Even before kickoff, well all knew that a contest between Max Allegri and Jose Mourinho was never going to be a pretty affair in the presence of two notoriously pragmatic managers in the dugouts.
Nevertheless, Juventus and Roma still produced an exciting battle for the tactical purists, and it was eventually decided by a somewhat scrappy finish.
Rodrigo Bentancur’s header bounced off the head of Moise Kean which turned out to be the difference between the two sides, and the Bianconeri also had to thank Wojciech Szczesny for denying Jordan Veretout from the spot.
So here are three takeaways from Juve’s hard-earned home victory over the Giallorossi.
De Sciglio Can Be Alright
Last summer, the management were obviously low on cash, which explains why some of the so-called “Deadwood” remained in Turin.
Mattia De Sciglio was considered amongst this category, but Allegri was content to keep him as a backup option for the fullback roles.
But on Sunday, the 28-year-old produced one of his most impressive performances in the famous black and white jersey.
The Italian was solid at the back, mostly nullifying Mkhitaryan’s threat, but most importantly, he menaced the opposition with his constant overlaps, and it was his sublime cross that produced the match’s lone goal.
Let’s hope he can confirm his capabilities with similar displays.
The Target Man’s Value
Following the injuries of Alvaro Morata and Paulo Dybala, the shortage upfront prompted the manager to adopt a formation spearheaded by Federico Chiesa who acted as a false 9.
While that formation found success against Chelsea, in the end of the day, Juventus often end up returning to basics, and for a good reason.
Moise Kean hasn’t always impressed since making his summer return, but having a bulking center forward in the box is always vital.
Although his goal wasn’t pretty, his imposing presence inside the box made all the difference.
A false 9 was unlikely to grab a goal like that one.
Mourinho Was Proven Right
The Special One may have lost the chess battle against Allegri – as well as the three points – but the Old Lady’s backline proved that his statement from 2018 still rings true until this very day.
Three years ago, the former Manchester United boss said that Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini should be teaching defense at Harvard University.
On Sunday, the two defenders produced colossal displays at the back, denying the Romans with countless interceptions and clearances.
Mino Raiola and Matthijs de Ligt may not like it, but the aging veterans are justifying their starting berths with every new display.