Sunday August 13 2017
Not so super Juventus

Just as they did in Cardiff, Juventus looked woefully short of answers as they lost the Supercoppa Italiana, writes Adam Digby.

“Fino alla fine” has long been the motto of Juventus. Embroidered on shirts and sung by supporters, the phrase – meaning “until the end” – captures the relentless drive of the Bianconeri, a team who never ever give up.

For a few minutes of Sunday’s Supercoppa Italiana, it seemed as if the Old Lady was to once again show the world that she is never beaten, coming back from a two-goal deficit to draw level with Coppa Italia runners-up Lazio. But despite Paulo Dybala’s perfectly struck free kick and penalty double, it would be the Capital club who went on to lift the trophy, substitute Alessandro Murgia slotting home after great work from Jordan Lukaku.

It was a victory that ended a run of 10 consecutive Juve wins against the same opponent, Lazio lifting the trophy after a performance which they should be immensely proud of. Yet for all the effort, tactical awareness and diligent pressing from Simone Inzaghi’s men, this was a result which said much more about the losers than of a triumphant Lazio.

What played out in 95 minutes at the Stadio Olimpico was no different to the stark truths laid bare in Cardiff little over two months ago. A number of shortcomings in the Bianconeri side that have not been addressed over the summer were highlighted once again, while perhaps Max Allegri was also allowed to make a costly point at the expense of the new arrivals in his squad.

The loss in UEFA’s elite competition proved beyond all doubt that Juve lack bite and strength in the middle of the park, and Lazio continually over-ran them in a similar manner. Linked with moves for Liverpool’s Emre Can and Blaise Matuidi of Paris Saint-Germain, director general Beppe Marotta insisted before kick-off that he will bring in a midfielder before the window closes and, as the game unfolded, that looked like a desperate requirement.

Sami Khedira looked sluggish both in terms of covering ground and the speed of his passing, his laboured approach sucking Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain far too deep. It is a problem that has blighted the side for over a year, but Marotta – who memorably tried and failed to sign Axel Witsel in January – has since allowed Mario Lemina and Tomas Rincon to depart while inexplicably bringing in no proven reinforcement.

With his strike force neutralised as a result of the team’s shortcomings in central midfield, Allegri’s decision to leave both Federico Bernardeschi and Douglas Costa on the bench harmed the side even more. The latter was arguably the one bright spark after his introduction and Lazio certainly had no answer for his drive and skilful dribbling, but it appeared that the Juve boss was making a point that a place in the starting XI must be earned by every player.

If that is the case, as it has been in the past with Dybala, Higuain, Alvaro Morata and others, then losing the Supercoppa is an expensive price to pay. But, if defeat here prompts the club to finally seal a deal for a top-class midfielder, then it was arguably worth watching Lazio celebrate and seeing the Bianconeri collect another runners-up medal.

Otherwise, the end of Juve’s dominance might be much closer than the Old Lady expected.

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Have your say...
Actually, I do not think Douglas Costa played very well against Lazio, as he looked lost and abandoned on the field (that's natural as it was his first Juve fixture). I watched all of the Bayern matches in 2016/17 season and I like D. Costa (gosh, he scores great from set-pieces with his left :)), but Germans some way did not appreciate his play a lot, they preferred maturing and selfish Robben. I hope D. Costa will be a strong point with Juve (while I support Napoli ;)).
on the 16th August, 2017 at 12:49pm
Yes lazio and milan deserve to win the game they were both allowed to play because juventus could not play against themselves.
on the 16th August, 2017 at 1:04am

