Juventus 1-1 Inter Milan
Tevez 5 (J), Icardi 64 (I)
Serie A – Week 17 [6th January – 20:00 GMT] – Juventus Stadium
Yet again Juventus started off a game in dominating fashion only to finish the 90 minutes with a disappointing result. It happened against Sampdoria, it happened against Napoli in the SuperCoppa, and it happened in a Derby d’Italia two years ago when Inter beat Juventus at Juventus Stadium. While I am not necessarily worried about this continuing too far into the future (although Juventus next play Napoli) it is a frustrating trend.
Today, Juventus were by far the better team for the first 45 minutes. Within two minutes, Claudio Marchisio had already had an effort on goal, and two minutes later Arturo Vidal beat Gary Medel in Inter’s box before sliding the ball over to Carlos Tevez who scored Juve’s first goal.
Vidal and Tevez, like the entire side, were very effective in the first half but then faded in the second half. Vidal had one of his best performances of the year for the first 45 minutes. Meanwhile Tevez was his usual hardworking self, wreaking havoc in attack and midfield. Unfortunately Tevez can only carry the team for so long, and as happens on occasion he was less and less involved over the length of the game.
At times this was a very exciting match. There were plenty of series of end to end action. In the first half this tended to happen more from an Inter pass being intercepted – no pun intended. The interception often led to a Juventus counter attack, it was a large reason why Juventus dominated in the first half.
In the second half Inter’s attacks became more threatening, and for some time it seemed they had Juventus on the ropes. In the 63rd minute, a dangerous Inter counterattack occurred. Juve’s defense was entirely unprepared, with Giorgio Chiellini and Patrice Evra missing in action. Meanwhile, Leonardo Bonucci was failing to properly mark Mauro Icardi, who was able to receive the ball and then outpace Bonucci for a clean shot on goal, which he of course finished for Inter’s lone goal. It was enough to get a draw for his side.
One bright spot for Juventus was Paul Pogba. It seemed as Vidal started to be less effective, Pogba flourished. He had several dangerous runs with the ball, and on many occasions he dribbled around an opposition player. Unfortunately, the team lacked a killer instinct in attack today so these ventures all ended up without too much danger for Inter.
Part of that was due to the fine play of Samir Handanovic, who was just as important for this result as Mauro Icardi was. Handanovic stopped point blank shots, dangerous Andrea Pirlo free kicks, and powerful Vidal efforts from distance. Whatever Juve threw at him, he (mostly) saved. Similarly, Gianluigi Buffon had a fine evening. In the last 15 minutes of the game he stopped several dangerous Inter chances. He saved a strong Icardi shot in the 82nd minute and then in the 91st minute he came off his line to dispossess Lukas Podolski who was on a breakaway.
Inter will be very satisfied with this result, but Juventus will be rightfully upset. The team now leads Roma by only one point in the Serie A table, and a tough match versus Napoli comes up next week. Hopefully the team will decide to break out of their mild form and avenge the SuperCoppa loss to Napoli.
Man of the Match: Arturo Vidal
Flop of the Match: Fernando Llorente
Pass Accuracy: 80%
Shots on Target: 5
Total Shots: 11
Ball Possession: 52%
Juventus: Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Chiellini, Evra; Marchisio, Pirlo, Pogba; Vidal (Pereyra 77); Tevez, Llorente (Morata 63)
Inter: Handanovic; Campagnaro, Ranocchia, Juan Jesus, D’Ambrosio; Guarin, Medel, Kuzmanovic (Podolski 54); Kovacic, Hernanes (Osvaldo 85); Icardi (M’Vila 89)
Sent off: Kovacic 86 (I)
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