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Wednesday April 3 2013
Juve outplayed, outthought and out?

Juventus have it all to do following a 2-0 first leg Champions League defeat at Bayern Munich. Luca Cetta looks at where it went wrong.

Bayern Munich insist the quarter-final tie is not over. “Juventus are not to be underestimated, so we are going to Turin very concentrated, as we know they will try to give it their all,” said Bayern chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

“We are in a very good position now, but have not achieved anything so far. We need to score a goal there, then we should be through,” warned Bastian Schweinsteiger. Yet on first leg evidence, the Bavarians can feel comfortable with the advantage they have.

The 2-0 win was sealed thanks to a first minute David Alaba strike and Thomas Muller’s second half tap-in. Gianluigi Buffon and his Juventus teammates will feel aggrieved with the manner in which both goals were conceded. The first took a slight touch off Arturo Vidal to bamboozle the captain, while Buffon parried Luiz Gustavo’s drive into the path of Mario Mandzukic, who squared for Muller’s simple finish. The Croat did look offside, but Buffon won’t want to be watching that one back again. However, on balance, Juve can feel fortunate to be only two goals behind.

There was a spell following the opening goal in which Antonio Conte’s side dominated. That altered in odd circumstances, as an injured Toni Kroos made way for Arjen Robben. The Dutch winger was then instrumental in turning the tide Bayern’s way. He – and the advancing Philipp Lahm – gave Federico Peluso and Claudio Marchisio a torrid time in the first half and most Bayern chances originated from their right-hand side. Muller tucked inside and shackled Andrea Pirlo – one of many who had a poor game – while Franck Ribery caused problems on the other flank.

The work-rate of the trio, plus Mandzukic, was impressive. They pressed Juve and forced the Bianconeri back three into numerous mistakes. Normally Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini are the source of many an attacking foray. Bayern shut down this avenue, never allowing the defence to settle. This forced Juve long and possession was frequently turned over. Passes were misplaced, players were caught dwelling in possession and the Germans were first to nearly every second ball. Conte’s men looked very un-Juve like throughout.

Schweinsteiger mentioned that “Juve played a very interesting formation which we don’t face in the Bundesliga at all,” but Bayern were generally comfortable in dealing with what the Old Lady threw at them. In contrast, against a quick-tempo side with creative wingers who stay high up the pitch – something not generally encountered in Serie A – Juve were caught out.

The Turin giants did show that when they pressured the Bayern defence they too looked uncomfortable. This didn’t happen nearly enough given the difficulties they had in pushing men forward for any sustained possession. Vidal was the best of the bunch, showing the determination required at this level and lacking in many of his teammates. He was Juve’s best attacking outlet and went close on three occasions, including a Manuel Neuer double save.

Yet Vidal and Stephan Lichtsteiner will miss the return clash in Turin due to suspension. Both were shown a yellow card, the Chilean for a handball and accumulation of fouls. The Swiss international’s card was puzzling. Charging into the penalty area he was knocked down by Dante. Was it penalty? Perhaps not. Was it a dive? Certainly not.

It means the Bianconeri must overturn a two-goal deficit at the Juventus Stadium next Wednesday. Failing to score an away goal makes their task an uphill one, as does going in without two regulars. Juve will need an early goal, but must be wary of the pace and creativity Bayern will possess on the counter-attack. Conte still believes. “We must prepare for the second leg, which will be very tough, but football can have surprises.” He’s called the Champions League a dream and now more than ever, Juve need their dream to become reality.

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Have your say...
And JuveFanatico don't worry too much about what some say in the German press. Anyone who writes things like Serie A is little better the Bundesliga II is either a moron or just simply out there for a cheap below the belt shot. Not to mention that any media outlet that chooses to publish garbage like that should be treated as such = garbage.

I REALLY hope they'll eat their words!
Best of luck guys !
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 3:21pm
Juve we're intimidated and caught out last night. Going 1-0 down after 30 seconds doesn't help, especially as it was a freak goal.
There are still 90 minutes to play on our turf. Bayern will be flipped over.
But let's not forget where we've come from. We can beat anyone on the day and sometimes you need luck too. Yesterday, Bayern had it with the goals (not disputing they were the better team) but the next game will be different.
Forza Juve!!!
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 3:19pm
Lucky deflection, offside ... whatever. The ball is round and could have gone the other way too.
The most I missed about Juve was that enviable never say die attitude that's been ingrained in this team's genes for generations.