Juve bought C. Ronaldo
Juve bought L. Messi
Juve bought L. Suarez

Final 2019 UCL


Coach ALLEGRI !!!!
on the 16th August, 2017 at 1:03am
@Anonymous Barcelona and Real Madrid can look forward every year to virtually interest-free loans from regional banks and enormous tax breaks from the Spanish government. You can hardly call what they run a business, in Spain football clubs are treated like charities. No teams in countries that take business seriously can compete with that.
on the 15th August, 2017 at 2:30pm
Lazio celebrating like they won the Champions League lol .Milan beat us last year in the Supercup too and "showed us how to play" then later that same season we won a 6th Scudetto then were on the brink of a historic treble while they finished in a Europa League spot .The team isn't perfect true but a one-off game isn't gonna stop the colossus that is Juventus .Fino alla Fine .
on the 15th August, 2017 at 9:18am
rather a fleeting mention of lazio by football italia somewhat sad state of affairs that a article wasn't written congratulating them. In any case congrats lazio.
on the 15th August, 2017 at 12:40am
I am sorry but this is not going to win the CL. Why can’t Juventus get a player like Verratti or Neymar or…. Add to all this is the coach. Now don’t get me wrong, I think he is good, but I don’t think he is great. Even if Juventus manages to win the CL, they are not going to become and dominant team like Barcelona was or Real currently is, it will be one and done.
on the 14th August, 2017 at 7:30pm
I am sure what I am about to write has already been mentioned before. Juventus has many issues, they don’t have quality players who can make a difference and they don’t have a great coach who can change the game instantly with his decisions. Juventus can’t keep their young stars (Morata, Pogba, Vidal) and probably Dybala in the future. They tend to plug the holes with good but old players (Higuain, Evra, Pirlo, Khedira…).
on the 14th August, 2017 at 7:30pm
Old habits die hard for Mr Allegri,will he never learn that he needs to play Claudio Marchisio from the start.I know it is hard to understand,the fact is CM is our best MF.
lets hope he has no option but to play him!!
Forza Juve.
on the 14th August, 2017 at 7:29pm
The team is suited only for 4-3-3 or 4-1-4-1. Only Bayern played 4-2-3-1 and won the champions league but failed miserably a year later when they were over run in midfield by Real Madrid the next year. The 4-2-3-1 formation will not give you possession of the ball cuz it's impossible with the type of wingers you've got. It will only give you direct football, the likes of man united under ferguson or Bayern Munich the year they won it. Our midfielders are not direct football type of midfielders.
on the 14th August, 2017 at 3:52pm
Even with the additions of berna and costa, this Juventus team should not aim to rely on 4-2-3-1 . We will be destroyed on Europe if we rely on this formation. Why? Because we don't have a striker that is good with the header first of all. Higuain it's only good if you play the ball to him from the midfield on 1-2 passes. If you rely on him to score with the headers or crosses, he won't even score 20 goals this year. Marotta should have never listened to Allegri to implement this plan of 4-2-3-1
on the 14th August, 2017 at 3:49pm
Real Madrid broke Juventus hahaha
on the 14th August, 2017 at 3:12pm
credit must go completely to Lazio, they outplayed juve, pressed them constantly, forced mistake after mistake, they were an example of how juve should be playing. The Juve midfield is gone, awful, and there is the problem transition from back to front. And the defence is getting waltzed through in preseason games and last night, there is a storm coming and allegri has got no where to hide. Costa looked good, and dybala played better when he was on, but it was a disgrace, Lazio were fantastic
on the 14th August, 2017 at 2:48pm
Congrats to Lazio, who taught Juve how to play "until the end".
My appreciation to all of his hard works, but as long as Beppe Marotta is still around, we are just a s**t in Europe.
on the 14th August, 2017 at 1:40pm
Make no mistake: Lazio aren't Real Madrid. In the second half of the CL final, Real's pressing in the middle forced errors and overwhelmed Juve. Lazio didn't do the same thing. Credit to Lazio for taking advantage. Yesterday's errors were self-inflicted and the team disappeared for most of the game. Something is missing in the middle, yes, but only when coming up against teams like Madrid. Juve in Serie A are light years ahead.
on the 14th August, 2017 at 12:06pm
Wonderful performance from us! Got a little tired and nearly gave it all away in typical Lazio style! But How can you defend that free kick? The penalty was also a penalty so no debate there. Still we did deserve to win! Sure maybe Juve played a little under par but I think we forced them too! Good pressing! Credit to us I think on this occasion! Be hard to replicate all season with the size of the squad but I hope we can maybe have good Europa run.
on the 14th August, 2017 at 10:46am
What utter nonsense. Again, football italia having nothing better to say about other clubs but Oh Juve, Why oh Why it seems. Juve never had proper competition for the past few years. They have been buying up the best players from other clubs. Now Lazio have tried to maintain their current crop of talent and Simone Inzaghi has shown that he is the masterclass coach that Juve would dream of.
on the 14th August, 2017 at 10:21am
@juveman. That's because you're a plastic armchair fanatic.
on the 14th August, 2017 at 8:59am
I can tell you right now I for one won't be watching the game next week if I see the same starting line up as yesterday.
on the 14th August, 2017 at 7:54am
The bright side is had he started Bern, Costa , De scilio and marchisio I'm fairly confident we would have won. I really hope he doesn't continue with this stupid approach of showing everyone you earn your spot.their spots are instantly earned because they're lightyears ahead of the players starting over them in their position that's why marotta spent nearly 100 million on them.
on the 14th August, 2017 at 7:53am
That team would have been ok to choose if we hadn't brought in players like Costa and bernardeschi to cover a bit for the slow midfield. Mandzukic might have done ok last year but when you have a proper winger to play instead of him you bloody play him. Same goes for Costa who immediately showed us that him and cuadrado are on totally different levels.add to that barzagli playing as a full back and it was a total recipe for disaster.
on the 14th August, 2017 at 7:50am
Juve has just performed for only 5 minutes and then problems appeared in defense and midfield. Khedira became weak recently, very slow and lacks creativity. 4-2-3-1 system is not suitable for a player like Khedira. If Allegri wants to get the best of 4-2-3-1 system he needs a midfielder who is good at physical tackles which adds stability to the midfield. Far from that, Allegri needs to stop using Mandzukic as winger. He got 2 of the best wingers in Europe and needs to completely depend on them
on the 14th August, 2017 at 7:50am
As has become the case with juve over the past 6 years sometimes you just have to look at the starting line up or formation and you know what's coming. Because too often conte and now allegri have taken too dam long to make any changes to a team that desperately needs them. He played the exact team that got run over in the UCL final and expected something different ??
on the 14th August, 2017 at 7:46am
I do not get what all the ruckus is about. The result is only to be expected with this atrocious transfer season. And because of Marotta, our transfer budget is shrinking without any effective improvement to the squad. He completely neglected that we need a world-class RB, a world-class LW and a world-class DM. At this late stage, there is still time to redeem himself if he don't make anymore useless purchase and fully focus on the priority or next season we can say goodbye to Dybala.
on the 14th August, 2017 at 7:37am
Well done to Lazio and Inzaghi, who had a game plan and executed it to perfection.
on the 14th August, 2017 at 3:12am
Until they address the midfield, we'll struggle. I am still not worried about the league, but in Europe, we'll get dismantled if we don't sharpen up. Marotta knew since Cardiff our midfield was not strong enough, and no 30 year old Matuidi is going to fix it. Matic was the guy, and they nickle and dimed until he said F it, and went to United. Allegri at the moment looks clueless on how to set up his team, and even more clueless adapting to the match as he introduces new players after halftime
on the 14th August, 2017 at 3:10am
M-Savic would be good for Juve. Lemina and Rincon were wisely sold, and Sturaro should follow.

