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Wednesday December 23 2020
Juventus lose six points in one day

Juventus showed mental fragility as they suffered a 3-0 home defeat against Fiorentina after learning the Napoli game won by default in October will have to be replayed, writes Lorenzo Bettoni in Turin.

Juventus had one of the worst evenings in recent years on Tuesday. Not only did they lose 3-0 at the Allianz Stadium for the first time in their history, but a few hours earlier, Napoli won their appeal to replay the match against the Old Lady in Turin.

The game was supposed to be played on October 4, but Napoli didn't show up because Piotr Zielinski and Eljif Elmas had tested positive for COVID.

The Azzurri were initially given a 3-0 defeat by default and docked a point, but on Tuesday they won the third appeal to CONI, who ruled the game be replayed, probably next January.

One would thought a group of players with such a winning mentality like those of Juventus would go onto the pitch and prove to be the best, even if against a different opponent than Napoli. One would think they wanted to prove the entire league that they were still the team to beat.

Juventus sources said the verdict of the appeal left them ‘indifferent.’ What was seen on the pitch said that wasn’t quite true. Their desire to win, their desire to be the best side, all the time, in every game, has been widely seen as one of the secrets to successes in the last decade.

Juventus have won nine Serie A titles in a row, not only because they've had better players, but also because of their attitude. Nothing has ever let them down. During Antonio Conte, Max Allegri and Maurizio Sarri's spells, each defeat was followed by a vehement performance in the match after.

This time, they didn't lose on the pitch, but they did lose three points before the game. They showed no positive reaction on the pitch. When they did have one, it was wrong.

Juve showed little personality as Fiorentina took an early lead through a Dusan Vlahovic goal. The Bianconeri's reaction was not organised and far too nervous. A reckless tackle from Juan Cuadrado on Gaetano Castrovilli after 18 minutes cost the Colombian winger a straight red card after a VAR review.

It was the fifth red card shown to a Juventus player this season. No other club has more in Europe so far. And that says a lot.

The referee's decision to send off Cuadrado was fair, even if Federico La Penna did not have one of his best nights. The Old Lady at least thought so and protested for two possible penalty kicks in the second half, and a second yellow card to be shown to Borja Valero.

The Old Lady's irritable attitude could also be seen in the reactions of Aaron Ramsey and Pavel Nedved. The Welshman kicked a bottle of water after he was subbed off in the first half following Cuadrado's red.

The club's vice-president left the standings in protest after that La Penna did not give Juventus a penalty kick for a contact between Bartłomiej Drągowski and Federico Bernardeschi. Minutes earlier, Alex Sandro had accidentally put the ball past Wojciech Szczęsny to double Fiorentina’s lead.

When the ex-Bianconeri defender Martin Caceres netted La Viola's third Juventus had already left the pitch, at least on a mental level. That’s not the reaction you would expect from the master of the last Serie A decade.

On Tuesday morning, Juventus were only four points behind Serie A table leaders Milan. Tonight they could be 10 points off the Rossoneri if Stefano Pioli's side beat Lazio at the San Siro on Wednesday evening.

They lost six points playing just one game and Andrea Agnelli's dream to end the perfect decade with a 10th straight Scudetto seems now as far as ever. Juventus need to react, but they need to do it in the old way.

@lorebetto

Have your say...
R.G., not writing you off at all. Just annoyed at all the Juventini making comments about this or that when you're not in first place by Christmas. Trust me, I believe Juve is still the team to beat in Serie A. I'm happy with top 4.
on the 28th December, 2020 at 12:32am
R Juve fans serious crying about 6 points, juve stole the last 9 titles in Italy and have not won anything else. That is pathetic with the money they spend they should have won more then that and Ronaldo is a bigger selfish loser. He will not help as he was used to the same officiating assistance at Real Madrid. Furthermore juve with all these foreigners are losing sight of what it took to win start y injecting homegrown Italian players. That will be a start in the right direction.
on the 27th December, 2020 at 8:32pm
"Juventus are considering the return of Fernando Llorente and Simone Zaza"

I actually had to look at the date of the article to make sure it isn't 2015.

