All Stories, Match Review Coppa Italia

Coppa Italia Final – AC Milan 0-1 Juventus

May 22, 2016

I’ve just had to watch the highlights to seek out anything I may have missed from the match from the first viewing. Hardly to relive the glory, although of course the one piece of quality in the final third from either side which decided the match once again warmed my heart and conjured a smile to my haggard countenance. But no, I was hoping for a few positive moments to draw upon, which I may have missed. Which were not to be found.

The double double has been achieved, and the performance which dragged us over the line is less important than the result it earned. I doff my Panama to Allegri and the club as a whole, raise my glass of russian firewater in their honour and then I must revert to type…

Unfortunately this was not the spectacle we had hoped for. Milan made all the running, dominated large swathes of the game and were it not for their absence of quality in the final third, would have won the game handsomely and dare I say deservedly.

Player Ratings

during the TIM Cup match between AC Milan and Juventus FC at Stadio Olimpico on May 21, 2016 in Rome, Italy.

Neto

By far the busier of the keepers, the under-used Brazilian made one superb save low down to his right when moving to the left. Other than which played his part in the siege which ebbed and flowed towards his goal throughout the first 90 minutes. 7

Barzagli

Over-worked and unable to impose himself on his opponents yet stood firm enough in the final reckoning. 7

Chiellini

By far our most bullish element in the rear-guard yet his lack of matches of late showed in his distribution on several occasions, thankfully none of which put us in serious trouble 6.5

Rugani

Vital experience in the development of the youngster, surely his toughest game in our colours to date. I see new aspects of his game slowly appearing, such as tactical fouls and knowing when to take the ball out of defence at his feet. To suffer is to learn, and he will have taken great value from surviving such an lively encounter relatively unscathed. 6.5

Lichsteiner

Not helped by a very poor defensive showing by Lemina for much of the game, Stephan laboured diligently as always, found a half chance up top and otherwise was kept very busy indeed by Bonaventura and Poli. The absence of assistance from midfield caused plenty of problems for the Swiss Locomotive. Average, or even poor by his own high standards, yet mitigating circumstances were at play. 6

Evra

Made one crunching sliding challenge in the first half, yet struggled to forge any meaningful support higher up the field. As with Lichsteiner on the opposite flank, he was often over-run as the overlapping midfielders and fullbacks were constantly thrown down the wing towards and through him. With Pogba out of sorts and constantly surrounded and mauled the frenchman was often left with no option but to cede possession.  6

Don’t wave, put your boot in!

Lemina

I am still working out what kind of player he is, where his strengths lie and I am beginning to conclude that he is at his best when nicking the ball deep and charging forward, as he did on several occasions, one of which led to the goal. However, his defensive play and positioning, eagerness to place himself in an area where he can launch the attack is not at all in line with the box to box demands of the CMR role in our 3-5-2. At times – especially in the first half – we seemed to have only 2 central midfielders on the field. Which is one of the major reasons why we were constantly pinned back in our own half. Lichsteiner has no natural chemistry with the Gabonese and was offered little support against a side very much focusing their attacks down the flanks. He needs to play further forward. Perhaps as a trequartista? His passing is top drawer and the lad can dribble and shoot. Yes yes! He was integral in the winning goal, yet far too unable to impose himself on the midfield to be commended for this performance. Admittedly, he is far from match sharp and has played very little football this year. Sturaro would have been a better choice I believe for this match. 6

Hernanes

Hard working and constantly trying to make something happen, yet with all options ahead of him constantly closed down, he found more failure than success. Some will likely be more harsh than myself, yet for me, in such a game where we are on the back-foot for long periods, the very least I demand to see of the central midfielders is presence, involvement and effort. All of which Hernanes displayed. Like many others, he was at best average. 6

Juventus' midfielder from France Paul Pogba reacts during the Italian Tim Cup final football match AC Milan vs Juventus on May 21, 2016 at the Olympic Stadium in Rome. AFP PHOTO / TIZIANA FABI / AFP / TIZIANA FABI (Photo credit should read TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)

