After waiting for so long to get their attack fixed and possibly succeeding by adding Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente, the usually impregnable Juventus defense has been looking awkward this season, while the midfield unit with Paul Pogba, Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal looks slow and predictable.
Juventus have now drawn twice against inferior opponents in the Champions League as they keep waiting for too long to respond with substitutes and tactics after rough starts. Galatasaray had no problem stopping Juventus for most of the match, until Fernando Llorente came on, as the Italian champions showed no creativity or mobility in the final third, making it quite easy for the Turkish side to close down gaps in their defense and win back possession.
Juventus seemed to insist with needless balls over the top to Carlos Tevez and Fabio Quagliarella (who came on for the injured Mirko Vucinic in the first half), despite being inferior in height and numbers in the box. There was no one quick enough or mobile enough to drag players away from their positions, as eyes turned to Claudio Marchisio on the bench, waiting for the opportunity to win back his place in the lineup.
The second half did look better with Juventus pressing higher up the pitch and doing a better job in keeping possession, but it only resulted with shots from long range. It wasn’t until Fernando Llorente came on for the horrible Leonardo Bonucci that Juventus truly looked like a team that might finally score an equalizer, and is shortly came after as Quagliarella made the most of a soft touch inside the box, with Arturo Vidal, with a knack of scoring goals that mean quite a lot, converting with a beautiful penalty kick.
Quagliarella himself scored what surely should have been the winner, but something is off with Juve’s DNA this season. The best defense in Europe (Statistically) over the last couple of seasons is conceding goals at an alarming rate this season, unable to keep a clean sheet. It has something to do with Lichtsteiner not being able to remain healthy for more than two matches, but the Buffon-Chiellini-Bonucci-Barzagli combination is losing its power. Umut Bulut needed only 70 seconds to equalize, scoring the final goal of the day.
Maybe the problem is the midfield, and specifically Andrea Pirlo looking his age. He does have his wonderful moments, but his lack of mobility and teams realizing how easy it is to shut down Juventus’ build up play at times calls for some changes. Paul Pogba might be actually better at doing that specific role right now, and maybe giving Pirlo some rest and throwing Marchisio back into his old job will give Juventus a more mobile midfield at times, and give Pirlo the rest he looks like he needs.
Two draws aren’t a disaster – Juventus are still second in the group as we head into a break before their Real Madrid matches. However, with their defense looking leaky and vulnerable, Juventus have to be quite conerened about their clashes with the group leader, who usually make the most of teams with glaring defensive shortcomings.