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Thursday October 24 2013
Real Juventus show up in Madrid

Not helped by a controversial red card, Frank Tigani believes Juventus deserved more after a strong performance at Real Madrid.

Over the summer former Juventus boss Marcello Lippi said: “Juventus need a striker of a great level to win in Europe.” After being convincingly bundled out by Bayern Munich last season, they certainly needed something. And the common-held belief was that, as Lippi said, all they required was one quality forward. And they eventually signed one – in the name of Carlos Tevez.

Yet, the Argentine’s arrival has done little to improve the Old Lady’s fortunes in Europe. Well, at least up until now. Indeed, Antonio Conte’s side were in a better situation at this same time last year, where they had claimed three draws and three points. This time around, they have just two and qualification seems a little further off following Wednesday night’s defeat at the hands of Real Madrid.

Claudio Marchisio admitted as much after the game. “With this defeat qualification becomes more and more difficult.” It is not, however, entirely out of their hands just yet either. They will have to try and avoid defeat when they host Los Blancos in two weeks’ time and then they have to beat both Copenhagen and Galatasaray in Istanbul. It will definitely not be easy and, as Marchisio went on to warn, losing their next game would mean saying goodbye to qualification. And he is probably right.

It is an unfortunate predicament Juventus find themselves in. Perhaps just a little bit more luck and things would have gone a little better for the Old Lady. This was certainly the case at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night.

For the best part of the match, Juventus more than matched their great European rival, particularly in the first half. After 25 minutes the visitors had recorded six attempts on goal with three on target. Real Madrid had just two shots and one on target. It was much the same story after the first 35 minutes, though at this stage they were dominating possession too.

Yet it counted for little or indeed nothing. By the time the half-time break arrived Juventus found themselves trailing. Two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo had the Spaniards in the lead even if Fernando Llorente’s goal gave Juve hope in the second half.

Yet, any such hope dissipated early after the restart when Giorgio Chiellini was shown a straight red card after tussling with Ronaldo. Replays suggest it was a harsh decision, if not outright wrong and that Ronaldo had made a meal of it – and he certainly did. As Conte opined later: “It was absolutely not an elbow, but I still have to laugh, because if that can be considered a ‘clear scoring opportunity’ then so is everything.”

Though evidently frustrated, Conte was nevertheless pleased with what he saw from his men. “Tonight this team proved it can walk on this stage with the right tactical adjustments and at times played better than Real Madrid.” Speaking of tactical adjustments, Conte surprised many when he opted for a 4-3-3 formation, rather than his tried and trusted 3-5-2. And it has to be said, the new system worked to great effect.

The Old Lady has not been at her swaggering best of late and results have reflected this. But she showed on Wednesday night that the swagger is still there. Apart from the early goal, the backline of four were effective in keeping out their ridiculously star-studded opponents for large swathes of the game, even after going down to 10 men.

Further up the pitch, led by a tireless Tevez, Juve were sharp, cohesive and penetrating. In the middle, Paul Pogba once again exhibited his prodigious ability, especially after taking the reins from Andrea Pirlo who was withdrawn on the hour to a standing ovation from the Spanish crowd. It was a lovely show of respect.

Despite all their endeavour, the Italians ultimately ended up empty-handed when they deserved more. Many will point to the referee’s sending off of Chiellini as the turning point in the game and perhaps rightly so. After all, playing away to Madrid is difficult enough. When you are a goal down and then go a man down, well, it becomes an almighty task.

Yet, Juve reacted strongly and they will take much away from their overall performance. Like Conte said, they certainly did show they can match it with the best. If they wish to keep their European hopes alive, come November 5 they will have to show it all over again and be sure that this time they get what they deserve. 

Read more from Frank Tigani at The Divine Ponytail

Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.

