Juventus 1 – Benfica 2: Initial reaction and random observations

This has become something we have become very familiar with saying.

And definitely something we’re pretty tired of being told, too. But with the way this season has been going and how quickly things have started to deteriorate, we’ll probably be telling it again.

The very familiar story of Juventus Waking up early, not taking advantage of the very obvious opportunities to extend their lead and then paying for that real range again Wednesday night. It’s happened in Europe before, and it’s happened again against Benfica at Juventus, where Eric Milik’s goal was less than four minutes away and another bright start largely forgotten by the time the halfway point reached. The end result was Benfica’s 2-1 win, leading Juventus to the second loss in as many matches to start the group stage and with a lot of work to be done to get back into the picture in terms of progress they may already have too. deep hole.

Basically, with Juventus already behind both PSG and Benfica and at the bottom of Group H, Juve need to win both games against Maccabi Haifa – which at the moment looks like a very difficult task – and then hopefully. From the two teams in front of him he starts running away with the whole group.

But the question of what will happen with PSG and Benfica is not the biggest problem at the moment.

The problem – and it’s one of many – is that Juventus have a huge gap to try to get out of a couple of games in the group stage and they’re playing really bad football right now that you can’t see the situation in which that’s happening. Suddenly they click and still play in Champions League Come new year. It got bad so quickly, and there’s not a lot of motivating factor to think it’s going to get better over the next few weeks.

As much as restoring some of the injured players might help, you don’t know. why? Because they have shown in almost every game this season that they are unable to play good football for long periods of time. It was the case again on Wednesday night against Benfica after Milik scored his goal. They played really well in the first 15-20 minutes and then the Portuguese team managed to dominate the whole game.

So unless you are able to achieve more than one goal during that time, you are playing with fire.

And for Juventus, no matter how good his start it was, it quickly got worse. Firstly, it was the penalty kick by Fabio Meretti that allowed Benfica to equalise. Then it was just the rest of the game. Juventus, apart from some close calls, didn’t look that serious. They went into their usual despondency in the closing minutes, but even that didn’t produce much of anything.

It was Juventus, after the 20th minute, who hadn’t had a bite at all. no one. It was the same kind of performance that we saw against Sampdoria, against Fiorentina, in the first half against PSG. And while I understand that Juventus have a little help off the bench to try to turn the game in their favour, this is the kind of situation where you have to take advantage of your opportunities – and Juventus certainly didn’t.

Milik’s goal came in the fourth minute. After this goal, Juventus hit twice on goal – and hit the post once through Moise Kean (!!) – the rest of the way. This is simply not acceptable if you know very well that one goal will not achieve it. Which isn’t justified when you’re trying to fight from behind and get something out of the game.

Juventus received nothing from this match other than another reminder of how much they have fallen under the watchful eye of Max Allegri. (Funny, we’re told that sacking Andrea Pirlo was supposed to make things better and return Juventus to their best. I don’t think so.)

“Do you know how many times in its history Juventus have lost their first two Champions League matches? Zero. This is the first time.”

This feels like the beginning of a rock bottom moment. But we’ve seen over the past few weeks that things can go wrong. This might be what worries me the most about this present moment because you don’t know how bad it really is.

Random thoughts and notes

  • Pre-Match Think #1: Yes, 3-5-2 is the way. So far.
  • Think pre-match #2: I like that we’ve already reached the point where Fabio Meretti in the starting lineup isn’t a big deal or a big surprise. It seems that this is how it should be. Who knows if that will be the case when some of the injured players come back – or if the injuries will subside enough to get some depth – but the kid gets his shot.
  • Pre-game idea #3: gh4e (my cat walked across the keyboard)
  • Think before Match #4: Another night with a lot of empty seats. Seeing her against Salernitana is different, but seeing her in the Champions League is another (versus including a random opponent here).
  • This is how Juventus play when Charles Leclerc is in the crowd? unacceptable.
  • Juventus players went to Tribuna Sud after the final whistle and proceeded to receive the whistle from the fans. It’s worth it at this point.
  • This team looks totally fried mentally and physically. Claudio Marchisio said the same thing on his post-match show on Amazon Prime in Italy.
  • The worst part about this statement is that it’s September. You don’t want to hear that a month or so into the new season.
  • I wasn’t too impressed when Juventus signed Arik Milik. But with the way he started his career with Juventus, I’m more than happy to eat some crow. Keep scoring goals, Eric. Glad to see you are doing well.
  • And then, after Milik scored in the fourth minute, Juventus didn’t hit another shot on target in the rest of the first half. That’s just…it was expected for Juventus in 2022. (Please note this was written in the first half. I didn’t know how bad things were. Although I probably should have.)
  • Juan Cuadrado Screaming For A Penalty While he actually misjudged himself, he’s a big hit of Juan Cuadrado’s trademark in 2022.
  • Also on Washed Watch: Leonardo Bonucci. I had a few nice tackles in the second half, but a lot of his performance against the smaller and faster Benfica attack on Wednesday night was fantastic.
  • There was a Benfica corner kick in the second half – sorry, I forgot when, I was trying to do multiple things at once – and the camera went to Mattia Berne who was trying to organize his defence. He totally looked at everything that had happened up to that point.
  • Me too, Mattia. Me too.
  • Dusan Vlahovic finished with 26 touches.
  • I have to wonder what’s going on in Vlahovic’s head right now. It’s been less than a year since he moved to Juventus. He stuck to the move, denying the big money the Premier League could have given him. Over the past nine months he has seen Juventus continue to slide down and is limited in what he can because he sees so little of the ball. He’s gone from scoring on his Champions League debut in just two minutes so far. I can’t help but feel it because a lot of this isn’t his fault.
  • This should be the beginning of the end for Max Allegri because I really don’t know what it could be. Progressing to the knockout stages seems pretty much impossible at this point with the way his team is playing and nothing – absolutely nothing – has improved under his watch. I understand that this team is deeply flawed and reductive, but the manager’s job is to fulfill what he has and make better use of his resources. With Max, that won’t happen.
  • I checked the schedule in the first half to see when Juve kicks off this weekend where I live. It’s six in the morning. This team makes me not look forward to doing that. But BWRAO is important and I will do as the timeline tells me.
  • Then again, no matter when Juve start things up in the next few weeks, the idea of ​​watching them doesn’t inspire much confidence at the moment. or any confidence.
  • Juventus beat Benfica 19-11. in Turin. After controlling the first 15-20 minutes of the first half. This is the current situation for Juventus – when it’s bad, it’s really bad.

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