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Thursday September 20 2012
Vidal – Juve's hobbling hero

Scott Fleming hails Arturo Vidal for embodying the spirit of a Juventus side that are beginning to look like the Michael Myers of European football.

A twisted ankle isn't the most pleasant of sensations. Most of us respond by rolling around on the ground, yelping in pain. Last night at Stamford Bridge, Arturo Vidal responded by driving through the defence of the reigning champions of Europe and belting a terrific finish past Petr Cech.

Having already suffered a wince inducing twist when his boot was caught on the turf shortly beforehand, the Chilean seemed to aggravate the injury in the act of scoring. But with his team still trailing 2-1, instead of taking the weight off it and looking for treatment, Vidal hobbled back to the halfway line as fast as he could, forming his fingers into a heart shape and aiming a quick fist pump in the direction of the 3,000 tifosi up the other end his only concessions to celebration.

West London last night bore witness to the paranormal phenomenon that's swept Italy throughout the last year. The team that cannot and will not be beaten.  Against Chelsea Juventus again demonstrated their Michael Myers-esque ability to survive seemingly fatal blows. The better side throughout the first half hour of the Group E opener, they then conceded two goals in two minutes to the Brazilian wonder kid Oscar – the first fortunate, the second fantastic.

With their Coach hidden away in a dark corner of the directors’ box and the hosts suddenly rampant, the Bianconeri could easily have folded. But I'll save you the false sense of jeopardy. None of us really believed it was over at that point, did we?

Juve called upon the same indefatigable spirit that carried them through the last Serie A campaign unbeaten, compensating for flaws such as their lack of a clinical finisher up front, although – having nut-megged Cech to make it 2-2 and been the width of a crossbar away from a winner during his 15 minute cameo – Fabio Quagliarella will be hoping Beppe Marotta sticks a 'vacancy filled' notice in the window at the Juventus Stadium.

No one embodies that spirit better than Vidal. Simply remaining on the pitch was impressive enough in the circumstances, but the former Bayer Leverkusen midfielder continued to dash around in that admirably frenetic style of his in the second half, and created the opening for Quagliarella's second chance with a classy slide rule pass.

What was most impressive about Conte's Juve as we became familiar with them this time last year was that no transition period was needed for them to go from being unfancied outsiders to the dominant force in Italy. Similarly last night, despite not having competed in the Champions League for three years and having so many tournament debutants – including the two scorers – in their side, they immediately appeared to be on the same level as Chelsea.

Vidal may personify their spirit, but it’s important to remember who it emanates from – the man sat in the shadows in the stands last night. 

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Have your say...
The new Edgar Davids, a legend in the making, watch Real, Barca, PSG, Man City & Chelsea try and get their grubby claws on him in the summer!
on the 24th September, 2012 at 9:39am
Juve is becoming the great team it was a few years ago. Vidal is superb. No wonder Bayern Munich was so upset when he signed with Juventus. He is definitely a super class. Juve is going for the \champions, no doubt about it.
on the 23rd September, 2012 at 4:41am
from Somalia and as i juve fun am soooooo proud of this squad we have ,, they remid me back in 90s when we had Zidane Dischamp,Edgar Devid, Antonio Conte Alasio Tachinardi... this tage we are now this where we belong to ...cheez and forza juve
on the 22nd September, 2012 at 2:17pm
I used to despise the old Juve, but I very much admire this team, it has many of the right characters to create a strong unit and the midfield is just too ideal and very complimentary. I wish my Milan would be able to bounce back to compete with this Juventus, the way Allegri thinks is not good enough, Milan need a mix of flair and winning drive, this Juve seems to have it, its much nicer than the old Juve.
on the 22nd September, 2012 at 12:52pm
Pirlo, Marchisio, Vidal, Marrone, and others are already almost at the same level with Juventus's late 90's midfielders, champions such as Zidane, Deschamp, Davids, Conte, Tacchinardi. They will conquer Europe and World once again!!!!!
on the 21st September, 2012 at 7:33pm
Vidal has been a great signing for us and must now be one of the first names on the team sheet.

