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Monday August 19 2013
Juventus – the Coppa killers

Juventus underlined with their Italian Super Cup win over Lazio that they will still be the team to beat this season, writes Giancarlo Rinaldi.

Their pre-season form had raised the hopes of every other side in Serie A. The difficulties of slotting in their new signings had people wondering if the big name acquisitions might adversely affect a well-oiled winning machine. And then, when the competitive matches started, Juventus blew away all the doubts in devastating fashion.

It is hard to credit that the start of their Super Cup demolition of Lazio started in a slightly fortuitous manner. It took an injury to Claudio Marchisio to get Paul Pogba on to the pitch. Within moments he had broken the deadlock and, in the process, suggested that Antonio Conte will have a job keeping him out of the side this year.

Prior to that strike, midway through the first half, neither side had really shone. There was more perspiration than inspiration on display from both teams prior. But a deadly spell at the start of the second half ended any thoughts of the Biancocelesti sneaking back into the match.

The route to the rout came via Stephan Lichtsteiner on the right flank. He motored through to tee up Giorgio Chiellini who was making a cameo appearance as a striker on a lightning counter-attack. Then he finished off a neat Mirko Vucinic flick himself. The panic in the heart of the Lazio defence was almost palpable.

The icing on the cake for Juventus came with a goal for Carlitos Tevez who had looked a little bit off the pace and out of the play up until then. The strike gave him confidence and he started to look much more at home in a black and white shirt. You get the feeling he will find the net plenty of times this year as he develops a greater understanding with his new teammates.

A flicker of resistance from the Roman side was easily enough snuffed out in the closing stages. Gigi Buffon denied Miroslav Klose their best chance but it was unlikely to kick-start any kind of revival. The capital club looked short of the quality required for that sort of comeback.

There was time, in the closing stages, for yet another pathetic display of the racism which haunted the Italian game last season. Jeers for Paul Pogba and Kwadwo Asamoah provided a depressing finale to the match. If Calcio wants to make a new start, it needs to tackle such idiocy head on.

On more sporting matters, the early indications were that Juve will set the standards for Serie A once again this year. Their old guard are still going strong and their new signings can make a significant contribution. Coach Conte will be driving them on to produce both in Italy and Europe.

As for Lazio, they need not hit the panic button just yet. They won’t come up against many teams in Italy as strong as the Bianconeri and can surely carve out a role in the top half of the table once again. On this display, they might struggle to retain their Coppa Italia or challenge at the very top end of the League. However, they have made a habit of defying the critics in the past and may well do so again.

All in all, the Super Cup was a tasty little appetiser for the season ahead. There was some sweeping, entertaining and attractive football on show for much of the match. It bodes well for a championship which is trying to re-establish itself as one of the best in Europe. If it can kick out the distasteful acts of racism, Serie A still has a lot to offer. Let’s hope those good elements shine through in the weeks and months ahead.

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Have your say...
After the signing of Bale, Juve should try to get Real's Isco for a one year straight lease. It would benefit every party involved. Juve would massively strengthen the left flank which is the only weakness left, Isco would get regular playing time at Champions League level and Real wouldn't have to care about satisfying 8 or 9 offensive players for 3-4 roles, of which Ronaldo, Bale and Isco prefer the same role. Go for it, Beppe M.!!!!
on the 28th August, 2013 at 6:38pm
@ Spigy

If you are not the strongest physically, it is vital that your technical ability is of a very high level.
Unfortunately for Marchisio, he is very weak physically and his technical flaws are screamingly obvious. Are you seriously saying that in a straight choice between Marchisio and Pogba, you would pick Marchisio? The trio of Pogba-Vidal-Tevez proved deadly at Sampdoria and will only get better. Pogba is the now and the future of Juventus, Marchisio pales next to him.
on the 26th August, 2013 at 7:41am
@Jack, thanks it's nice to read a comment that has sense in it.

I completely agree with you about the midfield at that time. It was a stop gap solution. Juve had been demoted so not many bg players woudl play for them so they needed soem mediocre midfielders who would cost them little. Marchisio propped up made himself useful.

Spigy, of course, why scoring against celtic and nord must mean your way above mediocre level. When he goes past three defenders consistently and scores, let me know!
on the 23rd August, 2013 at 1:25pm
People who say Marchisio has no technical ability are deluded. He is one of the most quick footed player on the team and one of the best short passers.

Just because he isn't as strong as Vidal, it doesn't mean he is a mediocre player. Did you NOT watch the match? He went through 3 players before he was fouled and injured...

He also scored in the CL against Nords and Celtic and was all over Chelsea at the Bridge.


