In late-October, Federico Chiesa made his return to the pitch following an injury nightmare which lasted for almost ten long months. Since then, the 25-year-old had displayed some flashes of brilliance here and there along with a couple of assists, but something remained lacking – a certain statement, if you will.
So in this regard, the Coppa Italia tie against Monza has somewhat marked the actual return of the Chiesa of old, the devastating winger who leaves defenders in his wake, causes havoc in the penalty box and finds the back of the net with wonderful strikes.
Yes, it was only Monza – and they weren’t even playing their starters – but the significance of scoring a winner in a cup contest can’t be undermined, as the Euro 2020 may have finally broke the mental barrier, which would hopefully allow him to regain his best form sooner rather than later.
Before Chiesa’s decisive goal, Juventus and Monza were embroiled in a back-and-forth affair. Moise Kean had broken the deadlock early on, but some scrappy defending from the Bianconeri allowed Mattia Valoti to equalize from a corner kick.
So here are some various takeaways from the action at the Allianz Stadium, as Juventus progressed to the Coppa Italia Round of 16 following a 2-1 win over Monza.
- Even in a match where Kean scores a header and grabs another disallowed goal, he still manages to frustrate us by missing a sitter.
- Daniele Rugani and Federico Gatti both looked composed and untroubled for the larger part of the match. Let’s hope they do the same against tougher opponents.
- Max Allegri unleashed the kids (Fagioli, Soulé, Miretti and Samuel-Iling), but we only grabbed the winner when all of them had left the pitch. But to be fair, they all enjoyed decent outings, so let’s hope that the general outcome doesn’t hurt their chances in featuring in the upcoming matches.
- Leandro Paredes has some work to do to justify a permanent stay.
- Love him or hate him, Angel Di Maria is arguably our best technical player as he provides an unparalleled flair. But wasting a golden scoring opportunity by attempting a cheeky Rabona was probably ill-advised, especially considering the events from our previous meeting against Monza. Yes, we were already leading at that point, but image if the Biancorossi had managed to score a late equalizer.
- When Di Maria and Chiesa entered the field, we switched to a 4-3-3 formation, which appeared to be comprehensively more fertile than the stagnant 3-5-1-1. This is additional reason why we must bolster our fullback department, so we can permanently install this more progressive lineup.