Pogba

Should have had a penalty, which seemed to throw him off his game thereafter. Unlucky with a couple of passes into the box, though his lack of maturity was in effect more often than flashes of his sublime power and talent. Constantly fouled by Fucka. Offered very little protection by the ref. And found reverting to attempting to overplay when a simple pass may have been more useful, yet pass to who? Irritated and losing his head at times, he will be happy with the trophy, but not with his own efforts on the field. 6.5

Dybala

Well marshalled and whilst he constantly looked for space and the ball, he never found the two combined in positions where he could damage the opponents. 6

Mandzukic

Toiled and yet achieved very little. His lack of pace and support caused the Milanese defence little trauma, his sole effort of note more of a cross than a shot. 6

Sandro

Finally the game began to change when the flying wingback entered the fray. Pogba appeared to calm and find focus, inroads were made higher up the field and the Fucka/Honda axis lost its dominance. He will be starting next season surely in the first XI. As we are always a better side with him on the field. 7

Cuadrado

His cameo offered an overview of his season. For his clever and well executed pass for Morata to smash home for victory was top drawer, after which he became muddled and messy in our rear-guard action, lost positional discipline and could easily have handed a better side a direct route to goal. Its that inconsistency which has bothered me since his first game in our colours. Against Milan his errors went unpunished, though against stronger foes, he could have cost us dearly. When we are 1-0 up in extra time I would expect to see greater not lesser focus and concentration. Appreciate his efforts and he has played his part in our success, yet I will not be sad to see him leave. Wondrous pace and 5 times out of 10 he will produce an intelligent pass into the danger area when finding a good position. Still…not good enough for the top level. 6.5

during the TIM Cup match between AC Milan and Juventus FC at Stadio Olimpico on May 21, 2016 in Rome, Italy.

Morata

It had to be the Spaniard. Why he wasn’t introduced earlier is now of no consequence, for with what may have been his first touch, Alvaro clinically despatched the winner with superb technique. It is no surprise to learn that his resurgence of late has come from his heart finding home in the bosom of a new lover. With his form up until that point rather haphazard, perhaps due to the split last Summer with his former flame. An emotional chap, whose romantic zeal I can hugely relate to, for I am not just a happier man when in love, I am a better man. Other than which I am prone to the dissolute, to darkness, to seeing the worst of the world more easily than the best. I am convinced he is departing, yet believe the club will offer up to 25m to keep him. Which could be enough. The suggestion of the player’s will holding zero weight in any prospective move is too strange a thing for me to accept. If he goes, it will be his decision. 8

Brocchi set up his side to fight. To hustle. To rile. To push from the first whistle to the last. His club must take pride from their magnificent effort, for they flew from the traps like dogs of war and were very unlucky not to find the luck or quality required to turn their dominance into goals. I was very impressed with De Sciglio, who I am now ever more eager for us to sign in the Summer. He was not just solid at the back but a serious threat going forward. Zapata was monstrous. And their midfield owned the central channels, blocked out all runs through the middle other than Lemina late on, supported the attack brilliantly and were a joy to behold! Other than Pogba’s menacing shadow, Fucka…The slovakian was horrid. A spiteful brute who can also play.

Poli was also in fine fettle. Delicate on the ball and able to find great positions in the box. Another worth a mention is Montolivo, whose form seems encouraging going into the EUROs with Verratti out injured.

I kept thinking throughout the match that we needed something to happen to light the fire, a tackle, a chance, anything to spark us into life. Yet it never happened. We only appeared stronger when Milan began to tire. Even after the goal we were a listing ship and could easily have thrown the victory away with a series of schoolboy errors in defence and out wide. Mauri’s shot at the death was mere centimetres wide.

Pogba needs to learn calmness in the face of adversity. The more he succeeds the more he will be targeted with however far the laws of the game can be stretched to thwart his progress. We were very much relying on his zeal, which was only provided in brief glimpses. If he is to achieve his dreams, he must accept the rough with the smooth. He can be the world’s best and has plenty of time to further develop, hopefully in Turin, yet he is not ready to take on the responsibility his talent and ambition crave.

