Juventus finally found the net after two goalless draws, enjoyed a bad day from Tomas Kosicky between the Catania posts, former Bianconeri’s dumb slides which got him sent off and Fabio Quagliarella in his best match during a rough seasons for him, en route to a 3-1 win and a return to the top of the Serie A.
Instead of continuing the positive momentum of beating Roma and Udinese, Juventus fell into a scoring drought, with a Cup win over Milan between the disappointment against Parma and Sienna. The general feeling before the Catania match that this was a must win, especially with a visit to the San Siro in a Match of the Season type fixture awaiting next week.
Juve were stunned by Pablo Barrientos scoring in the fourth minute, putting the visitors shockingly ahead. It was very clear from the start, despite Andrea Pirlo’s equalizer, the Antonio Conte made some big mistakes in selecting the starting lineup. The addition of Mirko Vucinic and Simone Pepe in the final 30 minutes completely changed the game, along with urgency and improved pace Juventus were playing in.
Not having Claudio Marchisio obviously hurt, but Marchisio has failed to find the net since December. Pirlo had to be much more involved with threatening the goal besides the usual long range free kicks he takes. Eventually, terrible mistakes from the keeper and the red card were what gave Juventus the win as they continued to struggle with finding the net.
Giorgio Chiellini and later on Fabio Quagliarella put Juve ahead, with Quagliarella’s goal causing so much excitement on the Juventus bench that Marco Storari bloodied his head while jumping on him to congratulate the 29 year old striker.
The usual Antonio Conte hand waving were there, but against a fired up AC Milan side, who will try to retake the top spot tomorrow in Cesena, will need more than just enthusiasm from a Juventus side that too many times stumbled into impotent performances.