I think what we need is to sell players like Danilo, Sandro, Bernardeschi, and Bonucci. Probably Dybala as well.

That would bolster the budget a little bit and then we can think about who should join.

I agree with someone who said that Pirlo looks out of his depth. But he needs time. He clearly has great ideas but there is no discipline (tactical or otherwise). But he needs time and support.
on the 27th December, 2020 at 2:21pm
@Vero, FIGC fought for Juve? Now that's funny because FIGC and Juve have had bitter relation since Agnelli sued FIGC in court for Juve's revoked scudetti.

I think you should relax, no need to tell us what to do. It's still a long way to go, never write off Juve. We're still the best in Italy. I'm curious to see how far Milan can go this season. Cheers!
on the 27th December, 2020 at 11:55am
Sad, sad days for the faithful Juve fans, it isn't often that the are outplayed on the pitch and then hear the complaints and critics come pouring in with few players nor Pirlo being spared.
Did Juve need 3 unearned points from the Napoli controversey: Really? How about beating rather then drawing 6 time and showing your ability on the pitch rather then in the courtroom. The wealthiest team in Italy has purchased almost every young star and is still carried by an aging Ronaldo. Sympathy,Really
on the 25th December, 2020 at 6:23pm
They have to calm down on those big transfers coming in and start to work with what they have. Sure, it's cool to have McKennie, Chiesa, Kulu and Morata on board, but the need time to adapt. This is a world class squad, whatever we say. Juventus is starting to look like one of those clubs where every transfer window feels like a total overhaul (think Genoa or Verona). They're playing decent football. It's the other teams around that are improving tremendously.
on the 24th December, 2020 at 5:59pm
@Baggio Fan. I think you can just boil it down to one of your categories: the Juventus Board. Everything else stems from there. Their decision to hire a novice for this season was ill advised. Last season they hired Sarri who likes to play a specific brand of football, with a group of players setup to play a different kind of football. As to the players: they are mostly very good players the majority of which went 28-6-4 for 90pts only 2 seasons ago. Despite that they fired Allegri.
on the 24th December, 2020 at 2:41pm
@ R.G., you're comment about the FIGC is funny. Isn't it the FIGC that has fought to uphold the 3-0 default for Juventus and the point deduction against Napoli? Yesterday I watched a referee give Lazio one of the softest penalties I've ever seen against Milan, who are in 1st. Juventus fans need to deal with the fact that they might not win TEN titles in a row. It is not possible to win every title until the end of time. Focus on the one thing you can't seem to win at all: UCL.
on the 24th December, 2020 at 2:33pm
Cont'd. Not arguing your case can have the same effect as conceding the point to the other side, even if their argument isn't the strongest. I'm not knowledgeable with respect to the Italian system, but this could have played a major part. My bet is that had the FIGC showed up they would have won. So blame poor legal tactics and Italian bureaucracy, not "corruption".
on the 24th December, 2020 at 2:27pm
Cont'd. So Napoli chose not to travel. Lega and FIGC, unsurprisingly as they are the two bodies that control Serie A, decided to punish Napoli. CONI (body overseeing all of Italian sport) has apparently decided to respect the decision of the local ASL, as CONI has no special interest in Serie A and are apparently more concerned with public health generally. Finally, the FIGC chose not to defend their case before CONI. I work in law. This is can be fatal in and of itself. Cont'd.
on the 24th December, 2020 at 2:21pm
Al Dino: I think you're conflating corruption with bureaucracy. Italy, is almost unique in Europe in it's court and governmental structure. There are multiple levels of municipal, regional, and state governments and courts. And yes, they often clash and contradict. While frustrating, it's not necessarily corrupt. The ASL DID issue a travel restriction to Napoli. Napoli DID agree to the Lega rules, which track UEFA rules. Basically it was dealer's choice. Cont'd.
on the 24th December, 2020 at 2:16pm
Think juve season can be summed up by jan 17
As they are playing Milan, inter and sassulo
If they don’t win all 3 kiss good bye 10th title
They really need rid of Ramsey, rabiot, and berna
They all can not pass or get silly cards
They need couple good players starting with zaniola
Think further will be chiesa and kulavesi on wings
RON has 2 years left max in him
Get zappata from Atalanta he is the lakaku