Hardly any player in black and white came out of the skirmish able to hold their head high and say they gave their all. Which would be more of a concern had we lost. It is fair to factor into the appraisal of such a debacle the absence of competitive fixtures for more than a month. However, this can not be allowed to be an excuse in future. For a fine example of a true juventino, we can peek at the reactions of Beppe and Pavel when in the dying seconds Mauri went within a whisker of taking us to penalties. Beppe, never a player but supreme in his own rights as Transfer Chief was immensely animated, whereas Nedved looked upon the chance with steel, no emotion, no reaction other than a barely perceptible calm rage in his glare. No doubt disgusted to see us conceding such a chance whilst so close to victory. And rightly so.

ROME, ITALY - MAY 21: Massimiliano Allegri head coach of Juventus FC celebrates the victory after the TIM Cup match between AC Milan and Juventus FC at Stadio Olimpico on May 21, 2016 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)

Two seasons – Champions League runner-up, two league titles, two coppa italias.

Still, to look at the match from a different perspective…Neto had one decent save to make and he made it. 

Credit where it is due. Allegri’s substitutions won us the game. It is a welcome end to a rollercoaster of a season during which we were written off before christmas, came back magnificently to break records, find ourselves woefully unfortunate not to beat Bayern Munich and progress in Europe, claim our 5th straight scudetto and second domestic double on the trot.

This team is growing, learning, maturing and there is so much more still to come. We have a wonderful balance of experience and blossoming talent. A winning mentality. Very promising youth sector. The future looks ever so bright and already I cannot wait until next season begins! Until which we will have to sate our thirst with the EUROs and mercato dramas, yet I assume that Beppe and Fabio are very eager to avoid last season’s late flurry and sign our targets sooner rather than later.

forza juve

TGP

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  • Jack Handey

    Great analysis as always, Gutter. I don’t know what I have to do for you to embrace Cuadrado. We’ll see whether management takes my side or yours this summer 🙂

    Lemina has been good, but certainly doesn’t keep the team controlled and balanced like Marchisio. Hernanes has redeemed himself somewhat since his abysmal start earlier in the season. Neither of them do what Pirlo/Marchisio did for this team. So, management definitely has to find some solution this summer.

    • Jack! Its not what you have to do, my friend, but what Cuadrado has already shown me. I won’t be horrified to see him remain, but to spend more than 15m on what will essentially be and has been this season – a squad player, seems a waste of our gold. If he has been good enough to start he would have played more often than Lichsteiner, if he had been potent enough in the final third, we would have changed the formation to accommodate his talents. Neither are the case.

      Lemina is not in any way a natural regista (neither is Marchisio – he is far more technically offensive than defensive but his major talent is his mentality, hence he can adopt to the role which requires a huge amount of defensive discipline and awareness of what is both behind and in front).

      I assume we will purchase a DM/CM whether that be a perfect fit for the position, such as Matic, or a flair merchant very comfortable on the ball able to dictate play from the back a la Pirlo. I prefer the latter. Gomes seems under serious consideration as he can play both deep and further forward. Yet we will be priced out of any move for him.

      Mandragora’s natural position is DM and if Hernanes is sold, I would be keen to see the youngster come in as the back-up/challenger.

      Biglia is another option, who I quite like…Other than Rolando, we also have Bouy and Appelt who both play close to a regista position. However, we are extremely unlikely to bring in two youngsters for the same position.

  • Fantastic overview of the match – much inclined to agree with all you wrote there TGP – The midfield was largely MIA last night, especially Lemina, who i suspect needs more time alongside the senior heads like Khedira and Marchisio.

    It certainly wasn;t a good game by our standards – Can’t help but feel lucky to have won the trophy in the end, Milan dominated us at times. My concern was that at no stage, did we really get our act together and start playing the football we’re capable of.

    Lucky, but I’ll take it – Another trophy in Allegri’s impressive haul – 5 in 2 years, 10 in 6 years for the Juve management. A great way to end out the season !

