Monday December 11 2017
Wk16: Stalemate synchronicity

It was a weekend of dire draws, but some sides tried harder than others to break that deadlock, writes Susy Campanale.

This was an historic weekend, as Juventus, Napoli, Roma and Inter had not all played goalless draws in the same matchday since Week 17 of the 1965-66 campaign. I’d love to say it was not for want of trying, but that wouldn’t be entirely true. Some tried considerably harder than others.

Juventus have won the Scudetto for the last six seasons in a row. They have clearly more strength in depth than any other side in Italy and reached two Champions League Finals in the last three years. The Scudetto is considered the absolute minimum target every time they begin a new term. Max Allegri cannot keep trying to make us believe the Old Lady is some frail biddy who needs a stairlift to climb towards the top of the table. It’s a powerhouse of a squad, start acting like it.

Leaving Paulo Dybala, Douglas Costa and Alex Sandro on the bench for the Derby d’Italia was bizarre. It also confirmed Allegri’s desire to neutralise Inter first and foremost, then perhaps score on the counter or from a set play. After all, it worked against Napoli a week before and earned their lone point with a weakened Barcelona in Turin. There comes a time when Juve fans – and players – will want more than just to scrape by. They’ve got more resources than several other teams put together, yet persist in torturing neutrals with their negative tactics. It’s understandable when the provincial clubs like Chievo play for a goalless draw against Roma, but Juventus were on home turf and they could’ve gone for the jugular with Inter. Imagine the wave of enthusiasm when seeing off both Scudetto contenders back-to-back, ending their unbeaten records? Instead everyone left the Allianz Juventus Stadium feeling deflated, none more so than whoever had to sit through that dirge of a football match.

When Napoli or Roma play out goalless draws, you can tell they have at least failed in their original objective. It wasn’t the plan all along. As predicted, the lack of strength in depth and squad rotation has finally caught up with the Partenopei and they’ve run out of steam. It was inevitable and the only hope now is to ride it out with Champions League commitments finished or hope Maurizio Sarri learns to trust someone outside the core 14 players.

It’s amusing to see so many people sniping about Napoli’s “beautiful football” suddenly hitting the skids, but they miss the point. Sarri’s style demands pace, moving the ball quickly so that we all know the routines, but they are still extremely difficult to stop. When the players are exhausted, it slows down and simply becomes predictable. I’d still much rather have a team with limited resources that tries to play exciting football rather than one with a huge squad that actively goes out seeking a 0-0 or 1-0 result.

Some, like Milan, are content at this stage simply to have some points on the board. Thank goodness Gennaro Gattuso threw the three-man defence into the bin where it belongs and brought back some logic to the side. Who knew actually putting players in their preferred positions would make a difference, eh? Even Riccardo Montolivo was rushing back to make two decisive defensive interceptions in the box, although I have the sneaking suspicion he was running so much purely to keep warm in the snow of San Siro after unwisely opting to wear short sleeves.

It was a weekend of draws, whether we saw them coming or not. Sampdoria and Verona both fumbled 2-0 leads against Cagliari and SPAL to finish on 2-2, but Udinese held firm under new Coach Massimo Oddo, mainly because Benevento couldn’t find a way to top last week’s goalkeeper-scoring stoppage-time drama. 

Have your say...
e la lazio?

all scared of one team as you can see VAR has done to lazio inzaghi only admitas of being robbed 7 points ,thats a conservative estmate the count for me as at 9

follow the spending of money
milan will go to the finals of coppa italia i hate to say that about my lazio unless they come out up 4 nothing fast milan ....will get pushed forward from VARGOGNA

