Juventus 6-1 Hellas Verona
Scorers: Giovinco 5, 45 (J), Pereyra 21 (J), Pogba 52 (J), Nene 57 (V), Morata pen 63 (J), Coman 79 (J)
Coppa Italia – Last 16 [Thursday, 15th January – 20:00 GMT] – Juventus Stadium
Despite not having won the competition since the 1994-95 season, today Max Allegri made it clear that he means business in this tournament. Juventus and Roma not only battle for the Scudetto this season, but also the glorious Silver Star. Both clubs having won the competition a record 9 times, we could be in for a two horse race in both domestic competitions between Italy’s best two sides.
Juventus started the match holding the majority of possession before Sebastian Giovinco was brought down right at the edge of the area. Moments after the foul, Giovinco dusted himself off, stepped up with determination, hit the ball over the wall and past Rafael to break the deadlock and give Juventus an early 1-0 lead.
With a firm Juventus defense consisting of a very confident Ogbonna and Bonucci, Padoin and Lichtsteiner holding down the flanks, The Old Lady did not come close to conceding in the first half. In front of the back-four and Marco Storari was an extremely dominant midfield three of Paul Pogba, who was incredible on attack and helping connect the defense with Captain Claudio Marchisio and the returning Simone Pepe.
The dancing Paul Pogba was especially world class today, embarrassing the Verona defense and midfield and connecting very well with a Sebastian Giovinco and Alvaro Morata booming with pace and electricity.
After controlling the majority of the opening 20 minutes despite a few less-than-threatening attacks from Nene and Nico Lopez of Verona, Juventus managed to double their lead through a wonderful goal from Roberto Pereyra. The Argentinean midfielder made a great run into the area, receiving a pass from Lichtsteiner, nutmegging Rodriguez and blasting the ball past Rafael’s far post to give Juve a 2-0 lead in the 21st minute.
The Gobbi weren’t done there yet, however, and continued with their steam-rolling attack. It was the atom-ant who shined yet again in front of the home fans—many of which doubting him throughout the past couple seasons—and found his second goal of the match through a stunning assist from Lichtsteiner again. Just minutes before his second goal, Giovinco nearly had an assist to his name after crossing the ball that rolled past the goal with nobody there to tap it in.
Juventus finished the half with a comfortable 3-0 lead. Paul Pogba, Roberto Pereyra, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Sebastian Giovinco stood out amongst the others, however.
The Bianconeri came out of the gates with the same desire as they started with, something they have lacked a number of times throughout the 14/15 campaign. Verona had their first concrete chance of the game in an effort that forced a beautiful save from Marco Storari, giving Juventus a reality check. While it was a quick slap-in-the-face for Juve, they only used it to further fuel a fire that had been burning for the previous 51 minutes. At the opposite end of the pitch, Morata and Paul Pogba faced Rafael in a two-on-one opportunity that was put past the Brazilian goalkeeper by the young French midfielder to give Juventus a 4-0 lead after 52 minutes.
Five minutes passed after the “New Zidane” gave Juve a 4-0 lead and Hellas Verona earned them a corner. As per usual, despite not being at fault, Marco Storari simply could not get the clean sheet and Nene buried the well-taken corner to cut Juve’s lead to 3.
Verona’s efforts did not last long, however, and the very dynamic Sebastian Giovinco made another darting run into the Verona box, beating one defender and getting fouled inside the area by the second, forcing a penalty. Morata, who missed a couple easy chances during the match managed to score the penalty despite Rafael guessing the correct side and restored The Bianconeri’s four-goal-lead.
Another 20 minutes of Juventus dominance before something absolutely magical happened. The only thing that could have made the match even more perfect after Giovinco restored confidence with a double; Pogba continued to prove he is world class, etc. The French wonder-kid, Kingsley Coman who Juventus swiped from PSG over the summer came on late in the match and scored an absolute rocket in the 79th minute leaving Rafael hopeless conceding the 6th goal in an absolutely unreal fashion.
Today Juventus showed the rest of Italy that they not only have the greatest depth in the nation, but also that they genuinely mean business in the Coppa Italia. An emphatic win for The Bianconeri over Hellas Verona and Allegri’s men go into the weekend booming with confidence.
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Juventus: Storari; Lichtsteiner (Mattiello 82), Bonucci, Ogbonna (Chiellini 39), Padoin; Pepe, Marchisio, Pogba; Pereyra; Morata, Giovinco (Coman 65)
Verona: Rafael; Sorensen, Rodriguez, R Marquez, Agostini; Campanharo, Tachtsidis (Greco 65), Hallfredsson (Martic 69); Valoti; Nico Lopez (Cappelluzzo 83), Nene