  • BelgianJuventino

    I was majorly worried by the worrying amount of errors I saw, Evra and Lemina especially made some wayward passes. Mandzukic was nowhere to be seen, Dybala was ineffective at best, Pogba frustrated at all this… Not a good game at all, as you said!

    Fortunately Morata thrives on big games.
    For me he remains one of the most important assets in the team. Keeping him should be top priority!

    • Unfortunately it is out of our hands, comrade…My conclusion of Morata’s head been turned by the premier league (perhaps his old pal Mourinho…or Conte at Chelsea) and perhaps his new lady likes London, has been augmented of late by the conclusion that for Real, Morata is less of a threat to them (in Europe) playing at Arsenal, Chelsea or Man United than he is at a resurgent, ever more confident Juve.

      • BelgianJuventino

        Yes, I know but I will continue hoping until confirmed it was in vain.

        There is still a possibility. If Juve offers 20-25 mill, that means his total value is 40-45 million, maybe Real is satisfied with that.

  • Dar Black

    So we have 4 players to pay for, and the estimates are: Berardi E25m, Morata E30m, Pjanic E38m, Cuadrado E25m. We don’t think we can afford them all, so which t/fer gets dropped? Something has to give. Can Berardi play in the role that Cuadrado does?

    • BelgianJuventino

      Well, we’ll pay max 25mill for Morata and if I’m not mistaken Cuadrado was to be purchased at 22mill, or so was the gentleman’s agreement.

      Combined that makes 110mill, which is evidently not going to be spend. I’m pretty sure Cuadrado won’t be bought. So that drops 22mill and we’re looking at a 88million expenditure.

      Which probably also won’t be spend 😛 But we need to calculate more precisely, there will be some sales too. I think we can get to 25mill for Zaza. 20 for Mandzukic. Pereyra 15 and Neto about 10mill. Hernanes no more than 5mill.

      They won’t all be sold and they won’t actually fetch these sums I assume.
      Then add in the profits from other sources as ticket sales, fan merchandise, sponsor deals, CL revenue etc…

      I don’t know how much income they made and therefore I have no idea if we can spend close to 90million euro’s.

      But after a rather early CL exit, I feel pessimistic we can afford this.

      • ADP#10

        I wouldn’t buy Cuadrado even for 10-15M, because as TGP quite rightly says, he is not good enough for this club. I’m not sure how more people don’t see that…

        Also does anyone know why Andrea Agnelli, who is worth $1.5 billion himself, not invest a few tens of millions into transfers when we need them, it is pretty much an investment for him. I’m not saying anything negative about him at all, I think he’s been excellent, I’m just wondering if anyone knows?

        • Dar Black

          It’s a bad investment as almost all football clubs are! Most owners / chairman do it for love or glory rather than as a shrewd investment. It’s John Elkann who inherited the empire ADP, and Andrea Agnelli was appointed by him as Juve chairman.He does not own the club. Having said that, Elkann got €100m investment in via Exor (the holding company of all Agnelli businesses), a few years back and that went in to the books as a recapitalisation of Juventus – so is owed back to them as shareholders. But in truth it probably will be a long time if ever before it gets paid back.

          It was understood after years of subsidies by L’avocatto that enough was enough, and the club had to be financially sound on it’s own. I doubt there will be any further investment by Exor soon, but having seen the 3rd quarter financial statement Juve released on their website a week or so back we are doing good business. Income is up €67m for the 9 months over the year previous, and has already broken over €300m so far with another quarter to go. So not too shabby, although board are still expect a loss for the financial year – probably due to the transfer dealings in the summer.

          So who knows? Maybe Agnelli and Beppe have a lot more to play with than we think they do. We are the 10th richest club in Europe. We are not paupers.

          • ADP#10

            Hmmm, okay thanks for the explanation!

        • BelgianJuventino

          Agreed – I am writing a piece on the topic where I discuss Cuadrado among others!