Have your say...
Little correzzione on my part "ahem" euro 2012 I meant to write, Italy outplayed England, "OOOOPPPSSSS!!.....
on the 6th November, 2013 at 5:10pm
Well done guy's, great reponces to, Mr BOSS! obviously not an Italian football lover then but, commenting on an Italian football website, WHY?. Boss, preach your rubbish on English football sites and only come back when a single English team has won more European cups than an Italian one and, you've won more than 4 world cups (which will NEVER, NEVER, happen) until then, keep your mouth firmly shut and your stupid little small minded opinons to yourself & english football forums not ours!!!!
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 8:27pm
@ Boss. Juventus smashed Chelsea 3-0 in Turin with no problems. And Juve would do it again. Clearly you got no idea about anything. I think Chelsea are on par with Southampton.
on the 30th October, 2013 at 10:49am
@Boss, Napoli did go out to Chelsea on aggregate but gave Chelsea one hell of a scare! Napoli do not play at a slow pace which is what is being argued. Arsenal did them a few weeks ago but I'm guessing it wont be the same at the San Paolo!. And yes Napoli gave dortmund a footballing lesson a few weeks ago. Saying that the top 4 teams in serie a would not do well in the EPL is nuts. Italian players are lazy? I agree, 4 world cups is not enough!
on the 28th October, 2013 at 7:23pm
@Boss serie a "will and will" always be a footballers dream to play in. so may it be written and may it said. Your petty little tit for tat to smear a prestigious league just shows your footbaling knowledge.... "sigh" I guess haters will be haters. Oh forgot to mention, euro 2010 italy against england oh also Juve beating chelsea """WHAT""""".....
on the 28th October, 2013 at 4:34pm
Com'on BOSS Chelsea won the competition with Italian coach or my short them memory does not function properly:-(
on the 27th October, 2013 at 7:20pm
@ Boss. Why are you commenting on an Italain football website anyway! English football, Mmm let me see, how many times have you won the world cup? Oh that'll be just the once then...
on the 27th October, 2013 at 6:50pm
BOSS i am sure something is wrong w u big time.
U mentioned teams like Man. City who r coached by South American correct me but they just got stuffed by Bayern, Arsenal got hammered by Borussia ask yourself this r they playing more intense football than English surly not.
They may not have anything to do w English football do they wake up sunshine.
English football is what u si Roy Hodgson & co. w shaky lags try to qualify 4 some sort of international competition.
on the 27th October, 2013 at 4:45pm
Why is it stupid to compare them with Copenhagen when they can't beat them? I support juve, but these called Italian champions draw with Copenhagen? WHO?

Yes great Milan Drew with barca. Guess what Celtic beat barca? So did bayern and Chelsea. The fact Milan have played barca so many times in the last few years and only beaten them once is indicative of a poor league and a poor team. Oh and Milan are supposedly an 'Italian giant'. B realistic serie a sucks because of the style of football.
on the 27th October, 2013 at 4:17pm
Viktoria

I'm not saying serie a is uneventful but, out of the the top 4 leagues, in terms of the way football is played, serie a is boring. What makes it boring is the snail pace. So in serie a the pace isn't exposed as every Italian team is slow. But in the CL, when an Italian team faces a team from EPL or la liga, because those teams play in a fast league they tend to blitz Italian opposition who want centuries on the ball.
on the 27th October, 2013 at 4:13pm
Dario

Oh yes of course because Napoli knocked Chelsea out didn't they. Oh wait nope, Chelsea smashed them to pieces at home and then won the CL. Dortmund Napoli? What about arsenal Napoli? What about Milan being tortured by Tottenham, Man U and arsenal over the last few years.

You can argue all day until you're blue in the face but the stats don't lie. Have a look at them before you reply.

Check the Europa league out as well, when was the last time an Italian team came close?
on the 27th October, 2013 at 4:08pm
@boss

Forgot to mentions. Comparing them to them like Copenhagen (no offense) is just plain stupid. Juve did extremely well against a team that's spend half a billion on players last few years and Milan's did really well (for once) against team that's focus on tiki taka and diving. Italian league is a lot better then you think
on the 27th October, 2013 at 1:57pm
@boss Think your wrong in regards to Italian teams. Last few years yes, Italian teams been boring but currently the top teams, Roma, Napoli, Juve, fioretina, inter and Milan brings more sparks to calcio then any British team does to premier. Overall the season in Italy so far is anything but dull
on the 27th October, 2013 at 1:48pm
At Boss are you sure? Look what Napoli did to Chelsea two seasons ago! What did Napoli do to Dortmund a few weeks ago?
on the 26th October, 2013 at 9:33pm
Giuseppe

You know full well if you put Milan, juve, inter, Napoli in the premier league, the top four teams currently would not change. The Italian teams would finish below 4th place. Likewise if you put Chelsea, arsenal, Man U, Tottenham into serie a, arsenal or Chelsea would win.

It isn't the teams it is the style. English is aggressive and rough and intense. Italians are slow, therefore logic dictates the English would get the better of Italians.
on the 26th October, 2013 at 4:52pm
Giuseppe

Apparently your quite deluded. Italian teams are probably on a par with Copenhagen, galatasaray, shaktar, teams like that.

