Saturday June 27 2020
Lecce gifted victory to Juventus

The result shows a 4-0 Juventus victory, but Elio Salerno points out Lecce had the measure of the Bianconeri until going down to 10 men.

Juventus ran out comfortable 4-0 winners on Friday night when dispatching relegation-threatened Lecce, but only after the Salentini gave their hosts a helping hand. It was a score-line that reflected harshly on Fabio Liverani’s team, as until Fabio Lucioni saw red after just 30 minutes, the Giallorossi had firmly established themselves in the game.

Prior to kick-off a home victory was expected to be a formality, a case of how many for Juve against Serie A’s leakiest back-line. However, early exchanges were a pleasant surprise for the neutrals watching on. Lecce were bright, handling possession excellently and showing composure as they bounced the ball around the league leaders. The Bianconeri were sluggish, their press was hollow with an apparent lack of desire to take control of proceedings.

Lecce coach Liverani had come prepared and his players took to the pitch with plenty of belief in their approach. Unfazed by facing an attempted high press from Juventus, they welcomed the challenge, shifting shape to aid their escape from ‘keeper Gabriel. Their 5-3-2 was morphed into a formation resembling 4-2-3-1, using the double pivot of Jacopo Petriccione and Panagiotis Tachtsidis to bypass Juve’s front line. Once Lecce secured possession in midfield, they would use their full-backs/wingers to maintain control, stretching the pitch and regularly using switches of play that would force Sarri’s team to retreat.

The Old Lady responded by trying to push their midfield higher to put the aforementioned Lecce pair under pressure, but their attempt at this was disjointed as the away team continued to have joy in possession. Juve’s front three should have narrowed in, forcing the ball outside rather than keeping the forward passing lanes open. Lecce ventured forward on a number of occasions and had openings they could have made more of.

The Italian champions’ problems have been well documented this campaign and despite an improved display against Bologna earlier in the week, the opening 45 minutes here felt like a return to those previous poor performances. Sterile possession, a lack of movement and all of Juve’s play in front of the Lecce defence, carrying little to no penetrative threat. With a dearth of forward runners to defend, Lecce need not drop too deep, allowing the visitors to go tight against Juve on occasions. Using 5-3-2 without the ball gave them numerical superiority defensively, encouraging Juve wide, Lecce would quickly shuffle across to overload the wings and force Sarri’s players backwards. 

Juan Cuadrado and Blaise Matuidi were situated deep, resulting in a line of four across the half-way line. Juve’s full-backs receiving possession in deeper areas this way meant they would draw team-mates towards them, playing into Lecce’s hands. La Vecchia Signora were stalling, a reluctance to position themselves higher and push the tempo of the game. Lecce weathered a few dangerous attacks before the break, but went in level. Playing a man down, the writing was on the wall for the southerners.

A previously passive Paulo Dybala gave his side an early second-half lead with a delightful goal, providing Juve the platform they needed to stroll home. The introduction of Douglas Costa for the extremely disappointing Adrien Rabiot energized the attack, proving yet again that the Brazillian is a better impact sub than a starter.

Cuadrado and Matuidi were now playing much higher, occupying and stretching the Lecce defence. There was a wider variety of movement coming from midfield, creating spaces to attack. With a man advantage, Sarri’s team began to shift the ball quicker. Carrying a threat around the sides and with players ahead of the ball, Juve were now occupying the pitch and able to add the missing intensity from the first half.  Further introductions from the bench provided fresh impetus for the Bianconeri, a withering Lecce had no reply and would have been relieved when the final whistle arrived.

Despite the result, Lecce will take some comfort from the opening stages. A loss here isn’t going to define their season, but a titanic battle against fellow relegation candidates Sampdoria this coming Wednesday could. As for Juventus, there will be continued questions around performance, but the numbers make for positive reading. A fifth consecutive clean sheet with Matthijs de Ligt dominating again, much needed goals from open play and Cristiano Ronaldo taking his tally to 18 goals and four assists in his last 14 outings.