          On Agnelli, I dont think he even can do that. The sugardaddy way of investing money in the club isnt allowed anymore due to FFP rules

          • Andrea is on the board of EXOR and FIAT and likely has some work to do there, yet his main role seems to be Juve President. As DB pointed out, we were given a huge lump which helped with the stadium in turn as well as purchases, which was needed to overhaul the horror years of Secco’s profligacy which got us nowhere.

            From an investment point of view, the club has done very well indeed these last few years. The debt remains steadily decreasing, further development ongoing on the location of the new stadium. We are dominant domestically, and a growing force in Europe. There is no need to inject many more millions. I am sure the debt can be extended, yet not by much and why should it be?

            Money has been used wisely, we have returned to the top and from here on in, we need to make use of what we have, allow our success to add to our earnings. There is huge scope for improvement in marketing, which is the only way we can maintain out position in the top ten richest clubs, given the new premier league tv rights deal its going to be difficult. As I mentioned before…the bottom ranked club this season in the premier league will earn the same from domestic tv rights as the top placed serie A team. This is a huge deal. One which the italian clubs as a whole need to get together to work out how to bridge the divide over the coming years. Absent of which, Serie A will become poorer and less watched, the teams unable to match the wages of the premier league which should lead to less competitive teams. Still, that doesn’t take into account heart, spirit and determination.

          • Sebastián Quiceno

            Hi there TGP

            First of all I am VERY VERY impressed with this side of you talking Juve corporate and financial matters so knowledgeable and fluently apart from your very detailed tactical match performance analysis, and besides your more artistic and literary style pieces.

            With time I have realized how good your contributions are (as are also the ones by other commenters and contributors)and now that I think of it was definitely one of the factors which got my attention and kept me coming back to this blog/site in the first place. Because this website reeks of knowledgeable, smart, natural and very professional people which happen to be also great Juventini. About that all I have to say is: man.. Juve must be proud of the fans it has, after all similar to what marotta said I think: Juve needs fans worthy of Juve, which indeed at JuveFC I have found in spades (borrowing a term of yours I think).

            I couldn´t agree more with you that the top brass´s view is for the societá to grow organically rather than with capital infusions since that is the smart way. One think I love about Juve and many people praise incluiding some players is that Juve is managed as a Blue chip. Since its inception Juve is not your average club founded by average people and managed in that same fasion. I know specially with A. Agnelli Juve is handled with the highest of standars which is something that makes me so proud of my team and makes me fall in love with La Madama even more.

            I have a vague idea about L. Moggi, have a basic idea about John Elkann and A. Agnelli but I have one question, who is Lapo?

            Great work TGP I look forward to more Juve corporate side comments and pieces from you Poet.

          • My friend, whose words are always welcome and glittering from afar. Many thanks as always for the praise and encouragement and solidarity, one of the major positives of the internet is the chance of unearthing of connections which may never otherwise have revealed themselves…Lapo, whose name seems wonderfully elfin, is the playboy brother of John. He had worked mainly in the marketing areas of Fiat and Ferrari, has his own communications business, loves Juve and is renowned for his flamboyant if not classy dress sense and lively character. He is Prince Harry to William. A hint of the rascal in his antics…As with the Agnellis, Lapo and John are descended from nobility. No doubt his forefathers lived in a castle, counts and dukes galore in the blood lines. I am quite sure the brothers are first cousins of Andrea.

    • 25m for Cuadrado? No chance…I have long assumed he is off to London. Also feel that Morata has no interest in staying at Juve, and is simply mulling over the present offers from England, and may well decide after the EUROs.

      Pjanic for 38m seems like a good purchase, though that does not help fill the Marchisio hole in front of the defence and Hernanes, whilst viable, is a back-up for a better player there, which is not how we should be starting next season. Gomes seems more likely, in terms of his natural position. Yet the price ever blossoms…Fabio and Beppe have A-D for each position we are targeting; there are clearly more options than those the press has got wind of.

      Berardi is a wide forward, could probably play behind a front two or as part of a duo behind a target man in a 4-3-2-1. Nowhere near the pace of Cuadrado, nor eagerness to dribble, but immensely stronger in front of goal and his distribution is intelligent and expansive.