Show some respect, or get a clue.
on the 22nd August, 2013 at 8:50am
@ DOMINATOR

Totally agree with your comments regarding Marchisio. Remember he was part of a sub-standard midfield with the likes of Poulsen, Tiago, Sissoko and Felipe Melo. It was only when we introduced the world class Andrea Pirlo and the mighty Arturo Vidal that we really started to compete. Now Pogba is without doubt a far better all-round player. If Marchisio had been born anywhere, other than Turin, he would not have played over 200 games for Juventus. He is a squad player at best.
on the 21st August, 2013 at 8:22pm
@ Uss

I agree with you in regards to a three man midfield of Pogba, Vidal and Asamoah. Andrea Pirlo is a master, a rare true world class footballer, a player I always wanted to see in black and white, but never thought I would see it. But the number of games he plays will have to be reduced gradually, to allow him to perform at his maximum. I also believe we cannot win the CL with Marchisio in the team. Pirlo needs powerful wing men to protect him, Marchisio is physically and technically weak.
on the 21st August, 2013 at 7:54pm
@Charlesjuve

I don't think its fair to compare this Juve side to the ones of Lippi or Capello. This a different squad still maturing and developing and are still playing some great attacking football.

As for the win over Lazio... I am not really impressed as the game was open until the 53th minute. Neither side really dominated until Lazio conceded the second goal and subsequently gave up.
on the 21st August, 2013 at 12:03pm
I hate to be pessimistic.bt ds juve aint better than lippi and capello's team.i doubt if they kan beat bayern or baka,let alone winning ucl.
on the 21st August, 2013 at 2:04am
@Viktor

All you care is about milan, when you jumped on the juve's news nothing better to say.

Back to juve...

To me it was Lich the man of the match, I wish he played this good all the time. Glad to see Tevez scored the 4th goals, and it was amazing team play reminds me of juve vs chelsea goals.

I hope Llorente back to the full fitness, and I do agree with Uss finally Vucinic starting to run as he knows Llorente and Tevez around.
on the 20th August, 2013 at 9:48pm
It was a great match but the racist chants spoiled the game-this was an embarassment to Italian soccer. Lazio lost fair and square to the better team so why stoop so low as to use monkey chants against the black players? Lazio deserves a punishment and a severe one like a 4 game ban from their home stadium so that Lotito can realize that this racism hits him right where it hurts the most-the wallet-and only when that happens will he personally ensure that there will be no more racist chants.
on the 20th August, 2013 at 9:45pm
I wished Juve would buy Willian!
on the 20th August, 2013 at 8:33pm
I am a Milanista but I hope Juve win the Champs League this year for the good of Serie A. The Bianconeri squad is looking pretty formidable, although Pirlo is still the key.

Juve is far too strong for the rest of Serie A. I just hope Milan can grab 2nd place from Fiorentina and Napoli.

Forza Milan and good luck Juve
on the 20th August, 2013 at 4:27pm
If Conte can get something extra out of Kolarov that he could not display in The prem then ok, otherwise I would prefer Zuniga.
If Bologna get a bit more realistic and lower their asking price (for Diamanti) to around 7m Euros then I think he'd be a good addition.
Berardi of Sassuolo is a player that Juve must buy and I hope that it's true that he is "booked" so to speak - we don't want another Verratti situation.
on the 20th August, 2013 at 1:59pm
@comments about marchisio

Be honest with yourselves, if he wasn't italian, and was instead a bulgarian, would anybody really be rating him as highly as they do?

Marchisio for me was a stop gap when juve were promoted to serie a, he has done his job and helped juve when they were desperate, but now juve are on to bigger things, so marchisio needs to go. He is getting in the way of Pogba. Having said that we need 2 players for the position but Pogba should start with marc as second choice.
on the 20th August, 2013 at 1:37pm
And I have to agree with Jack.I've always said this,Juventini around the globe have a soft spot for Marchisio but Pogba is undoubtedly more talented.I would love to see him being given a starting berth now that Marchisio is injured.Would be great to see Pogba in Pirlo's position and Asamoah drafted to Marchisio's spot if we get a wing back like Kolarov or Zuniga.Kondogbia is a beast who is young and already has this great partnership with Pogba(Under-20 case in point).He's expensive but worth every penny.It's looking very bright for Juve and hope we go that extra mile in this season's Champions league
on the 20th August, 2013 at 11:38am
Great game by Juve.It's actually becoming routine these days.Hope we don't get complacent this season.To Maldini's heir I say I respect most of your views on this site but this time I have to disagree. Dissatisfaction among Juve players???C'mon..I mean even the best team in the world(Bayern)who could arguably field 2 world class teams are able to keep everyone happy.Besides,Mr.Conte with his bizarre rotation system ensures everyone is happy.He has the players' respect,trust and allegiance.Ogbonna will surely play considering the number of matches to be played and unfortunate injuries that'll arise. I know how frustrating Juve is to all the other contenders now,but am sure Milan will be formidable challengers now and always.Great to see Vucinic finally putting on his running shoes.I love his confidence on the ball.One more signing(Kolarov,Zuniga,Diamanti,Kondogbia)and Juve should be invincible in Italy.
on the 20th August, 2013 at 11:30am
Pogba's versatility can not be doubted and the fact that he can substitute any of the midfielders is true. But it is also true that we depend on a playmaker(Pirlo) heavily. Pogba is not a playmaker and we need to buy one.
on the 20th August, 2013 at 10:00am
The strength of the Bianconeri shone through yet again. When you score four goals and your goalscorers come from a midfielder, a central defender, a wing-back and a striker, you know you have a quality few others can boast. Pirlo must be in clover, having two powerhouses in Vidal and Pogba as his wing-men. I am not a fan of Marchisio, and whilst I wouldn't wish injury on any of our players, his absence will allow Pogba to nail down his place alongside Vidal. For me it was a no-brainer anyway.
on the 20th August, 2013 at 3:06am
Great performance by Juve last night, saw whole match live and was thoroughly impressed.