Juve need a top RB/CM, preferably not Matuidi or N'Zonzi who are much the same as what they already have. Maybe Can, as he's young.

This side is very unlikely to win the CL, but they won't be far off with a couple of top signings.

Khedira was never good enough, while Cuadrado might be a decent sub.

on the 14th August, 2017 at 1:04am
All due respect this was a Lazio side without it's 3 best players from last season so it was always going to need to rely on Juve performing badly.

Juve's performance was absolutely shocking and Allegri's line up and complete inability to make substitutions at the right time leaves us all yet again questioning his intelligence.

Someone explain to me how Cuadrado stayed on the pitch for 65 minutes despite giving the ball away about 30 times? Or how Khedira starts over Marchisio?

So so poor
on the 14th August, 2017 at 12:59am
I am pretty sure that Allegri intentionally left out Bernadeschi and Costa to show the owners that the team is getting old and needs reinforcement in defence and central midfield. Marotta really needs to buy and buy well. One good MF, ideally someone better than Matuidi, one defender, and also another striker to keep Huguain on his toes. Keita from Lazio would be good, because he is fast. There is still quality in this Juve squad but if they are not careful the team will go a bit stale and fail.
on the 14th August, 2017 at 12:24am
Written by a Juve fan bro. What else to expect?
on the 14th August, 2017 at 12:02am

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