on the Champions League and although I agree that not giving in to the frankly outrageous demands of Athletic Bilbao for a player who can be picked up for free soon.It is clear that our front players are adequate on the domestic front they come up short in the CL.
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 11:24am
Juventus have enough for the league but not for cl, it shouldn't be a surprise to juventus faithful without a key 20 to 30 goals a season striker its almost impossible to win it that's what juve lack. matri should of scored 2 last a big name striker would of bagged them juventus was second best and that comes down to a average forward line nothing sticks to the forwards so the pressure keeps coming back, forwards have to hold the ball in cl in the league juve get away with it the league but they will suffer in the cl with this problem.
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 10:59am
i would even doubt llorente as he doesnt givbe us something we dont already have! searioulsy just spend ALL the budget on 2! top strikers and get rid of the rest in an ideal world, if we had Cavani and a Falcao! we would be seriously dangerous! but this isnt FIFA13! is it. Veratti looks like hes doing well at PSG possible mistake not buyin him but oh well sort the forward line out Big time as thats our achilles heal along with a tired off form Pirlo, dont forget its our 1st seasn back takes time
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 10:54am
Id stick Vidal Asamoah and marchisio in mid and go 4 3 3! or stick with teh same formation and give Caceres a chance he plays LWB for his country why not Juve? or swap him for Lichsteiner for a game or 2! get Isla up and running, LWB! was and has never been address and same goes for strikers! its the one part we are seriously lackin! as much as i like Gio hes 25! hes not young anymore gets pushed around too much, get rid of Quag and Matri both hit and miss! Vucinic is our berbatov!
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 10:50am
I was really disappointed by the Juve performance last night, but we try our best, it was a really bad night but we manage to get the draw which i think was good result for us as compared to how we played. but better luck next time.
On the style of play I want us to reduce the too much of long passes and try to play a more short passing game.
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 10:47am

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