Following a morale-boosting win over Lazio last weekend, few had envisioned the type of horror show we witnessed from Juventus as they succumbed to their first loss of the season at the hands of Sassuolo on Saturday.
This was the kind of performance that the likes of Wojciech Szczesny and Federico Gatti will want to forget as soon as possible. Nevertheless, it might end up haunting them for the rest of the days.
While almost the entire team was under par, the aforementioned duo took center stage in what unfolded as a tragicomedy play at the Mapei Stadium.
The Italian defender and Polish goalkeeper each produced several gaffes. Their miserable evening reached its climax when combining to score a shocking own-goal that sealed Sassuolo’s 4-2 victory.
Nevertheless, one can argue, that based on the displays from the first five rounds of the season, Juventus might have bigger concerns than the two men’s stinker from last night.
After all, Szczesny has been at the club since 2017, and this was arguably his worst performance ever since. Although he suffered dips in form on some occasions (like the start of the 2021/22 campaign) he had always been able to overcome complex periods and reclaim his position as one of the best custodians in the league.
Moreover, Max Allegri can always resort to the reliable Mattia Perin in case the Pole fails to swiftly bounce back.
As for Gatti, we’re talking about a defender who remains green despite celebrating his 25th birthday. This is only his second season in the top flight, and his first as regular starter.
The former bricklayer has been showing positive signs in recent weeks, but these type of off-nights are bound to ensue, mainly due to the lack of experience. In any case, Juventus don’t have any other option but continuing to thrust Gatti amidst the lack of alternatives.
So here some potentially more worrying matters that could haunt Juventus throughout the rest of the campaign.
Since the start of the season, Adrien Rabiot has been a shadow of the player who bossed the middle of the park last season and cemented himself as a pillar on both phases of the game.
It could be that the 28-year-old still isn’t at his optimal physical condition, but his current clumsy displays are evoking memories of the player’s first three underwhelming campaigns in Turin.
Is Dusan Vlahovic truly back to his best, or is it a mere false dawn. Only the next few fixtures can reveal the answer.
The Serbian bomber put Lazio to the sword last weekend with a superb brace, raising his tally to four goals this season.
Yet, the 23-year-old failed to bury what should have been an easy scoring opportunity (regardless of whether he was offside or not), as his shot was both feeble and off target.
This is the sort of inconsistent runs that raises concerns regarding the player’s ability to become a bona fide world-class striker.
In a parallel universe, Domenico Berardi would have brought his superb technical skills and mesmerizing left foot to Juventus. Instead, the 29-year-old continues to punish the Bianconeri for their inability to pull the deal off the line.
Although he should have received his marching orders for a nasty challenge on Gleison Bremer, the winger displayed his wide array of weapons on Saturday evening, showing Juventus what they lack at the moment.
Allegri’s men do not possess any sort of attacking flow at the moment, as the team mainly relies on a magic moment from Chiesa for inspiration.
Just imagine how it have been with someone like Berardi darting the opposite wing and combining with his fellow Euro 2020 winner.
But amidst the lack of creative attacking options and in the absence of any tactical brilliance whatsoever, Juve’s struggles to produce chances may well haunt them for the remainder of the season.
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