Looking forward to start of season, and I don't see any anything different come the end of it next year, question will be, have they brought wisely and improved sufficiently to progress in the Champions League?

Oh, one last thing, am looking forward to reading Miss Campanale's blogs on all things anti-Juve...

Forza J U V E
on the 19th August, 2013 at 10:19pm
We are simply getting better and stronger under Antonio Conte.I feel that once Llorente gets going we will get stronger but I would love to see Zuniga being added.
on the 19th August, 2013 at 9:59pm
Juve looked very strong, although Lazio completely fell apart in 3 mins which ended the game with half an hour to go.

Really enjoyed Chiellini's goal. Great desire o get into the box and get on the scoresheet.

I see a Juve-Napoli fight for the title, but if Napoli don't add another striker and CB, Juve will take the crown once more.
on the 19th August, 2013 at 9:03pm
@mikkel

Yes in sure chillini is worth 63 mill and Vidal too.. Geez be real.
on the 19th August, 2013 at 6:05pm
A great victory - in Lazio's own back yard !! Starts the campaign off & hopefully this great early form will continue for the treble !!! Forza Juve !!!
on the 19th August, 2013 at 4:59pm
Chillieni, Pogba and Vidal are our three best players. Makes me laugh Arsenal and Madrid offered 20 mill. euro for them. They are worth the same as Cavani. 63 mill.
on the 19th August, 2013 at 3:22pm
Did not see the game but Lichtsteiner seems to have had his best game in a Juventus shirt if the highlights are anything to go by.
Things really looking positive for Juventus going into the next season, my only considerations would be:
1) When pirlo is rested, can the midfield still be just as effective with an albeit different tactical style?
2) Will Licht and Asamoah once again fall short in Europe (due to their lack of dribbling skills) in games against the truly big clubs (Bayern, etc).
on the 19th August, 2013 at 1:44pm
I would hate to be a lazio fan, completely owned by a superior team. Much acclaim needs to go to conte, this is his hardwork paying off. Look at his comments and how he works the media and his players, it is very intelligent. Juve will win the scudetto. No team is strong enough 2 compete. By the time milan, inter, napoli, fiorentina start firing on all cylinders, it will b the xmas break. Juve will start fast. Early bird catches the worm.
on the 19th August, 2013 at 1:24pm
Im sick of reading or listining to coments that juves pre-season games were raising concern! Coppa tim and guiness cup, i mean realy i dont see Conte telling his players to go hell for leather to lift pointless mickey mouse cups. Point of the argument is simply, one official game....one impressive result against a side considered to be one if Juves rivals this season. Juventus are and will be the side to beat not just this year but for a few years to come. Tevez will be outstanding.
on the 19th August, 2013 at 12:10pm
Don't understand why Lazio changed the formation with this game, and changed back to what the pre season formation was so late in the game. Disgusted with the Lazio racism, should get a bigger fine and few games closed stadium. Nevertheless still think Lazio will be better than this. Juve look good, and Vucinic and Tevez are playing good together. Will be an interesting year. Kolarov would be great in this team. Pogba is becoming world class very fast, very exciting player to watch.
on the 19th August, 2013 at 11:35am
Didn't see the game but depressing result. Juve under Conte play with a scary level of intensity and hunger. That for me is the big difference in Serie A. The only hope is that with the transfers this summer the team will become disreputed with rotations and disgruntled players on the bench. It looks like Ogbonna will be on the bench and will rotate with the other defenders which will help disrupt the back 3.
on the 19th August, 2013 at 10:58am
Chiellini's run from net to net somehow reminded me of Thuram's strike against Milan back in 2002-2003, strange isn't it ?

Anyway,
Juve seem to not stop hammering Roma's sides with 4 strikes each year. That makes me happy and Conte's Juve makes me proud.

Just like the sign I saw yesterday, In-'Conte'-ible.

Forza Juve.
on the 19th August, 2013 at 10:16am

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