What u think guys ?
on the 24th December, 2020 at 10:41am
It’s a daunting task to replace experienced players like Pjanic, Matuidi, Higuain, Mandzukic, Douglas Costa, Chiellini all at once with a younger generation that does not have the Juve DNA yet. This is the project Juve chose to embark on while creating a brand of football that is more attractive to global fans. This will take time.. and I’m sure that agnelli knew that when he hired Pirlo. I’d give Pirlo a much needed box to box midfielder in the winter and 6 months to show what he can achieve.
on the 24th December, 2020 at 8:28am
But I have to admin Viola did have quite a bit of luck, good thing the team managed to take an opportunity and did not throw it away. Even if this win is a perfect Christmas gift, Fiorentina still have many problems which need work and investments.
on the 24th December, 2020 at 8:21am
To all Juventus fans complaining about red cards and penalties not given, just wanted to remind you the words of your beloved Nedved circa February 2020: Juventus vice-president Pavel Nedved urged Fiorentina and others to “stop relying on alibis” when losing to the Bianconeri. "We are frankly fed up of this." “We are frankly fed up of this sort of thing. It’s time for people to stop relying on alibis when they play against Juve. We win games because we play well.”
on the 24th December, 2020 at 8:15am
Paratici Has to leave, he is a total failure.
Most players were already in holiday mood from the first minute, especially Bonucci and Curdarado.
Bentancur can’t play as the ball holder, he doesn’t have the skill at all.
Accept it or not, finishing in top 4 would be the best result u can hope.
Of course the referee made so many errors, especially the second yellow card and Bernardeschi’s penalty. But juventus played a very bad game is the main reason.
Pirlo doesn’t know how to win a game ugly.
on the 24th December, 2020 at 6:45am
The moment of referee didn't sent Valero off, It's so obvious that FIGC do everything they can to stop Juve winning their 10th Scudetto. Any club but Juve can win so they can present Serie A as a competitive league next year. Shameful!

@Anon, Forget UCL? LOL Look at you! I think You're sweating to watch this worthless team look solid and dangerous in a competition where FIGC can do nothing to harm Juventus.
on the 24th December, 2020 at 2:20am
Juve forget UCL, u aint goin nowhere. Only place u goin is to bed. With a 207 Million Euro payroll this is the best you can do. Paying Ronaldo 50 Million Euro and was supposed to bring silverware. These fans crying over bad refereeing what about all the bad officiating that went to Juve favor for the last 9 domestic titles. This team is worthless and will be for a long time.
on the 23rd December, 2020 at 10:29pm
There can not be any excuse for losing against Fiorentina but the decision to go against the previous rulings for the Napoli game was shameful! Only in Italy can you have so much corruption that the rules don’t apply to everyone equally! Only in Italy can a side blatantly disregard the rules set before the season and still get a ruling in their favor!
on the 23rd December, 2020 at 10:22pm
This feels like it's going to be a repeat of the 98/99 season when out of the blue Juve finished in 7th place. I think this will be disastrous for Italian clubs in Europe. Juve are the only Italian club among the top ranked clubs so even if they don't win the league and qualify as top seeds, they will be in the 2nd pot and have a better chance of making the knockout rounds. Other clubs will fall in the 3rd or 4th pot so could end up being in groups with stronger clubs and risk being knocked out.
on the 23rd December, 2020 at 9:30pm
@Peter Brincker Møller I guess Paratici and the board don't want Juve to win either seeing as they hired an inexperienced coach at a time when the team were already on a downward trajectory. While it can be argued that the timing of the ruling is controversial, I don't see the ruling as unfair. At the end of the day, the game will be replayed so the 3pts are still up for grabs. Complaining about the ruling says more about fans' fears that Juve are unable to win the league on the pitch.
on the 23rd December, 2020 at 8:52pm
As for the overturned game, it's just ridiculous that it would be changed after so long. There are too many lines of appeal. Whether you agree with the result or not I think most people would agree it should be definitive within a couple weeks instead of allowing it to be reversed 3 months later. It's things like that that hold Italian football back.
on the 23rd December, 2020 at 6:23pm
Ultimately Juve's position is their own fault. They have no playmakers in the midfield and not many midfielders to begin with, which is kind of ironic given who there coach is. At this point I'd be excited to see an out of shape Pirlo lace up and play for 20 min. I don't think Cuadrado is the problem, in fact I think he's been one of there better players this season. I hope they add someone over the transfer window.

