Buffon – At fault for the opener when the great man pushed away what could be caught, the ball falling to De Rossi who despatched for the equaliser on the second attempt. Had little chance with the 3rd but misjudged the curling pea roller for the 2nd. 5.5
Bonucci – rarely involved. Perhaps saving himself for when it really matters. 6
Benatia – Yet again looked a little clumsy in the tackle, and whilst I welcome him to the fold with his official permanent signing, I hope to see a much improved Mehdi after a solid pre-season with the club. 6
Asamoah – One of the few positive points of an otherwise very average showing. The Ghanaian hit the post with a splendid effort, hustled well and yet found little support on the flank. 6.5
Lichsteiner – Perhaps the most subdued performance of the season by the Swiss Locomotive who appeared lethargic and all too often over-run. His efforts to get forward were undone by an appalling showing by Cuadrado, and haphazard movement from Lemina. 5.5
Pjanic – Showed some nice touches as is always the case, but was left lacking targets making intelligent runs to find with his marvellous vision. Miralem is a playmaker, and to ask him to combine that duty with screening the defence, with no other midfielder in close attendance was a mistake. 6
Lemina – Other than the goal, the Gabonese was wretched. His passing was abject and his movement around the field horribly ill disciplined. 5.5
Sturaro – Why oh why Allegri did not stick to the 4-2-3-1 and play Stefano alongside Pjanic in the middle is beyond my ken to fathom. Stefano put on a plate the cross for Higuain which led to the opening goal yet failed to make his presence felt elsewhere. 5.5
Cuadrado – Barely involved, showed poor control, found space hard to come by and was carried by the team until hooked off late for Claudio. 4.5
Mandzukic – Toiled and tried to find the ball but has become less valuable in the final third when deployed higher up the field. We have found his best role for this side and must stick to it. 5
Higuain – Was unlucky with a couple of powerful efforts placed too close to the keeper. Otherwise well marshalled by the home defence and lacked smart support from his wayward team mates. 6
It is fair to say that Roma deserved their victory. They ceded possession and used the pace of their wide men on the break to devastating effect. Yet we did create pretty much as many decent chances and were clearly offering a side far removed from full strength. Had Asamoah’s shot crept an inch to the right and Dybala earned a penalty in the final minutes we would have been celebrating the title.
Allegri gambled and lost. Yet we remain on track for the scudetto, which should and must be achieved next week at home to vastly improving yet still weak Crotone. I do not agree with the rotation before key games, unless players really need the break, and this was a chance to win a historic 6th straight league title through achieving solely a draw away to one of our arch rivals.
We had no natural width with Lemina, Sturaro and especially Cuadrado all bang out of form. However, there is no need for misery, simply bother. And I will hope that Allegri is able to revive the spirits for the hugely important next two games. Two wins will bring us two prized pieces of silverware. It is that simple.
We did not throw the game, nor were we outplayed for the entirety. Though we can see how much our apparent squad depth requires improvement. This was not the game to test a 4-3-3. Nor was it the game to see if Pjanic can command the centre of the pitch alone.
A battle lost, an important one at that, but we remain in the driving seat to win the War.
We now regroup and focus on the coppa italia final when I expect to see a full strength first XI minus Big Sami.
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Lets be honest somthing was wrong yesterday. The first and second goal was comical to say the least. I am not happy
Who are we to argue with the mister, but i don’t know how many times we should try midfield of Sturaro-Pjanic-Lamina, and fail? At the beginning of the season we have seen many time that doesn’t work, let alone at Roma’s home! Overall team lacked energy, concentration and grit! Win next two games, and two titles, and then rest all you want for Cardiff!
I agree it is generally difficult to improve a team that has a fair chance of winning the treble as Beppe says, but there are obviously several areas which need to improved in depth in this team. And in terms of depth, there needs to be more quality in the bench options.