As a Milan fan I will cheer you all the way to the final whistle. Nothing is lost, you can find the ol' onion bag much more then 2x in 90 minutes.
Barca did it, so can you.
Forza Juve!
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 3:13pm
I was suprised at the subs. I thought for sure Conte would of went 4-3-3, with Giovinco on the left. This is were Juve is missing the skills of Pepe.
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 2:37pm
If you administrators and writers of this website really care about Italian football (just like me who's been a die hard fan ever since I realized my early passion for Italian game in my childhood), please write about the timid approach the Italians have to games such as this debacle...Please explain why both the Azzurri and the clubs are so intimidated when they are to encounter big occasions...This is bothering me the most. One could be brave and still lose, that's admirable.
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 1:53pm
Juve looked intimated last night. Bayern's first team was rested at the weekend, whereas we played all starters except Lich vs Inter. Pirlo looks the shell of the player of last season. Rest him at the wknd. Why didn't we switch to 4-3-3? When Vuc-Gio-Pogs came on, we were a different team, but too late. Peluso over Asamoah? That was just naive. Vidal was making awful fouls. Not one player could make a pass or cross. It was jaw-droppingly bad. Conte is resolved to exit at this stage.
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 1:50pm
Juve need world class forwards, or at least one. That was the difference, no creativity up front or the ability to hold up the ball to bring the rest of the team into the game.
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 1:21pm
Up until August 2011 Juventus were a mess and going nowhere fast. Expecting us to roll Bayern over on their own pitch is asking too much at this stage. It also ignores the fact that this current Bayern team is an expert one at this level.
Looking ahead, I hope that Conte recognises that technically sound wing backs are needed for the Champions League. Peluso is a good squad player but nothing more.
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 1:14pm
I'm a Juve fan and no excuses can be made really. Ok Juve played badly but I think this crop of players has met it's match against a Bayern who is at the top level. It's a reality check that was inevitable at this stage of the competition. The experience should be used so we know where to strengthen in the Summer. Personally I think we need alternatives with flair because we've become too rigid with the 3-5-2. But who knows, if Juve score early enough in the 2nd leg it could be game on again!
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 12:49pm
This is so funny, juve fans were saying they would beat Barca and Bayern and win the the champions league. After Milan lost to Barca the juve fans were saying they had a better defence, better attack and better team to beat barca. Talk on the pitch not with your mouths. Glad the juventini have been brought back down to earth for a reality check.
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 12:49pm
Yes, Bayern dominated the match and deserved their victory. However, all they managed was 2 goals - one crazy deflection and one a mile offside. Pirlo should have come off at halftime as he was hopeless, and has been of late. Conte has to have the courage to give Pirlo a rest when he so clearly needs one.
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 12:16pm
Last night i missed the Juve of last season that could switch formations at a moments notice! Where was the fearless team of last season?

Pirlo should have been replaced at half time a 4-3-3 formation should have been introduced. However all we got to see was a shadow of a true Juve.

Disappointed considering that they got a lucky deflection and an offside goal still no excuses we were lucky that Bayerns offense isn't very effective.
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 12:03pm
I don't know what hurts more, our dissaperance act last night or this mornings german media calling Serie A little better than the German second division.