In an ominous sign for Serie A, the lead at the top now stands at seven points awaiting Lazio’s match, as the Bianconeri continue their march towards another Scudetto.

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Have your say...
Luca and pinturrichio u guys should pick a new team instead of these losers although referees as u say don't side with juve they get the best calls 3 games in a row players were thrown out early in game. Ronaldo and company suck so just gloat at the last UCL 1996 for ur selves that is the last time u will accomplish anything other then stealing seria A title. pathetic for a 200million dollar plus payroll team. U can berate anyone on this platform bot that's facts and bottom line.
on the 28th June, 2020 at 5:38pm

Atalanta are showing what can be done with clever recruitment and now the new stadium coming will only make them stronger but the traditional giants of the league need to step up. Inter are showing some ambition now and are starting to attract better players but we need to see the same from the likes of Roma, Milan, & Napoli.
on the 28th June, 2020 at 2:59pm
1. All those people who throw out the accusations that Juve pay refs to win games need to look at the facts. Juve have the 3rd most penalties given against them and they have received less penalties than Lazio, Genoa & Lecce. The reason Juve dominate is because they have the best players and by far the deepest squad. The chasing pack need to stop making excuses and start looking at themselves to improve in every area.
on the 28th June, 2020 at 2:54pm
Nice click bait, while Lecce did play their cards horribly, let's not pretend they were actually going to stand a chance over the course of 90 minutes.
on the 27th June, 2020 at 5:32pm
Sack Sarri.

He cannot guarantee 'champagne' football, like Maifreidi.
His tactics do not suit the players....

Or that the players we have are woefully short of the standard required.

Rabiot, Matuidi, Bernadeschi, Cuadrado, Khedira, Pjanic, Costa, Ramsey, DeSciglio, Danilo all need to go.

Raid Roma for Pellegrini and Zaniolo. Get Tonali. Chiesa. Juve MUST get back to their Italian identity.
on the 27th June, 2020 at 3:28pm
For the first time that I can recall over this season, Sarri's substitutions had a positive impact. Costa tore holes in the Lecce defence with ease and left them visibly bewildered. Higuains introduction and impact was immediate. The team had balance and a focus, something that has been missing since the restart. The truth is, if Lecce even had 12 men in the second half they were still going down.
on the 27th June, 2020 at 11:36am

Take a chill pill. The article is correct, Lecce was very much in the game until the red and until Rossettini came on for Lecce and destroyed his own team. Juventus have been terrible since the restart of the league. Actually, they were terrible before the restart, too. Good thing referees are in their best form.
on the 27th June, 2020 at 11:24am
Sarri main problem is how to fit Dybala and Ronaldo together. i think he has done an admirable job. remember last season allegri solution was that dybala and ronadlo couldnt play together. he went with Ronaldo-Mandzukic-Bernardeshi most of the time. i thought the trident of Ronaldo-higuain-dybala worked well. when you play that trident ypu cant have a midfield with pjanic in it. you will get killed on the counter. it would have to be rabiot/matuidi-bentancur-ramsey for balance
on the 27th June, 2020 at 9:42am
One of the worst games before Lecce were down to 10 men.
Sack Sarri, Agnelli, plz.
Sarai’s team has no pace, one tactic for every opponent, always blaming the team or players for loss.
on the 27th June, 2020 at 9:28am
It reminded of the coppa final as Napoli gifted Juve 3 clear chances in the first half that they should have converted but blew it.
on the 27th June, 2020 at 9:03am
Nice attention-grabbing headline, to fuel the anti-Juventini neanderthals.. I already foresee baseless tripe comments from a Romanian roach and a few anonymous trolls.

A disappointing result for Lecce was inevitable - when a team comes with a defeatist mindset and defensive formation, what do you expect? Instead of trying to play football, they wanted to grind the result out. Experience tells you that when you try to play anti-football, it ALWAYS backfires.

#FinoAllaFine #ForzaJuvePerSempre
on the 27th June, 2020 at 8:48am

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