As for the overturned game, it's just sad that it would be changed after so...
on the 23rd December, 2020 at 6:14pm
The team has a decent midfield but they only have attacking impetus and the defense is now weak. Juve's wing/fullbacks have no defensive ability and playing only 3 at the back leaves the team unbalanced with a mediocre defender like Bonucci. DeLigt is capable but really the only one now. I understand Pirlo is 1st time coach but Juve should at least have better assistant coaches to help this guy out with other team formations.
on the 23rd December, 2020 at 5:15pm
juve fans quick to turn on cuadrado are absolutely despicable. he has singlehandedly carried your team this season. spoiled babies, the lot of you
on the 23rd December, 2020 at 5:07pm
Chiesa could have gotten a red card for the same foul on castrovili but ref gave the foul to juve. Also ref gave some non existance freekicks to juve. Valero made two fauls in ninety minutes and that didn't deserve a red card. In the penalty claims bernardeschi also pushed drago and that wasn't a penalty. But I know why they are furious with the ref. Against teams like fiorentina ref always favor them in 50-50 desicions one time 50-50 didn't go their way and they become furious.
on the 23rd December, 2020 at 4:50pm
Well,it's as predicted,unfortunately.Bonucci and Sandro have been liabilites for years.Bonucci for his unpredictability,Sandro for his one-dimension lack of ability(if I can't cross with my left,I pass back). Pirlo most definitely up to the job.Too scared to sub Ronaldo when he's playing badly.Hopefully,hopefully, the focus is on the Champ League. Disasters like last night are forgivable if the focus is on winning the Champ League.
on the 23rd December, 2020 at 3:41pm
I think Juve have the best squad depth in the league, so when it comes to teams like Milan, Inter and Napoli picking up injuries and getting fatigued due to fixture congestion (not in Inter's case HA) come February/March time I think that's when Juve will really close the gap. I still think it is Juve-Inter for the title - Juve for squad depth, Inter because they no longer have European commitments/excuses. I don't think Juve should be concerned right now.
on the 23rd December, 2020 at 2:18pm
Season's are marathons and usually won with the team in the best form in March. Juve have dropped points that will make this a difficult hill to climb, but they have done this before. You can never count out the champs. Can Milan continue this run, will Inter be able to get some consistency now that they only have one competition. This is why we watch and don't decide the title at the Winter break.
on the 23rd December, 2020 at 1:56pm
It's so obvious that Juve lack a Ribery or Gomez as a playmaker. Sadly, Aouar came close last summer, but was not purchased since the disappointing Bernadeschi refused to move to Lyon. Our midfield offer very little going forward and the only creative player Ramsey is often injured and too slow. Bonucci and Chieliini must retire next summer. A shame Romero was sold to Atalanta.
on the 23rd December, 2020 at 12:53pm

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