Sunday, February 20, 2011

Italian Serie A Round 26 - Lecce vs Juventus - Review

After a stunning performance to see out Inter in the Derby D'Italia, Juventus' season looked to be back in full swing. However a dismal performance - to say the least - has resulted in a Champions League position slipping away from the Bianconeri. A red card as well as some questionable defending did not help the Juventus cause as they ran out 2-0 losers to Lecce away from home.

An early Juventus shot by Luca Toni just secons into the match looked promising for Juve as they attempted to string three consecutive Serie A victories together. The Juventus back four did however look shakey with Barzagli and Bonucci anchoring Sorenson and Chiellini.
By the time the first 10minutes had past Lecce had seemingly deciphered Juventus' defence with consecutive long balls catching Barzagli and Bonucci out of position.

Eventaully they paid dividends as a ball through to Di Michele saw the striker through; one on one with Buffon. Committed, Buffon had no choice but to instinctively put out a left hand to prevent a certain goal. The offence saw Buffon sent off within the first 15minutes, leaving Del Neri to make a tactical change.
In response, Storari was substituted for Krasic and Juventus turned to a 4-3-2 formation.

The subsequent freekick proved to do little damage to Juventus as it crashed into the wall. However the extra man that Lecce possessed was slowly making itself apparant. Wave after wave of attack came the Juventus way, and although the Old Lady held more possession than Lecce, it was the home side who was making it count. A lobbed pass from Munari 31 minutes in found an unmarked Mesbah, who calmly slotted the ball in beneath Storari to put Lecce up 1-0, to the delight of the home fans.

Just on the 41 minute mark, Juventus remarkably unleashed their first shot of the match. A glorious opportunity missed, through midfielder Aquilani who missed a ball that was absolutely begging to be put home.

Juve went into half time clearly the dominated side. They came out much the same way as Lecce continued where they left off. Immediately after the break Bertolacci scored a second for the home side as Di Michele cushioned the ball for a neat finish. 2-0 to Lecce, and the game looked to be sealed.

Juventus' defence was in shambles, failed clearances were becoming a regular occurence. Storari seemed to be the only thing keeping Juventus in some sort of contact. Juventus were given a lifeline with 20 minutes remaining after Lecce captain Vives was sent off after a second yellow.

From there Juventus began to push forward, taking control of play. However the Bianconeri could not make anything of their time on the ball. Iaquinta and Del Piero could not spark the Turin giants and they were left to fight out the loss.

The loss sees Juventus' fantastic work agianst Inter last week undone as the Milan side secured a victory over Bologna. Juve face Bologna next week, with league leaders AC Milan awaiting them in the following round of games.

Final Score - Lecce 2 - Juventus 0

Man of the Match - Di Michele (Lecce)