I live in England, nobody here fears Italian teams they are so easy to beat. Spanish don't fear them, Germans don't fear them. How can you say the Italian league is difficult compared with other leagues when Italian teams get battered into submission by continental teams? This is how truly dense people like u r, the facts slap u in the face and u still can't c it
on the 26th October, 2013 at 4:49pm
@BOSS... are you out of your mind? NO ONE wants to face Italian clubs because they are always hard to beat. Serie A might have a slower tempo but it's still an extremely hard league. There are no easy games in Serie A unlike in La Liga, PL... maybe that's also a reason why Spanish and English clubs look sharper in Europe than Italians. Still Milan held Barcelona and Juve was on par with Real and caused trouble even with 10 man.
on the 26th October, 2013 at 10:15am
Marchisio's fear is wrong. I certainly hope Juve dont lose at home to Real, but they are a counter attacking side with Ronaldo and Di Maria so it is possible. But if that happens, Juve will be on 2 pts and Galatasaray will probably be on 7pts. It will still be needed for Juve to win the last 2 games and reach 8pts, with a final day win in Istanbul. That will be tough, but probably easier than beating Real Madrid. The only way Gala could eliminate Real is by winning in the Bernabau- unlikely
on the 25th October, 2013 at 11:50pm
We should all now be accustomed to Italian teams being the teams other countries want to face because they are so easy to beat. A bit if pace kills Italian teams. I don't think it is a managerial problem. It is a cultural problem. Italian players are naturally lazy which is why the league is so slow and chilled out.

Other leagues like EPL and la liga are fast, aggressive and so much intensity. Serie A needs me to save it. Invest in treadmills, Quaker oats. Drop the lasagne and pasta not helpin
on the 25th October, 2013 at 5:17pm
Juve need someone like Cuadrado not a new striker. Tevez is GREAT!
on the 25th October, 2013 at 3:09pm
The fact is that both Juve and Milan are amongst the giants both in Italy and internationally so please stop this pathetic fight.
on the 25th October, 2013 at 9:33am
@ Anonymous Ok I'll bite. Milan have won the champions league 7 times and are the joint most succesful club in the world with Boca. While they have not won the Champions League since 2007 they have generally carried the flame for Serie A in that competition. Juve haven't. Now I could say that there are different referees in Europe but that would just be getting petty....
on the 25th October, 2013 at 8:28am
I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality we played with esp seeing as for half the game we were a man less and still gave a great fight.But I think its time for conte to start using the 4-3-3 even in italy even if not for every game...keep the opposition on their toes a bit.
on the 25th October, 2013 at 6:29am
I don't think Chiellini's red tipped the balance but certainly didn't help the cause.
Juve was just as good with 10 as with 11 - if someone can do it then they certainly can. The Pirlo standing ovation reminded me of the one for Ronaldinho when Barca won 3-0 at the Bernabeu. Hats down for the Real fans.

I am left speechless that a player with the mercurial talent of Ronaldo stains himself by taking theatrics to a whole different level ... why ?!
on the 25th October, 2013 at 4:27am
I think we should hit Madrid really hard in Turin and put maximum pressure on their defence, which is clearly a weakness. I would play 4-3-3 and my line-up(fitness allowing) would be...

Buffon - Lichsteiner, Barzagli, Caceres, Ogbonna -
Pirlo, Pogba, Vidal - Tevez, Llorente, Vucinic.

Chiellini was at fault for both goals in Madrid and is error prone at the moment, so he won't be missed.
Marchisio is useless and has to be dropped (although being born in Turin seems to give him a free pass).
on the 25th October, 2013 at 2:56am
@steven

Well tell your buddies over in us that it's the world biggest sport by far. It's not know for being a "physical" sport compared to ice hockey. However, I assure you getting a proper tackle from Paul scholes hurts.

On another topic, Ronaldo deserved free kick as chillini had he's arm way to high, that's pretty basic football rules. The ref can't post after he whistled advtange ronaldo then book him for failing "too easy".Getting sent off well that debatable.
on the 24th October, 2013 at 10:52pm
I'm a juve fan, but to be sincere, in my opinion, if a team like juve can't beat Copenhagen, then, they have no business doing in the CL. They better go back and wind the third scodetto in row so that at least we can have a third star on top of our logo. I like the change in numbers by Conte. But I prefer Gio on the left than Marchisio. If its 4312, then Marchisio as trequatista. Also, the 433 or 4312 will give juve a good 2nd 11. And so fatique will be less.
on the 24th October, 2013 at 10:49pm
@ Viktor

It is sad, and when they say "Soccer players are just a bunch of babies that roll on the ground crying like they've been shot when they haven't even been touched", you can't argue against that when you see something like what Ronadlo did last night, and yes I realize that for an organization to suspend or fine a player for simulation is some foreign concept that is unherd of in world football but it should be done. UEFA should suspend Grafe and Ronaldo. Both should be held accountable.
on the 24th October, 2013 at 10:31pm
Ah your so cute. Do you really think I care if you refer to me as viktoria? So weak man makes me laugh. If you'd read previous post you read I salute juve for their great effort but I guess reading never been your thing.

Once again, great job juve against real. Happy now kiddo?
on the 24th October, 2013 at 8:30pm
Whenever Juve lost, Viktoria always shows up. but then Milan lost,,,, he couldn't never be found. HAHAHA
on the 24th October, 2013 at 7:38pm

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