Firstly the fullbacks. I’m not quite sure if Lichtsteiner can still hold his own against top class opposition. I would say try bringing in one of De Sciglio/Conti for the right back role. Asamoah is a good player, but I still think there can be an improvement made as to who the backup for Alex Sandro is. I think Spinazzola will return this summer.
In midfield, I do still have faith in Lemina and Sturaro, but bringing in Tolisso and/or Verratti would spell the end of their Juventus careers, and that is fine. Rincon may have just done enough to deserve a full season next year.
And then obviously in the attack, we lack a tremendous amount of depth. With Pjaca injured, it is worth bringing in Keita for sure, as well as another winger of great quality to replace Cuadrado. Cuadrado is talented, but will never be a player worthy of starting for Juventus. Schick would be a smart signing as a backup to Higuain.
I am inclined to agree, mate, in regards to Juan. He has been great in 2017, though of late has reverted to bumbling around and with his hopefully brief dip in form my doubts have resurfaced. A useful squad player, but the problem with Juan is that if he does not feel valued, as in playing first XI regularly, then his form drops off. Tricky management…
We need better. Alves has returned amazingly fit and shown the value of having more consistent, expansive technique and confidence can achieve in the role, and that is where we must head as we seek to improve the squad.
I have been a long term fan of De Sciglio, Conti seems also very bright. And as DB mentioned above, Stephan’s time at the club seems to have come to an end. On the left, yes, Keita or another would be great, but as with Pjaca, he is a very offensive option, whereas the system relies upon Mandzukic pretty much playing LM/LW/LB and also making up the numbers in the middle of the park with his physicality and height.
Schick, Tolisso, De Sciglio and Keita would suit me fine. Alves has another year in him at the top level I suspect. I would also be happy to see us purchase Meret and place him at a Serie A club as a possible successor to Buffon.
Lichsteiner has no real need to play well anymore (other than personal pride), he’s not first choice anymore and would anyone be surprised if he is gone by the start of next season? Not been treated too well by the club this year, maybe that has hurt him. So where is his incentive?
The midfield should have included Marchisio from the start, as he is the only world class player we have if Sami is missing. All the others who played with Pjanic are squad players, nothing more. It was simply too average a lineup to match and defeat a fired up Roma. We do need better strength in depth.
Agreed on that score, my friend. Whilst still a fair way off top form, Claudio – probably even more so than Sami – is very much able to impose himself on the midfield from a central position, he is able to help adjust the tempo, act a a fulcrum, organise, with his technique of a very high value and his reading of the game exceptional.
As much as I admire and enjoy miralem, he has not the presence to impose himself centrally absent of another centrally focused midfielder who can tackle, hustle, mark, block, attack…it was the same at Roma.
abysmal performance from bianconeri. Even a Buffon made terrible decision at de rossi’s attempt. Licht was pushing his way out of juve with another bad playing. Cuadrado? there was no good thing about him at all, 1 way speed merchant that rarely involved to the play.
I believe playing Alves is the best option for the right wing for the rest of this season. For the next season, I prefer someone like sanchez with vast world class experience.
Maybe Kean should be included to the starting XI when mandzu become tired, I know he is too young but it is far better than throwing sturaro to the left wing. Kean is also provided as an option to Higuain, at least for the rest of this season.
Kean is a centre forward, extremely offensive, and would be wasted out wide. He will hopefully be loaned to a club in the top flight at home or abroad, where he gets games. I’d be very surprised to find him in our first team squad next season. Though I would like to see Mandragora retained and given a chance to learn from Claudio, Sami and Pjanic. Keep also Rincon for some reliable muscle and discipline and the middle is set.
I was out for dinner with the family for Mothers day, so I missed this game. I had calmly assumed we would have a drab draw, but it seems that was a mistake!
Bottom line, I agree with the view there is no reason for panic. It is a bump in the road, not a total loss. Saving perhaps a bit too much strength and energy for the final with lazio?
A game to forget and that is exactly what will happen when we win the Scudetto!