Saturday December 5 2020
Pirlo’s celebration says it all

Andrea Pirlo let himself go in a wild celebration after Juventus’ 2-1 win in the Derby della Mole, but the pressure is mounting on the former midfielder as the Bianconeri are still failing to impress, Lorenzo Bettoni writes from the Allianz Stadium.

Juventus’ motto “Fino alla fine” (“Until the end”) is even more true against Torino. The Old Lady have won several derbies with late goals being a theme of their wins over the Granata in recent years.

One of those came in the 2014-15 campaign with today’s Juventus coach, Andrea Pirlo, netting a scorcher in the very last second of the clash, which gave Max Allegri’s side a memorable 2-1 win.

The same happened today, but this time around Pirlo was on the bench and it was a Leonardo Bonucci’s goal that gave Juventus all the three points.

Pirlo celebrated today as he did six years ago. Open arms, a roar and once the game finished, he didn’t make his way into the dressing room. He went onto the pitch to embrace his players instead. The strongest one came from the match winner.

We are not quite accustomed to seeing Pirlo celebrate this way. This time he was clearly very impressed.

The Granata took the lead in the first half through a Nicolas Nkoulou’s goal. Juventus didn’t react and could have conceded two more before the half time break. Paulo Dybala made the first shot on target for the Bianconeri after 43 minutes.

Juventus struggled to create clear cut chances in the second half too, but Pirlo’s substitutions somehow made the difference. Weston McKennie and Bonucci scored two similar goals. The American came off the bench and equalised with 13 minutes remaining. Bonucci then made it two with seconds to go. Both were assisted by Juan Cuadrado.

Juventus’ merit was in beliving they could do it but, once again, Torino were not able to defend their lead. The Granata have lost 19 points from winning positions so far this season. Nobody has a worse record in Italy’s top-flight.

The Old Lady’s win would surely leave a sweet and sour taste in Pirlo’s mouth. The three points are the most important thing, especially at this stage of the season, with many clubs still battling it out in the top positions. The Bianconeri were six points behind league leaders Milan before kick-off and they couldn’t lose any more ground after 10 Serie A matches.

They didn’t this time, but there are still many unanswered questions around this Juventus side. First of all, they always concede goals. Wojciech Szczęsny was crucial in denying Simone Zaza in the first half, when Torino were already leading by one goal. Bonucci scored the winner but his defensive performance was below par, at least in the first half. Matthijs de Ligt struggled to contain Andrea Belotti managing to just about control him. Danilo looked understandably tired after having missed only one match so far.

The midfield seems to lack quality and that’s another problem for the Bianconeri. Only Adrien Rabiot is a sure starter, Rodrigo Bentancur is not the same player as last season, Arthur has shown glimpses of quality but not quite enough on a consistent basis, McKennie can run for two players on his own but he can’t set up attacks.

Up front, Juventus need a centre forward like Alvaro Morata, who was suspended against Torino, as Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala are not on the same wavelength like last year. 

Pirlo seems to have a very clear idea of what he wants to do, but the players don't always follow him. You could tell the pressure was mounting on him and his players when the Old Lady were behind in the second half. Danilo was subbed off and threw a bottle of water on the floor.

The half-time break hadn’t apparently given Juventus players the shock one would expect. Players and staff members protested the decisions of referee Daniele Orsato. They knew they had to win or their place table would look even worse.

“Sometimes you have to win dirty,” Pirlo said in his press conference after the game.

“I wasn’t worried in the second half because we had a different approach,” he added.

“We kept trying to score right until the end, we had more players in their box, we started winning duels, I knew we would score sooner or later.”

Despite that, the celebration was still pretty unusual for a calm and quiet man like the former midfielder.

Juventus have yet to face Milan and Inter, they won by default against Napoli and pulled off draws against Lazio and Roma. They have 20 points out of 30 which, on the one hand, is an impressive result, considering all the difficulties. On the other hand, however, it looks average if one considers the Bianconeri failed to win away at Benevento and Crotone and at home against Hellas Verona.

Even during their difficult moments, Max Allegri and Maurizio Sarri’s sides gave the impression to be the best in Serie A. It's not the same feeling this time around. At this stage, Juventus aren’t the team to beat anymore.  Not in Serie A, let alone the Champions League.

The spirit, however, has remained the same and Pirlo’s celebration, the same one as six years ago, proves it. The derby win was crucial for the Old Lady to remain among the top teams in the Serie A table but performances like today's won’t always be enough to seal victories.