lol no offense but if you love calcio
allegri is lost at juve
Roma HAVE a new last name VArgogna also close to bankruptcy
on the 30th December, 2017 at 9:57pm
and we beat Benevento lol
on the 15th December, 2017 at 12:05am
yes but this team that beat (I don't even know their name) on penalties is sitting pretty on top of league table. very lucky isn't it. We cant even see Milan in the distance lol
on the 15th December, 2017 at 12:03am
Yeah we all agree you Inter fans are a bunch of losers. Needing penalties to beat a third tier team. lol
on the 13th December, 2017 at 11:30am
I'm sure Milan roma and Lazio will probably agree lol
on the 12th December, 2017 at 11:14pm
Let me guess...its Juve's fault Lazio got a red instead of a penalty with VAR today? Clearly Juve bribed the refs to ensure their city rivals won right inter fans? Pathetic.
on the 12th December, 2017 at 1:36am
I find it funny that you Inter fans blames the ref all the time. In those years where Juve supposedly cheated. Lazio, Roma, and Milan was able to win Serie A. Inter however.... Blames the ref. lol
on the 11th December, 2017 at 9:45pm
the only thing that juve was missing was.... the referee. forza inter lol
on the 11th December, 2017 at 8:43pm
Only saw the second half and Juve created chances that they couldn't finish. Considering this was their 3rd big match in a week, i understand the rotation and as cuppa Italia starts we will see the strength of the Juve depth. Napoli looks like they have tired. Inter will be in till the end.
on the 11th December, 2017 at 7:02pm
Forza Juve. Champions of Italy 2018
on the 11th December, 2017 at 5:11pm
@Libero - That was not a penalty. The defender (I think it was Benatiaa)had no way of knowing that ball was going to hit his arm. Plus, he was almost on the ground when the ball hit his arm.
on the 11th December, 2017 at 5:04pm
What nonsense is this? Juve were by far the better team and pushed hard to win the game, creating several good chances in the process. Reading this article I had to wonder if you even watched the match or just looked at the lineups and result.
on the 11th December, 2017 at 4:34pm
handball in the box inter win 1-0. if hand wasnt there ball goes in corner of goal. valeri was wrong not to check.
on the 11th December, 2017 at 3:59pm
so suzy, of course it was bizarre. it would be more bizarre if you are looking at our trophy room and then the balance sheet. i am not saying we are sleeping on those glorified days. i am just saying that maybe you do not understand what the team is doing (yes the team, allegri doesnt matter and conte doesnt matter. even marrota doesnt matter. juve made them. they dont make juve), just do not talk like you know better. you probably dont.
on the 11th December, 2017 at 1:58pm
you all should know that no other team in italy (probably in europe) have the inner peace that juve carry, and that peace is exactly the source of strength. and that strength brings consistency and the mentality of winning. and that consistency and mentality scare the shit out of all other team. and no team think they can surely beat juve every time they face us. therefore, dont compare us with napoli. we are not. we're merely a team who won six scudetto in a row and heading for the 7th. thanks.
on the 11th December, 2017 at 1:49pm
Your rivals played a 0-0 and then as a manager you decide to bring in so many players against a side that would be smarting from a 5-0 loss. That was not wise. Then there is Napoli, they might be tired in December which is surprising but Sarri has to stop favouring Hamsik and Callejhon. These 2 have been poor fro quite some time. Allan was Napoli's best player against Fiorentina by some distance and he got took off. They needed to score and he brought on Diawara. Baffling subs and use of squad
on the 11th December, 2017 at 1:35pm
Only in this country do they put tactics ahead of classy players because they worry too much about the opposition. Dybala is class and class is permanent. If your manager is scared of Inter at home then why do you guys even bother with cl? As for Roma what was Di Francesco thinking making all those changes in a game they had to win? No Italian team is easy to beat on their patch and Sorentino who was hopeless against Inter (at fault for at least 3 goals) played a blinder against a blunt attack
on the 11th December, 2017 at 1:30pm
Suzy is right Juventus are by far the best side/squad in Italy so to go into a match against another Italian side at home with caution is silly. Inter are not Real or Bayern, PSG or Barca. Vecino and Valero are not gonna dominate Khedira/Matuidi & Pjanic. All Juve's chances were from crosses. Cuadrado was the only creative outlet worrying Inter. Would they have coped with Costa and Dybala also on the field? Benzema always plays despite scoring 2 goals in the league. Suarez is never dropped
on the 11th December, 2017 at 1:23pm
Same for Roma. They neutralized chievo. Everyone was talking about chievos keeper. Sake as inters keeper they did miracles on the field. It was the same game for juve and Roma they both neutralized theyre opponents just had bad luck
on the 11th December, 2017 at 11:40am
Clearly he hasn’t seen the juve inter match. Inter was constantly under pressure (not considering the first 20-30 min) and juve did go for the win not a draw. Even a fool would go for a draw in a game we’re juve could take over inter and take numero uno
on the 11th December, 2017 at 11:39am
Lol inter playing away and still had a couple decent chances. Could of been a penalty (seen them given before) for handball and broz should have buried that shot at the end like he usually does. Also allegri set his tactics up to cut out inters attacking threats, which sacrificed Higuain and is mids. Don't forget last year, at Allianz you also had the better chances, then when we played at San Siro and we annihilated you. Looking forward to the return fixture to see who parks the bus!!
on the 11th December, 2017 at 11:27am
I think Sussy should go back to "Do you know".You criticize #Juve for squad rotation against #Inter which was a good performance from the Bianconeri who could even have won it if #Mandzukic has scored one or two of the chances he had but complain that #Napoli don't rotate enough..#Juve were never defensive against #Inter,even without #Dybala,#Costa or #Berna
on the 11th December, 2017 at 10:24am
Susy, what is this nonsense? Juve was pushing for 90 minutes, hit the bar, had at least 10 strikes against 1 from Inter. There was only one team on the field that night. Sometimes the ball just does not go in. You know very well why Dybala and Sandro were left out, for personal reasons. Really, the only negativity regarding Juve is your attitude towards them. Go watch the game. Incredible how biased you can be.
on the 11th December, 2017 at 10:12am
Usual myopic view of football and tactics from Susy. Juve neutralised Inter, yes, but they also had clear chances to win the game. With more luck, Mandzukic would have bagged a brace. Juve didn't play counter-attack since Inter didn't try to get out of their half. The best chances didn't come from a counter or a set play so maybe we watched a different game. As a Juventino, I was happy with the performance and tactics. The guys on the field knew what they were doing and only missed the goal.
on the 11th December, 2017 at 10:06am
Hey Susy
Juventus played 4-3-3, Cuadrado Manzukic Flanked Gonzalo Higuain,
Dybala is out of form and the CL Final taught us that Khediera and Pjanic needed assistance in the middle Enter Blaise Matuidi the Back 4 were fine Asamoah ahead of Sandro due to form. Costa being benched is nothing unusual as Allegri always intergrates new squad members gradually over a season.
No mention about the blue and black table topping Bus that pulled into the allianz and stayed parked the whole match.
on the 11th December, 2017 at 9:37am
Spot on Juve that is how any logical person would think. Given the amount of resources they have they should be destroying the league yet often times they were less than pleasing to watch but I thought the mentality was there against Inter. It was a game 20x better than the one against Napoli at least this time they tested GK on more than a few occasion, had Mario took his chances with more venom, Inter would be thrashed. The real question is, wht Juve will do if they did score...
on the 11th December, 2017 at 9:33am

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