Following a breathtaking back-and-forth affair, it was the Old Lady who emerged victorious in the Derby della Mole – as it’s often the case.
Kudos to Torino who wore their heart on their sleeve and took the lead twice in the first half. Nonetheless, Juventus scored timely equalizers on both occasions, before asserting their authority in the second period, with the final result showing 4-2 in favor of the home side.
So here are our three takeaways from what was one of the most thrilling Turin Derbies in recent memory.
After a solid first-half showing that saw them dominate possession, it felt as if the Bianconeri’s substitutions took the winds out of the Granata’s sails, and not just from a tactical standpoint.
Now surely Torino possess a plethora of talent among their ranks, but none of them is called Angel Di Maria. And let’s say that they had their own version of the Argentine, surely they couldn’t afford to casually take him off while the match is still tied, only to introduce another two top talents in his steed.
So when Paul Pogba made his long-awaited return accompanied by Federico Chiesa, it felt as if fear suddenly crept into Ivan Juric’s men who retreated to their own areas.
This is the sense of inferiority that Juventus used to inspire during the club’s recent winning dynasty, giving the team an edge even prior to the first kickoff.
So perhaps the return of the household names will do the mental trick, albeit it remains too early to tell.
Allegri’s New Darling
Even with Manuel Locatelli suspended, Fabio Miretti injured, and Pogba unfit to start, Leandro Paredes still couldn’t lock himself a starting berth. That’s because Max Allegri opted to thrust his younger compatriot Enzo Barrenechea in his stead.
The 21-year-old made his full debut with the first team and it’s plain to see why the manager appears to be a keen admirer of him.
Unlike Paredes, the young Barrenechea is more than happy to do the dirty work in the middle of the park while displaying his remarkable tackling credentials. He’s no slouch on the ball either.
We expect to see more of the Argentine in the coming weeks, even if another starting berth might be unlikely with Locatelli and Pogba available.
Tuesday turned out to be a day of celebration for Juventus and several of the club’s stars. Aside from winning the Derby in an exciting fashion, Pogba made his Bianconeri re-debut after almost seven years, Gleison Bremer scored against his former employers, Barrenechea got his full debut and impressed, while Alex Sandro registered his 300th club appearance and Juan Cuadrado consolidated his status as Torino’s ultimate boogeyman.
Yet, Filip Kostic was arguably the best on the pitch, even if his display might have been lost in shuffle. The Serbian delivered the assist for Cuadrado and his freekick created Rabiot’s goal as well. Nonetheless, he deserved to have more assists to his name, but his teammates wasted some of his glorious crosses.
It has to be said that the 30-year-old possesses a stunning ability to deliver a delicate cross to the box and he showcased it against the Granata.
With Chiesa, Di Maria, Pogba, and Vlahovic gradually regaining their optimal physical conditions, Allegri might consider sacrificing Kositc to fit his most renowned stars in one formation. However, we can only hope that the manager finds a way to keep the Europa League winner in the mix, especially when he’s in enchanting form.