Juventus secured a 3-1 win over Maccabi Haifa, here are Lorenzo Bettoni’s instant reactions from the Allianz Stadium and his tops and flops.
Football Italia was among the accredited media at the Allianz Stadium tonight. Here are our instant reactions from Turin as well as the best and worst players in the game.
El Fideo the difference maker
A hat-trick of assists for Di Maria, who won the game single-handedly for the Bianconeri. The through ball for Dusan Vlahovic in the second half was sublime. El Fideo was Juventus’ technical leader and never lost his composure even when the visitors got back into the game with David’s goal at minute 75. Eight minutes later, El Fideo delivered his third assist for Adrien Rabiot, who hadn’t scored in the previous 50 appearances. Magia.
Juventus not as solid as they used to be
It’s a common trait of the last few seasons. A problem that Max Allegri hasn’t been able to solve yet. Maccabi scored once but had at least three more clear goal-scoring opportunities and even hit the post twice. During the good old days, Juventus were able to nullify the opponents’ attacks by sitting deep once the result allowed them to do so.
When they did it tonight, they were far more exposed to Maccabi’s attacks and not even Leonardo Bonucci’s involvement in the second half helped the Bianconeri keep a clean sheet. It must be said that Gleison Bremer showed signs of improvement, winning many aerial duels.
Allianz Stadium crowd
Only 28,498 fans attended tonight’s match at the Allianz Stadium, including more than 2,100 from Israel, who were way noisier than the home supporters. Yet again, Juventus’ home ground is not the same as it used to be. Far are the days when opponents feared facing the Old Lady in Turin.
Maccabi never gave the feeling they could win the game, but in other circumstances, the Bianconeri could have been affected by the lack of support from their fans. The situation is slightly improving compared to the last few seasons, but the atmosphere is no longer the same at the Allianz Stadium.
Angel Di Maria – What a player, the real difference maker for Juventus. By far the player with the most quality in the team. Juventus have been missing him in the opening stages of the season due to injuries and suspensions, but El Fideo seems to be getting in shape and it is a pleasure to watch him in action live.
Adrien Rabiot – First two goals in 50 appearances. Allegri said two weeks ago that the France international was one of the players he had missed the most (yet again, due to injuries) and the ex-PSG man showed his worth tonight. He is not a natural goal-scorer but provides balance and experience in the middle of the park.
Dusan Vlahovic – He scored once and saw another one disallowed. Finally, Juventus fans saw a smile on his face. Like every striker, he is truly happy only when he finds the net. Second goal in two games. That’s why he came here.
Wojciech Szczesny – The Poland international was caught in no man’s land when Maccabi scored the only goal of the night, which could have been costly. Juventus shook a bit after that, but Di Maria had one of his days and his third assist of the night helped Juventus secure a crucial win. The ex-Arsenal man partially redeemed himself afterwards with a good couple of saves.
Manuel Locatelli – He was introduced in the second half, but lost the ball that led to Maccabi’s goal and shared the blame with ‘Tek’ Szczesny.
Moise Kean – His impact on the game was also minimal. Maccabi pushed forward, trying to score and leaving space for him and other Juventus attackers. The Italy international always played at a slow tempo and never caused trouble for the visitors. Juventus surely need more from him, especially because tonight he had all the ingredients to leave his mark.