Awful performance last night even though i don't rate Bayern as much better than Juve! They are better on the wings but the rest including Attack and defense we are on even terms. However in these competitions you can't give to much respect to your opponent & we did exactly that.
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 11:53am
ALl that said, I don't think the game is lost. The real Juventus have to emerge from this. ditch Peluso, bring on Asamoah. Bring in Vucinic and Pogba for Matri and Marchisio. Give Pirlo a rest at the weekend and give him the ball. We barely mustered a goal threat. If this team has any balls - lets see them next week!
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 11:46am
SerieA is either an exhausting league or the physical training system in italy is wrong. My point is, Italians cannot perform on high levels in 2 consecutive games within 3-4 days. Ex: Italy in euro 2012, after a superb physical game vs. Germany, they collapsed in final. Just like yesterday, huge game vs. Inter then collapse physically vs. Bayern.
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 11:43am
It was a low energy performance, too. The defenders were dawdling all night. Litchsteiner is a petty player who gets involved in needless arguments and couldn't beat his man to cross the ball. Quags is good but needs to be played in - obviously. Matri is too technically inferior at this level - especially in an away game where posession is key. In the second leg I'd ditch Marchisio, bring in Pogba and Play Vucinic behind Quags. I'd also slap buffon in the face and remind him he's a legend.
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 11:43am
Worst juve since Conte took over. Peluso is WAY! out of his depth, Marchisio gone! AGAIN! pirlo lost the ball and wasted passes all night. front 2! useless esp with no service! why Asamoah didnt start god only knows i can understand conte wants all italians! But if they are not good enough then why bother?! Gio too small AGAIN! we have no pace to penetrate a team at all and no plan B Conte looked lost too. I can accept a loss but not in this manner! like a fish out of water.
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 11:41am
Bad night for Buffon to have a meltdown. The deflected goal was freakish - fair enough, that little nick completely changed the trajectory of the ball. But he constantly dithered and was at fault for the second, even if it was offside. Then again, why wasn't the player pressed and just allowed a cheap potshot? Marchisio does not have any impact at this level. i like the guy but he is a workhorse who can;t beat a man, can;t header the ball, can't dribble and has stopped shooting. Pogba.
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 11:39am
Maybe vucinic should have started the game...matri and quagrialia didn't hold unto the ball...and I expected a 3-5-1-1 formation with marchisio playin direcly behind Vucinic and poga startim from the midfield..that would have minimised the space that robben and ribery had...and pls peluso is too light and fragile let's get back to the ghanian..asamoah
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 11:06am
Conte should rest the entire team this weekend. Pirlo, having played all our games plus all the Italy games including useless friendlies this season, really looks tired at the moment. We have enough of a cushion in the league to risk a draw. Giaccherini for Lichtsteiner, Asamoah on the left and let's throw everything at them in Turin. We got lucky that Bayern were incapable of scoring the 4 - 5 that should have been scored last night. Let's make them rue that slip up in the return leg.
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 10:56am
I had a bad feeling about last night. Even though the aggregate score vs Celtic was impressive, the performances were not, & the warning signs were there. Marchisio is too lightweight. He runs a lot but never really affects the play. Pirlo is a liability. when Juve do not have the ball, he allows opponents a free run at the defence. He will always struggle against power, pace, & a high pressing game. Juve have come along way, in a short period of time, under Conte, but there is still much to do.
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 10:26am
Marchisio = Casper the friendly Ghost

Vidal did all the work yesterday, Pirlo wasn't given a chance to do much which is always the best tactic from any opposition.

Give Pogba Marchisios place!
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 10:20am
A dreadful performance! Worst of the season thus far. Credit to Bayern. Conte needs to adjust quicker. It was painfully obvious there was no plan B when Bayern harried the Juve defence. Plus the subs took too long to bring on. Matri and Peluso should have been subbed at half time and Pogba on for Marchiso if he didn't come into the game by the 55th minute. All in all a night to forget for Juve fans. Marotta: get that cheque book out!
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 10:17am
Yes Juve were poor but Bayern pressed Juve high up the pitch given Pirlo & the defence no time to settle and knock the ball about. Conte should have changed tactics. Having said that 2-0 away defeat is not a disaster and Juve can recover but we need a much improved performaces.
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 10:01am
The bad start cost them game plan went out the window! I think 2-0 is too big a lead against the stubborn defence of Bayern! Juve were too nervous and didn't play there way. Its all but over until next season.
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 9:59am
Ribery and Robben are a level above Lichtsteiner, Asamoah and Peluso. Juventus have four decent strikers but none of top 20 quality. Juventus need pace. They run and run but cannot take on players and are too dependant on Pirlo. Marchisio faded badly. Juventus need a fast top 20 striker. Sell Matri, Quagliarela and Giovinco. Go get Jovetic and either Suarez or Sanchez. It might take 40-50 mill. but selling the three other players will generate 40 mill. Then we have four quality strikers.
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 9:59am
Agree robben coming was worse thing that could happen for juve. Asamoah should have played, peluso is poor. The tie is finished. Bayurn i think will go on and win the tournament. Awesome team. No shame in losing to them but shame in juve performance. Playing for pride next week no more.
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 9:57am
Bayurn are far superior to juve. Juve have done well to get to quarter final. Expected juve to lose, but the team where outclassed. Marchisio was even worse than pirlo. Bayurn played with intensity and pressed the ball very well. Just lazio left, another poor year for our teams. Depressing.
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 9:51am
Think this blog sums it all up for Juve last night, the game changed when Kroos went off & Robben came on. Bayern used every inch of their pitch & really stretched Juve out of possesion, this resulted in us winning the ball back & being out of balance, isolating Pirlo & with Bayern's intense pressing we couldnt find a way out forcing erros or long passes! We needed an inspirational intervention from Conte that he didnt find! No doubt we will be back....FORZA JUVE!!!
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 9:42am
Awful performance. Juve where dire. Pirlo was awful, bayurn did a great job on him. Lucky to only lose 2-0. Bayurn played with great intensity and put juve under constant pressure. Buffon was unlucky on 1st goal but should do better on 2nd goal. Buffon made a lot of great saves to.
on the 3rd April, 2013 at 9:32am

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