Even though I am amazed he was able to stay on the pitch I am also concerned that the juve management team felt unable to take him off when clearly injured. We are only a few games in and he could have easily made his injury considerably worse. Hope they give him a rest this weekend and trust Giacco in his place, forza juve!!!
on the 21st September, 2012 at 5:16pm
Conte has become like an evil puppet master lurking in the shadows who plots the downfall of teams throughout europe, I would rather have him on the bench with his enthusiasm and energy driving the players, but of course, the italian football federation and now FIFA want to see the ruin of this soild Juve side. But what they don't realise is, they are hurting Italian football and will fall further behind germany in the ranking system, and allow others to catch them
on the 21st September, 2012 at 7:46am
Juve were indeed impressive. When they went down 0-2, I was having flashbacks of Italy's 4-0 loss to Spain in Euro2012. Fortunately, their incredible resilience and composure turned things around.
on the 21st September, 2012 at 3:24am
Even from Liberia, I cheeredn the Old Lady until the end.
on the 20th September, 2012 at 11:07pm
Proud to be a chilean, Grande Vidal!! Forza Juve
on the 20th September, 2012 at 7:25pm
Vidal is World Class -- he's absolutely embodies the never-say-die spirit that Conte has brought into this club. I'm already concerned that Real, Man City, PSG, or god knows who will try to pry him away next summer with a super-bid. he truly is the 'little warrior', as he said he would be when we signed him.
on the 20th September, 2012 at 7:24pm
calciopoli? Juve should be dissolved
on the 20th September, 2012 at 7:16pm
Juve done Italian football proud last night. As an AC Milan tifoso I take my hat off to Juve. This just proves that Juve's unbeaten season was not just due to a poor league. Italian football needs to own their stadiums!!! Otherwise we will fall down the rankings and be behind the French, Portugese and Russians. However, well done Juve! if only Ale Del Piero was there... Juve need a top class centre forward who battles like the rest of the team. Hope Juve go as far as possible in CL per Italia!
on the 20th September, 2012 at 5:03pm
A great comeback in Juve's return to the stage where they belong - the ECL !!!! Great performance by Vidal and the Juve team, who arguably could have followed in Real Madrid's footsteps 24 hr's earlier & got a last minute winner!

With the regular playing of Vucinic, Vidal, Buffon & Chiellini at the back & Quagliarella playing consistantly, Juve will go far - hopefully all the way in all major competitions this year! Addition of a world class striker (20 goals a season) in January would be good.
on the 20th September, 2012 at 4:34pm
Congratulations Juve on a super comeback.

And to whoever at Juve decided to 'steal' Vidal from Leverkusen...one of the most inspired transfers of recent times. He still has room to improve, but what a player!
on the 20th September, 2012 at 4:31pm
Yesterday Vidal was unstoppable with his style of playing soccer.. he truly display his loyalty to juve .... with players like him ... juventus are on top of all ...
on the 20th September, 2012 at 3:31pm
The old Lady has young legs.
on the 20th September, 2012 at 3:19pm
Vildal was like a warrior last night, FORZA JUVE!!!!! We should everyone last night that Italian teams still got it, FORZA ITALIA!!!!!
on the 20th September, 2012 at 3:08pm
A "true warrior"in the mould of Conte.We must persevre with Quagliarella he can be that missing link in attack if given a run of games.
on the 20th September, 2012 at 2:53pm
Chelsea found out lastnight what the rest of italy already knows ... bury juve when u have the chance or pay the price . We were better than chelsea just not enough cutting edge upfront. if we sign a striker in january i think we will have a great chance of conquering europe
on the 20th September, 2012 at 2:44pm
"West London last night bore witness to the paranormal phenomenon that's swept Italy throughout the last year. The team that cannot and will not be beaten."

brilliant :)
on the 20th September, 2012 at 2:38pm
Anyone that has watched Conte's Juve knew the game was not over after Oscar's 2 strikes. But Vidal's quick response was key to give the team a lift going into halftime.

What can you say about Vidal? he and Marchisio give Juve a Warrior midfield and one of the best midfield's in all of Europe. If they had that "clinical finisher" Juve would be a serious contender for the League/CL Double.

Still, Juve is going to be a very tough out if they get to the knockout stages. They refuse to lose.
on the 20th September, 2012 at 1:56pm
Well Done
That is all
on the 20th September, 2012 at 1:50pm
Nothing to add on what @Nit said! All credit to Conte who gave every Juve fan this feeling...THAT THEY WILL COME BACK AT ANY POINT inside 90mins! #Believe #Respect
on the 20th September, 2012 at 1:46pm
Buffon 8.5/10. Liechtenchteiner 9/10. Barzagli 8/10. Bonucci 6/10. Chiellini 10/10. Marchisio 9/10. Pirlo 7/10. Vidal 11/10. Asamoah 8.5/10. Vucinic 8.5/10. Giovinco 6.5/10. Quagliarella 9/10.
Thank you Carrera (Conte) for keeping the faith in Quagliarella ... he is a big player
on the 20th September, 2012 at 1:41pm
Wow, brilliant words, what a spirit..Forza the Warrior Vidal, Forza the Man in the Shadows Conte, Forza Juventus...
on the 20th September, 2012 at 1:27pm
what was most impressive about this Juve side was that majority of the players in the team had little to no CL experience and yet they managed to work their way back from 2-0 down. This alone is admirable. This team will go a long way unless of course the Italian Sporting Justice system decides to ban the players from attending the games on match days!!!
on the 20th September, 2012 at 1:19pm
My first time watching Juve live last night and so impressed. They did exactly what they needed to do. Nice to see Gigi Buffon in person, he is a fantastic goalkeeper, not just for his unorthodox brilliance but for his friendly, fair play and good nature with other players, officials, fans, mascots etc etc a total classy act
on the 20th September, 2012 at 1:17pm
I was at the game last night. The tifosi were running riot cheering Juve through the low of conceding two so quickly.

An amazing game Forza Juve!
on the 20th September, 2012 at 12:57pm
Vidal was obviously great last night but I think ppl should give credit also to Marchisio.He gave two assists and was juve's most dangerous player in the attack.
on the 20th September, 2012 at 12:54pm

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