      We made some money from the champions league, winning the league and cup and also from sponsorship deals. Will also make some money from departures. Zaza, Morata, Pereyra, Hernanes and Asamoah seem the most common list vaunted by the press in terms of who may leave. If that crowd all depart we would be looking at 90m. To add to whatever is in the kitty from the TV money from league and Europe and other income.

      25m for Berardi seems done.
      10m for De Sciglio
      Mandragora brought into the ranks.
      9m Lemina
      Benatia or other experienced CB – 15m
      25-35m Morata or his replacement
      40m Gomes
      10m Duncan

      I do not see that as beyond our means…140m spent after receiving 90m in transfer fees, also maybe a chunk of the Coman money plus our other incomes. That would be the most we would be spending I believe.

  • Sebastián Quiceno

    Salute to you TGP, great read as always. Here again to see your take about current events. It is always very enlightening your tactical view of the game.

    To reflect on the Coppa Italia Performance.

    Yes Milan gave it all (Montolivo said it too), yes we played sloppy too often, still Juve´s performance doesn´t worry me even a little looking at the future, on the contrary it gives me hope and a confident smile :D. We played sloppy only cause we had an improvised midfield not oiled or automated at all, Hernanes is just an emergency regista and we saw Lemina-Hernanes-Pogba mid for the 1st time, It was just a one off. Heck even Max maybe experimenting a thing or two towards 2017 (Barzagli libero -saw it last game too-, and the Lemina-Lich tandem)

    Also Juve are on postseason/Euro-Copa America mode and I am totally fine with it, I´d rather have them chill a bit rather than burn them off. They are humans after all, and above all some are very young. We must balance the pressure we exert on them lest a fuse goes out.

    I JUST LOVE how Juve were more pragmatic, (some may call it cynical). Despite how fighting, proud, eager Milan were we still beat´em. If we are this pragmatic against Europe´s top sides winning even in 2nd gear, improvising, or not on our day (sparking suddenly into brilliance and being clinical), we will win UCL without much hurdle, and rather often.

    We played like a top tier europe team should approach a domestic match: 1) Don´t concede and 2) spark into genius mode even just one more time than the opponent.

    We should really value this win, . I find it amusing how people always prefer to win even if they don´t play well, when you actually win now they want the team to dominate and flip the other team upside down and in circles, if you manage to do it people will now expect sublime performances every single time – that is definitely not easy domestically and much less in Europe- so intead of this las line i prefer or would rather say “deliver when it matters most” yesterday I heard a line by Gabriel Batistuta, tranlated it´s something like Top players crave most for the big showings, the rest that there is in between is just protocol (build up)”

    I agree and am totally convinced there was a divine (some call it “luck”) element, suddenly form a throw in out of the nothing Juve´s spark lightened up and we saw a sublime play started by Morata followed by Sandro, Mandzukic, Lemina Cuadrado and back again to Morata. I´d rather have them lighten up once or twice in a match and win than have them dominate and flip around the opponent and show superiority only to lose in the end like it happened against Bayern. But make no mistake, Bayern´s result was not a show of pragmatism it was flat improvisation out of desperation and ultimately destiny.

    Pogba, Morata, Dybala Zaza are still kids still the levels at which they perform truly amaze me. Still We are making very big strides on maturity and confidence levels and that really puts a confident/cynical smile on my face. Recognition be to the society nurturing them to grow.

    I will repeat it cause I really crave that as a bottom line we incorporate into our approach this “sudden spark of brilliance clinical killer blow style” at Juve (Thats why I am so gald I saw it there yesterday). Add on top of it game control (which I agree we must improve), and fluid aesthetic play with consistency (Which is not a sine qua non but should be there) because i understand that we all have a propension to not want to be scared, want to dominate want to see fluid play as a spectacle, but if we want to be a true powerhouse and compensate for the most UCL finals lost compared to those won I personally think we need this kind of approach because soccer as it is more than a show it is a competition. (Montolivo said somehting like- If it was boxing they would have won on points- but soccer is surely not boxing and I am glad if i see signs the societá, the players, and even the tifosi don´t think of soccer as a boxing match.