Have your say...
Jeeeeezzz!!! Give the man a bit of time. He deserves at least one year in the job before he can be judged - does he not??? Qualified for the UCL KO phase with two games in hand, and sitting 4th in the table is pretty damn good for a rookie. He has no coaching experience, works for the most demanding club in Italy, and earns a measly salary. Can any of the so called armchair experts do a better job?
on the 7th December, 2020 at 4:56pm
Hopefully a derby win in this late winner fashion will motivate them into Tuesday. Yes Pirlo has had no training camp but I believe it's been the injuries to the backline which has really hurt them. Danilo while has been better then last season, is running on fumes.
on the 7th December, 2020 at 4:12pm
I think football Italia should bring the ability to like comments I can like the hell out of pinturicchio comments .Guy is making sense
on the 7th December, 2020 at 6:18am
The Problem is not with Pirlo. We are lacking a key playmaker in midfield who has a lot of confidence to spread the ball around. Pjanic was good, but he was never the right solution. He was scared to take risks. Artu could turn into a playmaker, but needs time. Bentacur is more a defensive midfielder then a passer. Rabiot is a very good box to box midfielder, but he cant spread the play. Dybala? He should play closer to the box. He drifts all over the pitch, gets tired and creates nothing.
on the 7th December, 2020 at 2:48am
Tactics have always been the bane of Italian football existence. These idiot Italian coaches, all they do is outsmart themselves with the overuse of tactics.
on the 7th December, 2020 at 12:54am
Anyone criticizing Rabiot doesnt watch football. He's done way better in the mid than most others (except the red). Bent cannot pass like Pjanic. I have never seen a #10 where the fans make up so many excuses like for Dybala. Is the midfield lost sometimes? Yes. Why??? because Dybala is floating around in everyone's space!!!! Oh ok I am being harsh.... yes he will score 4-5 pretty goals this year so let's keep him and pay him 15mil a year LOL. Also Cuadra is not a defender so let him attack
on the 6th December, 2020 at 5:01pm
(Part 2 of 2)

A modern adage says "Rome wasn't built in a day". This applies to EVERYTHING in life - working, learning a new skill etc.

Then what is with you blockheads and your incessant whining about Pirlo? Do you honestly expect him to win every match in Serie A, Coppa Italia, and the UCL, when there are equally strong, and sometimes even stronger, opponents out there?

Even Lippi and Trapattoni struggled in their heyday, then why does this not apply to Pirlo?

on the 6th December, 2020 at 10:12am
You scribes at Football-Target-Juventus-Italia have nothing better to do than post this BS day-in-day-out.

These are the facts:

1) Pirlo DID NOT get a pre-season, and he's basically a novice at this level, albeit with a very strong squad full of experienced champions.

2) There are seasoned campaigners across Serie A who implement tactics better than others, even with inferior squads.

3) Football is a team have, and it takes time to develop chemistry and understanding.

(Part 1 of 2)
on the 6th December, 2020 at 10:04am
It was obviously Massimo Moratti that told Patrici that Luis Suarez was Italian!
on the 6th December, 2020 at 9:31am
The problem is in midfield.There is no one of quality who can give the last pass.Bentancur was never really a superstar,so it's not really surprising.Arthur is good,but only knows how to pass sideways.Rabiot is a clumsy ox,so is Kulusevki,who is perhaps the most overrated player in serie A.Juve should be clever and relieve Inter of Erkisen.Will make a difference.Need quality in midfield.
on the 6th December, 2020 at 7:53am
Pressure isn't a big thing for Pirlo.If you can stop moaning like a b for once, you can see Juve is on right path.The scheme of play is already there but sadly key players like Dybala and Ronaldo still act like selfish primadona.In 2nd half, Juve trully shone after Ronaldo started to play like a team player,play as a winger and sent crossing like a winger.Only Dybala who was still lost,he thought he was still playing for Sarri,he's a chicken,a striker but too scare to play inside opponent's box.
on the 6th December, 2020 at 7:16am
Going 3 at the back and having only Quadrado bomb forward to cross it in is not enough and risky imo. It renders Kulu and Dybala underused and leaves the defense exposed. Quadrado was Allergri's most dynamic attacker in the past but with the midfield Juve has now it should no longer be a 1 man show out of 11. The D is shaky and badly susceptible to the counter. Quadrado is not going to defend but there is quality in this team now to go with 4 at the back and let the mid and offense do their jobs
on the 5th December, 2020 at 10:11pm
Igor Tudor has the go! While at Udinese they sucked in Croatia the club he managed also sucked and now at Juve there is something wrong with Igor Tudors approach and he is just as inexperienced as Pirlo!
on the 5th December, 2020 at 9:44pm

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