On Wednesday, Juventus fans were left devastated after watching their side concede a sloppy last-minute goal that put the icing on the cake in an under-par performance.
Thanks to the horrible display, collecting the negatives would be the easiest of tasks.
We can talk all day long about Alvaro Morata’s latest slump in form, the diminishing impact Federico Chiesa and Manuel Locatelli in the last few matches, or simply the lack of character displayed by the team in general. And let’s not even mention the Serie A table!
However, we’ll try to take things from a positive light (despite the overwhelming bleak scenery) and pick up three encouraging signs as we all try to move forward from a particularly painful defeat.
A Reliable Force at the Back
With Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci expected to hang their boots in the next few years, the club will surely struggle to make up for their absence, even if Matthijs de Ligt ends up staying in Turin.
But one performance after another, Danilo is proving to be a force to be reckoned with at the back.
Against Sassuolo, the Brazilian was by far the most solid Juventus defender, making one key interception after another, all while showcasing the heart of a true warrior.
The former Real Madrid man rarely surges forward these days, and thus, a move to center back sounds like a logical switch in the near future.
An Improving McKennie
Weston McKennie is rarely described as the wisest individual in the room, but he’s the guy that we all want to succeed for one reason or another.
Following a poor start to the season on all levels, the American is finally showing some signs of improvement in the last two matches. For one, his passing is becoming a little more accurate in comparison with the beginning of the campaign.
The midfielder also rose above the much taller Gian Marco Ferrari to nod home the equalizer. Unfortunately, he ended up being the one to play Maxime Lopez onside for the killer goal.
A mixed bag it may be, but it’s better than an empty one.
The Rise of a Leader
At the start of the match, Paulo Dybala entered the pitch wearing the captain’s armband, and he’s obviously not taking his new role lightly.
The Argentine was the Bianconeri’s best performer in midweek, proving to the team’s main source of danger. He was unlucky not to score as his shot hit the post, but still provided the assist for McKennie with a sublime cross.
But more importantly, La Joya acted as a real leader on the pitch. He comforted Chiesa following his miss, kept pushing the team forward and even led some of the players to confront the discontent Allianz crowd at the final whistle instead of hiding away.
It might take him a while to stamp his authority in the locker room, but Dybala could prove to be a worthy heir for Chiellini’s throne.