    Thank you JuveFC for the chance to comment, and above all thank GOD for Juve´s single brilliance spark and Jose Mario´s shot miracle bullet dodge at min 121:45. Yes it was a Miracle Milan didn´t tie and we didn´t risk losing on penalties but on it i think being pragmatic includes embracing God´s hand when it is on your side.

  • Sebastián Quiceno

    Salute to you TGP, great read as always. Here again to see your take about current events. It is always very enlightening your tactical view of the game.

    To reflect on the Coppa Italia Performance.

    Yes Milan gave it all (Montolivo said it too), yes we played sloppy too often, still Juve´s performance doesn´t worry me even a little looking at the future, on the contrary it gives me hope and a confident smile :D. We played sloppy only cause we had an improvised midfield not oiled or automated at all, Hernanes is just an emergency regista and we saw Lemina-Hernanes-Pogba mid for the 1st time, It was just a one off. Heck even Max maybe experimenting a thing or two towards 2017 (Barzagli libero -saw it last game too-, and the Lemina-Lich tandem)

    Also Juve are on postseason/Euro-Copa America mode and I am totally fine with it, I´d rather have them chill a bit rather than burn them off. They are humans after all, and above all some are very young. We must balance the pressure we exert on them lest a fuse goes out.

    I JUST LOVE how Juve were more pragmatic, (some may call it cynical). Despite how fighting, proud, eager Milan were we still beat´em. If we are this pragmatic against Europe´s top sides winning even in 2nd gear, improvising, or not on our day (sparking suddenly into brilliance and being clinical), we will win UCL without much hurdle, and rather often.

    We played like a top tier europe team should approach a domestic match: 1) Don´t concede and 2) spark into genius mode even just one more time than the opponent.

    We should really value this win, . I find it amusing how people always prefer to win even if they don´t play well, when you actually win now they want the team to dominate and flip the other team upside down and in circles, if you manage to do it people will now expect sublime performances every single time – that is definitely not easy domestically and much less in Europe- so intead of this las line i prefer or would rather say “deliver when it matters most” yesterday I heard a line by Gabriel Batistuta, tranlated it´s something like Top players crave most for the big showings, the rest that there is in between is just protocol (build up)”

    I agree and am totally convinced there was a divine (some call it “luck”) element, suddenly form a throw in out of the nothing Juve´s spark lightened up and we saw a sublime play started by Morata followed by Sandro, Mandzukic, Lemina Cuadrado and back again to Morata. I´d rather have them lighten up once or twice in a match and win than have them dominate and flip around the opponent and show superiority only to lose in the end like it happened against Bayern. But make no mistake, Bayern´s result was not a show of pragmatism it was flat improvisation out of desperation and ultimately destiny.

    Pogba, Morata, Dybala Zaza are still kids still the levels at which they perform truly amaze me. Still We are making very big strides on maturity and confidence levels and that really puts a confident/cynical smile on my face. Recognition be to the society nurturing them to grow.

    I will repeat it cause I really crave that as a bottom line we incorporate into our approach this “sudden spark of brilliance clinical killer blow style” at Juve (Thats why I am so gald I saw it there yesterday). Add on top of it game control (which I agree we must improve), and fluid aesthetic play with consistency (Which is not a sine qua non but should be there) because i understand that we all have a propension to not want to be scared, want to dominate want to see fluid play as a spectacle, but if we want to be a true powerhouse and compensate for the most UCL finals lost compared to those won I personally think we need this kind of approach because soccer as it is more than a show it is a competition. (Montolivo said somehting like- If it was boxing they would have won on points- but soccer is surely not boxing and I am glad if i see signs the societá, the players, and even the tifosi don´t think of soccer as a boxing match.

    Thank you JuveFC for the chance to comment, and above all thank GOD for Juve´s single brilliance spark and Jose Mario´s shot miracle bullet dodge at min 121:45. Yes it was a Miracle Milan didn´t tie and we didn´t risk losing on penalties but on it i think being pragmatic includes embracing God´s hand when it is on your side.

