BLOG ITALIA
Saturday September 14 2019
Fiorentina make their point

It was a result with very different sensations for Fiorentina, Juventus and the Scudetto rivals, writes Giancarlo Rinaldi.

In Florence, not all goalless draws are created equal. A share of the spoils with most teams visiting the Stadio Artemio Franchi might be a source of frustration and regret. Against Juventus, however, and especially after two defeats in a row to start their season, this one was priceless.

If a point against their bitter rivals was manna from heaven for the fledgling Rocco Commisso era at the Viola, it will have been the cause of irritation to Juventus with Maurizio Sarri making his first appearance on the bench. To add injury to insult, Douglas Costa and Miralem Pjanic limped off hurt, leaving their hands tied in terms of substitutions in this game - and possibly greater selection headaches to come. That was the bitter cherry on a pretty unappetising cake for the Bianconeri all told.

Vincenzo Montella - under pressure for his job according to some quarters - tinkered with his team and formation with a 3-4-1-2 that definitely worked out well overall. A defensive trio of Martin Caceres, Nikola Milenkovic and German Pezzella had the right mix of quality and rugged determination to handle the finest Italy has to offer. It also appeared to get the best out of Gaetano Castrovilli, earning him a glowing comparison with Giancarlo Antognoni from his manager - the highest praise possible in the Tuscan capital.

And then there was a first start for Franck Ribery in front of his new fans, which went pretty well for the Frenchman. Some of his interplay with Federico Chiesa and neat footwork seemed to bode well for the season ahead. It was no surprise, however, that on a baking hot day he could muster not much more than an hour’s effort.

The big regret, of course, will be that they couldn’t quite turn the quality of their performance into a victory or - at the very least - a goal. That was something that their Coach was keen to highlight at the full-time whistle. It is all very well to earn plaudits, but it is quite nice to put the ball in the net too.

From the Turin giants’ point of view, the universal consensus was that this was a brutta Juve - an ugly Juventus - for much of the match. Those injuries hampered their efforts and the suffocating heat appeared to take its toll on the older team.

Nonetheless, La Vecchia Signora has made a habit of finding a way to win matches like this over the years, which she was unable to discover on Saturday afternoon. It’s not an alarm bell, yet, but it will be the subject of some discussion among the powers that be at the club for sure.

These are early days, of course, and there is no need to panic but the first indications are that it will take time for the Sarri age to deliver the attractive, attacking football it was designed for. With all the extenuating circumstances of the heat and injuries, there were few flashes of such spectacle in Florence. Some might be a little bit nostalgic for the more pragmatic ways of old.

For both sides, we will need a bigger sample size before we come to any serious conclusions. Fiorentina have looked good - without winning - against two of Serie A’s biggest teams, but flopped badly when asked to grind out something away to Genoa. If they can turn some of their entertaining football into goals - and results - they could yet have a memorable season. However, they will need to prove they can deliver quality displays against lower level opposition before their new owner can really have reason for his trademark smile.

As for Juve, nobody seriously thought they could undergo such a major coaching transition without some growing pains. There is work to be done to establish the proper pecking order in a squad so packed with talent and the best system and team selections to make it function.

Nobody who has watched Italian football for any length of time would doubt their ability to come out on top in the long-run. But, for now, this result will have given the Bianconeri’s main league rivals hope. Neutrals can dream that we might have a proper battle for the Scudetto at long last.

Have your say...
Pinturicchio, sweetie, you have just doubled down. I did not say that you or anybody else in this thread made the comparison between Baggio and Berna, yet they have been made many times before in papers and various sites. And how dare you co-opt one of my favourite words, fabulous!! Slow down and chill yeah.

Fair points about Dybs and ooh Szczeseny, however they have produced many more moments of quality for Juventus than Bernadette.

Pot isn't my thing baby, I'm just high on life.
on the 18th September, 2019 at 1:23pm
@Butch

You say I misread posts, when you "make up" nonsense on your own.

No one said Bernardeschi is comparable to Il Divin Codino - how high are you? On second thoughts, what premium, class-A pot are you smoking, because I think it's fabulous.

Dybala has not been stellar for 1.5 seasons now even though he's been longer at Juve - but that's okay for you, right? What about Szczeseny? How many blunders from him?

I'm not deflecting blame, but you should introspect before blaming.
on the 18th September, 2019 at 5:28am
I can see that me not being Italian is a good start to judging my Calcio knowledge or my overall perception of football.

No thoughts about how whenever Neapolitans lose in JStadium they vandalize the seats+bathrooms, in Naples they threaten you physically if you wear a Juve jersey, Neapolitans threaten + rob their club's football players at knifepoint... Shall I go on?

Oh wait, you'd need a functional brain to accept criticism and understand someone else, which Mirko doesn't possess...
on the 18th September, 2019 at 5:21am
And Bernadeschi is mediocre. It's not a case of his performances so far this season, it's the entirety of his time at Juve. How many great games has he had for club and country? He's largely anonymous and ineffective. The comparisons with Roberto Baggio are laughable. Bernardeschi is not even fit to be compared to the likes of Lentini.

I do agree with you about the midfield. Rabiot or Ramsey need to start in order to provide attacking balance.
on the 17th September, 2019 at 9:42am
Pinturicchio, I genuinely believe that you need help. There is something very wrong with your perception. You repeatedly misread people's posts, get all riled up and then go off on crazy tangents, throwing around insults.