    • ‘ embracing God´s hand when it is on your side.’ – Love it ! You couldn;t have said it better.

      Thank you for the comment Sebastián! It’s great to have you here and provide such a thoughtful, analytical and well written response ! You should share your thoughts with us more often, or better yet, why not write an article or the like !

      • Sebastián Quiceno

        Hi Moderator

        Well I said it because I don´t believe in luck, but rather I think God is on top of everything in life, football included (Since HE saw it way before the English and created it), apart from that also because many people complain when `luck´ seems against them, but more stunningly even though in the long run good performances tend to translate into results,

        In some matches a good performance will not even be enough, and in some it won´t even be required. And thats what I saw in the coppa Italia final, Juve knew if we defended well eventually a good socring chance would appear, we only had to take it home, which ina moment of inspirationwe did, in the end on God miraculously saved us from conceding (when I saw the replay I just couldn´t believe it) 😀

        About sharing my thoughts at JuveFC I first of all It is an honour to talk to the owner of such a wonderful site of the best soccer team in the world, I thank you for your invitation to share my thoughts at JuveFC and thank you with the utmost humility for valuing them. I try and procure not being too intrusive when commenting (Though it is not easy after watching some Juve matches) since I value the chance to be able to comment in the first place in such a complete and polished web site, because by reading the updates, the articles, the comments i can see there are very talented, professional, and smart people at JuveFC starting with those who set up the site and all the way to the site visitors.

        I have the willingness to keep contributing to the growth of this wonderful site and the Juventus world by any mean possible be it commenting as a Juventus fan or by any other mean within my reach, though i have to say I have never been a writer in a literary or journalistic sense so besides commenting as a fan I don´t know how writing anything at a website actually works or what it actually entails.

        Being in that position I must rely on your professional knowledge, judgment and ultimately your guidance towards that end. So I look forward for a response by you probably as a response to this post so i´ll be paying close attention to any feedback from you.

        I´ll also keep hanging around the site as usual since I really enjoy it and will keep close track of Juve since it´s coming a trascendental transfer season for Juve and because I am thrilled by next season since I am confident next year UCL will be ours -God willing- I think It has never been better to be a Juventus fan than right now is.

        To end this reply I really congratulate you for such an amazing job you do over here at JuveFC, because without doubt it is the site by which I feel most connected to the Juve world from this very long distance which I am at, besides the official club website of course.

        So many congratulations again for this product of your work and many thanks to you. It would be nice to know your first name or a nickname by which you can be referred to besides the `Moderator´, although moderator works fine anyway.

    • I am editing a novella I began last year during a frenzied fortnight in new zealand, amongst the natural beauty, intoxicating on so many levels, I found the zeal to produce a brutal story…and I will respond to your wonderful and welcome contribution on the morrow, my friend!

      • Sebastián Quiceno

        TGP so now you are writing a novel too?

        Pal is there anything you can´t do when it comes to writing? I am about to warn some Hollywood screenplay and even academic writers (lol, not that I know any of either field) to start becoming wary of you. Just kidding, keep it up, writing a novel is a very impressive task by itself so I take my hat off to you for that (Not that I am wearing one btw, lol again).

        Well and finally I ask you apologize me because I feel I have probably been kind of intrusive when I have commented on a couple of your posts, because they have been rather long comments, It just so happens that after watching some Juve games and reading some idiotic stuff people comment about Juve or european soccer in general (mostly on generic media) that I feel encouraged, or to use a term of yours I feel “the zeal” to make my voice heard and give some feedback to the Juve world about what I as a fan think about the team. So I thank you and the community for being so kind and polite to accept here my fan online opinions.

        I hope when you actually finish the novel you give us notice here as to how can we actually look for it. A novel of yours would be very interesting to see. Though I am not a novel reader i look forward to it.

        God bless you with enlightnening while writing it.

  • KPS235

    Fucka? who’s that? his name is Juraj Kucka lol, our NT midfielder.