You very much remind me of those over-emotional, hysterical zealots/'comrades' that you find on college campuses, the ones that call everybody toxic, a hater, problematic... because they don't adhere to their dogma.

Try and relax. You'll live a lot longer.
on the 17th September, 2019 at 9:32am
If you’re not even Italian then it makes your anti Napoli/Southern Italy stance even more pathetic and teetering on the edge of racism. You have no skin in the game, how can you hate certain people that much if you’re not even Italian? You’re a joke. On every blog you spout the same BS it’s boring and not productive to an intellectual discussion.
Bernadeschi has been poor since he joined Juve, he played a handful of great games but overall has disappointed, not just this season.
on the 17th September, 2019 at 7:29am
LMFAO Mirko, you're a glutton for punishment. FYI I'm not even Italian, let alone a southerner. Scottazzurri spoke of Tiago and Estigarribia as if these 2 were Nedved and Zidane. That's why I called him a troll. And just because Federico's performances have not been stellar so far he's bad? You must be the kind of seasonal fan who would wanted Dybala to be sold, and think Khedira is the shining light of Juve's MF. Seriously, STFU and crawl back into the hole you came out from...
on the 16th September, 2019 at 8:37pm
Just ignore him @Scottazzurri
Even if you support the same team he will constantly attack you. He’s a grumpy old self loathing southern Italian Juventus fan who can’t analyse a match if his life depended on it. Your analysis was spot on, I really don’t rate Bernadeschi at all. Matuidi is a good squad player but shouldn’t be starting big games like this. I suppose one eye was on Atletico Madrid mid week
on the 16th September, 2019 at 11:27am
WOW Pinturicchio!!!!

I am NOT a troll. I just gave my opinion on our supposed performance yesterday.

I have been a Drughi since 1993-94 season. Kholer, Moller, DinoBaggio, Ravanelli, Torricelli and Vialli remain GODS to me.

I have a very loyal tattoo on my chest of Juve with the words 'Fino Alla Fine' etched over my heart.

To see someone as bad as Bernardeschi play for my team hurts my soul.

And this includes when we had Brazzo Salihamidzic in a very VERY bad side.
on the 15th September, 2019 at 11:11pm
Wow, pathetic trolls in here, like Scottazzurri, or the ever-present cancerous ilk of "Anonymous", who get off on childish name-calling "Durr RuBe".

Paratici is pathetic, the midfield has lost its way. Instead of rejuvenating and adding pace and quality, the insistence of using a has-been like Khedira and depending too much on Pjanic is costing us games.

Instead of trying to get Rabiot and Ramsey on free, there should've been more concentration on getting an Isco or Eriksen.
on the 15th September, 2019 at 10:41pm
It is a sad indictment that Juve had plethora of supposed world class talents at their disposal, however La Viola had the superiority and the majority of the chances.

Bernardeschi is a total fraud and I hope he never pulls on the zebrette jersey again.

Matuidi is a complete joke. Yeah, I know he offers work rate, but his touch and passing skills are laughable.

How I yearn to see Tiago Mendes or a Estigarribia or even a Fabian O'Neill.
on the 15th September, 2019 at 9:47pm
Couldn't care less about any domestic success in the context of CL. There is a real danger of ending the season trophyless which is a possibility we ought to accept. If it wasn't for the 2 decades plus drought this would simply be seen as a rebuilding season. I'd be sad for us if we don't achieve our objectives but as long as we go on in Kloppo-esque direction I'm ok with that (only speaking for myself, I'm sure other Juventini would view it differently).
on the 15th September, 2019 at 6:40pm
When Costa is not playing Juve have nothing in attack. They have no pace. Berna is just not quite as explosive in pace as Douglas. Sami certainly doesn't have blistering pace. They are going to have to get Cuadrado up and running quickly if Costa is so prone to injury like this.
on the 15th September, 2019 at 6:25pm
Seemed like it was not losing over winning for Juve. And when they are going to defend a score like that, they are usually incredibly hard to break, at least in the Serie A. Fiorentina lack a decisive center forward who is going to make fifteen goals. Chiesa-Ribery is an exceptional and fascinating attack that I can't wait to see develop throughout the year, but I feel like they need support in order to tackle the scoring problem.

Fine reviews by the way, I'll stick around here.
on the 15th September, 2019 at 2:30pm
The problem is Juve's midfield.

Khedira and Matuidi are not supposed to be there. I hope it's a matter of time before they are replaced with Rabiot and Ramsey.

The defense is fine. We got De Ligt, Bonucci, Demiral, Rugani. That's a good list.

Juve only need time and a world class midfielder in January.
Paratici's work was disappointing.
on the 15th September, 2019 at 2:07pm
Jezz that was unexpected the quality that juve have and the form that fiorentina has been in there is no way i would have expected the viola to get a draw but even more than that a draw in which they had 3 maybe 4 decent chances at scoring a goal.

Still it is only 1 game for juve they need a result against verona to reaffirm their dominance for fiorentina they need to get something against atalanta to build on this result.
on the 15th September, 2019 at 12:34pm
RuBe are on the slide. I predict they will go out in the group stages of CL. Too many injuries and they need time to adapt to Sarri. Defence really poor at the moment. They have been lucky so far to have 7 points!
on the 15th September, 2019 at 9:17am

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